Raising Selfless Children

Our children are growing up in an age filled with relentless messages to consume more, more, more, as well as immediate access to almost anything. Add to that the rapidly evolving technology available to them and the ever-present competition among peers, and the difficulty of raising selfless children in a materialistic world can seem impossible. But it’s not hopeless, of course, and there are plenty of things you can do to help them maintain a level of humility. Here are a few ways you can start:

Set limits, and when you say “No,” mean it.

One reason kids become selfish is they get too used to getting their way. It’s important to be clear about what you expect of them and then adhere to those limits. Giving in to tantrums, whining, complaining or attempts to make you feel guilty simply teaches them that they get their way if they complain enough.

Go through possessions with them and donate to charity.

You already know kids are constantly outgrowing clothes and toys. But don’t just deal with them on your own, make time to go through their belongings with them and donate some to charity. It is very useful to give them an understanding of the lives of the less fortunate and how some help can really make a difference.

Do chores with them.

Kids don’t innately understand that hard work pays off. Assign chores and then help them complete them. They may not understand that the house looks nice because you spent hours cleaning it, but if they do their part they can see concrete results and how it directly affects their world.

Nurture empathy.

Babies are by nature selfish, and so are young kids. It takes awhile for them to realize the world isn’t centered on them, so encourage them to consider how others feel. You nurture their empathy by helping them understand the mindset of someone else. “Imagine you just moved here and are walking into school for the first time. How would you feel?”

Reinforce selfless acts.

One of the quickest ways to increase selflessness is to “catch” them doing unselfish acts and praise them. Doing so will encourage them to repeat the behavior. Just remember to describe the behavior and point out the impact it had. “Did you see the smile on your brother’s face when you shared your toys? You made him so happy.”

 

 

Spending Freeze: Day 10

The long-awaited day 10 has arrived! Less than 24 hours left until you conquer the Freeze. Congratulations to all of you – truly awesome learnings, communication and effort. We’ll be posting the list of eligible participants for the drawing on Monday, and will inform the winner by Monday night.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl (or not)! You deserve it.

Day 10 prompt: Would you do the Freeze again? What did you like/dislike about the process? What could make the Freeze better in the future?

 

 

Spending Freeze: Day 9

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can see it. The weekend is near. You’re probably practicing your victory dance.

However, day 10 falls on a Friday. (Day 9 prompt) How will you spend your last Friday freezing? Will it be the hardest day of all, or the easiest?

Spending Freeze: Day 8

We all have those items that aren’t technically “necessary,” but are items we feel are essential to our daily lives, how we see ourselves, or our own mental sanity. For example, manicures, eye brow waxes, contacts, hair color treatments, etc. They aren’t necessary, but they feel necessary.

Day 8 prompt: What are your unnecessary but “essential” items? Which ones do you think you could cut, or cut back on?

Spending Freeze: Day 7

Today marks the one-week point in our 10-day freeze. We love the support and collaboration happening among you all. Just a few more days! It sounds like there are many worthy projects, items and events the prize money could contribute to.

Day 7 prompt: If you win the $250 prize, what will you do with it?

(Aside from this of course)

Spending Freeze: Day 6

Happy Monday Freezers! We hope you’re plenty refreshed after the wonderful weather we had in the Midwest this weekend. Sounds like there have been a few trials within the last five days – ravenous teens, broken dishwashers, QT temptations and more. Keep up the good work!

Day 6 prompt: What habits are you hoping to continue after the Freeze ends?

 

Spending Freeze: Day 3

Ohhh the weekend. We have arrived. When the temptations are strong and motivations run low.

You leave work like …

Then you tell your friends you can’t go out because you’re ‘freezing’ and they react like …

However, there is plenty of greatness to discover when options are limited on a Friday night. Dust off those board games, dig out the old gaming consoles, bribe your friends to have a chill night in.

We believe in you.

Day 3 prompt: Where will you look for free fun this weekend?

Spending Freeze: Day 2

Day 2 of the Freeze is underway. Usually one of the most painful days, due to realizing what your daily spending habits actually are. Like that morning latte or late-night online shopping frenzy. However, stay strong! Losing old habits can open opportunities for new, healthier ones.

Day 2 prompt: What are some strategies you’ve used to keep yourself from shopping online?

Spending Freeze: Day 1

Welcome all Spending Freeze participants! Today is the first day of our Spending Freeze 2.0 challenge. Any sign-ups after today will not be accepted. A lot can happen when you’re forced to get creative with spending. Things like solving rodent infestation. And finding your greatness.

Hopefully, you have planned out your meals and activities in order to avoid spending these next ten days. So settle in, get comfy and let us know how you plan to get the job done!

Per the rules, please post a comment to this specific blog post about your experience. It can be a sentence or two or a paragraph or two. The length is up to you. Below is a prompt to help you get started, but do not feel you need to post on this specific topic.

Thanks and good luck!

Day 1 prompt: What do you think will be the hardest luxury to give up?