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I'm wondering how you feel about allowance? Also, I'd like to know how to deal with my children when they want so much for Christmas and I can't afford it. They see some of their friends and relatives getting whatever they want.



We thoroughly cover allowances in our book "Positive Discipline A-Z," as well as in our otherbooks. Briefly, I think children should get an allowance (the amount depends upon the family budget) and that it SHOULD NOT be related to chores. Every family member does chores because they are part of the family, and they all get an allowance for the same reason.

Regarding your children wanting more than you can afford, don't you also want more than you can afford? There is nothing wrong with wanting. What would be wrong is for you to try to give them more than you can afford or to feel guilty that you can't give them everything. See it as a blessing that they can't be so materialistic and fall into the trap of TV advertising. Sympathize with their feelings, and then work with them on a plan to make Christmas enjoyable within your budget. We discuss this materialistic attitude in our book Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. When your children complain about not getting more, use active listening: "Yes, it is disappointing, isn't it?" If you leave it at that, children usually get over their disappointment more quickly than if parents feed the sparks by lectures or guilt so that it becomes a full-fledged bonfire.

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