Allowance: A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement with Your Child

allowance
Growing up, if your parents were anything like mine, I’m sure that the minute they asked to you to do something it got done. That’s just the way it was when we were growing up. Nowadays, however, it seems that kids have attention spans equivalent to the lifespan of a fruit fly…short and nearly non-existent. I was discussing this dilemma and how hard it was to get my teenage daughter to keep her room clean and her grades up with a friend one day when she asked me a simple question, “ Do you give her an allowance?” The answer was simple enough, “no I didn’t”.
My friend’s reaction was almost one of comical awe. She couldn’t believe that I was not giving my 14 year-old daughter an allowance. I didn’t get what the big deal was initially. I mean my parents never gave me an allowance and I always did as I was told, when I was told do it and maintained perfect grades. Why would I give my daughter money for something that she was supposed to be doing?
But as she explained it to me, I slowly started to realize the benefit of giving your child an allowance. Quite honestly, by the time we had finished our discussion I was kicking myself for not having put my daughter on allowance a lot sooner. You see, although the exchange may initially seem one-sided with you doing all the giving, it is actually a mutually beneficial arrangement to have with your child.The devil, as they say, is in the details. Done correctly, an allowance system can provide not only an incentive for the child to do things the way they should be done the first time, every time, but it also provides a life lesson on the value of money. By the same token it helps you, the parent, to instill these lessons and cuts out all the exhaustion of constantly having to be behind them to do the things they should be doing. Not to mention the fact that it creates an incentive for your child to help out with household chores. So how exactly does it work?
It’s quite simple really. Create a list of things your child will be responsible for: cleaning their room, maintaining their grades, washing the dishes, taking out the trash…whatever it is that you’d like them to assume responsibility for, well within reason of course (you’re not going to ask you’re 10 year-old to wash and wax your car). Now once you have your list, come up with a reasonable monetary amount to give your child on a weekly basis for completing these tasks. Make sure that the amount you decide on is appropriate for your child’s age and needs (you’re not going to make your kid do the dishes for the week and then give them a quarter for it…it’s not the ’50’s anymore).

responsibility
Once you have decided on all these things you will proceed to start the week at the designated day of your choosing. For instance, we started our week on a Sunday, so every Sunday we go over the chores to make sure they’ve been done correctly and we pay her the allowance. Now throughout the week we take stock of her room and her daily chore list. If her room is not clean and she has had ample time in the day to do it, we make note of it with a set amount to be deducted from her allowance for the offense. Likewise, if she has not completed a task from her list or done it correctly we make note of it for a deduction as well.
Now here is where the life lesson kicks in: when the time comes to give her the allowance, we give her the full amount. Once we have placed it in her hand, we then go over all the deductions, if any, for the week and she has to pay us the amount due for deductions. The act of giving them the full amount and then having them pay you back right then for deductions makes it very real to them and teaches them to: do things right the first time so they don’t receive any more deductions in the future and the true value of money.
I’m particularly fond of the second lesson. Nowadays, kids are very quick to demand things without truly taking stock of what it may cost. However, once you establish this system you make their allowance their sole means available for buying and doing the things they want. You, of course, will cover the regular things they need such as school uniforms, daily food, and things of the like, but anything that is an extra becomes their sole responsibility. For instance, if my daughter now wants to go to the movies she can do so if she has saved up enough money to pay for her ticket and snacks.
When they know that they are going to have to start paying for their own things they start to not only take in the true value of money, but they also start to make better choices about how to spend it and learn to budget. Believe me this is a great lesson to start any pre-teen on, as that is the age where their wants start to kick in to overdrive and they think money falls off trees. These are practical lessons that they will need and it helps to teach them responsibility. Believe me this has made a huge difference in things around my household and it can do the same for you.

The Little Stupid Things

happy-quotes-tumblr-859

 

Life’s too short, be happy ^_^

Too often we squander our time and emotions

on things that in hindsight turn out to be trivial and petty.

Enjoy life and let go off the stupid little things

that have been weighing you down 

Give Thanks

722726c9626715ced41f1730d96da9d3.jpg

 

Give thanks…every day!
There is something so powerful in giving thanks that we often tend to overlook, but that is of infinite value. When you give thanks, truly and wholeheartedly for everything you have in your life, you’re sending a signal to the Universe telling it not only that you are thankful, but also that you are ready for more! So next time you start thinking about everything you want that your are lacking, turn your thoughts around and fill them with gratitude and abundance instead! 

Take Time…

happy-soul-quote

 

     Always take the time to do the things that make your soul happy for those are the things that nourish and enrich our lives. It need not be something grand…it can be taking the time to pick up an instrument and play, singing, dancing alone or with friends, painting a portrait or even something as simple as spending time with your loved ones…remember what you think and the actions you take ultimately attract their like and who wouldn’t like to attract more things that make their soul happy ^_^

Release What’s Holding You Back

release 4.14.30 PM

 

Whether you achieve success or not in any endeavor or aspect of your life is completely up to you.hat has been holding you back. Sometimes we hold on to ideas or beliefs we have about ourselves which hinder us from reaching our true potential and greatness simply because we have thought them for so long that they become ingrained into our very being…”it’s too hard”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not good enough”… Guess what?! They’re all (excuse my French) BULLSHIT!!! Your thoughts are one of the most powerful tools you have in your possession. What you think, you create. As such, you cannot expect to achieve your goals if you are unwilling to let go of all the negative ideas and beliefs you have about yourself. Let go of the negative thoughts and you’ll start to see a change…maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s someone negative around you? Your environment is just as important! Cut the negativity around you out even if it means distancing yourself from people….at the end of the day their negativity has no place in the life of your dreams anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Get Rid of The BS…

happy-life-quotes-tumblr-3

Get rid of the BS and focus…

it’ll pay off in the long run!

On The Grill: Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

805457

 

    August is almost at its end, but there’s still some time to get in some delicious barbecuing! I love a good barbecue, but if you’re anything like me you need something to snack on while your grilling all that meat. One of my favorite snacks to throw on the grill is: Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers! These babies are pretty quick to prep (about 10 minutes) and are done in just about the same amount of time. They offer a quick bite with a a slightly spicy kick which you can adjust as you’ll see below.

   First, let’s look at what you’ll need:

Fresh Jalapeño peppers

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese

Bacon

Toothpicks

     Simple enough, right? Ok, so first things first,  go outside and start up your grill this way you can throw your pipers right on as soon as you finish prepping.

 1. Now you’re going to take your jalapeños and half them as shown below:

photo 1

   2. Once halved, you simply scoop out the seeds to leave the half nice and concave like below:photo 2

   – Now during this step I like to step up the ante a little and what I’ll do is scoop out most of my peppers fully and then just leave a few with the seeds still in them. This will guarantee an extra kick that’s lost otherwise. Now if you don’t like spicy, I’d suggest you fully remove the seeds, but if you’re up for the extra kick just make sure you mark the peppers with extra seeds so nobody gets a hot surprise. (Personally, I like to mix them all in and see who gets lucky, lol 🙂 )

3.  With your peppers scooped, grab the cream cheese and using a butter knife start filling the with cream cheese like so:

 photo 3  Don’t worry if they seem a bit messy, remember you will be wrapping them in bacon…see:

photo 4

  4. Depending on how big the pepper half is, you’ll be using between 1-2 slices of bacon to wrap around it. Though it may seem excessive, remember that the bacon will shrink so it does not matter if the bacon seems to overwhelm the pepper. Once you wrap it well, secure the bacon using toothpicks.

  5. Once you have them all ready take them out and place them on the grill. You’ll find that some of the cream cheese will start to drip, but don’t sweat it. I like to keep a watch on them and when I see one is dripping to much I turn it over or place it on a different spot on the grill that may not be as hot. Make sure that you allow them to cook thoroughly on all sides as it is bacon and must be cooked all the way through.

JalapenoPopper

  6. Once you see they’re all cooked, remove from the grill and give them a minute or to before chomping on them so you don’t burn your tongue. After that it’s fair game! ENJOY!!!

bacon-wrapped-stuffed-pepper-boats

Always Remember…

tumblr_m69eyvtV1F1rx3bg1o1_500

 

There will be times when we find ourselves in a place where we lose hope and frustration leads us to despair at the idea of not being able to be or accomplish what we want…when this happens always remember: It has to be dark for the stars to appear. Take the moments of darkness in your life not as the end of end alls, but as an opportunity to find your star once more. See, we tend to forget that the stars are always out, yet we don’t see them because of the sun’s brightness. So it is that the darkness, in fact, gives way to allow the stars to light a path through the night. Just in the same way it is that we can find ourselves and our way in the darkness. Never forget that things will be as you perceive them to be, meaning that you can chose to sit in the darkness in a hovel of self-pity or you can look up and see the stars and the hope that lies within them…