Help! That seems to be the call this season. I am seeing so many articles about kids, money and the holidays that I honestly can't keep up. There is one thing that I've been talking about that I think is probably the most important consideration parents should have this holiday season - be aware of your own actions. Stacy Tisdale's new book, "The True Cost of Happiness," addresses this same issue - she says that if kids grow up in a credit card debt home, that's the kind of home they'll have. She even talked on the Today Show about this. True, true, true. I completely concur with Stacy's assessment. We all know kids do what we do, not what we say. So, this holiday season, be aware of the following:
- Make it a point to create and talk about a budget - even if you have very young kids, talk about it. They may not yet get, but you're setting the foundation...and you'll help yourselves curb "crazy spending in the process."
- Be very aware of the use of the words "need" and "want." Correct yourself and your children when you use these words incorrectly and/or interchangeability. Seriously, make it a point to pay strict attention to your words and actions regarding money for a day or two and you may be surprised at what you might discover about yourself - and your kids.
-Emphasize traditions. Don't have any traditions, create some. Every kids wants gifts during the holidays and I certainly don't want to advocate being a scrooge here, but emphasize your traditions - whatever they may be - because that's what kids will value in the long run. Granted, a Christmas without presents would not be fun at all, but neither would a Christmas without a decorated tree.
Make time for family and enjoy yourselves.