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Money Is Not A Weapon

Life has changed so much in the past fifty years that it only stands to reason that children are parented differently as well. We are more affluent and may have a tendency to be more indulgent with our children. This is especially true when parents feel they can assuage their child's pain by offering gifts.

Life may be easier when money is plentiful, but money can also skew values ​​toward selfish overindulgence. Greed is wanting more than is useful or necessary. Greed also assumes wanting something that someone else has. While your divorce probably had nothing to do with money, it can become about greed. The irony is that when payment is bought in a financial sense, it never seems to feel like anything other than revenge. All divorced parents pay something, but that has nothing to do with money.

Money can become a symbol that attempts to pay a debt that has nothing to do with currency. When your heart was broken, you may have believed that your ex-spouse could pay you something to repay you for your emotional investment. Money then becomes a surrogate for your peace of mind. What is missing in your heart can not be replaced by money. The only way to be reimbursed for emotional heartbreak is to continue the investment in others. Closing yourself off will keep you from the relationships that will help you heal.

Dollars and sense

One predictable exit of divorce is that, at least initially, two households will need to function on money that used to run one. Deciding who has it, who describes it, and how it should be dispersed takes on a life all its own. There might be attorneys keeping their own interest in determining how financial assets should be divided. Some divorces became about hiding money, protecting self-interest, and withholding information about money. Anger about a divorce can encourage some to decide that a way to penalize an ex-spouse is to want more money.

One parent is usually writing notes that another is is cashing. The parent lending the checks may or may not feel an obligation in return for the financial support. The parent writing the checks may have to work longer hours and therefore see less of his or her children. The sense of obligation both parents feel is an indication of the value placed on each other as individuals. Some parents take money from an ex-spouse and still deprive this person of time and information regarding a child. Others withhold checks in an attempt to punish and control. Neither scenario is in a child's best interest.

Sometimes it does not add up

When one parent has decided that the other one has to provide the money needed to feed and clothe a child, then money has become a weapon that one parent uses to punish the other. The message to the child is that one parent works for money; The other spends it. When the economic situation of each parent is vastly different, money can become a source of resentment. The child will have an idea of ​​what his or her fair share is and feel cheated when money is withheld. This teachers a child nothing about love.

It does not have to be all or nothing

There is much talk today about baby boomers and the challenges of caring for elderly parents. It is more of a challenge for these adult boomers when their parents divorce and act as if the divorce will be less painful because their children are adults themselves. It also raises an interesting question about love when a couple has been married for four or five decades and then decides that there is not enough in the relationship to sustain the marriage.

Surely these couples have had difficulties in the past. The difference may lie in trying to understand regrets some people have over unrealized dreams. The marriage may become the explanation for unhappiness. Yet each member of a couple is responsible for his or her own happiness. Just as no one can "make" you angry, he or she also can not make you happy.

Give it to me

If we act frustrated when we do not get what we want, we are teaching our children to do the same. When we complain about money to our children, we are usually blaming someone for not making sure we have enough. There is nothing wrong with having nice things. There is no doubt that life is easier in some regards when money is plentiful. But if you want more money, you need to consider approaching it yourself.

When money becomes a weapon in a divorce, a child is often overindulged. Parents compete by using purchasing power to win a child's affection. The parent with less money may feel cheated. The parent with more money may use material things as a replacement for time. Children will brag about this or that new toy they have. They will look out at the world and compare their possessions with those of others. When a daughter, for example, feet cheated by a divorce and her parents are using things as a way to appease her, she will demand more and more. But worldly goods can never make up for love.

Some parents think they can ease a child's pain by giving into claims. If parents become fixated on the child, effective discipline or reasonable limit-setting is impossible. Becoming concerned that a child may not like me indicates that a child is actually the one in charge. Adults become fixated on making a child happy by trying to win affection through the use of purchase power.

I want it and I want it now

Children want instant gratification. The youngger they are, the greater the desire. The infant can not wait longer than absolutely necessary for food when he or she is hungry. Toddlers will throw a temper tantrum when they do not get what they want. If a parent consistently gives in to a child's demands, this behavior will continue to the extent that such children will always expect instant attention when they snap their fingers. They are spoiled in the sense that their inner souls are polluted with getting what they want, so they grow up to be boorish adults whom most of us go to great lengths to avoid.

The more the child's demands are met, the more persistent he or she will become. This child will come to believe that things create happiness. Parents teach this every time they give in. There is nothing wrong about wanting all the abundance the world has to offer. It is just that the antithesis of this is to look to money as an indication of love. There is no test for love. Love will always fail when tested because whatever expectation a person places on displays of love has nothing to do with the emotion. Love, when filled with expectations about how others should be, places judgment on them to express love to us as we expect them to. When this includes spending money or collecting gifts, we have come to define outer trappings as an indication of love. But love is warm and does not include cold, hard cash.

Children are particularly susceptible to the idea that whoever has the most toys wins. Some adults buy into that notice as well. Plenty of adults want nicer cars, bigger houses, fancier clothes. And it is rewarding to succeed. Earning what you want is satisfying. Being given what you want rarely ericits that same sense of accomplishment. Do not deprive your child of the opportunity to work toward his or her goals.

It is a fallacy that time is money. Making money takes time. How ironic that more of our time is consumed so that we can buy more stuff. Goodies can never make up for time and attention, and no amount of money can change that.

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