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Where is the Parenting Manual for times like this?!

Ever been at a crowded department store on the weekend, heard a loud CRASH, and then realized it was YOUR child that broke the thing now in tiny pieces all over the floor? 

We were heading out of the Housewares Department after standing in a long line to buy a much-needed griddle when my son spots the tiny snow globe ornaments personalized with names on them.  Hundreds of names listed on this turnstile display (except his – still a little too unique, or his sister’s – still so popular it is always sold-out) but all of sudden he calls out, “Mom, Mom – I found it!”  It was his teacher’s first name and he said he wanted to get it for her as a gift. 

So sweet to be thinking of her – and not himself, so nice to want to get a little something for her out of the blue….what a nice “give.”  The whole ornament (snow globe and …

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Kids and Money: How to Structure an Allowance

Do your kids get an allowance?  If so, how did you set it up and what – if anything – is it tied into?  Do you find it is working for you or are you still having to play ATM more often than not?  And do you feel like you are setting your children up for financial success in the future?

Undoubtedly, you have heard what this Zen Mama Wannabe has heard from the money experts in regards to giving children an allowance.  Most experts say it should NOT be tied into chores, that children should do jobs around the house because they are members of your family – not because you pay them to.  Because, as they point out, what happens when they decided it is not worth it to them?  That they would rather NOT feed the dog or take out the trash this week?  Oops – now you have got a bit of a problem.  Better for …

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Are Economic Woes a Family Matter?

Do your kids know about the economic woes of our country – and are they aware of how it affects you – or them – in the daily lives you lead?

What is happening in our economy right now is beyond belief.  The biggest bank failure in our nation’s history, warnings of an “economic catastrophe,” and the “worst economic downturn since the Great Depression” lead the daily headlines.  Everyone is predicting it will get worse before it gets better.  So how does all this affect you? 

This Zen Mama Wannabe wishes I could peek into people’s houses on the talked about Main Street and listen in on the kitchen table conversations.  Does this downturn just mean a dip in your 401K plan, but retirement is years away so no real worries, you will just ride it out?  Does that mean you probably won’t be taking that vacation to the Caribbean next year and will have to make due with local …

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Are You Feeling Rich or Feeling Poor?

Are you feeling rich today – or feeling poor?   That was the question my husband asked my mother as she tried to decide whether or not to replace her huge monster of a TV with a slim LCD one that can hang out of the way on the wall.  Her studio apartment at the retirement home is only so big, and her current 10-year-old television set looms out into the room like a big black eyesore.  She hates it and keeps contemplating getting one of these newfangled ones, but of course there is that one little thing holding her back:  the price tag. 

Ah yes, the price tag.  That tiny rectangle with SKU lines all over it that keeps us from snatching up all that we desire.  There is in all of us that invisible number, set at our comfort level, that tells us whether or not the item we want is coming home with us; deal or no …

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