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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Family Activities Don't Have to Cost Money Just Your Time

Family Activities Don't Have to Cost Money Just Your Time: Parenting blog for families of multi-age groups - newborns, tweens, and teens. Basic facts on raising children. Tips on shopping for children.

How Parents Secretly Favor One Child Over Another

Parents began favoring one child over another the day when the not-so favored child decided to go against the rules not once, not twice, but as many times as they could to get what they wanted, make a statement, or show parents when their wrong in their judgments.  Controlling adults who become parents don’t take too kindly to this behavior and will punish the child, at times, severely. The hardheaded, stubborn, strong-willed, defiant and many other words used to describe this challenging child was why secretly, parents gave up on the battles with him or her and began to favor the easy-going, obedient, and respectful child.

This is a sad truth! As much as parents say they love all their children the same, the reality is they don’t. They love their children differently based on the personality that they have noticed within each of their children. John will receive tough love because he challenges authority and David will receive a gentler love because he doesn’t put up a challenge. As both children become older, tasks are given to them and they are expected to follow instructions and make mom and dad proud. However, the child who prefers to question authority before he completes his task is met with a frown from defeated parents who have grown weary of John’s “smart mouth, mess ups” etc. So he makes a decision not to even do the task – “Why bother, my parents don’t expect me to do it right anyway?” Yet, the favored child completes the task and doesn’t let the parents’ attitude or his sibling’s objections affect what needs to be done. Moments like these are repeated over time, from asking that the room be cleaned to taking out the trash while parents are judging who is more responsible.

The more responsible child will ultimately win the prize once they are older whether it be college paid for, a trust fund, property left to them, their grandchildren receiving gifts and a host of other rewards. The already favored child gets an increase of “brownie points,” while the other child is labeled irresponsible and reminded about the past and all the times he or she failed at assigned tasks and didn’t follow parent’s orders. Could it have been the un-favored child just needed a little more instruction, attention or maybe a simple smile from mom or dad that said, “I have faith in you”?

Now that the children have become adults, parents are observing each adult child’s behavior more-so, because they know that the kind of adult their child has become will reflect on whether the parents enabled the success or failure of all their children. The favored child has shown a consistent lifestyle with little, if any, fluctuation in it. He or she doesn’t seem to waver too far from mom or dad, they seem to be around to help them in whatever way they can –sometimes without being asked. They aren’t frivolous with their finances and seem to have stable relationships with everyone around them. Yet, the not so favored child is not coming around the parents often. In fact, they may have moved out of the state, against his or her parent’s wishes. He or she doesn’t have many stable relationships and enjoys spending money at times more than what the parents would have done when they were his or her age. The parents see their adult child as irresponsible in their eyes. Is the adult child really irresponsible or just different and the parents don’t like it because they can’t control them? The answer to this question lies with the person going through a similar experience.

Nicholl McGuire

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why Your Relative, Friend is Always without Money

Sometimes we have to say no to friends who repeatedly borrow.

Your relative or friend isn’t on drugs, at least so you think. He isn’t binging on alcohol or running from the law, you don’t guess. She isn’t wasting money on men and parties, you don’t believe. So why is it that at least once a month your friends are coming up short with cash? Something is very wrong and you intend to find out what is behind the smile and the, “Please I really need your help.”
In order to find out why your loved one is always without cash you will have to learn to not only hear what he or she is saying but also pay attention to what he or she is doing.

Now if you don’t spend any time with your friend you wouldn’t know what is really going on behind the scenes. If you are not going over to their home or workplace you definitely wouldn’t know. All you can do at this point is take him or her at his or her word. But if you are curious, then why not visit your relative and look around his or her home. Why not, call your friend more often. Why not talk to other family members and other friends of course not gossiping, but listening to what their experience has been like lately with your friend. You will be surprised what is going on behind the scenes and you may even feel burdened to help more or less. When you visit your relative or friend’s home, check for wasteful spending or poor living. Check the cabinets, the freezer, and other places to see if they are buying bulk items or dollar store boxes. Are they buying their children everything under the sun or nothing under the moon? What about the expensive hobby or the bottomless home business they boast about, is it sapping what little income they have?

Some people don’t usually want to help anyone in the first place, but those that do, don’t bother to ask for details. However, if you are frequently being asked for money most likely you want to know the details, so the relative or friend will stop asking. One thing you could do is listen to this person’s problems from the beginning and take at least a day to think about whether you want to give them $5, $500.00 or $5,000. If they are honest, then his or her story won’t change, but if your loved one isn’t, you will find out soon enough especially if you question more deeply the next time they ask you for money. You could say, “I keep track of where my money goes and what it’s being used for. I need to know exactly what is going on in your life that is keeping you from taking care of your bills. Maybe I could direct you to professionals who could best help you in your situation.” When you say this, you are doing two things: letting your loved one know that you want to help, but you are also warning he or she that you will no longer help.

So what is really going on in your relative or friend’s life? Well there could be many things, but we will take on a few possibilities.

Taxes, Collection Agencies, Loans
Always consider the timing they are asking you for money. As we all know April is the time when most taxes are due. So if your relative or friend is suddenly hit with unpaid taxes due to lies that have come back to haunt him or her, then most likely he or she didn’t budget for this and will be scrambling around trying to get the money to keep the tax man or woman happy. Collection agencies are also bombarding him or her with requests to pay this bill or that one, he or she may have paid some companies to keep them quiet, but came up short to buy things like groceries.
If your relative or friend just started attending college or just graduated then there are expenses and lots of them. You may have been one of the relatives or friends who encouraged him or her to go to college, but little did you know that you will also be one of them who will be helping your loved one pay the bills particularly if the parents can’t afford it.

No one wants this to ever happen to them, but it does. One day you go to the mailbox and you see a letter with the name of an attorney in the return address section of the envelope. Your relative or friend may have been served papers to pay the following: child support, damages to someone’s property, an unpaid ticket, or something else and now they are on the phone calling whoever they can to stay out of jail.

Credit Cards, Bank Overdraft Fees
Once again consider the timing. The holidays have passed and the debt has mounted and there is simply no way for your friend to pay for home, groceries, bills, and the children’s schooling. He or she may be concerned about yet another late fee and over limit charge. If he or she can pay at least the bills down low enough to keep from getting hit with yet another fee, he or she reasons, then maybe your loved one can rebound next month at least so he or she thinks. The problem: next month shows up and they still owe a substantial amount of money to the bank or credit card company.

Drinking, Drugs, and Gambling
Say it ain’t so! But it is so if you notice your relative or friend’s appearance has changed and suddenly he or she can’t seem to keep anything in his or her home including a television, someone is participating in a bad habit. When you start hearing about how the children don’t have their gaming system, video tapes, television, and other valuables in the home are missing, then most likely someone is “hustling” for more reasons than just paying bills. However, so that you aren’t falsely accusing your beloved relative or friend, notice the frequency that they are asking for money, how they look, and what the children (if there are any) are saying.

Gambling habits can be tricky to detect, but are noticeable if you watch carefully. The rent is due but they don’t have the money. Not to mention the many other things that have been cut off over the past few months, he or she always has an excuse. Those excuses are usually lies to cover up the fact that they gambled their money and can’t pay bills. If you feed into their greed, you are just as bad as them. You are funding their addiction and eventually it will cause problems in your relationship especially when they win and don’t give you a single nickel!

Unexpected Illness
If someone has recently become ill then chances are they will need to pay some hospital bills that aren’t covered by health coverage. However, to be sure they aren’t lying; ask to see all hospital bills. You may even want to write a check to the company yourself. This way you are freeing their finances up to pay for their personal bills while keeping the honest folks honest.

Job Loss
There are many people who are losing their jobs, so it is very easy to see if your relative or friend is indeed telling the truth. A pop-up visit on a job, calling him or her at their former place of work, or asking someone who works there if he or she is still at the job are all ways to find out if he or she really lost his or her job. They may not be receiving unemployment or the amount is so low they can barely live on it, if this is true, find out what you can do to help them cut their spending such as suggesting things they need to cut out of their lives until your loved one is back to work again.

Wasteful Spending
Unfortunately the relative or friend who keeps asking you for money could be wastefully spending. For example, buying items the children don’t need, eating out often and drinking coffee from one of those expensive shops, purchasing the latest fashions, and buying other people things or contributing to nonprofits are all wasteful spending habits. When one is asking you for money, but yet able to buy for others and spend money on things that are not necessities, he or she doesn’t need your money, he or she needs a financial makeover.

New Relationship, Pregnancy
People don’t always budget appropriately for the “what ifs” in life. A new love interest and a sudden pregnancy will set anyone back financially. Your relative or friend most likely didn’t plan financially for this new person to come into his or her life or the unexpected baby that’s on his or her way. Sometimes it’s okay to help a person in this situation if they are demonstrating responsible behavior, but if not they can always look to a social service agency if they financially qualify.

It can be very difficult to say no to the loved ones in your life when it comes to money, but it doesn’t have to be particularly if you see him or her walking out of an expensive shop carrying bags of clothes and shoes or sipping on an expensive latte. Know your limit financially. Budget accordingly when making the decision to help a loved one or friend. Alert him or her to your expiration date on asking you for cash in advance. Most of all, always take the time to provide him or her with tips on staying out of financial trouble.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet?

Let the Matter Drop - arguments, pain, revenge

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tell Me Mother You're Sorry - Distant Children - excerpt from book by N. McGuire

In my experience, when I observed and talked with many mothers and daughters on and off the Internet about their family issues, I recognized these women were wishing for things they didn’t receive from their mothers and other relatives in the family like an apology, a promised possession, the truth about the past, and more. For instance, a woman shared she had vague memories of her mother ever hugging her. She described her mother as being “cold” and “mean.” Many spoke about how their mothers didn’t care too much about what they did, where they went, and who they met back when we were in high school. Some shared how their moms expected them to act like mothers to their younger siblings and how much they hated it. I recall one daughter sharing how she didn’t like how her mother would just pick up and move the family every time she broke up with one of her boyfriends. I heard of stories where both daughters and sons were verbally, physically
or sexually abused by their mothers and how they had to end up cutting them out of their lives. A few talked about how they didn’t appreciate having to lie for moms while others talked of how they picked up certain bad habits from them. Then there were those that were called many horrible names and treated more like slaves rather than their mothers’ children.
From eating disorders to drunkenness, there were far too many things these daughters and sons saw that they didn’t like about their mothers, yet there were those who could clearly see they were repeating patterns. Some issues these grown children faced later in life had been directly connected with their upbringing. Although a number of mothers would acknowledge this fact, there are far more that would simply want their children to sweep issues under the rug, let bye-gones be bye-gones, and move on with life. Easier said for these moms then done for their children. It was obvious that healing needed to take place in these sons and daughters’ lives even if it meant protecting themselves and their families from more of their mothers’ strange behaviors by no longer contacting them.
Part of moving on is defining what the family problems are, and then beginning a process that emotionally and physically frees sons and daughters from their toxic mothers’ mental and physical games. Running from mom, lying about or to mom, ignoring her reactions, covering for her with others you know she has wronged, cursing at her, or acting as if there is no elephant in the room, does nothing more than feed the negative roots that steadily grow within family relationships. A daughter or son who never felt his or her mother validated him or her emotionally, physically or spiritually will lash out. This is why some will seek a third party to help resolve problems. For some, these children were nothing more than d├ęcor in the home to be seen and not heard. They were to look beautiful, sit still, and don’t cause a disturbance. Other daughters and sons were treated like footstools; moms took their burdens and placed them on their children. Then there were those that were treated like trash bins, when Mom had useless junk, problems, mood swings, and whatever else she couldn’t take out to the dumpster, her daughters and sons were there to collect it all!
So in this book, you will be reminded of many good, bad and ugly things concerning your mother or someone else’s, but the focus is to heal from the past while trying not to perpetuate the emotional and/or physical abuse you endured onto others. Various troubled individuals never reached a place of freedom in their lives where they ever received Mama’s apology, affection, or anything that would make them feel that their mothers acknowledged their pain. What’s worse some died still wishing for the matriarchs to take away all the pain.
When you keep hearing similar stories about mothers and children in bad relationships, and you find that most people who share them still have a long way to go when it comes to recovery, you have to wonder do some really know just how deep the rabbit hole goes when it comes to having a dysfunctional relationship with one’s mother. Do some truly understand what Jesus meant when he said, “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:53). We are seeing evidence of this as we watch mothers try to parent disrespectful teens while others try to mend broken relationships with sons and daughters. The writing is on the wall that sooner or later we will all meet our Maker and he will judge us accordingly.
So my drive for writing this book was not to bad mouth mothers and their children, but to validate the feelings of daughters and sons who are suffering, and to remind them they can heal from the past. Further, I want readers to know that it is okay to disagree, distance yourself, or cut off mom altogether when you can’t handle the words and actions of a spiritually, mentally and physically wounded woman who never felt she needed any help. I get it, I understand. Furthermore, I have printed my late grandmother’s playbook within the chapters of Tell Me Mother You're Sorry. A woman, who I watched up close and personal do many things, to not only get her way in life, but show children and others that she wasn’t as poor and unintelligent as some might have thought. She was a wealthy woman spiritually, a survivor of domestic violence, and despite her shortcomings, an inspiration for many.
When I wrote my previous book, When Mothers Cry, I did it because people needed to fully realize that there are many things that make up a mother’s role besides parenting children, and that there are aspects to being a mother that are not happy and causes many to cry. In the book, I reminded readers to provide mental, physical and spiritual support to mothers. Now in this book, I am showing the faces of many toxic mothers, the ones who just couldn’t get it right when it came to motherhood, and why their children reach a point where they cut them off. Tips are also provided where necessary.

Book excerpt from Tell Me Mother You're Sorry by Nicholl McGuire
Purchase your copy here.


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