4 Things We Can Toss Out in Parenting

I spent 5 hours with my teen cleaning out her room on January 1st. Clearly, we know how to party. She was turning 16 that week and she wanted a more grown-up space. But we knew we had to get rid of old things to make room for new. We couldn’t believe how much stuff she had collected and held onto. We laughed at the 5th grade school projects, old journals and too small clothes.

This is a part of life — letting go and getting rid of what doesn't work (or fit) any longer so we can make room for something new, better.

I want to raise grateful kids, but we live in an entitled world. So how do we swim upstream against the strong current of excess? We do the same thing in our parenting that we do in our home when we recognize we have too much stuff. We clean house and get rid of it.

Here are 4 things we can toss out:

1. Handout Mentality

A couple of years ago in December, I got behind with all the holiday busyness, and when I finally had a chance to sit down and wrap a couple of Christmas gifts, it was already late in the season.

"Mom, when are you taking us shopping to buy gifts for you and Dad?" one of my kids asked.

"Do you have money to buy gifts?" I asked.

"Well, I was thinking you could give us money to, um, buy your gifts," came the answer.

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