happy family

The Most Important Post You Will Ever Read

I know that’s quite a title, but it is not an exaggeration. If you do not have a handle on money, your life is not in your control & may never be.

Now as powerful as that is there is more…

This One Page course in finance is actually the first page of a 49 page ebook that contains:
100 tips on how to maximize every dollar
25 links to specific web sites that can help
12 recommended books with linked reviews
109 links to pages of articles about specific points

You can download or read the ebook online here: StudentofWinning.com/OnePage.pdf

I went through the entire 49 pages last nite and I can assure you that the information in it covers everything from the most simple basic ideas to the sophisticated knowledge of how to make the break from debt to financial stability.

You need to get this, read it, study it, and implement as many of the ideas as you can. Do half the things in the ebook and change your life.

Thanks goes to Trent Hamm for authoring this and posting it originally at: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/onepage/

Don’t Put The Last Generation Out To Pasture

In the US we hear the word Freedom bandied about a great deal. We fought (and still do) for our freedom. But what does it actually mean? Perhaps more important: what does it mean to you? Our nation’s foundational documents mention several particular freedoms. You may or may not know what those first Americans wrote. Don’t assume you do, look it up for yourself.

But in our day to day life we expect to be free from some things and to have the freedom to do most things we choose to. All well and good, but sometimes our choices regarding what we think of as ‘personal’ freedoms have had a negative impact on our lives and on society in general.

As we grow to maturity we actively battle for the freedom to be our own person: to do our own ‘thing.’ Natural and necessary, but in the pursuit of all this ‘individuality’ what becomes to the “old folk”?

When I was young I saw The Savage Innocents, a 1959 film starring Anthony Quinn, which portrayed ‘Eskimos’ putting old people out on ice floes. I have since learned that while this did happen, it was rare and even then only occurred in dire circumstances.

The movie made a huge impression on me because of the positive impact my own grandparents had on my life. Are we inadvertently doing the same thing today? We are too busy to care for our elderly and are not willing to relinquish a moment of our time we do so. Most would rather pay to have someone else take over what was traditionally the family’s responsibility.

If you take the idea of freedom, expand it to mean personal freedom, you reach a point when it degenerates to include zero individual responsibility and becomes little more than selfishness. In truth, there are no rights without responsibilities.

But are we “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”? What is it that we are losing and what is it that we are gaining in the ‘name’ of our rights, our so called freedoms?

When I was very young we lived with my grandparents, and they later became our babysitters. When things reversed, and they were a lot older: they came and lived with us. This was standard practice in the US, as it was in the world. But it isn’t the norm here any longer. And I believe the price exacted has been steep.

My parents got married very young. Did they know how to raise children? No. Really, what beginning parent does? No matter the age at having the first baby, everyone is a ‘newbie.’ Children don’t seem to come with instruction manuals or tech support. That’s where grandparents and other family members come in. They have the knowledge provided by the only real teacher — experience.

As we grow older, and our parents are at work, frequently the ‘grands’ are available to offer their time and help. In my case, my grandfather offered real world experience during times or in areas that my parents could not. Among the things we did together were going fishing, doing minor household repairs, and building things.

When my parents’ nerves were trashed due to life’s struggles and the challenges of ‘bringing up baby’ I was able to watch my grandparents and learn stoicism and persistence. And as they aged I learned some things regarding appreciation of life and joy during long-suffering.

In time we are all exposed to life’s harsher realities. The ones we have no idea how to deal with. The pain and joy of going through these things along with those we love and those who love us, is the true essence of life. This is the bittersweet truth of our existence. We need to stop hiding from it: the cost is too great. The guidance available from one generation to the next during difficult times can be priceless. We need each other.

Understand, I am not naive in this. Care must be taken that grandparents do not interfere with parental autonomy and youth must learn to not infringe on the needs of the ‘old timers.’ And I do not feel that the generations should live together all of the time: we all need time on our own to grow. The wing that covers to protect can also stifle. Somewhere there needs to be a balance. Closeness without being intrusive is the goal to work toward.

Parents: don’t rob yourself and your kids of the huge benefits that come from keeping the previous generation in close relationship with the next.

Grandparents: don’t pull away from the family contact. Allow yourself to share the joy and be around the activity of youth. They will help keep you feeling younger.

Children: everything you will think, feel, fear, love or hate — your elders have already experienced. Keeping friendly communication open with the older generation can only benefit you.

In all areas we must learn from the past to improve the future.

When Your Teen Is Pulling Away

Something most parents go through is the loving child that turns away when reaching the rebellious teenage years. Practically overnight your little one becomes suddenly distant, secretive, non-communicative, & angry: instead of running to you they now seem to be hiding from you.

There is a small percentage of parents who avoid the problem completely through the preparation of working at their relationship with the child from the beginning. Not that it is easily done — not at all. But for the rest of us…

If you see it coming (you do know it is coming) you can do something about it then, right? Yes, right!

Let me tell you what worked for my family. Before I do that, I think we should consider why this occurs. As our children grow into adulthood they are also growing toward independence. The drive to be self sustaining is the same force that moves them away from being “under your wing.”

The steps we all tend to go through:

1. Parents are everything.
2. As we are exposed to more of the world, family protects us.
3. The world takes on greater importance, but our all-knowing parents guide us.
4. The world, and friends guide us and parents no longer awe us.
5. We know more than older people, they are not “with it” and the world has moved past them. What we think & feel they can not possibly understand. Each generation is certain they are the first to discover lust, reason, intoxication, true love, idealism, etc. etc.
6. We begin to understand that parents are people, just like us, who make mistakes, have problems, and are trying to do their best to survive in this world.
7. We learn that we are pretty much all the same and that often just surviving is a noble cause.

Our job, as parents, is to hold the family together during stages #4 and #5, without allowing the phases to ruin what will come after. If we fail in this regard we all lose. We and our children are diminished by the separation that can destroy us.

Here is how I pulled my son back in. I looked for something he really liked that we could do together, but alone. That is — just the two of us.

I took him camping for a long weekend. I chose a ‘wilderness’ campsite that could only be reached by 2 1/2 mile hike or by boat. So we took my Folbot (a soft sided two man kayak) loaded it up with all our stuff and away we went.

The details of the trip are not important. But another aspect of what we did is: It was just us two, no phones, toys, gadgets, books, crossword puzzles, nothing to distract us from each other, our relationship, and what we were doing. And there was plenty to do, we were not sitting around bored staring at each other. It was two people, working together, communing with nature, and learning to relate as individuals — rather than as parent and child.

During this time we came to see each other honestly, and without expectations. After the first day we began talking about life, goals, hopes, disappointments, all the stuff we all slog through every day. While we cared for the campsite, cooked, fished, hiked, in everything we did, we shared together and we started to grow back together.

The closeness we had always had in the past, began to return. It was different, we were learning to relate as young adult and older adult rather than child and adult. But this time together helped us celebrate the things we shared instead of dwelling on the areas in which we were different. We came out of this 4 day period with a mutual respect that had not existed before.

Oh, we still disagree. I still sometimes give ‘fatherly’ advise when it isn’t wanted. And he still rebels against my opinions occasionally simply because they are my opinions. But the separation that had begun was stopped cold. And the powers of family, of love and understanding, were restored to our relationship. And now, years later, we are both thankful for what that special bonding time has given back to us.

Fight for your child and for your family bond — not against them.

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