I loved this title of Chapter ten in the Smart Money, Smart Kids book. I don’t know one family that isn’t dysfunctional. Like Dave says about those who want to change, “The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that there is one.” It’s so true. Sara and I are fortunate not to have too much dysfunction in our families.
But it is important to tackle the topic of family dynamics when it comes to money and raising kids. The main thing that Dave and Rachel talk about is getting them grown and gone. You may wonder what that has to do with dysfunctional families. You aren’t raising children, you are raising adults. We are not growing our kids up to stay kids but to become adults. If we raise dysfunctional kids…let us just say Dr. Phil will have his show lasting for decades. I am not saying that we have to be perfect parents and there are times when dysfunction happens just because the child decides to defect. We are all witnesses to the child who was raised in a good, Godly home that completely went weird. To help, Dave and Rachel talk about many different aspects of the dysfunctional family. I highlighted a few areas to cover their thoughts.
1. Dethrone the Princess. I laughed at this one. Everyone knows someone who has a princess in their home. You know the one who cries and gets every single thing that they demand. Dave makes a great statement; “my best advice is not to have a throne or a princess in the first place.” Every child that tries to test their boundaries and will take advantage of the ones that you give into.
2. Spoiled Kids and Wimpy Parents. Have you ever opened a gallon of expired milk? The milk didn’t cause itself to become spoiled. The person who had control over it left it on the counter or didn’t use it before the expiration date. You and I have responsibilities to get control of our children to help them to become great assets to society.
3. Spoiled or Blessed? I have to agree to with Rachel when she talked about well-meaning people saying that she was spoiled when in fact she was blessed. Just because Dad and Mom are well off and take care of their children’s needs doesn’t mean that they are spoiled but blessed. There’s a distinct difference in being spoiled and being blessed. When you are spoiled, you reek of the after effects of being spoiled. When you are blessed, every person around you reaps the benefits.
4. Raising Arrows Not Boomerangs. I loved this section because in today’s society, it is perfectly acceptable for a middle-aged person to move back home and live the rest of their lives with the parents.
Now, I say this knowing that some of you do live at home because your circumstances don’t allow you to live out of your parents’ home. You may have filed bankruptcy and are trying to get back on your feet and that’s fine. However, this is for those who willingly don’t work and don’t support themselves. Send your children out in the world like an arrow instead of boomeranging back into the home.