Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kids with Bad Grades Can Have a Great Life  #6

New from Dr. Charles Fay!
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Chapter 5 asks: Does Your Child Have Too Much Stuff?

Why are so many kids so chronically distracted?  
  • Because they are in chronic need or experience hunger that is distracting.
  • Because their home lives are in chaos as they have to parent their parents.
  • Because they have way too much... having everything they want gets in the way of having everything they need.  
Dr. Fay calls the third reason a different type of  ADD,  "Affluence Distraction Disorder!"  The solutions for this problem?  (First, always, always lead with empathy!)
  1. Gift children with opportunities to struggle toward earning something they want.
  2. Provide less stuff... it can lead to a sense of entitlement. ("Since everything in life is free, my grades should be too!"  p. 63)
  3. Help your children learn how you have earned what you have.
  4. Have a plan for excessive gift giving by family.
  5. Encourage your children to give toys to less fortunate kids.
  6. Be willing to be the strangest parent on the block.
  7. Spend time with your kids so that you are the greatest gifts you can be to one another.


  1. I would love to hear some suggestions for #4.Have a plan for excessive gift giving by family. My in-laws go way overboard with my children for bithdays and Christmas despite all of the pleading we have done to limit it. We provided a list of options for gifts and instead they bought the whole list. I outlined an email stating our objectives and reasons why we give less and it was met with "Well, they are our grand kids and we just can't help ourselves!" I would love some ideas on ways that we can help them to respect our wishes and best interests for our children as well as preserve our relationship with them. One idea my husband had (that we may do if this happens again) is take home / keep only 1 thing that they have given and leave the rest with them.

  2. If you come from a Christian background, I'd suggest Advent Conspiracy as a way for your whole family to begin looking at how you use your resources to benefit others. You can find it on You Tube and at Then maybe some if your children's gift reqests might be charitable in nature and the whole family could enjoy supporting a child in Haiti through Word Vision, or providing a goat for a family in Africa.

    You might also suggest that instead of "stuff" they invest in happy times together and redirect spending toward a vacation, a cruise, a weekend family trip to a special city, or a local event like a stage show or concert.

    Another option is to use an enforceable statement (but they might be mad at you} "The children will be allowed to open just one gift from grandparents. If we arrive and see that there are more, we will put them in the closet for them to open later in the year." Of course, you can do this with this year's mound of gifts. Just put some away to pull out when they are bored in April or July.

    Hope this gives you some ideas to expand on.


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