Parenting & Family

not able to provide the best for your kids....

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  • Jun 27th, 2017 2:49 pm
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Deal Fanatic
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Mar 31, 2008
9571 posts
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Toronto
Last time I was having steak at the keg (which I rarely do and only bc we had gift cards at the Yonge n Eg location), I saw a family of 5 (3 kids, ranging from 8-14 it looked like) just mindlessly eating their steaks. Parents had wine too. No talking, no eye contact, they all just looked unhappy. Kids were picking at their food, leaving alot of leftovers... thought what a waste.

I'm thinking that bill must be $350+ all in. Just for a regular Fri night family dinner. The only time my family went out, was to buffets for bdays or certain Asian restaurant. And it was always a treat where we appreciated it, took leftovers home from the restaurant. You could tell it was a novelty for us to go out. My dad would always talk about how grateful we are to be able have a meal like this, to go out like, live in this country in this time, etc. Have family pictures from them too.

And they're memories I still cherish to this day and is rooted in my own appreciation that I share with my children. Now who really got (or is getting) the best as kids?
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
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at1212b wrote:
Jun 10th, 2016 1:29 pm
Last time I was having steak at the keg (which I rarely do and only bc we had gift cards at the Yonge n Eg location), I saw a family of 5 (3 kids, ranging from 8-14 it looked like) just mindlessly eating their steaks. Parents had wine too. No talking, no eye contact, they all just looked unhappy. Kids were picking at their food, leaving alot of leftovers... thought what a waste.
Parent's probably dragged the children out who don't like steak in the first place.
Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2001
1306 posts
19 upvotes
Providing the best is subjective. However, seeing a happy, smiley, energetic and positive kid(s) is awesome in my books. That is not achieved by material goods or exposure to expensive extra curricular sports or activities. It is about creating that environment for your child/children and simply this is achieve through parenting (this is defined by you).

All the best to you.
Sr. Member
Nov 13, 2013
721 posts
245 upvotes
OTTAWA
plangevin wrote:
Jun 10th, 2016 10:04 am
I grew up in poverty and somewhat of a broken home. My father was a pathological liar who stole a lot, which forced us to flee a lot. We easily moved around 3-4 times per year and he would promise my mom the moon and lied about stealing. Eventually, my mother caught on and did her best to protect me from the truth, so I was unaware of why we moved so much. I remember being broke and not having any friends because we wouldn't stay long enough to meet people. When I finally had friends, my father would secretly speak to my friend's parents and tried to borrow money or else he wouldn't let me play with their kids. Obviously, they would simply tell their kids to avoid me. I remember my mom saving up to finally buy me a nintendo since I didn't have any friends. I would spend most of my time on it until one day it disappeared. Eventually, I learned that my father traded it for a carton of cigarettes. A few years later, he took his life and left my mom, who was a stay-at-home french speaking woman in Ontario, in debt with a bunch of head hunters looking for their money.

I realize this is a lot of information but it was to set the scene to just how strapped for cash we were. Eventually my mom found a very basic job and worked all the time simply to have a roof over our heads, some food on the table and keep the head hunters at bay. Of course, I was just a kid and she did such a good job protecting me from my father's habits that I had no idea just how broke we were. I remember one occasion where I wanted to go to the theaters with some friends and asked her for 5$ for the movies and a popcorn and she told me that she couldn't afford it. I remember telling her that she was a liar and cheap and how upset I was that she always worked on Christmas and New years instead of staying home with me. To think back, I must have broken her heart that day. Anyway, eventually my mom got me involved in a youth center we had in the city and I would spend 6-7 hours a day there during the summer and made a bunch of friends and didn't need money. As I started getting older, I started using realizing just how hard my mom worked to try and survive and everything changed. She became my hero that day and from there on, I was must have been about 15, I started working right away to make my own money and chip in for groceries. I started understanding that holidays meant overtime, which meant that my mom could actually give me a gift for Christmas.

I know I went off in this response but I simply wanted you to know that when I think back on my childhood, I'm not miserable about how broke we were, I simply think about how wonderful my mom was and all the hard work she did to protect me and to provide for me. I kinda made it a life mission to get us out of poverty by working harder than my colleagues and working long hours, like my mom did, to show that I am serious and reliable. Today, I have 2 children of my own, a house, a 6-figure job and I take my mother on vacation with us every year because she never had the opportunity to prepare her retirement. It's my turn to take care of her. As for my father, he played a big role too. He showed me everything wrong about providing for your family and how to be a terrible dad. It's oddly a good reference point when the kids are acting up and I need a reason to stay calm.

Don't worry about buying toys, just protect your children and do the best you can. Eventually, they will see everything you have done for them and will thank you.

Cheers!
This is an old thread I know but I can't believe this post only had one upvote. Very inspirational story and well written and I hope the bump allows some more people to read it.
Jr. Member
Oct 6, 2011
134 posts
25 upvotes
London
Your right, this was very inspiring to read. Thank you for having it resurface as I missed it the first time.

I agree not to worry about kids having the latest gadgets etc. My kids are in kind of an unusual situation as they went from being in one of the worst schools to one of the best in our area. You'll hear sometimes that there is no difference but there is a huge divide and while it's assumed the affluent school is better, it's not the case in every way. My kid's first school had children who had literally nothing. Kids came to school sometimes dirty and in ripped clothing, without a lunch, they were facing who knows what challenges at home. My son befriended a child whose lunch consisted of a package of ramen noodles. The sweet little girl told him she liked to eat them out of the package because they were cold, not raw. I sobbed when I was told and packed a huge lunch for my son to share. This girl still haunts me, but there were many more worse off than her. Anyway, while these kids had lots of behaviour problems etc. they were grateful for every little thing and they were really openly friendly and trusting. Maybe a little too much at times, but most just want to be accepted.

At the current school, these kids wanted for nothing. Most went south at March Break, sports are played at recess because everyone is in some league or another, everyone has the latest gadget and trends. These kids are well dressed, well mannered, healthy, want for nothing, and feel completely entitled to what the world has to offer. My oldest son called it the school of judgment for awhile because it was hard to break into the little cliques they had formed. He did eventually make friends through sports, but it was a challenge and he's a pretty social kid. I do prefer the academics at this school...and the lack of chairs being thrown around the room, but some of these kids lack something I can't quite put my finger on...maybe it's gratitude for what they have. It's a struggle now to keep my kids grounded in the reality that you don't always get everything handed to you for nothing.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
7879 posts
565 upvotes
Nice to see this thread bumped back up. Kids are now older and our financial situation has changed (we make a lot less $) and have had to adjust. Perspective on parenting has changed a little too.

One of the tricky things for me now is trying to teach my kids values I learned by force due to growing up in a low income family but are harder to instill when we aren't in a low income situation (solid middle class).

Eg.
-difference between needs and wants.
-concept of costs associated to things like eating out and vacation
-excessive consumption of goods.
-value of being independent and being self sufficient.

Nice thing about being an rfder is we have not had to cut things out of our lives entirely with less money. Eg. We are still travelling this summer but it's funded almost entirely on points using tips/tricks I learned from forums.
Sr. Member
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May 22, 2016
819 posts
136 upvotes
Ontario
It was alot harder when I was a kid. Now with great sites you can find awesome deals to plan the perfect family vacation or planning the perfect day trip.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
7337 posts
488 upvotes
Truth be told, I think all these insane activities are out of hand. I have a coworker who has NO money in the bank because she takes her kids on trips, skating lessons, piano lessons, swimming lessons, camp, dance lessons. It is getting out of hand.

We never had more than swimming and the occasional Kumon and we turned out fine.
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User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
36673 posts
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Toronto
plangevin wrote:
Jun 10th, 2016 10:04 am
I grew up in poverty and somewhat of a broken home. My father was a pathological liar who stole a lot, which forced us to flee a lot. We easily moved around 3-4 times per year and he would promise my mom the moon and lied about stealing. Eventually, my mother caught on and did her best to protect me from the truth, so I was unaware of why we moved so much. I remember being broke and not having any friends because we wouldn't stay long enough to meet people. When I finally had friends, my father would secretly speak to my friend's parents and tried to borrow money or else he wouldn't let me play with their kids. Obviously, they would simply tell their kids to avoid me. I remember my mom saving up to finally buy me a nintendo since I didn't have any friends. I would spend most of my time on it until one day it disappeared. Eventually, I learned that my father traded it for a carton of cigarettes. A few years later, he took his life and left my mom, who was a stay-at-home french speaking woman in Ontario, in debt with a bunch of head hunters looking for their money.

I realize this is a lot of information but it was to set the scene to just how strapped for cash we were. Eventually my mom found a very basic job and worked all the time simply to have a roof over our heads, some food on the table and keep the head hunters at bay. Of course, I was just a kid and she did such a good job protecting me from my father's habits that I had no idea just how broke we were. I remember one occasion where I wanted to go to the theaters with some friends and asked her for 5$ for the movies and a popcorn and she told me that she couldn't afford it. I remember telling her that she was a liar and cheap and how upset I was that she always worked on Christmas and New years instead of staying home with me. To think back, I must have broken her heart that day. Anyway, eventually my mom got me involved in a youth center we had in the city and I would spend 6-7 hours a day there during the summer and made a bunch of friends and didn't need money. As I started getting older, I started using realizing just how hard my mom worked to try and survive and everything changed. She became my hero that day and from there on, I was must have been about 15, I started working right away to make my own money and chip in for groceries. I started understanding that holidays meant overtime, which meant that my mom could actually give me a gift for Christmas.

I know I went off in this response but I simply wanted you to know that when I think back on my childhood, I'm not miserable about how broke we were, I simply think about how wonderful my mom was and all the hard work she did to protect me and to provide for me. I kinda made it a life mission to get us out of poverty by working harder than my colleagues and working long hours, like my mom did, to show that I am serious and reliable. Today, I have 2 children of my own, a house, a 6-figure job and I take my mother on vacation with us every year because she never had the opportunity to prepare her retirement. It's my turn to take care of her. As for my father, he played a big role too. He showed me everything wrong about providing for your family and how to be a terrible dad. It's oddly a good reference point when the kids are acting up and I need a reason to stay calm.

Don't worry about buying toys, just protect your children and do the best you can. Eventually, they will see everything you have done for them and will thank you.

Cheers!
Sr. Member
Nov 13, 2013
721 posts
245 upvotes
OTTAWA
speedyforme wrote:
May 5th, 2017 9:28 am
Truth be told, I think all these insane activities are out of hand. I have a coworker who has NO money in the bank because she takes her kids on trips, skating lessons, piano lessons, swimming lessons, camp, dance lessons. It is getting out of hand.

We never had more than swimming and the occasional Kumon and we turned out fine.
I am curious if anyone has looked at the results of these super schedules? I mean studies that adjusted for the wealth and education of the parents. think it is certainly possible that they are beneficial, but maybe not. Honestly we can easily afford to do more activities with our kids its the driving them around that I refuse to do. I support swimming as a key life skill but dance and music just lead to kids who think that is what they should do with their life. Those kind of dreams almost never end well. Hockey is the same for boys.
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Dec 11, 2008
7337 posts
488 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote:
May 5th, 2017 10:08 am
I am curious if anyone has looked at the results of these super schedules? I mean studies that adjusted for the wealth and education of the parents. think it is certainly possible that they are beneficial, but maybe not. Honestly we can easily afford to do more activities with our kids its the driving them around that I refuse to do. I support swimming as a key life skill but dance and music just lead to kids who think that is what they should do with their life. Those kind of dreams almost never end well. Hockey is the same for boys.
My coworker says she doesn't want their kids to be bored. I mean what happened to imagination? Kids will find things to do. And I don't think all these extra activities all help develop children and it is not even required. Too much.

And yes my coworker is basically a chauffeur all week.
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
365 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote:
May 5th, 2017 10:08 am
I am curious if anyone has looked at the results of these super schedules? I mean studies that adjusted for the wealth and education of the parents. think it is certainly possible that they are beneficial, but maybe not. Honestly we can easily afford to do more activities with our kids its the driving them around that I refuse to do. I support swimming as a key life skill but dance and music just lead to kids who think that is what they should do with their life. Those kind of dreams almost never end well. Hockey is the same for boys.
There are numerous studies that show kids who are teams or afterschool activities generally do better overall in school, and a few other areas. the comparisons were those that had nothing other than school verses those who were on teams etc, not about over scheduling though. The premise was about goal, discipline, working on teams, etc. There are also studies that show that teenagers who have extra curricular are at lower risks of drug abuse, getting in trouble etc. Reasons being that there is some structure to their time and that keeping them busy in their teens right after school is critical. Interesting that more kids had sex after school than at parties, etc. I can't remember all the studies but there are studies that show this. My close friend does a lot of this work. That being said, it's isn't about overscheduling them either, as that increase aniexty and stress.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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Jun 8, 2008
3623 posts
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Toronto
Lots of studies do show the benefits of extra curricular activities (including music and dance), but I have also seen studies showing overuse injuries in kids are increasing. Where once kids played maybe 2 hours of soccer a week, they're now in a ton of hard core training and are playing a lot more resulting in overuse injuries. Also, I think I saw a study that concussions are increasing and at a younger age.

I just looked at a study - its ONE study so hardly representative: "For the vast majority of American 10th grade students, organized activities do not dominate free time.
Moreover, the well-being of these 10th graders increased as the number of hours and time in extracurricular activities increased. However, at very high levels of participation (5–7 or more activities, 14 or more hours) the academic well-being of these youth declined." (Fredricks, J. A. (2012). Extracurricular participation and academic outcomes: Testing the over-scheduling hypothesis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(3), 295-306.)
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
365 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote:
May 5th, 2017 10:08 am
I support swimming as a key life skill but dance and music just lead to kids who think that is what they should do with their life. Those kind of dreams almost never end well. Hockey is the same for boys.
I have a very different view about extracirricular. I know some put there kids in it thinking they will be the next Olympic champion or something. Or it will lead to a career related, but in fact it will do so for very few. We use the acticies for a few other reasons.

As I said in my other post, kids who have interests and structured things after school tend to preform better and are lower risk for trouble behaviours. Trying to get a teoubld teen interested in something when they are troubled is a lot harder than finding things they enjoy when they are younger.

Excercise, yeah, our schools here are so full, that they don't always get a proper gym class. I try to have my kids in one physical activity per season. In winter we ski and skate, because that is something we like to do as a family in spring it's soccer. Also team sports are great for kids to learn about being on a team.

I used to think the arts were more a fluffy thing that doesn't bring much value, being not very artsy myself. However, it is exactly the arts that my introverted, linear thinking child needs. She is extremely intelligent, but tends to think of things very logically and black and white. She would be shy to speak up in class. I put her in drama camp in the summer because a couple friends went in. It has taught her to public speak and be confident. She has learned to project her voice, speak clearly, and deal with stage fright. Public speaking is the number two fear in adults. So when my daughter says she might want to be a movie star, I smile, and say continue with your public speaking and drama. This is the same for other arts where you perform, it's about being able to put yourself out there Iarge crowd.

My kids are also perfectionist, so art classes help them see there is no one right answe, and it give a different medium to be creative, to think out of the box.

Music actually actually helps with math, and is like teaching another language, We may drop piano soon, but wanted them to at least have the choice.

Swim and cooking camps we use for life skills.

Computer camp not because they though robets are cool, but it teaches logical thinking and shows where technology can be applied.

Ironically, my oldest beg me to let her go to a math group after school. It is the most expensive thing, but she loves it, and her math is way above grade level. We didn't want her to focus on anything acedemically because she already is so far ahead, but it gives her this confidence of knowing she knows as much as the teacher. We will continue to foster that because it seems crazy as a parent to say no more math.

Girls guides does little bit of everything, and because I am there leader I get the double benefit of family time, and determining the programming.

It sounds like we are in a lot, but in fact we do a lot of these through out the summer at camps. My point is don't just look at dance and say, oh I don't want her to be a dancer there is no career. Look at it as there is excersice, discipline, creatvity, performance, etc. I try to balance their activities in terms of what different skills they get out of it and if it fosters something they will hopefully enjoy in their teenage years.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
365 upvotes
To the Original post of not being able to afford everything. All of these things can also be done if the parents take the time to do it at a low costs. Scouts and girl guides would actually be the best bang for the buck as they try everything.

My friends who are stay at home parents do all of these things at a much lower costs.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.

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