The Kids Are Costing Me a Fortune!

Kids are costing me a fortune image for landing page“Mommy, can I have that [totally overpriced piece of molded plastic with a bad paint job that doesn’t even do anything and will break within 48 hours] toy? Pleeeeeeease????” Yep. You know this situation all to well. You can even hear the tone of your child’s voice and you can predict exactly what’s to follow!

So how can we, as parents, do a better job at minimizing the number of times this exchange of disappointments, tantrums, and parental guilt sessions occur? Here’s an idea I’ve recently tried with my kids and, unbelievably, it’s actually working! For the time being anyway.

I got to thinking one day about the psychology behind our “wants” as human beings and the societal pressures that surround our every buying decision. And it started me thinking about the reality of these situations. The reality is we are addicted to things. Why are we addicted to things? It’s because we’re trained to love things despite the fact these things don’t really make us happy. It’s not like these shiny objects actually love us back, do they? And just like that it dawned on me – they’re “shiny, new” objects.

What if we proved to our children that the things in stores just LOOK shiny? What if we taught them about the marketing and advertising tricks and helped them to understand that they are only seeing a facade. They only see cool packaging. Or cool TV commercials. After all, when we take the toys out of the packaging on Christmas Eve so that they’ll appear to be made in Santa’s workshop, the toys lose some of their incredible size, appeal, and magnificence! Everything we’ve purchased for our kids tends to shrink down to a minimal pile of fun. No longer can our kids envision themselves in place of the beautiful child models who appear to be having a blast on the front of the box!

So how do we educate our kids about the marketing and advertising tricks of the trade? We simply tell them about the company’s financial motivation to sell toys and about the competition they face when a child walks into Walmart or Target to pick out a prize. We talk to them about packaging, about what that company has to do to make their toy look more appealing than the others. We must be sure to consistently apply these principles every opportunity we get. Trust me, it will start to click with them over time! At least until their friends get a truly cool toy this Christmas. But at least they will quit asking for junk!

Be sure to share your awesome parenting tips with me so that we can all get better at parenting together!

Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions you may have – valerie@grinkmeyerleonard.com.

We Need YOU

Let the snow fall.This has been the hardest year of my life. In the past 12 months, I’ve lost my two grandfathers who were some of the greatest influences in my life; I experienced the sad and tragic loss of my little brother; I’ve been impacted by the loss of three beloved clients; and I recently lost a close business-mentor of mine. Because my world will never be the same without them, I have spent a great deal of time contemplating what it means to leave a legacy. How do you want to be remembered after you’re gone?

This life is so short, y’all! By the time we graduate college, we only have about 23,000 days to make the most of it. We make choices each day about how we’re going to spend our time, our energy, which people we are going to build meaningful relationships with, which situations are worth losing sleep over, where we will live – all while trying to do our very best to be good people and avoid repeating our past mistakes. But do we spend any time thinking about how our legacy can live on without us? Do we consider that the people around us will continue to “need” us after we’re gone?

At some point in my life, I’ve had a relationship with many of you who are reading this now. I made it a point to scroll through my Facebook friends list and ask the question for each and every one of you, “What would I remember about this person after they’re gone and in what ways would I miss them?” Yes, that sounds incredibly morbid. But what I learned through this exercise is that there wasn’t a single person I wouldn’t miss. Seriously. There wasn’t a single name that jumped out at me as not having a talent, a purpose, a life that hasn’t impacted mine in some way. And so I’ll leave you with this – we need youThis world needs what you have to offer. So go about your life today knowing you have an opportunity to leave a lasting impact and your impact can be huge.

~Valerie