“Mom, I Lost My New Backpack Again” and Eight Reasons Not to Replace It

40c7d6538fe5ce3bde68_IMG_41454614635823-1.jpeg
Credits: Fern Weis
40c7d6538fe5ce3bde68_IMG_41454614635823-1.jpeg

There's a lot to learn about parenting and families on TV- what to do and what not to do. This includes the commercials. A recent commercial really pushed my buttons, instantly. Take a look at "Mom, I lost my backpack again," my response to a commercial from Ebates.

The next time you watch TV and have had a laugh at the sitcoms and ads, I encourage you to look a little deeper at the messages coming through. There's food for thought, and for discussion with your kids.

I'm on rant.  Are you ready?

Again? He lost his backpack again? And he expects mom to buy him another one because... he's cute, he has that plaintive little boy tone in his voice, because he exists?

The fact is he's going to get a new backpack because this is a commercial for Ebates. Mom is getting rebates for all the shopping she does (let's save that for another time) and has money to burn, sort of.

Sign Up for E-News

 

Where do I begin?  Here's what came up:
   - enabling
   - not taking responsibility for self and possessions
   - entitlement
   - over-consumption
   - inability to set limits
   - fear of child's reaction
   - the value of money and hard work
   - making assumptions

This one line said all of that. Admittedly, it pushed my buttons because he said "again." But let's face it, it isn't just about a backpack. It's about attitudes, expectations, fears and values. It's what I write about and what I teach. Let's dive in.

1.  Enabling (parents) - Whose problem is it when the child loses his backpack, again? His, of course. It's time for mom to step back and let him experience the inconvenience of not having one. It's also time to put some conditions on how he gets another one.

2.  Taking responsibility for yourself and your possessions (kids) - (See #1) - Knowing that someone will replace a lost or damaged item means you never have to worry about taking care of it, or living without it. That doesn't bode well for this kid's future.

3.  Entitlement (kids) - It's an attitude that says, "I am, therefore I deserve." When you indulge that, you feed the attitude and starve the growth of your children.

4.  Over-consumption (kids and parents) - As a society, we are accustomed to replacing things, whether it is warranted or not. Obsolescence, carelessness, or instant gratification, we do it. We also complain about finances, so there is a real disconnect here.

5.  Inability to set and enforce limits (parents) - You know kids need limits because a) the experts and research tell us so and b) you see and experience what happens when there are no limits. It's not pretty. So what keeps you from putting limits in place? See #6.

6.  Fear of your kids' reactions (parents) - Fear is the greatest motivator for, or hindrance to, doing what needs to be done. Perhaps you fear your child's anger, a tantrum or explosion, or the dreaded "I hate you!" In other areas of your life you may be fearless, but feel vulnerable within your family. Tap into that courage and use it where it counts the most, with your kids. Remember, "I hate you" is a strategic maneuver on their part, and, unpleasant as it is, you will both live through the tantrum.

7.  The value of money and hard work (kids and parents) - You work hard for your money. Many of you remember working for what you had as kids, that things weren't just handed to you. My parents provided what I needed.  Sometimes what I wanted just wasn't in the cards. So what's different now? Is it really as simple as buying for your kids because you can afford it? You can't guarantee their financial future, and they need to be prepared to make choices. Start preparing them now.

8.  Making assumptions (kids and parents) - In this commercial, the son has assumed (understandably) that mom will replace the lost backpack. Mom has also made some assumptions: that this is normal and how it's going to be, that her son is incapable of functioning without the backpack, that he's not competent and that she has to jump in and fix it for him. On a personal note, I've been the fixer, too. My son set me straight: when I lowered expectations (or asked to have them lowered for him at one time), what he heard was that I didn't believe he was capable of achieving on his own. Instead of building self-esteem, I contributed towards lowering it. Some of you know what I'm talking about. Please, spend some time with this idea. Do it for your kids.

It is only a commercial; however, if you look below the surface, it's a 'teachable moment.' There are so many messages we unknowingly send our children. Some are inspiring, others are not. What messages are you sending?

Look at the list again. What resonates with you? Which one makes you uncomfortable? Pay attention to it. Do it for your kids. My tag line is "helping parents raise responsible, respectful teens who are ready to launch" and I sign off on my messages with "Be well, be strong, be a courageous parent."  If you need some help with that, you know how to find me.

 

Fern Weis is a parent coach, specializing in supporting parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations (including underachieving, disrespectful behavior, addiction recovery and more). With parent-centered coaching, Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life’s challenges. Learn more about coaching and workshops at www.fernweis.com or www.familyrecoverypartners.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Have Your Voice Heard Tonight on Vote for $4 Million Extra for Municipal Complex

July 10, 2018

The Berkeley Heights Municipal Complex project is the largest and most expensive local public project we will likely witness as Berkeley Heights residents. It is a vast responsibility. Therefore, it was concerning to learn that the Township Council and Mayor placed an ordinance on the agenda June 26 for an additional $4 million for the municipal complex without much regard to time.

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

July 15, 2018

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

A new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up is now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, these artists have contributed to an enriching, creative ...

Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

Students ages 12 to 16 are invited to “Youth Chella,” a silent party scheduled for Friday, Aug.16 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Union County’s Watchung Reservation at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

Admission and refreshments are free with the donation of a snack item. The donations will be provided to students in the ...

Diahann Lassus Named in Investopedia 100 for 2018!

Diahann W. Lassus, CFP®, CPA/PFS and President of Lassus Wherley has been named in Investopedia’s second annual ranking of the most influential financial advisors in the U.S., called the Investopedia 100.

The advisors that comprise the Investopedia 100 were selected from hundreds of applicants and stand out for their contributions to conversations about financial literacy, investing ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Berkeley Heights Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Sign up for our free enews and get ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...

Other

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_f315283ead6566b0f0d0_24b31797abd0cb2d199e_senior_bbq

Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Things You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner

How an air conditioner works

Air conditioners use refrigeration to cool indoor air. When a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat. This process is called phase conversion. Air conditioners use phase conversion by forcing refrigerants to evaporate and condense over and over in a closed system of coils. 

What air conditioner filters do

Filters remove particles from the air, keeping ...