You gotta have a New Year’s post … so even though this is my take on New Year resolving:

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(…just sayin’ – and thanks FB friends for putting up with that twice :)

 – welcome to my New Year post.

Thanks to my great PR gals that encouraged me to come up with a Top Ten list… here you go. If you’d rather listen than read (sometimes earphones are just the ticket to some sanity – just sayin’ again!) – check out what Jim Daly & John Fuller had to say when they were very, very nice to invite me share at Focus on the Family. Our program – Eradicating the Entitlement Attitude of our Kids airs today and tomorrow. I had no idea, but they are sending a copy of Cleaning House to anyone sends a gift of any amount to Focus – Donate today (in addition to their incredibly helpful daily radio program, these are our Plugged In – Movie Review, Thriving Family, and so much more folks!). Wow. If you’ve every thought about sharing a link to the moatblog to your friends… today’s the day. (smile)

I also was asked me to encourage any of you kind Pinning souls, to Pin the Cleaning House cover on your boards. You know I’m not big into asking things (which seems to not be ringing true about now)… but I begrudgingly do what I’m told. So I’ve added a pic of the cover at the end of this post. All with a big shout-out of “I love you guys” and “THANKS” for putting up with me… and mostly for walking the road with me (I’m serious about that last one. It would be lonely and cold out there alone…oh so cold. Those teen-dished “whatever” eye-rolls pack a sting.)

Anyway on to our

Top Ten Strategies to Tackle Entitlement in 2013

10. Be honest . . . with yourself and with your kids. The first step to change is admitting, “I have a problem.” Welcome to Enablers Anonymous. It might not be pretty, but we’ve all driven here on the road paved with good intentions.

9. Have a family meeting. Announce the plan and involve the participants. If everyone owns it, the seeds sprout and grow.

8. Gather like-minded friends. It’s lonely doing anything seemingly alone, especially when swimming upstream. So grab some friends and do it together.

7. Keep your eyes on the goal by looking back. George Washington at 16 was surveying Culpepper County, Va. – without his parents!; at age 12, Blaise Pascal worked out the first 23 propositions of Euclid by himself; at age 15 Louis Braille invented the Braille system; at age 14 my friend Jackie worked at her local dry cleaner—responsible for daily deposits and closing up the store. The point is . . . kids are more than capable.

6. Set the bar high. Kids, like all of us, thrive on high expectations. Seriously, who likes to work for someone who takes your stuff and does it over or steps in and completes it for you? Our kids don’t like it either.

5. Think Teflon. Don’t be fooled by the whines; let the “noooooo” and “why me?!” barrage hit and slide right off. Those kids are only feigning disdain. They actually crave feeling useful and needed.

4. Pack any baggage and park it outside—forever. Whatever fears buckle a parent’s knees (“my kid will be left out,” “their feelings will be hurt,” “they will never get into college,” “they will fail if I don’t – or pay someone to – do it for them”) can and should be disregarded. Kids can do so much more than we or they think. Teach them how to do a task. Train them by getting out of the way. Then watch mountains formerly seen as obstacles morph into opportunities.

3. Welcome and keep your hands off a kid’s failure. There are few prouder moments than witnessing your child fall, get up, fall, get up, stay up and capitalize on new-found strength, determination and real self-esteem.

2. Learn to use and mean the words, “I’m happy for you.” Despite our best efforts to make it a competition, parenting isn’t about one-upping each other. It’s about loving our kids and celebrating their unique gifts and talents. It’s OK to celebrate our friends’ talents and teach our kids to do the same. More than OK . . . dare we admit, liberating.

1. Get ready to catch yourself saying: “Who knew?!” “Who knew my kids could do so much?” “Who knew they could serve their sibling?” (I mean how else can you describe a boy folding his sister’s underwear, or a girl cleaning her brother’s bathroom!) “Who knew they could be so happy?” “Who knew gaming, texting and social media could take a back seat?” “Who knew they just wanted someone to believe in them . . . and that family responsibilities were just the ticket?”

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There you have it… enough already :)

Thanks for tagging along… and Happy New Year!


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