Monday, March 22, 2010

Give Me Get Me Buy Me: Book Review and Giveaway

I remember coming to one solid conclusion after my first year teaching Junior High ... I knew after that more than anything, I wanted my future children to be kind and polite. It really didn't matter how smart or pretty they might be, it was really all about how they treated others.

Fast forward to now, 11 years and four children later, I wonder how I am doing at my ultimate go. I see them throwing occasional tantrums, fighting over toys, being sassy and I really hope that I am on the right track (or even close to it). Some days I feel like we are doing pretty good, other days I wonder if I've ruined them for good!  For that reason, I was pleased to have the chance to review the book "Give Me Get Me Buy Me" and take a good look at my own parenting (husband's too, of course - we're in this together)!

In this book, the author Donna Corwin, has set out to tackle the issue of entitlement in our children. They all seem to want things, all the time. Part of that is just being a kid, part of that can be feeling like an entitled kid! Donna Corwin takes a good look at all the little things we, as parents -- or "entitlement pushers" (that made me laugh), might be doing to create this attitude in our children.

This book is filled with a great deal of common sense. She illustrates what an "entitled" child is like by using plenty of real-life examples that we can all relate to, if even just seeing it take place with someone else. She walks you through the process of how that attitude most likely came to be in the child. She has provided helpful charts that you can work through to analyze the situation in your own family. Then she looks at different life situations that might be affecting our children. Finally arriving at a pathway to "unspoil" our children.

I found myself reading this with a pen and a notebook - there were some pages I wanted to go back to and review with my husband. There were some other worksheets that would be great to go over with the children, or as a family. One suggestion she made was to create a chart that you use to record your positive and negative interactions with your children - I made this one up right away and started using it immediately. She also outlined a points program that would work great with the one I already have in place, so I will be adding a few elements to mine soon.

The one thing, though, that really jumped out at me was when she stated her whole purpose:

"Remember, the goal is to feel empowered, not entitled; to cooperate, not compete*; to create a child who contributes and not just takes."

* the compete in this sentence is more in regards to competing for love and attention within the family, the author goes into a lot of detail about competition and how good it can be for the children to learn to compete for things in life

Who doesn't want this for their children?

This book was a very quick read, full of good, common sense information and explanation (only much more organized than all the stuff I have floating around in my head).  And, of course, it winds things up with solutions to any problems you might encounter with spoiled behavior in your own children.

In the end, it all comes down to what children really desire from us: time, attention and boundaries. That's all they want from us, "things" can never make up for that. And our kids know that just as much as we do.

You can find this book where books are sold, or directly from the publisher.


And now ... the fun part ... you can get your hands on a free copy of this book! Better yet, two of you can. Here's how:

1. Leave a comment airing one of your parenting concerns/frustrations when it comes to tantrums/whining/bossing from kids, war stories are totally welcome!!!

... AND/OR ...

2. Leave a comment sharing something you have done to combat the spoiled behavior you might have encountered at some point in time. Or even share a great parenting tip you have received from someone else, in regards to this matter!

There you have it ... share a frustration, share a solution ... and you could get one of these books.

I'll choose a winner for each (from a random draw, of course) on March 27th.  Please make sure you are linked to an email address, or leave one in your comment - THANKS!


Thanks for playing ... Jenjermad and K are the winners of the books.
I'll be getting your info right away!!!

And anyone who lives nearby can borrow my copy anytime - just let me know!


K said...

I am really interested in this book. I just had a two hour conversation with my friend about this very thing! Not only do I struggle with this with my son, but we struggle with it as YW leaders. The effects are everywhere!

I have found with my son, an only child there is a constant power struggle between he and I because it is harder for him to see the lines drawn as to what a parent is allowed to do vs. a child. Sometimes it's bedtime, or chores. He thinks he has all the rights and privileges as an adult, but when I point out the responsibilities he of course wants nothing to do with that!

This is a long post, but stuff is a huge issue! Cost doesn't seem to matter at all. What I've done is make him actually earn the money to buy the things he really wants. It has helped him in two ways. One is that he really thinks about how badly he wants that $3 item vs. something big like an ipod he recently finally bought. Second, it makes him respect and care for it better, and three, it gives him a realistic view of how hard you have to work and save to buy expensive things. It took him almost two years. I also charge him when he destroys things. For example, he decided to poke a hole through his brand new shirt. I charged him $10. He broke my bowls when he had a tantrum and slammed the cabinet door, I charged him the $12 to replace it, he walked outside in his socks after being told a gazillion times to put on shoes or go barefoot, he got charged $1 for the socks. At any rate, it has been a really long time since I have had to charge him for "Stuff".

This is super long... the latest was that he lost the ski trip he was supposed to go on with his school on early release. All he had to do was clean up his room. I gave him three days to do it. He just didn't want to bother. So instead of going on the trip, he had to come to my work and work on homework until I got off. In addition to that he had to pay me the $5 I lost because he didn't go. Huge lesson! It works great for me because I am not the one actually paying him the money in the first place. He works for one of our friends at his business cleaning up his shop once a week. So he really has to WORK for this money, it's not a gift he gets weekly.

Sorry, this is just one of those "hot button" subjects for me. It is driving me crazy- not just with my son but with the girls I work with as well. We really struggle with them being respectful and willing to do what is asked of them. It really does stem back to life at home and how these situations are dealt with. Ya, tons of pressure on the parents.

Hillary said...

Ooh I want to read this!! One of my peeves is the "entitled" attitude.

Whenever I come across a video, or a story, or a show about another country I love showing it to my kids. I too had the 'entitlement' attitude until I spent 3 months living in Ghana and learned what it was like to be an American. I try to show my kids what it's like other places so they get some glimpse of how blessed and lucky they are! (The wheelchair video put out by the church on You Tube is one of my favorites!) We also frequently do humanatarian and service projects.

Fresh Mommy said...

I think this is a book al parents should read... I know I want to! I can see the good and bad, and the whining is what I want to tackle, I know my girl can overcome it. Count me in, my husband and I would love it.


jenjermad said...

i want to read this book. I'm always looking for ideas especialy yearl with my 8 year old boy who feels like he should get everything for free. Help!!!


LisaMM said...

Great review! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it and share it with your readers. We really appreciate it!

Katie Pettey said...

OK, I need to check this out on my next library visit! Rule #1: Never do anything for your child that they can do for themselves. Rule #2: Give them the power (Love & Logic-esque). This translates to Pettey Cash for us - you know our system. My kids know it is up to them if they want something. And, when you give kids that kind of power, they WILL take advantage of it. I love seeing how they feel when they succeed - on their own! How can that not translate to good things when they are grown? I'm by no means an expert, but I've seen some "great" examples of entitlement in my own family (I won't mention any names), and I'm determined to steer my kids down a completely different road!