Do You WANT It, or Do You NEED it?

So, my brain is tired.  Ball games every night, working really hard getting my 4-H kids ready for the county fair, plus (trying) to keep up with the garden, the house, and the kids, I’m tired.  I have nothing new for you today except for an update from the idiots at Expedia .  It’s at the bottom.  I didn’t figure those twits deserved top billing.  I wrote a post back in March about WANT vs. NEED and teaching kids the difference. I really like it and think you will too.  Without further ado, please enjoy this re-post:Today I posted this picture on my Facebook page:



This really made me start thinking about my kids and the path that we are leading them on.  We make our kids do chores.  Nothing hard core, just the basic, “we let you live here, you can contribute” type of chores.  Make your bed, pick up your stuff, do as I tell you because I am the boss of you.  You know, things that teach basic life skills.  We don’t pay an allowance because we feel that we “allow” them to live here, we feed them, we clothe them, we clean up after them.  We feel they get “paid” plenty well enough.We don’t have cable or satellite TV, we get what we get.  We have 1 desktop computer in the center of the house. They get 30 minutes at a time on said computer, and they are not guaranteed that everyday.  I have a laptop that is for my “paying gig”, but doubles as my writing instrument and enables us to watch the football/basketball games that are on ESPN.  Little fingers are not allowed to touch.  We have a Wii, but time on that is limited as well.  We live in the house that Farmer Bob grew up in.  It was built around 1920, and we still have an outhouse on the premises.  It is not currently “functioning”, (if I get many more complaints about how we need another bathroom, I may have to pop the top) but I just think it’s cool to say that I have an outhouse.  A good, old-fashioned, outhouse.   (Farmer Bob just informed me that our basement was dug out by horse…how cool is THAT???)  Contrary to Mini-me’s beliefs, life here does not “suck”.  Life here will turn you into a fully functioning adult.

Recently, Mini-me has started talking the language of money.  “I want this.  Buy me that.  I NEED that.”  On a recent shopping trip, she REALLY wanted this god-awful shirt.  I refused to pay for it and asked her if it was something she NEEDED, or something she WANTED.  “I NEED it mom” was her reply.  I told her if she REALLY needed it, that I would pay for half (I think it was a $10 shirt, not big money, but I was determined to use this as a teaching moment) and she would have to pay for the other half.  It was after about 30 seconds of pondering that she looked at me and said “I don’t really want it anyways.”  There was the key word…WANT


I think that my littles believe they are missing out on things.  They go to sleepovers and all I hear about when they get home is how AWESOME Katie’s house is, or how Susie’s mom lets her have a TV  and  a computer in her ROOM plus they get to eat whatever they want on her bed,and play on the iPads (yes, plural), and stay up how ever late they want to!  To which I always tell her…


If life is SOOOO great over at Susie’s house, feel free to go live with her.  Pack only what you can fit in your backpack, I’m sure Susie’s mom and dad would be glad to have you, indefinitely.  Be sure to write and let me know how things are going, don’t ask for money.  This always gets me the obligatory eye-roll.  I wish she would hurry up and develop my sense of humor.
Greener Grass


They have recently decided that they need more money.  I will gladly by them the things that they NEED, school clothes, shoes, etc… But we recently informed them that if they want money for things that they WANT, they are going to have to EARN it.  That shit doesn’t grow on trees around here. I went to the effort of painting some popsicle sticks, coming up with some obscure chores for them to do (mainly things that I just really don’t want to do), assigned a dollar amount, attached a magnet, and stuck them to the refrigerator.  They can now choose their own poison.  But like us adults, their work ethic goes in spurts.  They will complete a chore, write it down on their message board that I owe them money (little turds just won’t let me forget it), and then nothing else gets done until I pay them.  Every once in a while, when I have cash handy, I settle up.  Then they get all excited again and move on to another chore.
*note to self, keep more cash on hand*


Farmer Bob keeps telling Mini-me that she can raise the bottle lamb we have in the barn and he will share the proceeds with her.  All she is required to do is feed the lamb when she gets home from school.  He doesn’t make her get up at the butt-crack of dawn and go out and feed him, she is only required to do it after school.  Today, she decided she was done.  Uh…poor little guy is only about 4 weeks old.  His momma abandoned him, have a heart.  She wants the money NOW, she’s tired of doing it.  Well dear, you don’t GET the money until the lamb is big enough to take to the sale.  Let’s see if I can capture her reaction in words:
UH! GAH! I don’t WANT to do this anymore!  *FOOT STOMP*  *ARM CROSS*  ARGH!
Farmer Bob:  I’m not ASKING anymore, do it….NOW!

Needless to say, she did it and life goes on, until tomorrow when we most likely could repeat this scenario again.  I understand her need for instant gratification, but what are we teaching our littles by giving in to them, and obliging their every whim?  By giving them the cell phones and the laptops and allowing them to eat in their rooms?  When do we, as parents, reclaim our spot as “the boss” and learn how to say NO to their WANTS, and pay more attention to their NEEDS?EXPEDIA UPDATE:

So, remember how I had a little problem with You don’t?  Read about it here.  Done?  Moving on.  I received an email back from them.  Here is what they had to say:

Thank you for contacting Expedia about booking a flight reservation for a group of passengers.

We apologize for the delay in answering your e-mail. We are currently experiencing heavy volume of e-mail requests, preventing us from responding within our normal standards.

We are sorry as well for any inconvenience you experienced when booking a flight reservation for your family online. You may only book a maximum of six passengers per standalone or "flight only" reservation. 

Your words carry a lot of weight with us, and our primary goal is to give our customers superior service. Comments such as yours help shape our policies and practices as we learn and grow. We will forward your comments and feedback to the appropriate members of our management team.

Thank you for choosing Expedia. 

Expedia Customer Service Team

Yeah, okay Randy from Expedia.  First of all, your customer service is in no way "superior".  In case you didn't notice, I didn't book shit with you because you won't allow me to book all 7 membersof my family at once.  You and your "appropriate members of your management team"  can pretty much bite me. I didn't "choose Expedia" you nimrod.  Southwest Airlines, here we come, get ready.
Now, would you mind helping a momma out and voting for me again??  
Just click on that little juggling lady up there at the top.  The one juggling, yeah, that's the one.  Click and your are done.  Thank you so much :)




  1. Just found you through Top Mommy Blogs. Loving reading your posts. I’m totally on-board with you on this topic. My son is only six but he is required to do certain chores, and anything he does above and beyond he gets quarters in a jar. Back-talk or disrespect causes quarters to get taken out. Once he has about $10 in the jar, we take him to the store and let him pick something out. I want him to learn that some things you do because you have to; there’s no financial gain. But also that *things* don’t just magically appear in our house. They have to be bought with money. And money has to be earned. With work. He’s only six, so I know we have a long road ahead… still, it’s reassuring to see there other like-minded mammas. :)

  2. You are raising your kids the right way! I have 4, and 3 are already grown and out of the house. We started them on chores when they were in grade school so that they would be self-sufficient adults (and they certainly are today!!!). We rarely gave then anything for “free”because the money just wasn’t there. They had to put themselves through college, and they did. It wasn’t easy when they were young–they complained bitterly about what other kids had and what they wanted (but not needed). Now they realize that what we did was best for them, and they are grateful for not having everything handed down to them. You are doing a terrific job as parents, and the reward will come when they are happy, self-sufficient adults!

  3. natalie swift. says:

    I think this is great. My son is only 2 but we’ve already started this way of parenting. No tv, radio or video consoles in his room. We have a wii and a play station and we play them maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks. He gets to watch 1 30 minute show in the morning and 1 before bed. I get him to help me with everything around the house and he loves it (for the time being LOL) we spend a lot of time reading and being outside with our dogs. Deffinatly no food in his room. We. Reward him with an afternoon at the local discovery centre or gymboree or pool on weekends :)

  4. We are very similar in the beat of our parenting drum. I feel, very strongly, that children have developed a sense of entitlement and that all these gadgets are an expectation of simply being. It makes me sad and I feel like it’s my job to “rage against the machine” even if that makes me deeply and totally “unpopular” with my children. I love them so much. I love them enough to say no. I also love my fellow human beings enough to do the best I can to release amazing people into the wild, wild world. Loving you more with every post. xo

  5. Oh I love love love this post. My husband and I grew up in very, very modest homes with not a lot of extra to go around. We are much more comfortable now and it is a constant struggle to teach our two daughters the value of earning things and not being handed stuff. We still raise them a bit old fashioned (ipad? Hell no child, you don’t even get a phone. I don’t CARE what Susie’s mom gave her.) but the lesson is a hard one when you aren’t struggling. I think people would be better off if all of us parents who aren’t giving this would. Kids are not better off being handed everything!

  6. I need to incorporate your rules in our house. I work from home and there are many times when my kids eat lunch in their room. They have a little table in there and I don’t have time to sit and eat lunch with them. We all have dinner as a family at the dining room table. My kids need chores and they need to start cleaning up after themselves…that is something I need to work on with them.

    You have just provided the motivation I need to get my butt in gear and start these kids on chores and cleaning up after themselves.

  7. I absolutely love this post. I actually have started about how it is around my house….Just haven’t been sure about posting it.
    I think what you and your husband do is amazing. My son, and stepkids, I’m sure, think I am so mean. they think they have it bad. you would not believe. and they have cable, game systems, fancy phones. The more they get, the less they appreciate, it seems. BUT they don’t eat in their rooms. They have to eat at the table, with us mean parents. They go to bed at a certain time and phones are put away at that time. They have chores, though they need to be reminded of them constantly…. Its a long story but the lessons you are teaching your children will last them a lifetime and though they don’t see it now, they will understand when they are adults. so GOOD FOR YOU!

  8. This is a wonderful post! Something I definitely need to do a little more of.

    • Oh my goodness–I love this! When my son was two he asked why my cousin was allowed to eat in the living room. I said, “Because he is in college. When YOU are in college, you will be allowed to eat in the living room.” Ever since that day (he is now EIGHT), he will say to people–including his sisters, “You are only allowed to eat in there when you are in college!” We have had to explain that AFTER college, earning a GED, and becoming a parent after the age of twenty-five are ALSO tickets into the living room with food. His SISTERS on the other hand weren’t so easily persuaded…we are STILL having the battle over eating at the table with the six-year-old. I am just happy to hear that others find this to be important, because I was starting to think that maybe I’m being ridiculous and we CAN’T have me thinking THAT…!

    • You both are so kind. Thank you for reading and for reminding me that I am not alone!

%d bloggers like this: