Introducing Change to your family

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Tom Good
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Introducing Change to your family

Post: #152081 flyonthewall
Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:46 am

As I've explained on another thread, OH and I are still quite new to 'ish. We have, in previous years, had quite mainstream lifestyles. I was brought up in quite an 'ish environment, with lefty academic veg-growing parents who took me to protests and the like, but then when I got out of uni and had money, I did the consumer-hedonist thing - nice city flat, nights out, lots of stuff. OH's path was different - he was married and had a child young, and due to having had a fairly poor upbringing, he sought a materially much better standard of living for himself and his family. Years later, we found ourselves with a house full of all sorts that we never use, stuck on a cycle of needing to earn more money to pay off what we accrued in our 'buy now pay later' lifestyle, and suddenly we went 'this can't be right, we have everything we ever wanted but we are unhappy'.

So we want to change, basically - sorry for the slight life story there! And we said that my birthday this year (that's next Tuesday) would be the time that we made more than just nominal changes to our lifestyle. This has become even more imperative due to the downturn. However, OH is starting to have his doubts. Particularly because of his daughter, who has been materially very very spoilt all her life thus far (though she's basically a good kid, she's totally Disney-fied!). OH worries that if our lifestyles are different and she's not getting the same material things as before, she will not want to see us as much (she lives most of the time with her mum). Personally as I've said on another thread I think that it may be very beneficial for OH's daughter, but he carries a fair bit of guilt for what she's already having to go through (split family etc).

I was wondering if there are any of you who have gone through this process, from "lightbulb moment" to introducing the changes, to following it through and ending up with a completely different lifestyle, and how you've coped, particularly those who have had to impose these changes on children, and any advice you may have!
allotment digging, fresh air loving Yorkshire lass

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Gert
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Re: Introducing Change to your family

Post: #152082 Gert
Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:03 am

I guess a lot depends on how old she is. but I find that younger children will embrace livestock and gardening if given a bit of freedom with it all, and are allowed to do a few things that are more "adult" using tools, having their own bit of land etc
One tactic I have seen used with a materialistic child. Is to give them a chicken of their own, whatever it lays is theirs to sell or eat as they see fit. at 20p an egg it's a nice little earner for them , but makes them take care of the animal.

Every child is different of course, and I hope that you can win her round, I certainly wouldn't hold back from doing it , just so that she can still embrace Disney.

My 2p's worth

Best of Luck

Gert

flyonthewall
Tom Good
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:23 pm
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Introducing Change to your family

Post: #152084 flyonthewall
Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:30 am

Thanks for your input Gert.

Thing is, her mum has an allotment, chickens, does gardening, and she does enjoy all that, hence why I think it would be very good for her. Her mum is on benefits, and has fed her a lot of stuff about OH and I both working and therefore having lots of money compared to her. Despite her claims of 'I'm skint' kiddo always seems to be getting new stuff. OH has always bought her loads and never really questioned the way she's been brought up until recently, the junk food, the constant pestering for the Disney branded things, and it really hit home when we did the spring cleaning and she just went through all her stuff going 'nah, don't want that, don't want that, that's rubbish' and some of it was stuff that she'd pestered and pestered for only a few months back! It upset him, and I've suggested that a less materialistic way of life might make her appreciate what she does have more. But he doesn't have the confidence to believe that us, as a family alone, with the love and support that we can give her, will be enough. He feels that she doesn't love her daddy because he's her daddy, she loves daddy's money, which is sad - but you are right, it should not stop us from following what we believe is right for us.

Like I say she's basically a good kid and I think she will cope, this doesn't make her a bad kid it's just the result of an upbringing where the word No was rarely said.
allotment digging, fresh air loving Yorkshire lass

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Annpan
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Re: Introducing Change to your family

Post: #152086 Annpan
Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:44 am

She sounds old enough to be able to have a "chat" with her about the more important things in life.
Is she old enough to just get an allowance that she spends on what she wants, and not have Dad shell out for everything?

It is something for Dad to make the decision on though, and have the talk with her, rather than the wicked step-mum, as you say.
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