¿Cómo no compensar en exceso?

Gorgeous woman eating bar of dark chocolate in the sunny park. Woman enjoying chocolate with her eyes closed

You look at your kids and you do not want them to endure or desire for anything. You work hard to put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and tell them how much they’re loved. Perhaps you work long hours and do not get to spend as much time with your kids as you want.

¿Qué está pasando?

Perhaps you will feel like the kids have one strike against them because they don’t have both of the parents living under the same roof. Be cautious about allowing guilt to get the best of you. Because guilt can make you be worried about things you can’t control, live beyond your means or overcompensate by giving to your children’s every whim. What your children need most are your love, attention and time.

Have fun together. Play dress up. Take them to the beach, park or museum. Spend a day in the library. Exercise as a family. Go to an outdoor concert. Have a family picnic on your living room floor. Turn on the music and dancing. Cook together. Go on a nature walk. Create a new tradition such as: bicycle riding on Saturday, pizza night on Friday.

Tenga en cuenta

The goal here would be to create exceptional moments and memories together. For most single mothers, there is a propensity to feel pressured around birthdays and vacations. Take the pressure off by producing simple family customs and teaching your children the real meaning of the holidays you celebrate. Cherished customs give kids something to look forward to and something meaningful to continue to.

September is just another stressful period for single mothers since your kids prepare to return to school, they’re inundated with advertisements that tell them they want another toy, the most expensive sneakers or the newest technical gadget that’s certain to be obsolete by this time next year.

When your kids pressure you to spend beyond your means or make purchases which aren’t in accordance with your family goals and values, you have got to dig deep inside and set limitations. It’s not about being a rigid parent or not letting your kids to have some of the extras they want. It’s about teaching your kids how to not be a servant to peer pressure and consumer-driven advertising.

Tenga en cuenta

It’s also not advisable to sit down with your children and start teaching them about how money is handled in your household. Let them know how bills are paid and the way money is prioritized. Chances are, you are living on a reduced income so that your dollars need to stretch a little further than a household which has two incomes coming from. Believe it or not, kids as young as eight can grasp budgeting basics. They know how to add and subtract. Just consider it, if you give your son or daughter a weekly allowance, your child must budget their allowance for the whole week.

So begin teaching your kids about budgeting basics. Turn your grocery shopping excursions into money management classes for your kids by letting them know just how much you’ve got to spend, what items you will need to purchase, then permitting them to help pick out the things while adhering to the budget. If you are raising a teenager, encourage your son or daughter to search for a part-time occupation.

As African-American ladies, we have gotten away from the values that really matter and the principles that kept our families strong through tough times. I’ll wager that growing up many of you packaged luggage, fixed bikes, styled hair, swept floors, constructed lemonade stands or infant sat as a way to make additional money.


Because you knew if you wanted something bad enough you had to work for it. And sometimes you had to do with it. Why not pass on the identical essential values to our kids. As single moms, we will need to return to the fundamentals – back to some of these old-school parenting approaches that our parents used to boost us. They still work now. And if you’re holding down the fort alone you can’t let yourself be hood rich and dollar dumb by buying into materialistic hype.

So don’t be concerned about keeping up with the Jones’s, or your child experiencing low self-esteem since he ate the generic brand of cream and chocolate cookies rather than Oreos.

Nota final

As long as your kids are well fed, warmly dressed, safely sheltered and loved, they will be just fine. In actuality, a bit doing without teaches children about living on a budget, delaying gratification, the value of people over possessions and the strength of character that comes without having everything handed to them on a silver platter. So the next time your teenager asks you to buy him those $250 sneakers, buy him a copy of Money magazine. Then, let him invest that money in a company whose products he admires. This way when he is all grown up, he will have a nice little nest egg, rather than the memory of a pair of shoes that no longer match.