Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Life Lessons from the Rolling Stones

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My children have been introduced to The Rolling Stones at an early age. Not because of my love of classic rock. I'm more of a country and coffee house music type of girl. Rather for their great contribution to life lessons. Scratching your head trying to figure out what I mean.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want"

In 1969 The Rolling Stones released "You Can't Always Get What You Want" written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It has become a classic and was named to the top 100 songs of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. But as much as I appreciate it as a great musical accomplishment, I am much more impressed by the great life lesson the title teaches.

In this day and age we all want more. I am no exception to this. I catch myself all the time saying "I want that." With all the "I wants" it is hard to stay focused on the "what you need" or the actual necessities of life, which in fact are minimal.

In preschool my kids were taught the saying "you get what you get and don't pitch a fit." I appreciate the sentiment of this statement and it is quite catchy and easily understood by young children. However, it's not exactly the message I want my children learning. I don't want them settling for what someone gives them in life, but rather I want them working to achieve what they need.

"But If You Try Sometime, You Might Just Find, You Get What You Need"

My family is very blessed. We have all and so much more than we need. That is not to say that we are wealthy, far from that, but we have the basic necessities and more. I strive to teach my children gratitude and gratefulness for all the things that we have. But I make sure they are also aware how hard we have worked to get these things and that they were not just given to us.

This past Christmas my boys wanted a WiiU from Santa. I explained to them that Santa could make a WiiU but what were they going to do when they wanted another game to play with on it? I explained that games cost money and that they were not a necessity but rather a privilege. I told them that I understood how important they felt the WiiU was to them, but that Mommy and Daddy would not be able to buy them every game they wanted. They would have to prove to Santa that they were responsible and able to save up for what was important to them. They each did chores around the house and saved up $50 a piece. They wrote a little letter to Santa including the money showing that they were responsible and would take ownership of getting their own games. Some may think this is harsh and takes the joy out of Christmas. I think it teaches children to value money and the hard work it takes to earn it.

Life Lesson Learned

As the song says, "You Can't Always Get What You Want...But If You Try Sometime, You Just Might Find, You Get What You Need." Life is a balance. We all want more than the bare necessities in life. Whether it is the kids wanting a WiiU, Mommy wanting her new Kate Spade Bag or maybe Daddy wanting to take his March Madness trip to Vegas. Does this make us bad? Well no. What it does is make us human. It's what we do with these wants that matters. Do we cave to every want and desire or do we strive for balance while giving thanks for all that we have?

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  1. What a great way to teach such an important life lesson!

  2. Very nice and expressive article.

  3. I think it's great that you're having your kids earn their own money. It helps them appreciate it and take better care of what they have.

  4. Great idea. We do something similar with the kids' allowance. They pay for their own games, toys and books during the year if it's not a birthday, holiday or beginning of school.

  5. Now I have that song, "You can't always get what you want" in my head, lol. Great post!


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