If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Damama's Use it or Lose it Advice on: Things Inquiring Minds Want to Know

In my last post I asked you guys to come up with some questions for me. As usual, you never let me down! So, without further ado:

Brandi asks...

How do you get a fifty-something person who has managed money poorly her whole life and always depended on others to bail her out to manage her money better?

ANSWER: Quit bailing her out. Period. She will whine, moan, complain, and possibly threaten ugliness. She will say she's starving. Or freezing. Or.... Have responses and alternate resources such as addresses of shelters, food pantries, and charity assistance programs ready. And stand firm.

Next, offer to help her set up a budget. If she refuses then let her go on her own but do not, under any circumstance, buy into her poor, poor, pitiful me routine. Give love, not money. Give encouragement, not money. Give her Dave Ramsey's phone number, BUT DO NOT GIVE HER MONEY.

She is a grown-up woman. It's time she suffered the grown-up consequences for her childish behavior.

J.B. said...

Damama my question is what is the question? Life is good, I am blessed and sleepy. Sweet dreams all.

ANSWER: The question is do you thank God or some higher power every day for your good life and blessings? I bet you do, but if I'm wrong please go do so now. ;o)

Daria said...

I [see] that you use Blogger, but where did you get your template? I love it!

ANSWER: Thank you! If you'll look in the upper left-hand corner of my blog you'll see a little bug there that says The Cutest Blog On The Block. Warning, though. Don't go there unless you have time to shop around a while. They have SO MANY cute blogs and so much neat stuff that you will get lost in there for a while. LOL! Good luck and come back and tell me what you find so I can come see your new look!

Erin said...

I want to know what your favorite thing about being a mom is!

ANSWER: Wow! Hit me with a though one, why don'tcha! Seriously, that question has so many different answers. If you don't mind, this one deserves a blog post all on its own. Come back in a couple of days or watch Twitter for a notice that it's up.

... and thanks for making me really examine this thought.

Tanya said...

I need to know why the 8 yr old girl is so rude, argumentative, lies through her teeth & back answers a million times each day? Is it too drive her mother totally crazy?

ANSWER: This is a two-parter...

Short form - YES, it is to drive you crazy so that when she grows up and leaves home you won't miss her so much. Just kidding. Sort of.

Long form - Those of us who grew up under horrific circumstances tend to get just a weeeeee bit control-freakish. Then, when we are blessed (and I do use that term cautiously) with strong-willed, independent, self-confident children who happen to be a great deal like us, we tend to go a little nuts. Not that the child is perfect by any means, but... Dang this thing of having to be the grownup ALL the time! ;O)

Try something for me -- an experiment in self control, if you will. For the next week back off a little. Give her viable choices (meaning include things that she might actually choose herself) and then honor her decision. (For example, you might not wear those colors together, but you aren't putting the stuff on your back!) Make sure she knows what the rules and expectations are. And what the consequences are. Give choices when appropriate. Give time guidelines, not time requirements for compliance. Try to take the emotion out of your dealings with her UNLESS they are POSITIVE emotions. Mete out punishment in a matter-of-fact manner. Redirect her when necessary the same way -- just as you might with a non-compliant patient. Allow natural consequences to take their course without you having to always be the bringer. (If she goes out dressed like that her friends will probably make fun of her causing her to rethink future wardrobe choices. Why scream at her to get change clothes? It only makes her want to do it less. Her friends' opinions, though... GOLDEN! Win-win for Mom!)

Most of all.. MOST MOST MOST OF ALL... Praise her. Praise her for getting up after you only having to call her twice instead of the usual X number of times. Praise her for closing the door behind her. Praise her for remembering to flush the toilet (something like "My friend complains that her daughter never flushes the toilet. I'm so glad you are so good at remembering!). OK, so that one's out there, but you get the idea. FIND OR MANUFACTURE REASONS TO PRAISE HER. She needs to know how good that feels. Once she gets some and knows she can get more she will crave it!

Next, jump over to my advice to another Frustrated Mama and try out some of the tips I gave her. And then, for a good laugh and some more ideas go check out the story about my very stubborn friend and her trashy kid. (Be sure to read all the comments, too. They're a hoot!) Mix and match until you find what works sanely for you. And then stick to it!

None of this is going to make her a perfect child. None of it is going to make you a perfect mother. But SOME of it will give you a little peace and make life a bit easier for all concerned.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes!


OK, that's it for today's questions. And by the way, I'm going to post these over on my advice column at DeKalb Ramblings, too. I have a feeling that y'all aren't the only ones who have some of these questions. Might as well share. Only difference is that if you don't want me to I won't use your real name or blog link. Just let me know.

Peace, Blessings, and Good questions, y'all!


  1. Holy Cow! I tooled through the Blogger templates for about 20 mintues before realizing that they were for Blogger, so now I get to look at all of the Wordpress themes. I'm so excited! =)

    Thank you for the info! I will definitely post to let you know what I have chosen - if/ when that finally happens! =)

  2. Very nice, I love your reply.

  3. Alright, now I have another question. This one comes from Jon as well as me. What do you do if that person who doesn't manage her money well is your mother-in-law and other people (outside the family) are bailing her out? She of course still comes to each of her children (5) and their spouses for help. We help do her laundry, but we no longer give her any money.


WELL HOWDY!! Thanks so much for popping in to leave a note. PLEASE be sure to check the box by "E-mail follow-up comments to..." so that you'll get my response to your comment. I almost always respond personally And sorry for making you do the Word jumble mambo. I wish there weren't A***ole spammers running rampant in the blogverse!


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