Raising Kids Without Breaking the Bank

Episode 5

In today’s world, we’re constantly told we have to spend a lot of money to raise good kids. BUT today’s episode will give you tips and tricks on how you can raise kids without breaking the bank!

*Watch in HD for the best viewing experience!*

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Show Notes

Raising Kids Without Breaking the Bank

Being around kids can be a lot fun! Between the things they say and watching them run and play, it’s often pretty entertaining.

But raising kids? Well that’s a different story. Raising good kids takes some serious effort. It always has, and it probably always will.

In today’s world, though, it’s common for people to say that raising good kids also takes some serious money. But is that really the truth?

Let’s find out together!

Is Raising a Child Difficult?

When we welcomed our first daughter, Amelia, into the world a few years ago, it was—without a doubt—magical. All the clichés are true, especially the one about love at first sight. Those early moments with her felt like utter perfection.

And I wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, well maybe one thing.

What if, as they placed her in my arms and we locked eyes, things got a bit more magical and she transferred all kinds of information to me? Details like who she was and what she needed—and who she would become and what she would need in all our days ahead together?

I mean, wouldn’t that be awesome?

But babies don’t come with instruction manuals. All of those details are things you find out and figure out along the way—which can be both extremely rewarding and extremely difficult. If I’ve learned anything about raising kids so far, it’s that each stage comes with its own share of joys and challenges!

My Dad, Dave Ramsey, on Raising Good Kids in Every Season

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I jumped at the chance to invite my dad on the show. I wanted to pick his brain to understand what it was like to raise me, my sister, and my brother in times of both financial struggle and success.

And in today’s episode, Dad does what dads do best—he gives great advice. Here are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom he shares:

  • Use your money mistakes as teachable moments for your kids.
  • If you want to reach some sense of life-balance, work to develop a rhythm in every season.
  • When it comes to raising good kids, focus your efforts on principles and consistency, not perfection.

We also talk about some of our favorite memories and share a few (okay, maybe more than a few) laughs along the way.

Real Life With Rachel

Want to know a secret to helping your kids choose joy in any situation?

Dad adventures.

Maybe this was just a thing for us Ramsey kids growing up, but it seems like any time we were freaking out or bummed about something, Dad would say, “It’s okay! This is a dad adventure!”

We’re talking four flat tires on the interstate or being stranded on a boat in the middle of a lake during a thunderstorm. And just that simple phrase—dad adventure—worked every time.

Check out today’s show to see which dad adventures my dad says he “doesn’t remember.”

Bringing Home Baby Shouldn’t Break the Bank

Depending on your personality, registering for a baby shower can be one of the most fun or one of the most anxiety-producing scenarios. That’s because, these days, you’re not just dealing with one physical store. You have the whole of Amazon, Target and Buy Buy Baby combined.

Plus you’ve got the advice and opinion of every friend (and stranger) on both Facebook and Instagram to guide you on what to register for. Just register for it all!

I’m kidding, of course.

Raising good kids starts with giving them the care they need as infants. And the truth is, you just don’t need much to do that. So, in today’s episode, I share my four absolute must-buy infant items and four things I personally think are a waste of money.

Here are four must-buy infant items:

  1. A sleep sack
  2. A rock ’n play
  3. Aquaphor
  4. Term life insurance

And here are four infant items you can go without:

  1. Wipe warmer
  2. Expensive baby clothes
  3. Baby shoes
  4. Diaper genie

Do you agree with these lists? Let me know in my Facebook community! I’d love to know what you think!

And yes, you guys, I’m still singing the praises of term life insurance. That’s because there’s just no better way to show love for your new baby than to make sure they’re taken care of—no matter what.


Make sure your Kids are taken care of and

Get a quote with Zander


Dr. Meg Meeker on Raising Good Kids at Every Age

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a moment or two as a parent when you’ve asked yourself: How do you raise an emotionally healthy child? How should children be brought up? Am I even doing this right?

Well, good news! On today’s episode, I’m joined by my good friend Dr. Meg Meeker, who is a pediatrician, parenting expert, and best-selling author!

In preparation for this episode, I reached out to my Facebook community for questions about parenting and raising good kids—and you guys delivered! Meg offers practical tips that I, no joke, couldn’t wait to get home and implement.

See for yourself what she has to say about:

  • The power of forming your own mom squad
  • Why raising good kids requires being kind to yourself
  • How to manage screen time for toddlers
  • How to dissolve sibling rivalry over time
  • Who trains kids how to treat their parents

*Bonus! Meg gives a special code to watchers for 20% off her best-selling course “Discipline with Courage and Kindness” or listen to her podcast here*

And, of course, Meg and I discuss the ever-elusive chore completion challenge. I mean, has any parent ever, in the history of parents, raised a kid who didn’t require a little prodding—pleading, even—to help around the house?


I love Meg’s thoughts on this struggle. She believes if kids complete chores, they earn a previously agreed upon reward. If they don’t complete the chores, they earn a consequence. It’s similar to the principle I teach: If you work, you get paid. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

Simple, right?

We have an awesome tool designed to help parents teach their kids how to win with money in a fun and easy way. It’s called Financial Peace Junior.

It comes with a parent guide, an activity book, a sticker chart, a chore chart, money envelopes, and an e-book of Smart Money Smart Kids—the national best seller I wrote with my dad. This kit has everything you need to raise good, money-smart kids with strong work ethics!

She Works Hard Saving Money

One of my favorite raising kids quotes from Meg is: “More important than succeeding at work is succeeding with your family.” So in today’s episode, we incorporate that idea into the best part of our show—sharing #sheworkshardsavingmoney stories! But instead of asking for your saving stories, we did a little twist and asked for stories about what your kids have saved for or are saving up for.

There were seriously so many awesome responses that it was hard to narrow them down! But here are some of my favorites:

“Big LEGO kits and a Barbie dream house.” — Christian

“A slushy at Target.” — Simone

“A waterpark hotel weekend. She’s about halfway there!” — Michelle

“My 16-year-old bought his first car and just bought a new iPhone.” — Jennifer

So fun. I just love those. Keep sending us your stories of saving success! Thanks again for watching and remember: Take control of your money and create a life you love!

Read the full transcript

– Hey you guys I’m so excited about this episode. We all know when it comes to kids, they don’t come with an instruction manual. They can’t always articulate exactly what they want, but as parents we all want to raise them to be happy, healthy, and successful. But how exactly do we do that in today’s society? Well stay tuned because today I’m going to tell you how to raise good kids without breaking the bank. This is The Rachel Cruze Show. Hey you guys welcome to this episode of The Rachel Cruze Show. Today we’re going to be talking about raising kids at every stage of life, and I’m bringing on parenting expert and my dear friend, Dr. Meg Meeker. But first since it’s Father’s Day, it’s like right around the corner, I thought it’d be so fun to bring my father, my dad on the show, Dave Ramsey. Thanks for being here.

– I’m honored, this is The Rachel Cruze Show.

– I know isn’t it huge and fun?

– It’s a big deal.

– It’s so fun, it’s so fun.

– Got your own coffee cup, you’re a big deal.

– Oh do I ever! I’m like so excited about it. Tell me this, as a dad, when you look back of raising us three kids, ’cause those of you that don’t know, I have an older sister, a younger brother. Around the time when especially my sister and I were young is when you and mom were filing for bankruptcy, I mean that whole thing was kind of falling apart. Talk to me about that season of life. How did you get through that struggle when you were raising kids?

– We were just worried that we could keep you warm and fed. We really weren’t necessarily concerned about your emotional wellbeing. We were just trying to survive. We didn’t throw emotional stuff on you guys, like scare you to death or something. You were of course a baby, but we didn’t run around the house going, we’re losing our home, we’re losing our home!

– Foreclosure is right around the corner!

– It wasn’t like bad movie or something. But that was going on and so you just gotta deal with that and then how to protect you guys but also walk you through whatever the realities of those things are.

– That made me think parents ask me a lot, so how do I talk to my kids about my mistakes? How do you feel like you and mom did that? I have my perspective, but were you guys intentional with that? ‘Cause I think that’s something that’s so important with parents, when you’re teaching your kids about money, with the mistakes and that was a huge mistake, I mean you guys went into debt and filed for bankruptcy. How do you feel like you share those mistakes well with us?

– I think we shared what we did that caused that. The mistake was we went into debt, the mistake was we built a house of cards, we were trying to get rich quick. The mistake was that we didn’t have a plan. The mistake was we weren’t steadily and regularly giving, the mistake was, and so the tactical things that caused the overall meltdown, we didn’t say the mistake was the bankruptcy, no it’s the things that led to that were the individual mistakes. They become a little one-off nuance to lessons rather than this big overwhelming melodrama lessons. When I’m on stage talking to an audience, I want the melodrama lesson for everybody to connect and go oh that guy’s done stupid, he knows how it feels. I put that whole put thing out there then, but when you’re dealing with a child in there, I’m just dealing with, okay, this is why we don’t do dad, ’cause we did it one time, this is why we do a budget ’cause we didn’t do that one time and here’s, and you’d nuance off of that.

– Yeah that’s so good. After the bankruptcy you started finding your way very organically about helping people manage their money wealth via your mistakes. Financial Peace University was kind of taking off, you were on the radio show, you were traveling for live events, so I’m curious, your kind of work, life balance, and how you did it all as a dad. ‘Cause a lot of moms who talk about this a lot with women, like how do you do it all, how do you raise kids, and work and all that? But I’m curious from a dad’s perspective, when you look back, how did you do it all?

– I think you don’t. In a given period of time. This idea that in a given day, you’re perfectly balanced and you have exercise, and prayer time, and children time, and spouse time, and work time, and everyday as a perfect little template, that’s just a load of garbage. People don’t live their lives that way. That’s just crap.

– I knew you were gonna say, I was I think he’s gonna say crap. And we did.

– Well it is, I mean, it is. So what happens is in a given moment, you’re training for something. You’ve got little kids, you got little kids, it’s all hands on deck. The season has changed and when we were starting a business, and trying to survive, even with you all little, there was a season where, that’s what I did. It really wasn’t optional. Much like a military family where dad is deployed, or mom is deployed overseas. They’re gone for eight months. What do you do? You deal with it. But it’s not forever, like when we got ready to go on book tour the first time, I was gone six weeks. I mean that’s a long time with little kids in the house. And we told you guys, this is what we’re doing, we’re paying a price to win, and when we get back from book tour, we’re going to Disney World. It’s like not here but then all here and celebrate, and so there’s a rhythm to that, the tide coming in, the tide going out, and that’s how you achieve balance over the scope of your life, not in a given month or year. But if you’re going for the whole scope of your life as a workaholic, you lose your family.

– Right, right, well I think that’s so good. Christy Wright, one of my favorite quote, she says, I say it all the time is, life balance is not about being 50/50, it’s about being 100% present. Those are some of my favorite memories with you, because I think people ask me a lot, well you had a dad that was gone a lot and traveled all the time, how did you deal with that? And I was like, I don’t know, I think kids are more resilient than we give them credit for, and the times you were present, you were present and granted that was before the day of iPhones and all that but you really were. You were present with us as kids and so I think that’s huge, and being at the important things, right?

– We scheduled a lot of events around, Daniel’s hockey schedule when he was playing hockey as a kid or your games when you were cheerleading, or proms or birthdays. A lot of–

– Middle school cheerleaders, very exciting.

– I was at the game though.

– I know, it’s just pitiful.

– She was a climber, she got up on, she was a little one–

– I was a flyer.

– She got up on top. A flyer, that’s right. A climber and a flyer. You have to climb before you fly.

– So those are some of my favorite memories. So I’m curious from you, are there moments in parenting, or maybe this could be a principle idea, or a specific memory of a time that you were like, yes, that was good, like I felt as a parent, ’cause I have those with Amelia now, where she said yes ma’am the other day, without me having to say, say yes ma’am, she said it, and I was like, I won! Like I won, it’s the small victories!

– I think there’s a bunch of them but they’re all like you’re talking about with Amelia, they all fall under the category of you’re standing there with your shoulders square at 13 years old and you actually walk through logically, a critical thought process and came to the correct conclusion. And we’re like, this one’s not gonna live in the basement. Thank you Lord, it’s like this one’s gonna make it! Those moments where you go, wow, they just did that, that kind of a thing. The other thing, our friend Meg’s gonna be on a little bit later but I heard her say this the other day, I hadn’t thought about till she said it but it does work. What you do with your kids expands in their minds. I heard from a guy named Josh McDowell back in the day, to date your daughters. Take your little daughters out on date, dress ’em up, and take ’em to a fancy restaurant. I did that like three times, ever. If you ask them, they’re like, my dad took me out on dates all the time.

– We did say that.

– And I didn’t. I didn’t, it was like, three times. But I mean I got credit for a lot more than I actually did.

– But it magnifies so much.

– The same thing was true, we talk about how to pay commissions, on the chores. We would sit down on Sunday night and do the chores. Well we would go like six weeks without paying them.

– This is true.

– ‘Cause we were just busy, we forget about it, we’re at church, we’re tired, they’re gripey, I don’t wanna deal with them, whatever it is.

– But then I was like jackpot.

– But then we would do it and it’s like, in their minds, every Sunday night was payday. They got paid every Sunday night. Well they really didn’t. We made up for it, we didn’t steal the money from ’em.

– It’s so true though because I remember, writing Smart Money Smart Kids with you, the book, I was going through writing it and I was like yeah, every Sunday night and then I was like, wait, did we every Sunday night? ‘Cause in my mind we really did, and then as you were talking about, you’re like oh god we skipped like two months one time. No it was not every, we tried to be consistent but it wasn’t. So yeah that’s so true. Things have just magnified.

– But the principles, principles are still there. You’re gonna work, you’re gonna give, you’re gonna save, and you’re gonna spend. But the payday on Sunday night thing, it expands in a kid’s mind when you do something right. You get more credit than you deserve.

– I’m curious a time when you look back on your parenting, you’re like, eh.

– We found out later some of the stuff you guys did in high school that we didn’t know. So apparently letting you go to some of these parties with your friends we trusted was a really bad idea. We didn’t know this at the time. We thought they were nice little kids but what they were was like little Eddie Haskell they were running around with. If you don’t who that is–

– Who’s Eddie Haskell?

– That’s the guy who fakes it on Leave It to Beaver. He’s the kid who acts like he’s, he acts like he’s, yes Mrs. Cleaver. She had some of those running around but they were little party animals and misled my angel children.

– It’s all their fault.

– Yeah right. But anyway, so that apparently, we shouldn’t have let you go to some of those parties. The one time I remember was just funny. We’ll throw your sister under the bus. One of the first times we ever left her, your older sister to babysit the other two, and we thought she was ready. She had actually babysat other people’s kids, so we thought well, we’re gonna go out to eat, I’m not paying anybody, put this kid in charge. We get a call from drama here about halfway through the meal and apparently the natives are restless back at the house, there’s been a mutiny on the bounty, there’s been an uprising, a revolution has occurred in the Ramsey household, ’cause apparently my oldest daughter decided not only was she in charge but they all had to do exactly, to the penny, what she wanted them to do.

– And she took the wooden spoon out ’cause she was gonna–

– She was gonna whip ’em.

– She’s gonna discipline us! And I do remember that.

– Yeah, so we had to come home and–

– We came out screaming, we were like, mom, dad!

– Take the drill sergeant out of control of the other drama children. It didn’t work at all, it was bad.

– That’s so true, that’s so funny.

– Not ready for primetime.

– That’s a good one, that’s so good. So one of my favorite segments we do on the show is called Real Life with Rachel, so I thought you’d join me for this, Real Life with Rachel. I was thinking of Real Life with Rachel of moments and memories with you where I was like, oh yeah this was so fun and so great. I have a couple in my mind. But overall one of my favorite themes that you plugged into our childhood is anytime there was an immediate danger or something like really bad was about to happen, dad would look at us be like, it’s okay guys, it’s a dad adventure. Like we got four flat tires on the interstate, don’t worry it’s a dad adventure. The lake, this is the one that probably is the most scarring to me. We went out on the boats and we were like, I don’t know how old were we? Young?

– Daniel was asleep in a carrier up onto the front.

– Oh dear goodness. Horrible, horrible. We’re on the boat and this huge storm over, you see it, and it’s likeand it’s coming, Dave’s like, yeah, do ski a few more rounds guys, the lightening is not here yet. So we’re like, and it’s like literally on us, and you’re like, okay get in the boat, get in the boat! You start driving, I mean it feels like it’s a hurricane in this lake. We’re in the middle of the lake, it’s just lightening and thunder and the thing that scared me the most is, you looked at us and you’re like, put on your life jackets, ’cause at that point I think we could all swim, and we didn’t always wear the life jackets in the boat, don’t get mad at us but we didn’t. You’re like put on the life jackets and I was like, oh my god we’re gonna die. And we had to go under ’cause the rain hits you so fast when you’re driving fast on a boat, like little needles, and finally you had to pull off, okay you take it from here, ’cause I think I blacked out after this. It was so horrible. You had to pull the boat over and we had to get out, remember that?

– So it was raining.

– No it was a storm! It was a really bad storm.

– I think it lightening twice and so, lightening on the lake is dangerous so you don’t sit in the middle of the lake when it’s lightening. We just pulled over to the side while it was raining. But it was apparently a big deal. So yeah, we just pulled up on the side, stood out in the rain, held the boat–

– No with a rope and it’s like, and mom has to take us up.

– There were waves, because there was wind.

– Yes and mom had to take us up in the woods, and I remember I looked over and you were like, and we were crying, I mean it was like really scary. I remember you were just like, it’s okay guys! It’s a dad adventure! We’re like oh my gosh.

– It’s like a John Candy movie.

– So, if scary things happen to your kids, just don’t freak out, just say it’s an adventure, and then it’ll be great.

– Like the time we were skiing and you climbed up on your cousin’s shoulders and you fell off?

– Yes, another dad adventure. I ended up in a hospital.

– She didn’t handle the skis. I don’t how you can fall off of somebody’s shoulders and still go straight down–

– I didn’t fall off. He fell and then I fell.

– And hit the ski, yeah, she fell. And hit her hip–

– He fell.

– Right on the skis, of course, five staples in the head or whatever–

– Ended up in the hospital.

– And her mother’s mad at me, it was my fault she fell. I don’t know, it’s a dad adventure.

– Oh dad adventures. Good memories and scarring all at the same time. But we’ve got a great show coming up today. I reached out to my Facebook Community for some questions about raising kids that my friend Meg Meeker will answer, but first since I just had my second baby, little Caroline, I know there’s things around the house that when they’re babies that you really don’t need. Let’s be honest, like, did we ever have a wipe warmer?

– A what?

– Okay exactly. So there are things that you don’t need. Let’s head over to my house ’cause I want to give you four practical things that you need when you have a baby, and four things that are just a waste of money. All right, like I said before, there are a lot of things that new mothers can waste their money on. We’re gonna talk about four things new moms, you really don’t need. This is gonna be kinda controversial but I’m excited about it! So comment below on things that you’re like, Rachel, you are so wrong, ’cause I’m okay, I can take it. I think you do not need a wipe warmer. Listen, that baby is gonna okay if their little wipes are not warm, okay? Now if you get this at a baby shower and you love it, and you wanna keep it then it’s fine, whatever. Just don’t go buy one, you really do not need a wipe warmer. You also don’t need a Diaper Genie. My sister’s like yelling at me right now. I can feel it, she’s like Rachel I love my Diaper Genie! Listen, I know people love ’em, if you love it, whatever, it’s great, you just really don’t need one. ‘Cause especially in the newborn stage, their poop and pee it doesn’t smell. Throw it in a public’s plastic grocery bag, take it out everyday, and it’s fine. You don’t need the Diaper Genie. You also don’t need expensive baby clothes. Your baby is gonna grow out of that outfit, like right now, like it’s already grown out of whatever outfit you’ve put it in. It goes so fast, it’s crazy, time flies, they grow quickly. You don’t need to waste money on expensive clothes. You also don’t need to waste money on baby shoes. Listen, some people love a good pair of shoes for their baby and that’s fine if that’s your thing, go girl. But you don’t need it because your child, your baby, is not walking. They don’t need shoes. It’s like one of those weird quirks that I feel like people have when they look at other people’s babies. They don’t judge but they’re like oh I do that differently. Mine is baby shoes. I see these like three day olds with Nike’s on and I’m like, that three day old baby does not need a pair of Nike’s on them. Give them a little pair of socks and they’re gonna be okay. Now there are some things that you do need, and here are the four things that I love the most. Number one, a sleep sack. Man, this thing saved us so many nights. When your baby is born, they’re coming out of a womb, where they’re all like snug and all this, and they come out in the world and they’re like, I don’t know what to do with my hands. So what you do is you wrap them up in this thing at night and it keeps them all snug, I swear it, they sleep so well when they’re all snug. The first week you can do like one of those cute swaddle blankets. After a week that baby’s busting out of that blanket and you need Velcro, which is what we got here. So a sleep sac is great. This is like around 20 bucks. I actually opted and bought one a little bit more expensive as well from Pottery Barn Kids, ’cause I always like my favorite, I loved the one from Pottery Barn, it worked the best. Also a Rock ‘n Play. This thing saved us as well because when you’re an infant, baby when they’re sleeping they’re not moving around. So when you go over to a friend’s house or you’re maybe out of town, instead of taking the big Pack ‘n Play that you probably got which I love too, but you don’t need that in the infant stage. This thing you just set ’em right in, they sleep all snug in it and it’s great. I can even remember with Amelia, she was like three weeks old or something and got a cold, so we were in the doctor’s office like everyday for a week. We were like what do we do, what do we do? And I do remember my pediatrician said, well if you have a Rock ‘n Play, you can put her in that and it rocks so you can kind of tilt it up, and put some stuff under it so that way she kinda sleeps at an angle. And that was great for us too. Rock ‘n Play, love, again, around 50 bucks depending on what kind you get. Also Aquaphor. The mother of all goodness. I love Aquaphor. This heals diaper rash, if they have a little dry spot on their skin you can put that on there, and even as a mom and your lips are chapped from that humidifier you have going in the nursery, you justit’s great, it’s fantastic. Depending on the size, I mean this was like 10 bucks or something depending on what size you get. Amazon some Aquaphor if you haven’t already, new moms, it’s the best. And also the most important thing that you need to take care of in the infant stage is having term life insurance. With all the things new parents have going on, it’s not usually something most people think about needing but it is so important. Even if you’re just thinking about starting a family. It isn’t something only parents who work outside the home need, and if one parent stays home, you need to make sure you have life insurance for both parents. In fact salary.com estimates if a typical stay-at-home mom actually got paid for the work she did around the house for her family, she would paid over a hundred thousand dollars. A hundred thousand dollars, yeah. Now that depends on where you live and how many kids you have but let’s be honest, stay-at-home parents do a lot for their families too. Bottom line, if you have a family, you need to make sure your loved ones are protected. Winston and I personally love working with Zander Insurance and can tell you they’re totally in our corner. They help shop the best rates and make sure we’re getting the right amount of coverage our family needs. So go to zander.com or click the link in the description below to get started on a quote today. As always you can find out more on my website, under Rachel Recommends. I hope some of you new parents found that stuff helpful and remember the stuff you don’t need, don’t buy it. It is a waste of money. I’m here with pediatrician, mother and grandmother,

– Yes.

– Grandmother.

– Grandmother, five grand babies.

– Five grand babies, Dr. Meg Meeker. She’s one of my favorite people in the world. Meg has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for over 30 years. She’s the author of six books. Meg, thank you so much for being here.

– Thanks for having me Rachel.

– This is so fun, and your book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, I have to say, Winston and I are like obsessed. And I’m not a father obviously but it is so good.

– But it’s a book for moms too because it talks about a woman’s heart, a girl’s heart, a daughter’s heart.

– Oh it’s so good. So I went out to our Facebook Community and asked them hey guys give me questions for Dr. Meg Meeker ’cause you’re gonna be here, so we’re gonna go to those questions. Britni asks, how do you raise only one child when there is no village? Small family, no cousins around his age, not a lot of help in terms of babysitting and giving parents a break.

– I think that it’s really important particularly if you have one child to go out and make an effort at making two or three really good close girlfriends and then help each other out. Because inevitably something tough is gonna happen that you’re gonna need to deal with. Your kids are gonna get sick, you’re gonna have, a situation.

– So good, and I found even like with my friends, some of them even have kids older than mine. Like they’re in different season even but I still can be like am I crazy? And in common situation like, you’re not crazy, it’s normal, it’s kind of like your sanity goes down.

– And you have to have women friends to do that. You really do because it’s hard to go to your husband and say am I crazy? You don’t want to ask that.

– He may be like yes.

– My girlfriends and I used to have something called the mom squad and there were four of us, and we all got to know each other’s kids really well. We decided that we were gonna have some rules on household, movies, dating, different kinds of things.

– You all agreed on?

– We all agreed on and we were gonna support each other and it really helped my kids, they told me later in life, to know there were other adults who thought the same way and had the same rules and didn’t want their kids playing video games hour after hour after hour. I wasn’t just the only strict kind of crazy mom.

– Especially Britni, when she says I don’t have a village, we just start it so soon too even with toddlers because of that kind of thing just escalates and magnifies as it goes on which I love. Speaking of toddlers, question for you, selfishly, since I have a toddler, that one of the downfalls that I do and I know I shouldn’t do it but some days I get home from work and she’s like, I want to watch Princess Sofia or whatever the thing is, and I’m like okay watch one episode for 24 minutes, I’ll finish checking email and then we’re gonna be done. But I’m just exhausted and sometimes it’s kind of a relief, which I hate and so we really try to minimize screen time, but my question for you is, as a pediatrician what’s the appropriate amount of screen time for a child?

– Right, well first of all I wouldn’t beat yourself up. You’re trying to survive.

– Yes I am Meg.

– Please. And I think that if you’re kind to yourself, you know sometimes we treat ourselves far worse than we would ever treat another human being. First half hour I’m home, I need to transition and the best way for me to transition is to check my emails or whatever. I’m gonna give myself a half hour. And during that half hour it’s perfectly fine to let my daughter watch some shows that I approve of. And then when it’s done then we move on to the next thing. Figure out what works best for you. For a toddler, absolutely no more than an hour a day.

– That’s good, that’s so good. So an hour a day, toddlers, moms out there, it’s huge. Okay so moving on to more middle school aged kids, Kirstin asks, how do you get siblings to stop fighting with each other?

– Kirstin, if you figure it out, write in. You know, siblings are naturally competitive with one another. While we all want to think our children are born with angelic hearts and would never think of mean thought, or want to eat anything with sugar in it, well that’s just not true. Kids can be mean and kids can be mean to their siblings, because they know their siblings can’t go anywhere. So this is what I recommend doing. Rather than saying no to your kids all day long, pick one behavior that each child does that’s most offensive to the other kids. You sit the child down and say you know I’ve noticed with your sister, this is what you’re doing a lot, and it’s a bad habit so I’m gonna help you break the habit. Here’s how I’m gonna help you train yourself to break your habit because I’ve learned to break bad habits ’cause I have bad habits too. So this is what we’re gonna do and then you come up with a reward system. Every day you go by without yelling at your sister or hitting your sister, I would give ’em a weeks worth, they have to do it for a whole week and then the reward at the end. The older the child, the longer you can delay the gratification. There’s nothing wrong with a reward system. Second way you can really interrupt that is play a game and have the kids at the dinner table say one nice thing about each person at the table.

– That’s good.

– And the most fun things come out of their mouths.

– I bet that’s like a good memory too.

– It’s a great memory and they giggle and they don’t want to do it and then they get mad. But you gotta do it, that’s what it’s gonna be. Keep it really simple and over the years, it works, it doesn’t work in a week, and it doesn’t work in a month.

– I think that’s such an important foundation even as an adult ’cause what you speak, even scripture talk about this. Your words, you’re talking about, I mean it’s a powerful weapon that can really do damage, so when you start to learn to speak kindly to people in general, as an adult, that habit that’s in you is so huge too.

– The way you talk affects the way you think, which affects your behavior. If kids grow up in a home where they never hear shut up or screaming, when they hear it they’re gonna stand back and go, I’m not used to that. And a lot of parents slip up and I hear a lot of parents speak very poorly to their kids. They let their temper run or they use foul language, and then they’re upset when their kids are doing it. Well you can’t do that.

– Jeni asks, how do you actually get your kids to do chores around the house? I have my thoughts Meg, I want your first though.

– I think the most important thing to do ’cause it can be very frustrating for mothers in particular, because kids when they don’t want to do their chores, they don’t want to do anything they want, they draw you into an argument. And most mothers take the bait. We start arguing with our kids on why they should be doing what we’re telling them to do. Never do that. When your child is drawing into an argument, don’t take the bait. Depersonalize it, say wait a minute, you know what, here’s the deal. I’m the one who makes the list of chores. If you do your chores, this is what you get. Your dad said, he gives you a percentage of your allowance or something?

– Not allowance but commission.

– Commission.

– Do the work, you pay.

– I’ve never heard of a parent who pays their kids commission. Dave Ramsey would. Only Dave. Only Dave would do that. And so you reward them well. At the same time if they don’t do their chores, the consequences are steep. This is where parents fall down, particularly moms. They don’t want to implement consequences and Rachel, mothers train kids how to treat them. We train people how to treat us.

– Amen.

– So if we’re being talked down to and our kids are criticizing us, we are accepting and we’re training that.

– Yeah and it’s a big thing ’cause I get parents asking me, especially with the chore stuff, so do I make my kids, ’cause we tell people, do the commission system if they work, they get paid, if they don’t work, they don’t get paid. So part of their consequence in not doing the chores, that they’re not getting paid, but over time parents say, well my kid’s not motivated by money, do I still make them do the chore? I think about Andy Andrews where he said you’re not just trying to raise good kids, you’re trying to raise kids to become good adults.

– [Meg] Exactly.

– And you make them brush their teeth, you make them do their homework, you make them work. And if they don’t after a while it is, and I say it’s disobedience and it’s true. They’re just clearly defying you and just because they get paid or not at that point money’s off the table. If it’s been like a week or two of this, I’m sorry kid, you’re just not listening to me.

– Kids need to know how to work and I talk about this in my discipline class. They need to know what self-control is about. Because you need self-control in every aspect of life in order to succeed, it’s work.

– The simple fact of they’re doing something they accomplish like even when they’re young, they learn to accomplish, so they have a goal they’re setting out, and it’s all in that rhythm so I think that’s so good.

– And kids, when they’re grown up, wear work and chores when they’re younger as a badge of honor. My parents made me do chores when I was eight, and my parents made me do chores when I was 12, and they puff up when they say it, it’s a badge of honor.

– Yeah that’s so good and if you parents out there need practical information on how to implement this with your kids, check out Financial Peace Jr. It’s a great tool that really helps with this whole thing we’re talking about with chores and working and all of it. Meg you have a ton of free info and content and everything, so tell us about that.

– Yeah, I really encourage people to go to megmeekermd.com/rachel. Because we are offering your audience 20% off my new Discipline with Courage and Kindness course which I love and we have a lot of other stuff that I’d really like to just give your listeners. Megmeekermd.com/rachel.

– Thank you so so much for coming in and guys make sure to check out that website for more information. You guys, was she not just amazing? Seriously one of the best people on earth, I love her. Okay now it is my favorite time of the show. She works hard saving money. Today I’m even more pumped because it’s a kid edition! Yes, you guys send in the things that your kids have saved up for and it’s just precious. I can’t wait for it to hear. Michelle said that her kids are saving up for a water park hotel weekend and she’s about halfway there. Jennifer said, my 16-year-old bought his first car and just bought a new iPhone. Dang Jen, bringing in the bank, amazing. Gina said, my 10-year-old daughter sold her American Girl doll, aw, and some other toys on eBay, but, she made a hundred and twenty three dollars and fifty cents! She spent about $25 of it but is saving the rest. Simone says that her kid is saving up for a slushy at Target. Aren’t we all? Christian’s kids saved up for big LEGO kits and a Barbie dreamhouse. You guys seriously, this is so much fun. I love getting these in, so don’t forget to post! Post your videos, your tweets, your pictures, all of it with the hashtag, she works hard saving money. And we like you guys too so men, you can post as well, but we kinda like the sheets to, you know, you know what I’m saying. All right this episode was so much fun. I loved talking with my dad, always a great time. I love that I was able to show you things that you really don’t need when you’re having a newborn, and some inexpensive things that you do need. Also Meg, just amazing as always, and I love that she really hones in on the parenting things that don’t cost a lot of money, right? It’s all about the time you spend with your kids, the discipline, all of the above, it’s so great. So to get started on raising good kids in a way that won’t break the bank, click the link in the description below. Also make sure that you tune in in two weeks for the next episode of The Rachel Cruze Show, where we’ll be talking about things that are normal, but they’re costing you. So you guys thanks again so much for watching this episode, and remember, to take control of your money, and create a life you love.