Monday June 22 | Parenting in a Recession

June 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 12 Comments

A panel of local moms who all write about their parenting experiences, join us to discuss parenting in a recession. We’ll talk about what families are doing for fun, education and more during difficult economic times. They’ll also share some tips about places to go, great things to do at home, and about a growing trend towards going “back to basics.” We’d also like to hear your ideas on parenting in the recession.


Jen Rothacker – Staff Writer, Charlotte Observer and
Kiran Dodeja Smith – Editor, Little Ones Magazine
Sara Behnke – Author, The Must-Have Mom Manual

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  1. As a mom of three kids, ages 10, 9 and 8, I’m looking forward to this show!

  2. I’m not meaning to sound spammy, but you should really mention Charlotte on the Cheap! I am a homeschooling mom, with 2 kids, and I own and write, and your topic is just what it’s about – finding ways to have fun without spending lots of money. Charlotte has so many free and cheap events going on, it’s unbelievable. I gather them up, blog about them, and put them in an events calendar on the website. Since I’m a mom, I am especially attuned to the family events. Take a look! Thanks!

  3. Some useful links:

    The 20 healthiest foods under a dollar are:
    Oats, eggs, kale, potatoes, apples, nuts, bananas, garbanzo beans, broccoli and watermelon.–1

    Top 10 Ways to Save Money in a Recession

    18 Top Tips for Buying Used Clothes
    Embracing the Thrift-Store Ethic

    Cut the Cable, then…
    Six Ways to Catch Your Favorite TV Shows
    Five Best Sites to Stream TV
    (Hulu, SurfTheChannel, SideReal, Straight from the Source, BBC iPlayer)

  4. I was born in the 70’s. Growing up I often missed out on what I _wanted_, but my parents made sure I had what I _needed_. I never went to summer camp, but I also never went hungry.

    This was good for me. I didn’t grow up thinking that “I want that” was a sufficient reason for me to get something. I made sure to take care of my needs first, something that many adults these days seem to have trouble comprehending.

  5. Mike, when my children were growing up in the 60s, they loved playing with a refrigerator box. They made all sorts of things with it, decorated it, and used it to play with. You’d be surprised how much fun seemingly insignificant things are.

  6. This summer is a great time to teach kids about money. I am the mother of three kids (15,13 and 11) and have been teaching them about money for fourteen years. Many of those lessons and opportunities can be found on KidsMoney Weblog at – we’d love to hear from others about how they teach kids about money. Justine Tobin

  7. I’m not sure if I can put this on here, but I have been doing a summer fun jar with my children for years. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I have decided to market my Summer Fun Rainbow Jar here in Charlotte this year. The jar has slips of paper inside with inexpensive things to do using items you have around the house. There are enough slips for five activities for each of the 12 weeks of summer. When you buy a jar, you can sign up for an e-mail list for free/low cost things to do here in Charlotte – one in June, one in July and one in August.

  8. HI. The one thing I have not seen or read is dealing with this issue when both parents are working. I don’t have the luxury, especially now, to take large chunks of time off, so I have to rely on summer camps as my child is not old enough to be home alone. Also, Girl Scout camp is a fantastic option and is much cheaper than many other camps.

  9. I took care of my niece for a month before school when she was 7. She often had extra time and frequently announced she was bored. In order to have time to shower/dress, I created a new system.

    I brainstormed a list of activities — read a book, write a poem, look out the window and count the birds, put on a cd and have a dance party, create a mobile, build a volcano,etc. Then I typed those up on slips of paper and put in a large envelope. In a separate box, I put all of the supplies she would need for the crafts and other activities. Rather than asking me what she could do, she could just pull a slip and figure it out herself.

    Obviously some ideas were more popular than others, and she did need some help with a few activities. But overall it worked well.

  10. This every moment scheduled, electronic, keeping up with the neighbors, what will others think, you can’t be ‘that mom’ view of childhood is part of what has gone wrong for some kids in America today.
    To grow and mature, I think children need loads of free time — time that can be spent running, swinging, building things, digging, rolling in the grass and going down to the creek (if they are lucky enough to have one close by like I did when I was a child). Childhood should be about imagination, play and experimentation. All these are the most powerful and healthy forms of learning, and the beauty of it is that they are free.My daughter had a friend spend the night last night and they are on the carport right now playing in the box that our new refrigerator came in.
    I think Charlotte Talks should schedule this topic again and get some people on the air who know how to be positive, mature engaged parents — not an example of American whining entitlement, upset because it has been denied something.

  11. As Eileen, I too had to work and thank goodness for summer camp. My kids learned early on what “we can’t afford it” means and they have fairly intact personalities as adults. “Parenting during a Recession” is no different that parenting any other time.

  12. Camp is what you make of it as well. I wish that I could be a more engaged parent during the day in the summer with my child, but I cannot. My mother worked as well as my dad, but my mother worked a different shift, so she could be home. Summer time in the early and mid 70’s meant I could run the neighborhood in the summer, but I always told my mother where I would generally be. We had the Sound at one end of the neighborhood and a swamp at the other end. Getting wet and dirty if I were wearing better clothes is what would get me in trouble. None of us, from the best swimmner to the worst swimmer ever had parents overly worried about us. We got scrapes, bumps and bruises, dirty shoes, and salty clothes, but we were able to use logic and judgement. Made us better adults in the long run. I also went to GS camp for several summers. My parents did not have a lot of money, but it helped me live a more independent life, especially when I went to college. Overnight camp is about independence, it is not just about living a “charmed” life. It was about new experiences, not keeping up with everyone else. I spent a lot of my life asking my parents for things that they told me I could not have because they could not afford it. We need to teach our children about money and its value. When we hide it, we are just hindering their future. Children will always say they are “bored” from time to time. They will also try to tell you when they feel over scheduled. Listen to the later more than the first. Life is daily about choices, some choices are just harder than others. Thanks.

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