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June 27, 2011

Summer Goals from the Mind of an Eleven-Year-Old

In the past few years as we have been thinking a lot about entitlement, we have realized that one of the greatest antidotes for entitlement is ownership. When kids create and then own their own goals (instead of always being prompted by their parents) it changes everything!  Every summer while our kids were growing up we had our kids earn their money by setting goals and accomplishing them.  This is not a system of bribery, it’s a system of rewards….and when they had to buy their own clothes and computer games and movie tickets this was a pretty good incentive to actually accomplish their goals.  That tradition has now carried on to the next generation. Read below our eleven-year-old grandson Ashton’s summer goals posted by his mother (our oldest daughter Saren) on her blog:

Summer Deals

Growing up, my parents did a great job helping us to come up with goals that we’d work on each summer and we’d make a “deal” regarding how much they’d pay us for successfully completing our goals.  This was a great way for us to use our extra time in the summer to earn money when we weren’t yet old enough for “real” jobs and when we needed to be motivated to be actively involved in worthwhile pursuits rather than expecting to be entertained.

Last night after the Entitlement Webinar with my parents, I promised to post one concrete example – my son Ashton’s “Summer Deal” that he’s working on to earn money to go with his cousins to DC and spend the 4th of July with his aunt there.

So below you’ll find Ashton’s “Summer Deal” (with Ashton’s permission – in fact he copy and pasted it into my blog for me).  You’ll see we had him come up with goals in several categories and that there’s daily or nearly-daily component that goes with most goals and an end-result goal that goes with most required repeated actions.  We did have to trade this “deal” back and forth a few times – telling him to up the ante a little so we could make a deal both parties felt was great.

After doing these goals for the full month of June, he’ll have earned $100 towards his plane ticket and with that plus the money he’s been saving all year and some money we said we’d kick in, he’ll be all set for a great trip with his cousins.  And he’ll really appreciate it because he really worked for it.

We have offered him the courtesy of a reminder to do his stuff quite a bit, but mostly he’s been very self-motivated since this is his deal that he made up and since it’ll take him a long way towards something he really wants to do.  He has a spreadsheet where he checks off each thing he did each day before going to bed at night.

For our younger kids, they’ve also made summer goals and deals but theirs simpler.


Reading (30 minutes/day 7 days/week. Read 6 books, 3 being award winners)
Math (20 minutes/day, problem solving, 5 days a week. Learn 4 new math concepts)
Writing (blog post 2 days/week and work on book 3 days and work on journal 2 days/week)

Scriptures (at least 10 verses/day, 5 days/week)
Prayer (5 times a day)
Memorization (at least one Article of Faith or scripture/week)

Play basketball (3 days a week, 15 minutes a day. By the end, be able to make 15/20 baskets)
Run or bike for 30 minutes, 2 times/week.

Skills & Talents
Play guitar for 20 minutes each day, 3 times per week. Be able to play two new songs by the end of June.
Piano – same as above
Helping others
Babysit for neighbors at least 2 times for free
Help Oliver and Silas learn something twice a week (Reading, math, technology, etc.)
Secret service, 2/week (make bed, clean room, give gift, etc.)

I can have one pass per week per category – that means I can forget some things once in a while and still make my deal.

June 16, 2011

Entitlement Attitudes

We are especially excited to catch you up to date on a CAUSE we hope you will join!

Polls show that the biggest worry of parents throughout the country and the world is the attitudes of ENTITLEMENT that their kids have.

Of course the irony is that it is often the parenting practices of we moms and dads that cause the entitlement attitudes in our children. But even if we are succeeding in teaching our kids the kind of work ethic and motivation they will need in life, they are surrounded by friends who have a sense of entitlement that can’t help rub off on our kids.


This is the question we have been working on for the past couple of years, and the result (and we believe the ANSWER) is our new book THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP: How to Rescue your Child with a New Family System of Choosing, Earning, and Ownership.

We believe this book contains the comprehensive instructions that not only spring kids from entitlement, but make them immune to it for life!

In fact, we are grandiose enough to say that, if America can be saved economically, it will have to be one family at a time, one child at a time, and this is the book that can help parents do it!


Here’s what to do:

1. Pre order copies of the book for yourself, for your children, for your friends and your family. You can save 33% by pre ordering, and can also get in on a free download and a free, exclusive webinar with us. (See details at –just click on the book! Also look at the blog at )
2. Forward or link this on to your friends and family. If we can get enough pre orders, the book will debut when released on the bestseller lists and that alone will get it into the hands of thousands more parents.

Thanks for being the parents that you are and for recognizing that “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”

Linda and Richard (signatures)
PS: One more (important) thing! If you preorder the book within the next few days, you can send your receipt (from Amazon or wherever you pre order) to and you will automatically get instructions on how to participate in a webinar with us on June 21 where we will give you the insiders view of how the book came about and what it recommends for parents like you!

June 15, 2011

Seven Cute Joy School Boys at Graduation

Congratulations to these darling Joy School boys at their graduation in Texas!  Special kudos to their terrific moms who must have had a wild and wonderful year with these cute guys.  We never cease to be amazed at the incredible job the Joy School moms (and sometimes dads) do every year!  We continue to meet you in our travels and always say, “Only the best moms do Joy School”!  It does take extra time and effort to prepare and clean up as those who do it know so well. When I was teaching I always felt breathless just before we started, and often found myself thinking, “I don’t really have time to do this!”  But as those adorable children waved goodbye I always realized that it was the best thing I’d done all week.



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