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Home Other Books I Am Not an ATM Machine; How Parents Can Regain Control of Their Lives While Still Loving Their Children

I Am Not an ATM Machine; How Parents Can Regain Control of Their Lives While Still Loving Their Children

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by Phil Clavel

Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: Vehicule Press; 1 edition (Sep 20 2006) ISBN-10: 1550652192 Price: $15.95

Some of you will recognize Clavel’s name as a Montrealer and the author of Dad Alone: How to Rebuild Your Life and Remain an Involved Father After Divorce. In I Am Not an ATM Machine, Clavel writes about how to instil in our children a real sense of financial responsibility. He also speaks of helping parents regain control of their own lives instead of giving constant handouts to their children and acting like an automatic teller machine (ATM).

Much of Clavel’s book is based on anecdotes, like the one where a mother always went to the ATM every time she needed cash, making her kids think that money grew there like magic. They did not associate the money that came from the ATM with any work or sacrifice and could only imagine new ways to spend it. This is a terrible and irresponsible attitude about money and yet that is how many young people think.

The subject is timely because youths are increasingly the target of marketing campaigns and they are being convinced that they “need” many things, from fancy running shoes to cell phones that are really only luxuries. Clavel gives common sense prescriptions for how do deal with demands for things like cell phones and iPods. Clavel writes about O.P.M., or “other people’s money” and how using it can be addictive, almost like opium with which it shares a phonetic resemblance. Many young people are also lingering around the home, often until their 30s, before moving out on their own and Clavel gives some prescriptions here, too. Clavel’s book teaches parents how to love their children and still be able to say “no” to them. It also advocates leading by example.

The book could be better written, but the message still comes shining through. I found that reading Clavel’s book increased my awareness of this important issue and strengthened my resolve to being able to do the right thing for my own kids. I highly recommend Clavel’s I Am Not an ATM Machine.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2011 22:50  


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