I Put Money in a 'Therapy Jar' Every Time I Do Something to 'Screw Up' My Kids

Mom Moment 11

money jarBetter put another five bucks in her therapy jar is a common phrase in our house. It refers to any time we do something to our children that might come out on a counselor’s couch in a decade or so. “My mother forced me to eat green vegetables, and now I have nightmares of Brussels sprouts chasing me through the streets,” they might say.

It’s pretty much another way of saying, “Get over it.”

We try our best to make good parenting decisions, but wonder who our kids will be when they grow up, and the part we will have played in that. The good news is that researchers say that outside of an abusive environment, it’s pretty hard to mess up a kid. Feed, water, and hug them, and they’re pretty much good to go. That provides some peace of mind, but still there’s that occasional nagging question of, "Am I doing the right thing?"

Rather than dwell on that question too much, I just metaphorically add a few bucks to their therapy jar and figure that if they need it someday during adolescence, I’ll gladly pay for it. Here are some of the things that I hope won’t put my kids in therapy someday, because after all this childrearing, I’d prefer to spend the money on a vacation to Fiji.

Posting potentially embarrassing photos online. Can I help it if I think your meltdowns are adorable? Or your squishy baby thighs? Or when you laugh at inappropriate things?

Making them do something ‘evil’ like eat broccoli. They’ll obviously grow up with a fear of veggies and become obese and diabetic as adults. It will all be traced back to the force-feeding that occurred at the dining room table as a kid.

Holding their hands in public. This one obviously is the cause of future codependency. I mean, if they aren’t trusted not to run into traffic at age 5, how will they ever be independent at 25?

Refusing to buy popular and expensive, trendy toys/clothes/electronics. Yeah, I really don’t care if Jimmy has an iPad 3. Jimmy’s daddy is a patent attorney and Jimmy is a spoiled brat. You can tell your therapist someday about how I denied you the ‘simple’ pleasures of childhood.

Licking a finger to wipe their faces. They’ll probably never be able to have normal sex. Or they’ll become a germaphobe. But definitely one or the other.

Taking them to church -- even though it’s boring. Is it possible for children to attend boring family-style worship services and still grow up to love Jesus? I guess we’re going to find out ...

Making them perform for family and friends. Hey kid! Those voice lessons were expensive. Now put your mouth where my money is. Hmm. Actually, I can kind of see this one being legit if the parade is endless. Let the kid be a kid, people.

What kinds of things do you do to your kids that they might someday blame their problems on?

Image via © iStock.com/Nousha



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Bruic... Bruickson

Lol love this!

we2an... we2angels

This is hilarious!!!

nonmember avatar Pamela

I actually *talk* to their friends. Mortifying.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

I actually make them do choirs. And read and do homework instead of spending all day at their friends.

jec72579 jec72579

Can you beliecve that I have the NERVE to limit my 12 year old's internet and TV time?  ~GASP~

nonmember avatar Todd Vrancic

And we actually forced our kids to take the discipline the teachers saw fit to give them instead of getting them out of it.

Christina Andi

i tell my daughter (she is four... and she has mean behavior at times) that if you are mean it makes you ugly on the inside and if you want to be just as pretty on the inside as you are on the outside you have to be nice

MamaK... MamaKarrot

Good for you Todd, I do the same thing to mine.  

My son and daughter also have to do homework and chores every day before play time after school.  Some days they hate me for it, but they'll thank me later when they're adults and know how to do their own laundry.


Kendsey Huffer

Oh wow!!  I am a step-mom to two great kids.  I have none of my own.  I love my step kids very much, bless their hearts, but let me tell you... I was 20, single and living life in the fast lane when I met their dad.  6 months later they moved in, ages 7 and 5.  I try my hardest to be the best parent I can be, but I am sure I have caused future therapy sessions!  I was laying in bed one morning, still in my customary "birthday suit" (although I have never gone to be naked since,) and my daughter came in.  She had a question and the answer to her question was no.  She proceded to argue with me till her face turned blue.  Finally, fuming mad, I jumped out from underneath my covers, quite clumsinly dragging my comforter and only form of clothing behind me.  She went racing down the hall and into her bedroom, which is where she should have been before my mad dash out of bed.  My son chose this moment to open his bedroom door to see what was going on.  He was witness to his sister running away from an entirely naked, furious me, dragging my entire set of bedclothes behind me.  He didn't say a word.  Only shut his door.  He was a very wise 6 year old!  I am certain this will come out on a therapists couch someday.

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