Excessive (and possibly selfish).
Originally posted 8/18/2012
As the ritual goes every year our kids and the hubby and I head to the local retail stores and outlets to pick up a few things for our kids to start the new school year with. My kids are given an idea of what price they can look for shoes in, how much they are allowed to spend on jeans and tops, and how much we will allow them for extras.
My mother operated along the same guide lines, which is probably why I also do the same thing with our children. I realized at an early age that she was teaching me fiscal responsibility, as well as the fact that my life did not revolve around it (money) nor did it grow on trees.
I remember wanting the $80 tennis shoes, $45 dollar sandals, $75 jeans and all those things that we think we need as teenagers…and for some of us, as adults. I knew that price wise they were out of my reach. I learned that I didn’t need expensive things to make me feel good or valuable. I am trying to teach my childen the same thing.
The society we live in makes the task of showing your children their self-worth in love and intangible things very hard. It seemed when my kids were young it wasn’t too bad. But as they entered middle school it became more and more apparent.
I understand the concept of wanting to get your kid nice things, and to provide well for them, but at what cost? This time the “cost” is not monetary. If you don’t like your toes stepped on and have no intention on reflecting on how you can be part of the village instead of the masses”, then please stop reading here and go on about your shopping. If you on the other hand are tired of trying to fight against what the “masses” tell your child they should have, then please stay with me. However be warned… We are all guilty of being excessive parents, some more than others, but if you care maybe we work together to move into a society that stops blaming others and starts working together as a “village” to make this world a better and more respectful place.
Let me start here. If you are buying your young child $30 shoes, jeans, and shirts then do not expect them at an older age to think they should get anything less. (just so you know, those $30 jeans as they get older and bigger will became $50 and $60 jeans) I am dumb founded at the amount of high priced specialty shops for our children that are popping up everywhere. This is a PROBLEM!!!! I could speak for hours, or in this case, pages on this subject alone. I will spare you and move on.
If you have a child that is under 10 and they have anything that they can carry in their hand that is over $100, you are fooling yourself if you think you are in anyway doing your child a favor. If your child is less than 12 or 13 and has a FB page an iphone or cell phone you are creating a future problem for yourself.
If you have a child that has a smart phone with those features enabled on their phone, you are in essence letting them walk around with the world at their fingertips 24 hours a day 7 days a week with little to no monitoring. This includes the ugly bad stuff. If you require them to use their computer in the living room in full view of you then WHY in the world would you allow them a smart phone, or itouch?
I know people who buy their kid $1000 of dollars worth of electronic equipment thinking they are doing something good for their kid when it is quite the opposite. Parents who buy children under 11, 12, 13 year olds, Itouches, $200 mp3 players, cell phones, electronic book readers, I Pads for crying out loud, are setting the bar high for their teenage years.
NOW I’m stepping on toes. Im gonna be the bad guy here…. These are the same kids who have no problem telling their parents to shut-up…. They tell them No emphatically… they throw crazy fits when they don’t get their way, and … GASP! are disrespectful to other adults.
I am tired of watching children be disrespectful to not only their own parents but to others around them. It starts with being excessive parents. Please for all our sanity’s sake, tell your kids no, smack them if they are disrespectful (even in public), buy AGE APPROPRIATE gifts or toys for them, and don’t take offense if someone gets onto them for getting out of line.
We as a nation we are excessive in defending our children, in buying things for them, and in loving them so much we forget how to use good judgment in trying to parent them.
Our goal should be to provide all needs… a few appropriate wants, and to teach our children to be an asset to society. We get caught up in wanting to be cool, be their friend, and THEN their parent. We have and are single handedly creating a new society of people who feel like they are owed something, because we are SO excessive.
I encourage you as the new school year starts, to set budgets, to set rules and guide lines, and to ENFORCE them. If you need another parent to back you up… your welcome to message me. I have no problem telling your child that they need to apologize to you for being a snot. And really…neither should you.
*** As an after thought, I end this thinking of friends of mine from church who have a fantastic balance in raising their kids. They live in a nice home, drive nice cars, (although not excessive) their kids are dressed in nice age appropriate clothes and have age appropriate toys. What I admire most about her is when she says something she means it. She doesn’t care if another parent thinks she is being mean. If her kids have done something they shouldn’t she gets onto them discreetly but firmly and she does it RIGHT THEN. These are kids I have hope for. Kids who I believe will be the ones standing out from the crowd. The ones who will work hard because they know that’s what they SHOULD do, not what they HAVE to do. They will be respectful even if they can’t stand the person they are around. They will be what all our children should be if we choose to stop living in excess personally and as parents.