I’m thinking of going through the kids’ rooms this summer and tossing out every toy I haven’t seen them play with in the last three months.
Why would I do that to them? Easy. There is too much. We live in a society of too much. We measure our wealth and our happiness by how much we have vs. how much the neighbors have. Don’t tell me you have no clue what I’m talking about… it’s called, "Keeping up with the Jonses".
And we do it all the time when it comes to the kids. It starts out fairly innocent when they’re little. A new little toy here and there in the store, sometimes to pacify them (so you can get through the store peacefully) and sometimes because the extra money was there. At some point though, probably around three or four, they begin to expect it. Once they begin expecting a new toy or treat with every visit in the store, the pressure to keep that up (or risk the fit when they don’t get something) is tremendous.
My question is this: Why do we feel the need to give in and give them what they want? Are we satisfying some sort of need to have – maybe the things we didn’t have as kids? I got whatever I wanted from my grandmothers. I never wanted for anything… that’s because my parents couldn’t always get me everything I wanted. I sometimes think that if my grandmothers didn’t always get me what I wanted, I would never have known what I was missing.
Are we teaching them anything important when we give them what they want whenever they ask? I don’t think so.
My kids haven’t gotten anything new since Christmas. Unless it’s their birthday or Christmas , new toys aren’t bought anymore. I stopped doing that the moment they only wanted to go with me shopping with the expectation of walking out with something.
Along the lines of knowing when to stop giving in, I wonder if by constantly giving them what they want, they aren’t being taught to respect, or earn what they have.
That’s the part that really worries me. By giving in to our children, their every want and desire, we don’t teach them to VALUE anything. The "gimmees" only exasperate the lack of respect and really caring for what they have.
Are we going to continue to produce a future society of people who don’t value what they have or understand what it is to earn something? We want to teach our children to be proud but there is no pride in always having something given to you.