My 12 yr-old son: “Mom, can I upgrade to an iPhone?”
Me: “Umm…Son, do I even have an iPhone?”
My son: ”Well, All my friends have one.”
Me: [mean mama stare down]
My son: “Never mind…”
or this for instance,
My 5 yr-old daughter: “Mommy, can I have a faster Barbie JEEP?”
Me: “Why? What’s wrong with the one you have now?”
Daughter: “Sophia’s and Nathan’s cars go faster than mine and I wanna go fast in my car, too.”
Me: “Baby, your JEEP rides at that speed so that people can see the pretty princess that’s driving it. If you speed pass them, they won’t get a glimpse of your beauty.”
Daughter: “I still wanna go fast!’ (pouts, huffs and walks away)
Now, my children are blessed with their own rooms, an abundance of toys, electronics, and the leisure of knowing that they will have good, healthy food to eat and a fairly decent roof over their head. YET…they feel like what they have is not enough. I set out to raise my [first-born] son to be humble and learn the art of earning. Somehow, when you are in a blended family like ours, things get kind of in the grey area and I guess having two sets of parents has its benefits.
I don’t mind spoiling my kids, as long as we spoil them with time, attention, love, and affection — as we should. I love spending time with my kids and one day I will miss the prolonged nightly “tuck-in talks” and the stalling before going to bed in order to stay up and spend more time with Mommy/Daddy. I know these days are numbered. This is what I think they should have an overabundance of, not “stuff and fluff”. So why give it to them? Well, don’t we all work hard so they can have nice things, go to good schools, so that they can be successful and go to better schools to get good degrees and have great careers to have a wonderful life with good “stuff”?!?!
But, what do you do when what you’ve sacrificed to get for your children slaps you in the face as ‘not enough’? I preach to them that they are blessed and not everyone has what they have. And I have thought countless times just not to provide “things” for them, because they can’t miss or measure what they never had. That doesn’t work unless you’re doing rural homeschooling. Becuase as soon as they walk outside or go to school or turn on that God forsaken TV, its a wrap! So…what do you do? Where is the happy medium of balancing and giving your kids nice things while teaching the virtue of gratitude?
While I have no answers, I am full of questions. How does the madness stop? How much is too much? Until I figure it out, or at least what works for me and my brood, I will just continue to keep my “Mother of the Year Award” (insert sarcasm) and keep on keeping on with my semi-old fashioned values and teachings of hard work pays off, save your allowance and earn it!
And if you see my son with an iPhone — its my husband’s! If you happen to see The Princess speeding pass you in a Barbie JEEP, its the neighbors!
Keeping it Smart & Sassy (KISS),