Now before you jump the gun, maybe our definition of spoiled is two completely different things. In fact there are different ways of looking at being spoiled, a couple being; a spoiled brat which needs no further explanation and spoiled financially. At this point you may still be saying, “That’s not me or this post isn’t about me” in which I implore you to go into the child’s room (if you even have to do this) and take a look at the amount of items are there that are just sitting in place and I bet at this very time you can easily think of something he/she wants to be using right now that you don’t have. I bring this situation up to paint a picture of how drastic our parenting skills have changed since I was a child (I’m 36 as of writing this). I’m also not saying I disagree with a parent buying a child something nice or to play with, just maybe that they evaluate why they are buying it and does the reward (because that’s what it is) fit the actual point in the process?
If I think back to my childhood right up to the point I started to work as well as any of my average statistical friends, we received things at set times throughout the year. Birthdays, Grading/Grad, Christmas and other holidays you may get something small at times like Easter or some other religious event as it may just be a traditional family thing but otherwise it was kept to these times specifically. Going to the store, no matter which store, I can remember asking for something such as toys treats etc., but 99.9% of the time was told (usually by my mother) “This isn’t Christmas!” and she was absolutely right, it wasn’t. I was able to answer that with “yes it is” once in my life, when we had to be in the mall to pick something up on Christmas Eve, to which I can still feel the burning eyes…lol. I know now that I was spoiled as a child too, but it was spoiled with love and encouragement. Instead of being given things to play with, I was “played with”.
I write this after walking out of my own child’s room discovering that my child is financially spoiled and believe me, I can think of better ways that money could be spent on her. Do we want to be down the road in life on a road that we travel extremely fast and realize that just a portion of it would have been a great down payment towards schooling or a hand up on a much needed item? I know I don’t want to be in that spot…
In all of this, luckily we have been able to keep the “Brat” issue out of the picture or at the very least to a minimum. She is 7 and has her moments, but not like I have seen from some other people’s children and we can really only consider it to be choosing not to let her get away with things we don’t feel is right. Going through everything she owns we have made three piles, The Keep, The Sell and The Donate in which funds will be put in her bank account to grow and the next time I feel the need to buy something unnecessary I’ll place the value of it in her account for 24 hours and see after that if it indeed is a necessity or just a whim like most are. I ask you to take a moment and go to your child(s) room and do what I have done and honestly tell me what you think and what changes will you make from here?
I know our kids have more than they need, but we try to keep things in check. They definitely don’t get everything they ask for, and when gift giving occasions are approaching we head to the bedroom to do a clean out and choose toys to donate.
I struggled for a while with saying “no” to requests. If he wanted, say, a new video game, and we could afford it, then why not get it for him? But really, he has enough video games and toys. He doesn’t need more. By always saying yes, “spoiled” is definitely what he’d become. I prefer for him to learn about earning our “Stuff,” as well as learning that we can’t always get everything we want for a variety of reasons in life!
I absolutely 100% agree with you. Children do need to play and be played with by their parents, and need to be encouraged more to play the old fashioned way rather than have the world at their fingertips, or at least guided into productive, skill building hobbies or sports. It can be very difficult to say no, almost painful even. You’ve inspired me to say more often, “We/You don’t need that.”
I also like the idea you suggest, of putting the cost of the item in their bank account for 24 hours.
With 3 girls we try our hardest not to ‘spoil’ them. Often times they hear.. put it on your birthday list… but then sometimes if they have been really good or helped out a lot I will get them a treat or have them pay half of the toy they want while I pay the other.
It’s tough and earning it is a far better way to go for sure Deborah.
Thanks Candy! Believe me it’s tough. .. I look at my little girls eyes and just want to cave and I have a lot but I’ve had to change my ways so she understands. I use the 24 hour rule even with things for ourselves so that we don’t purchase things on impulse and regret it. Buyers remorse happens usually within the first 24 hrs of a purchase I know as I’ve been there. This way after 24 hours if it’s still a factor then we move on it. If it’s gone well then we never had it before we can wait for another right? ☺
I know Aimee and that’s exactly what we were doing and not that it’s a bad thing just that after awhile we noticed our child thinking that if they were good like they should be anyway that they would be getting something. What I didn’t like was that when she didn’t get it, did she thing she was either bad or didn’t do enough? We kind of had to change our way of doing things…
I’ve become the “mean” parent in this scenario and put a ban on the purchase of all new toys, games, etc. If it isn’t a necessity it isn’t coming into our homes. Reward is time out with the family doing something versus buying something, such as go karts, going to movies or random adventures to random places for ice cream and park.
I got sick of the clutter and messes of things they just didn’t need! Birthdays, Christmas. That is it. The only items I will willingly buy are things that can be used in many ways. Paper, crayons, craft anything! Beyond that, nope. Not happening!
Got sick of the waste! No toy will keep the joy as long as the memory of doing something down right awesome together as a fam 🙂
Great post. Certainly got me thinking. I still find it entertaining my boys tend to enjoy and have fun with the little things, sometimes the box or package, bubble wrap or bubbles.
Really like the idea of setting aside the money.
I love it Christine! Exactly what I was thinking when I was writing and how we were brought up. We appreciate things more due to that.
Yes!! Agreed our daughter is the same way. Boxes, bubble wrap anything lol
My kids are spoiled rotten. Not my choice.
My husband (an only child) wants to them to have everything. And my mother in law treats every occasion as Christmas… And Christmas is so overboard it takes me 4 months to find places for everything she gives them. I have a yard sale annually and most of it goes to the sale, just so we can walk into their bedrooms.
I hate it. I wanted my children to respect their belongings. But they have become so disposable, due to the abundance of items, they don’t understand how to treat things to last. It’s very frustrating I me.
I too am the mean parent. But my kids have a pushover in out family, who buys them every passing “want”, that crosses their mind.