Ok, I am seriously calling myself out on this one! We have over-given to our kids, and now they expect it! Oh lord, what have we done?
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, we usually only got presents on our birthdays and Christmas, and maybe something little for Valentine’s Day. During summer vacation and school breaks, we rode our bikes, played tag, went to the baseball field or the pool, and went on one family vacation a year. My kids would surely die of boredom if they had to live through my childhood! I don’t remember being bored that often, although I am sure my mom would not agree.
Now, it seems like there is a gift giving holiday every other week, which means our kids expect something constantly! Don’t get me wrong, my kids are not bratty acting fit throwers when they don’t get want they want, they just haven’t had to “want” very often, because we have just freely given. Before Valentine’s Day this year, Cam mentioned that he really liked these Boston Celtic’s headphones. I looked at them on the internet, and they were $50. I told him that I thought they were really cool, and he should keep them in mind for his birthday (which is in May). He said he would and moved on. I immediately got online and ordered them for Valentine’s Day. The look on his face when we gave them to him on Valentine’s Day was priceless, he was so shocked that we bought them! My heart was full, I had gotten such gratification from the happiness that this ridiculously expensive gift brought him. Sounds pitiful, huh? I’m not saying that I always buy such expensive gifts, but I do tend to find a way to buy my children things that they want. Some of you may not behave this way, but I know many of you do. I have asked some of you why you think we do this, and the overwhelming response is that we all just want to give our kids what we didn’t have growing up, and we want them to be happy. Was what we had growing up really so bad? I doubt it.
Sometimes, I feel like all I do is run kids from here to there and everywhere! If there is a day off from school, it is expected that we should fill the day with kid-friendly activities, like trips to the mall, Chuck E. Cheese, Monkey Joe’s, or the movies. These places are fine, I guess, but seriously, enough already! I was talking to a friend/mom this morning whose kids complained yesterday because school was closed for Election Day, and she would not drive them all over Lexington. She asked me, “What ever happened to just being excited for a no-school day?” Good question! Have we overindulged our kids that much? What’s going to happen when our children become adults and people aren’t buying and doing for them all of the time? Will they have the skills to do for themselves? Will they be able to handle struggling a little, like I know we did during and after college? These are things our kids need to be able to cope with, and if we never tell them no, they will never learn the confidence and independence that they will need when they are on their own.
I am going to do a much better job going forward of teaching my kids to appreciate what they have, not to expect something all of the time, and to be content with just being home sometimes. I have to learn these things too, so it should be interesting!
When I started this blog a couple of weeks ago, I was on a quest to feed my family better. Doing that has forced me to take a closer look at other areas of my life, and now I am on a journey to raise my children to not only to eat healthy, but to live well. With two great kids, and a ridiculous awesome husband, it sure makes it worth it!
The lesson of appreciating instead of expecting was the idea of my friend, Amy. I am grateful to all of you who have given me inspiration to be the best parent I can, and are supporting me through my new blogging adventure! It has allowed me to share some of my thoughts with you, which is quite therapeutic, and it has allowed me to use my brain a little bit, which has been out of commission for far too long. I know that I said last week that my next topic would be manners, but I just couldn’t do it, it was far too boring….sorry;)