Our Mum asks are we doing our children any favours by buying them everything
Who can honestly say that they don’t spoil their kids? Things have changed so much since we were young and sometimes it can seem that children get nearly everything they want. When I was young I didn’t get a lot of toys and unlike some of my friends I was not unfamiliar with hand-me-down clothes and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t always delighted with this.
Now with my own children, I want them to have what I didn’t and to make sure they fit in with all the other kids. Unfortunately kid’s follow so many trends that sometimes what is cool today might not be by next week. I recently got an earful from my youngest that she wanted loom bands, so we got them for her. Yes, she played with them for a while but now they are a thing of the past.
Perhaps I’m not preparing my children for realities of the real world, as they will grow up, like me, having to accept that they cannot have everything that they want. If only I could afford all that beautiful bag! I ask myself if I am doing the best for my children ensuring that they have all the latest toys and games? Am I just setting them up for a fall when they are older and realise that stuff is expensive? We as parents work incredibly hard for our children, in ways that they don’t necessarily realise. Mortgages to keep them in a cosy family home, electricity and heating to warm their little bums! The weekly shop can cost a fortune and kids don’t stop for a second to comprehend how much work Mammy and Daddy did to ensure they have what they need and want.
Is it ok for children to measure their happiness by the clothes they wear or the toys that they own? Is it a good life lesson for them not to understand value of money and how hard we have to work to get it?
I’m have started explaining to my children that yes, I would love to buy them this or that, but it takes time to save for them when there are bills to pay. I encourage them to put away their pocket money (they get it if they do their chores) and any other money relations give them from time to time. My youngest couldn’t believe that even though her piggy bank was full, it was not nearly enough for a game she wanted!
Then of course there is always the manipulation ‘Mummy we have been so good’ ‘we did everything you said’ It is easy to fall into that trap!
Our children are the most precious things in the world to us, however I am beginning to understand that material goods are not the best way to show our love for them. Of course buying them small things now and again is ok, but if you have a child that every week is looking for something new and you feel compelled to buy it, maybe don’t buy it this week and see what difference it makes.