How To Manage Your Kid's Unrealistic Expectations
With the rise in social media use among youths, kids are more able to access information than ever before. Like it or loathe it, the internet is a part of daily life for young people in Ireland and the world today.
However, as great as the internet is, there is a downside, and we don't just mean in terms of security issues. What we mean is the expectation that kids have in terms of what they expect from their parents.
You see, a lot of things are seen online and some of these become things your child wants. That’s where the issues start!
It is fair to say the children themselves don’t realise that everything they want is expensive or not realistic. However, this doesn’t stop kids hoping to get everything they see on the internet.
The internet is packed full of pictures of bedrooms that are perfect, kids that have every toy imaginable and houses that are huge and full of the best things.
Therefore, your kids want these things and they have access to a library of these photos every single day. On the other hand, when we were young, we didn’t know what others had so we didn’t care.
Now even if your kid isn’t friends with certain people, they can see their bedrooms, their cool stuff and items that are expensive.
Kids will want the perfect birthday parties after looking them up online and that may not be feasible from a financial point of view. So how do we handle these expectations knowing that it is never going away?
Well, talking to your child helps, reminding them that they are lucky to have what they have. You should teach your child to be grateful and ensure they say thank you for things they do receive.
As a parent, you want your child to have everything you can get them, but this isn’t the best way forward - not having “everything” isn’t going to do them any harm. It is just parental pressure and parents need to avoid being dragged into it.
It is probably a good idea to tell your child about the realities and how others can have things they don't and vice versa.
For example, if your child is following someone on YouTube, they may ask for things the influencer has but the reality, in most cases, is that these people get stuff free to advertise on their platforms.
They are lucky and they work hard to achieve that level of status, but your kid needs to know that is why they have such cool stuff.
They work for that and they run a business. Be honest with your child and never get yourself into debt trying to get your child the next big thing as the reality is, they’ll want something else next week and the week after!
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.