How much stuff does a child really need? When did kids start accumulating so much?
Do we as parents buy them too much? Do the kids expect too much? Is there too much pressure on parents these days to “keep up with the Joneses ” when it comes to their kids versus what other kids have? One of the greatest things about children is that they have the ability to entertain themselves for long periods of time with somethings as simple as a cardboard box, a container, or a set of measuring spoons. It makes you wonder why we feel the need to buy them so many toys that they won’t even have time to play with them all before they grow out of them.
Why Children Are Spoiled:
- Wealth: America has become a wealthy country, and now, with more disposable income than ever before, parents can hire nannies, cleaners and gardeners. “Necessity is the mother of invention, and there is less of a necessity for kids to contribute to families,” he says.
- Overindulgence: Parents want to give their kids all the things they didn’t have when they grew up. “They mistakenly believe that those things they lacked were things like $100 pairs of sneakers.”
- Workaholic society: Many workaholic parents feel guilty and end up giving their children gifts instead of giving them their time.
- Bad marriages: Not all parents get enough love from their spouse, so the child becomes their principal source of affection. “They spoil the child in order to buy their love—love upon which they have become unnaturally dependent.”
- Exhaustion: When parents work hard and stay up way too late, they lack the energy to really discipline their kids and find it easier to give in to their children’s wants, he says.
- Friendship over parenting: Some parents want to be best friends with their children. They create a false sense of equality with their kids when what they really need is a parent. “Equality means that they have no right to boss their children around.
Do we buy our children things thinking it might make them happier as our lifestyles now are so much busier than 30 odd years ago. “How can we take back our kids, restoring respect, excellence, civility, and decent values, not to mention self-esteem? Of course, you may be wondering how to resist those pretty eyes and that sweet smile when your little one begs for the expensive dress or the pricey toy that other kids have. It really boils down to whether or not your budget can support it, and whether you want to take this opportunity to teach a value lesson. Moments like these are perfect opportunities to teach your children about values, decision making, money management, and saving.
Your primary job as a parent is to prepare your child for how the world really works. In the real world, you don’t always get what you want. You will be better able to deal with that as an adult if you’ve experienced it as a child.
Don’t let your guilt get in the way of your parenting. “Your job as a parent is not to make yourself feel good by giving the child everything that makes you feel good when you give it,” Dr. Phil tells one mom. Your job as a parent is to prepare your child to succeed in school and when they get out into the world. “Kids have to be socialized in a way that they understand you work hard for what you get.” You don’t want to teach your child that they will get everything through manipulation, pouting, crying, door slamming and guilt induction.
Make sure your children aren’t defining their happiness and their status in the world as a function of what they wear or drive. Sit down with them and have a one-on-one conversation about what really defines their worth ” their intelligence, their creativity, their caring, their giving, their work ethic, etc.” If you spent equal time sitting down and talking to them about what really mattered as you do shopping, you might be able counterbalance the countless images they see telling them otherwise.
Your child does not have to love you every minute of every day. He’ll get over the disappointment of having been told “no.” But he won’t get over the effects of being spoiled.
(Tea Collection creates clothing that makes kids feel good. Tea’s signature is their global inspiration. Each season brings to life comfortable, wearable, beautiful clothing that is a distinct take on a new, beautiful place. The fall collection is inspired by modern day China. The mix of old world China, modern, vivid street art and water villages are blended into the gorgeous collection. The blends create cohesiveness between each of the pieces, yet each article brings its own unique interest to an outfit. )
Our kids need discipline, direction, love and the gift of our time. Nothing more, nothing less. The battle has not been lost; their lives can be turned around. But the excessive gifts and toys must end, the unreasonable concern for their every thought and feeling must end, and the acceptance of their mediocrity must end.
We must make crystal clear what our standards are, and clearly communicate and vigorously enforce consequences when they are breached. It is time to remind our children that they are, alas, just children; and although they are exceedingly important, the earth still resolves around the sun.”
“By spoiling our children, they become brats and we do them the disservice of removing the natural cuteness that makes them adorable and lovable to the world. But by giving our children discipline and purposefulness, we protect their innocence and bring out their natural light, which makes for a brighter, more wholesome world.”
Children are incredibly wise and tend to see the world more simply than we do. Perhaps it is time we start taking their advice. Maybe we would all feel a little less stressed and be satisfied with the fact that doing little things really is… good enough.
Parenting is a challenging yet rewarding journey. Sometimes it requires us to take the road less traveled so we can bring out the best in our kids. Don’t be afraid to spoil your kids with love, but do not lose yourself in the process. If you can find the right balance, you can equip your kids with life skills that can last a lifetime.
Giving your child everything he/she wants is really about you as the parent and less about your child. Beginning when your child is young, hold back and allow your child to work for some of what he/she wants. He/She will thank you later.
A kid’s mind is innocent. What he sees, he believes. Next time you are buying something for your child, because you couldn’t take him to the movies, or got caught up in work and could not host a party for his birthday, stop yourself. At the same time, it is best to remember that nothing in this world is more important than you, to your child, and all he wants is attention from you! No amount of toys or other things can ever make up for the time that you don’t spend with him every day, and no parent can be so busy that he can’t spend at least an hour with his child every day, or even every other day. In a child’s world, Love is spelled T-I-M-E. Give that to your child, and you will notice the changes pretty soon!
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