Saturday, 15 December 2012

Going Overboard...

I'm about to be controversial...hold onto your hats...

The consumerism and "I want, I want" mentality of kids is our

Do kids really need 10 birthday presents? NO.

Do kids know if you have spent the same amount of money on one and not the other? NO.

It's our own sense of fairness and keeping up with the Jones' that leads us to buying more, doing more.

Mike and I were racking our brains for types of food to include in Alex's Dinosaur Birthday Party last weekend. We thought for weeks about how to make a dinosaur birthday cake. But this was us trying to make everything perfect, not Alex demanding a party with strict design and food guidelines!

Would he have been happy with a plain round (even store-bought) cake... No doubt. The fact that it had a candle on it and it was for HIS party was all that mattered.

And Christmas.... Ahhh Christmas....

The time of year where parents feel they have to give their kids the biggest and best of everything.

We had planned to make a cubby house for the kids this Christmas, but time and money got away from us. But hubby then decided that we had to spend the money that was for the cubby on the kids anyway.  HOLD UP!!!

The kids didn't know they were getting the cubby house, they didn't know how much it was going to cost, they will not notice amongst their other gifts that they are missing out. They are getting plenty need to go out and buy more, simply to assuage our guilt over not being able to provide one particular thing.

Alex would be happy with a $1 bubble wand from Kmart and Megan would love a packet of new hair clips or nail polish.

So why do we feel the need to have to get them expensive, fandangled super-toys?

Parent guilt... That's why! (OK, and possibly some really good company marketing strategies!)

Lots of big gifts under the tree looks great. A mountain of wrapping paper ripped from presents on christmas morning makes us feel good.

But it leads to the one trait of kids that I can't stand.....greed.

And our little boy displayed exactly that on the morning of his party when he said...

"Where's my next present??"


Rachelle said...

So true Lin, so true. We are trying to teach our kids to GIVE this Christmas... we are on to our second present under the Kmart Chrissy tree and I am thinking that this weekend Lys can raid her piggy bank and buy another. :) It is sad when it all becomes about the presents for them and how many and how much... but hey I am guilty of it too. Ughhhh.

M & A's World said...

That's a great idea, Rach. My mum has taught the kids about the "Smith kids" from the Smith family. Whenever ads come on about donating to the Smith family, they now know those kids don't have any toys or clothes. It makes donating a bit more real coz the "Smith kids" have a face.

Viana said...

So very true!! When Cooper plays at other kids' houses and has so much fun with their toys, I look at all the different items and start to feel bad that I haven't bought one of 'those' for him!

I remember conversations with my Grandma about the fact that they had one baby rattle for all four kids, and that was about the only baby toy in the house. And hey, my mum turned out ok... quite intelligent and an excellent problem solver in fact.
So I know that I don't need to buy all these things for Cooper, but when so many of them are 'educational' and 'great for their development', I feel like I'm being a bad mum for not buying them.

I love what my neice requested for Christmas last year... 'a pink balloon and a pink lollipop!'

M & A's World said...

And that's what companies bank on viana! If we asked the kids I think we'd be surprised with what they asked for!

PlanningQueen said...

I think it is very much a parental issue. Through our behaviour and actions we influence the kids expectations.

Having 5 means my kids just don't get the big piles others do and I used to fret a bit about that, but I think in the long run they will be better off for having less.

Merry Christmas!

M & A's World said...

I totally agree Planning Queen- we set the example!

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