Confession: I Spoil My Children (And Am Ok With It)
It's a fact. Our children are spoiled.
We didn't set out for it to be this way. Both of our kids were only children from our previous marriages, and somewhere between the extra birthday parties, double Christmases, and then new sets of grandparents from our new relationships - well let's just say at age 4 and 5 we almost feel as if we've run out of things to buy them.
Sadly, I'm being serious. We bought one of the kids a rather significant video game system for Christmas this year, only to find out his uncle on his mom's side bought him the same thing. So now we're back to the drawing board. Do we get an iPod Touch? Isn't that excessive for a 5 year old? Oh but they love our phones so much, so maybe it's ok. It's not like we don't limit his time on it - and if he had his own it would greatly reduce the requests to play with our phones, right?
It doesn't help that my fiance' and I are both gadget geeks. We work hard to make a living and truly delight in being able to buy our kids things that we never thought we'd be able to buy them. Our house has a slew of tablet computers, laptops, video games, phones, and so forth. We love all the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. It seems we've passed that love on to our kids.
I mean, it's not like we're buying them iPads. Yet.
I flash back to memories of my 14th birthday in August of my freshman year. I attended an all-girls Catholic school, and we had to wear regulation brown lace-up shoes with our uniforms. The acceptable options ranged from $29 to $109. Of course, I wanted the pair that cost over one hundred dollars, like all of the cool girls did. Do you know what my parents said? They told me that if I wanted those shoes, then I could have them - as a birthday gift. And that would be it. So if I wanted to spend my once-yearly gift on school shoes, then that was my choice.
I chose the shoes. I don't still have them, but I still carry that lesson with me.
Our kids don't have to make that choice - they have lots of toys handed to them on all sides of their families. They get lots of cool opportunities to travel, and for heavens sakes we live 14 miles from Disneyland - an afternoon there is perfectly reasonable. We were having breakfast a few weekends ago and decided to surprise them with a day trip to Disneyland. And when we told them they simply said "yay!" - as if we told them we were going to see the latest Muppets movie - not the kind of yay that one would expect when you find out you'll be spending the day with Mickey Mouse.
I tried to explain to them - some kids NEVER get the chance to go to Disneyland. Some wait for years, and count down the days. You are so lucky that you can just go on a random Sunday!
They just looked at me like I had antenna growing out of my head.
So what do I do to fix it? I honestly don't know. They are spoiled, and somewhere down the line there is a hard lesson waiting for them and I can truthfully say that it will be our fault that they have to learn this lesson. Maybe that makes me a terrible parent, I don't know. But for now? For now I love spoiling them. And say what you will about us - we are those parents that others love to gossip about and dislike - we are fully aware of it.
Maybe we need American's Supernanny to whip us into shape.
What do you think?