Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Can we ever go back?
My son has everything he needs and a lot of what he doesn't need. Let's go over the essentials; two loving parents, food to eat, shelter, clothing that fits, a preschool education, a bed, and a happy disposition. Way back when he would have been considered lucky and set for life.
Now let's talk about what he doesn't need; a constant stream of readily available entertainment options; cable, apple tv, ipad, on demand. A plethora of toys that could make many children happy on Christmas morning. Every possible superhero and a few doubles; overly priced dinosaurs that transform into cars and helicopters, an entire rack of dress up costumes, and this could go on and on and on and on...you get my point.
Who is to blame for such excessiveness? Why we are of course. The Parents. I know that.
We turn on the TV, record shows, buy shows and movies, and allow them to watch them when we find ourselves needing a moment, or need to get ready, or maxed out on patience. However, I see something happening...something I don't like.
Lack of focus. Lack of appreciation....and gulp...could this turn into Entitlement? Does he think he is entitled to all of this? My heart races. I have seen older children who are like this. I have spoke with college students with this attitude through my job and have swore I wouldn't let our precious little person be one of these folks. But can I go back? Can I make drastic lifestyle changes this late in the game? What can I even do?
If I had ZERO limitations I'd just pack up my family and move to the mountains with only nature to entertain us or build a house next door to my grandparents and let him play in the dirt for entertainment. That isn't particularly realistic of course so then what? And if I do things like get rid of television do I need to abide by this too? Can I go on without watching "Parenthood' Or "Nashville".
Wait....I'm supposed to be leading by example but am I any better? I have a closet full of clothes and a tendency to go on a shopping binder...CONVINCED I need a certain pair of pants, boots,etc...I am always starting sentences with "I want.." to do this to the house, to get this, to go here, etc...Is he just following my lead?
Okay...deep breath. When I find myself in situations like this, pondering these thoughts I always try to think about what would my grandparents or great-grandparents do....the generation who instead of running to the store for something made do with what they had. Instead of spending money...saved. Instead of buying toys told the kids to do chores or play outside. After all they'd get something for Christmas...just wait for it. YES! These are/were some of the most well rounded people I know and I want us to strive to be more like that. Unplug, stop subscribing to emails and sites telling me what I'm missing and just live. Use what we have, make do, slow down.
Of course we want our children to have more than we had, but personally I wasn't without. Ever. I know I had many toys and watched Saturday cartoons but this new generation seems to be taking it to a new level. How can I go back? How I can make him see how lucky he is to have all of these things.
How can I stop myself from caving in and buying him yet another toy on a Target run for toothpaste?
Parenting is hard. I'd love to hear if anyone else feels this nawing need to make changes and if so...what have you come up with?