Like most of them have said on Deeps’s post already, the external factors matter a lot these days. In our age and times , mostly all children were on the same page, families on the same levels and almost no options to celebrate childhood other than basic toys and pretty dresses!
But we have to put our age and times behind cause they are a thing of past,sadly! However, since most of us have the same kind of upbringing we all agree on the learning to save, value money and not being extravagant about everything that is available on the shelf, hence we want to inculcate the same in our children.
Even I tend to think how will I say ‘no’ to Chirpy when I’ll have to say it. Is denying something to your child fair to the child? Did she ask us to bring her into the world? It was us who brought her..it is us who want her to grow independent and taker her own decisions….and now when she wants to live her life like she wants, we are circling it with our set of rules and values….these thoughts…come to my mind often when I see the certain price tags, certain ways of life these days…these hypothetical situations of today are not very far for me to become reality!
Sharing a conversation I had with a friend sometime back: She has a 5 year old son.Discussing on the same lines of money part, she exemplified her style of tackling money matters with her little boy.Her son too wanted a huge “extravagant” b’day party like his classmates’ parents threw in a hotel. Now here my friend didn’t want to bring in money part per say but still wanted to say no to his ‘want’. She sat him down and explained thus: “We sure want your b’day to be grand and gala.Just for a moment consider that we are arranging your b’day party at home, where all your friends can feel at home,be themselves, party hard, can be carefree, and stay as long as they want & have fun playing with your toys,eat popcorn while watching a cartoon film and play some games like scrabble or musical chairs etc…we can also think about having a day long b’day party on a Sunday if you like it….don’t you think it will be far more funnier than arranging a party in the hotel,putting in more than required money in exchange of wrapping the party in stipulated time and where you and your friends will have to be too good 😉 ?”
Her son liked the idea and agreed. In fact ‘at home’ b’day party was super fun too!
I liked the way she handled the situation without bringing in the money part really yet subtly telling him the difference. But this was just one kind of situation. How far such tricks would last is a question in itself. How far we parents might be able to pull on is another question.
That said, it’s not always about if we can afford the wants..there are lot of things which we can afford but do we really need to buy them because we have money? It’s about teaching the basic difference about the need and want…I think that’s more important and maybe the money part will automatically fall in line? Again, I’m just assuming things to be that simpler because I’m yet to get there!
Just last week I had to buy a potty pot for Chirpy,now that it’s time to potty train her. So I was amused to see more than 10 options for a simple potty pot! With different shapes, colors, attributes like music, wheels etc to choose from. The simple potty costs Rs. 500 and the other “higher” versions of it cost anywhere between Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2000!!!! Honestly, for a moment I almost bought the Rs. 1500 potty cause it was a duck shape musical potty and it looked cute! But then I revisited my decision…thought whether Chirpy really needs a musical duck shaped potty to shit in? Does she really know these options exist? Do I really have to spend Rs. 1000 more than required to potty train her? Will she be better potty trained if I buy her that cute thing instead of simple looking pot? Of course I spent Rs. 500 only!
This above example says a lot about my thought process too,huh!
I think there are times when we parents too think a little beyond necessary. “What we could not have or did not have our children should” philosophy takes us down and that is the start of the inculcation of “better options” and “all things beautiful in life are must” seeds and we only do it to them…and then when they grow up the other factors are ready to influence them too when we come running and try to guard!
Of course this is a generalization…not all parents melt down, like me, when they see cute things…but I confess I have to be shaken sometimes to realize the difference between what my child needs and what she ‘could’ want!
Do you feel guilty too as parent when you have to say no? How do you tackle such situations?
P.S. This post,a result on reading Deeps’s post,is in the form of a comment on her blog too.