This has been on my mind for a while and I suppose came to ahead last week after a tough day with the girls (read about it here). Firstly, I want to clarify that my girls are really good, we very rarely have to shout or punish them but the last few months I have been pondering with the question, am I spoiling our girls?
Now, when I think of a spoilt child the image of a child stamping their feet and demanding things comes into my head, this is not my girls at all. They are polite, courteous and kind. However, they have a room full of toys which they rarely play with and they often get bought new stuff, nothing big but maybe a book, a small doll or sweets on a weekly basis. We are not well off at all but we can afford, whilst they are young, to buy them generally what they want. Don’t get me wrong, any big toys they have to wait for birthdays but then we will get it for them. At Christmas they get a lot, not just from us but from Grandparents, Aunties, friends, etc. Like most families, if something new comes out on the pictures we take them to see it, we get them tickets for shows like Disney on Ice because we know they will love it. The list goes on.
As a family we do so much, we are always out and about visiting places and experiencing new things and I love this. I want their life to be filled with adventures and fun however sometimes I feel that our girls are taking it for granted, it is just a given that we will be going somewhere fun every weekend and they will get a treat. I try to explain how lucky they are, that a lot of children don’t spend their weekends at beaches or parks or fairs or trying new foods but obviously they are only young. I wrote a recent post about our disappointing trip to the zoo, where they were miserable and petulant and, whilst the majority of the time they are happy and grateful, I would never want to make them spoilt and indulgent.
It is hard to get the balance right, you love them and you want to give them whatever they want, whatever makes them happy, however you don’t want to make them spoilt. I guess they also need to be taught that they can’t always get what they want – as they get older things will be out of your control – friends, boyfriends, clubs.
I suppose the one thing we are quite firm on is discipline, we can be quite strict. If they are naughty we do punish them, if they are hard work when we are out then they don’t get a treat.
I do think some changes need to be made, I have already decided that tickets to shows need to be a Christmas or Birthday treat and, if they want a toy from these shows, they need to save some Christmas money. I have also thought about a charity jar so when they start receiving pocket money they will be encouraged to put some in their charity jar to make them realise that it is important to give to those less fortunate.
Do you worry you spoil your Child?