First World Fannie
Is it really such a problem?
Starting this blog at this moment in my life might not be such a good idea as everything seems to be swirling faster than I can manage on most days. For now, I'm doing well with posting, but there will surely come a time when I'm too busy momming to be "Momming Out Loud." If the way life has been rolling along lately is any indication of how things will go in the future, I might need to write a few now while I have a chance. Things certainly haven't been a picnic lately, but, all in all, I guess it hasn't been that bad. It has just been frustratingly riddled with First World problems, and I have done my best not to show my First World fannie about it.
Our kids have been doing a lot of showing their First World fannies lately, and my husband and I have talked about how to address it. Within reason, we want our kids to receive the things they want in life, but we also want them to value hard work and the joy of earning things. While we want them to care for the things they have, we also want them to understand they are just "things" and are not meltdown-worthy.
Like most all subjects related to kids, it's a mightily fine line to walk.
For example, after countless, fruitful trips to Walmart, they believe they need to get something every time we go. This makes us wish they didn't feel so entitled. On the other hand, they're not pitching a fit in the middle of the store when they're told, "No," and, if they absolutely lost their minds and decided to try it, they would certainly not be rewarded with a toy just to make them stop.
They're good kids. They really are. We're blessed beyond measure to be part of their lives and to be allowed to parent them through this big ole world we call home. We don't think they're rotten kids who need to be taken down a peg or two (although there have surely been a few with whom we have crossed paths that we thought were).
It's just hard. Parenting is hard. IT'S HARD, I TELL YOU!
At the end of the day, I suppose we should just be thankful for our First World problems. I certainly wouldn't trade the whole lot of them for a single Third World problem. If worrying about giving our kids too much is the biggest issue with which we have to deal, we're not dealing with much. When we're sick, we have health care. When we are cold, we have heat. When we are hungry, we have food. When we are sad, we have family to lift us up. We are living a pretty great life, despite how ungrateful we are sometimes.
Life isn't easy. It's not always pretty. In fact, being an adult is pretty hideous sometimes. I look at my parents now and wonder if they felt as horribly underqualified as I do most of the time. Will our kids look back at their childhood and think what a dufus I was?
I certainly hope not.
So what do we do?
We want to instill good values in them and teach them to feel good about earning their rewards, but we also love the smiles on their faces and the songs in their voices when they receive a special treat for no particular reason.
What is your policy on receiving things outside birthdays and Christmas? Do your kids have that sense of entitlement that seems to be inherent to the younger generations? How do you teach your kids to appreciate the value of earning their way through life rather than having it handed to them?
Where do you draw the line?