As parents, we always want our children to have more than we did. Somewhere, though, there is a line and that line isn't always clear. There is a lot of trial and error. We just need to remember to look for it and learn where that line is for our own children. Each child is different. Each child reacts in a different way. In our own house, thing are different for each child because they each need to learn different lessons.
During this time of year, especially, I look around and see how much our society has changed. Children's Christmas lists are getting longer and more detailed. Let's not forget the name brands. I know my children are getting older and this just happens, but I'm also talking about younger children. When these kids don't get exactly what they wanted, they get angry. There's a difference between being disappointed and being angry. We all get disappointed with things, but being angry for not getting everything thing you want, exactly how you want it, is different. That's called feeling entitled. At some point, parents need to let kids not get what they want. Kids who learn to deal with disappointment earlier in life are more well-adjusted than children who don't start to deal with it until teen years or adulthood. There is actually research to prove this. I know people who are used to getting everything handed to them and their children are exactly the same. Then, the moment they don't get what they want, they can't understand why the world is against them. They tell their children, not that things in this life have to be earned, but rather there are biases out there and they should be getting what they want. Honey, this is how the world works. It does not revolve around you. Just because you don't get your way doesn't mean someone is out for you. You can work hard and still not get everything your heart desires. That is just a fact of life. Most people are shielding their kids from this.
When you start trying to make sure your kids get every last thing they desire, you tend to forget about the basics. Kids want time. They will not remember the Christmas they got the Hydro Flask, but they will remember time spent with you. They will remember the traditions you share. They will learn important life lessons through interactions. We can go even further, kids don't learn a sport through their participation trophy. They learn it by getting out there and doing it.
When trying to raise kids who are not entitled, it's difficult to explain why some people get it all. For Husband and myself, we find that the best way to explain it is the hard truth. Life isn't going to just hand you something, you need to earn it. My kids rarely get bored. My kids rarely feel like they are entitled to something. My kids work hard for what they have. At the same time, my kids want for very little. They are happy with what they do have. They look for ways to get the things they want or they look for alternatives for things they know they can't get. For example, Sunshine just paid for 1/3 of an additional dance class with her own money. Technically, I guess, it would be 2/3 because she took the money Nana gave her for Christmas and said she wanted that to use for dance, as well. On top of that, she is looking at alternatives to Hydro Flasks. She's been find ones that look just as cool and keep the water cold for just as long, because, let's face it, wasn't that the original point of Hydro Flasks before they became a VSCO girl's wet dream?
Society, as a whole, needs to get their act together. Everyone is complaining about the entitlement that those 25 and under are feeling, but no one wants to change their behaviors to stop this. Giving in to your kids every wish is so much easier than actually being a parent and putting your foot down. Having your kid "happy" is so much easier than teaching them how to deal with disappointment. The thing about buying happiness is that it never stops. You can buy, and buy, and buy, but, true happiness can't be bought. Stop giving your kids everything. They are much prouder of what they have when they accomplish/get it on their own.