I spent the day yesterday at the rodeo for Arabella’s second grade field trip. (“Rodeo” is something of a misnomer; it’s simply a fair and sometimes a rodeo is going on too). We got to watch pig racing, which was as great as it sounds. Although the spoiled little boy sitting next to me kept demanding a dollar so he could buy a plastic pig nose. Some kids are raised to be very greedy and selfish.
In case you weren’t aware how that happens, it’s reinforced every time your child asks for something at the store and you say OK. We all imagine that every time we buy something for our kids they think, “Wow, I have such a nice Mom. She didn’t have to buy me this toy at Target, but she did anyway. I think I’ll be extra good for her today!” Sorry, my friend. All he learns is that everything is his; he just has to ask for it. Which eventually becomes not an “ask” but a “demand”. Then eventually he feels completely entitled to everything and gets upset when someone says “no”. He learns not to respect the things that he has, because newer, better things are always available. Which leads to him not respecting other people’s things as well. Pretty soon you end up with a delinquent child who has just totalled his brand new car, all because he got a pig nose at the rodeo.
Whew! Did you get all that?
Sitting on the other side of me at the pig race was Arabella who never once asked for a pig nose. I’m sure she already knew my answer, “do you have a dollar? Then I guess you’re not getting a pig nose.”
I’m not saying that I’m a super great mom, and if you buy your kids lots of things than you’re not. All I’m saying is that buying our children lots of stuff, even if they’re only a dollar, never leads to a good outcome. At the least you’ll end up with a house full of crap. At the most you’ll end up with an ungrateful child who has endless demands that nobody on this planet will be able to satisfy.
I have no idea how I ended up on this soapbox. I think I’ll get down now.