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.
9 thoughts on “The pig nose”
Very good advice.
I am, most certainly, an awful mother.
Thank you! I agree completely! As I tell my boys, “It’s not always about you” , “Life’s not fair, get use to it” and “Someday when you’re a parent, you can be mean too”!
I actually don’t see anything wrong with buying the pig nose per se. Just because you don’t always want to say “yes” doesn’t mean you always have to say “no.” What if giving kids the message that they almost don’t deserve to want or get anything creates adults who perhaps too readily accept no as an answer and feel like they don’t deserve anything they get? It is about balance and consistency. Kids have to know that ” no” meand “no”, but not every pig nose has to teach the lesson that life sucks, just deal with it. That’s my soap box.
I agree totally! It always bugged me when I’m on a field trip and some other person’s kid keeps asking me for money…after the first couple times my kids start cringing wondering when the hammer is going to come down on this kid…because they know it would come down on them!!
I agree—but I have been known to get things when I was just frustrated with dealing with it or am just feeling nice.
So, I guess my problem is that I never react the same way twice.
Interesting idea. Daphne has just discovered A) shopping and B) that commercials are demonstrations of things she can buy. So she is REALLY into telling us what of the things in the commercials she wants (EVERYTHING). It’s driving me nuts. We definitely need to have a talk about when it’s approrpiate to get new things, and that the rest of the time she doesn’t need to buy every single thing she sees.
I have to say I agree with Annje. Having been raised on a steady diet of firm “no”s, I feel pretty nervous when I get nice new things that I’m super excited about. I’m pretty sure someone is going to come take it away from me or, even more irrationally, that I really shouldn’t have it in the first place – things like my great husband, a peaceful home, healthy kids. Which is obviously sad and untrue and I’m getting over it so don’t worry, but I’m just sayin’, sometimes you put sprinkles on the cupcakes, sometimes you don’t. The important thing is helping kids distinguish which times are special and how to appreciate them. And also to never beg strangers for cash.
Yay! Hoorah!! I totally agree with you!!!!!! I “get” what you were saying too. It’s not that you were saying that parents should ALWAYS say “no.” It’s that we shouldn’t ALWAYS say “yes.”
A friend linked me to your blog after she read a rant on children not listening and obeying!