MY children are spoilt and it’s all my fault.
Correction: it’s all our fault. My husband is equally to blame.
We didn’t mean for this to happen. But somehow, in between the $20 per lesson swimming classes every week, the McDonalds ice-creams every time we hit the shops and the brand new everythings (from toys to books to shoes to clothes), our daughters have become spoilt. And dare I say it – entitled.
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I’m ashamed. It’s not how I was raised and I never intended for my children to take anything for granted.
The thing is, we have become a generation of over-parenters and we worry far more than our parents ever did. I’m sure my mum wasn’t as anxious a mother as I am. I actually know this to be true, because I once asked her. “We didn’t read books or use ‘sleep strategies’,” she said. “We just got on with it. And you survived!”
She never lay awake until midnight, worrying whether her toddlers drank too much milk or watched too many cartoons and really wouldn’t give up the bottle or dummy.
But modern day parents? We fret about bloody everything.
So much so that in a recent Galaxy survey by Wonder White bread, 85% of Australian mums admitted that they struggled to get their kids to eat healthy foods, labelling their children’s health and nutrition one of their biggest concerns.
I’m one of those 85%. I know my kids don’t each enough veggies or grains, and they rarely (if ever) eat red meat.
I was discussing it with a friend recently and she said her daughter loves carrots and peas, but hates fruit. My daughters love kiwifruit and bananas, but they don’t dig veggies of any kind. I guess it’s a swings and roundabouts situation where as long as you keep offering new things and they’re consistently getting something nutritious in their bellies, we should just quit fussing and get on with it, right?
But back to my brats – I mean, my kids. I love them to bits but I’ve realised that I’m expressing my adoration too frequently via the purchase of “things”.
So as of now, it all stops.
I’ll keep the swimming lessons going, but no more cheeky treats to occupy them while I’m dashing around the shops running errands. No more new shirts or PJs just because they’re on sale when they don’t really need them.
We’re going back to the old school way of parenting and I’m kind of excited. But you see a woman racing around Robina Town Centre with two screaming toddlers, please don’t judge. She’s trying to teach her kids a valuable lesson about patience and respect – without caving in to the respite of a 30 cent ice-cream.
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