No one wants to raised spoiled children. We want our kids to be grateful for what they have and to appreciate how lucky they are. We also want them to have it better than we did. It is another one of those fine lines we have to walk. Giving them opportunities we didn't have without giving them too much. I don't think I've navigated this line too well. When I was growing up, my parents didn't have a lot of money. My mom always did her best for Christmas, but there was always the day-to-day disappointment of "no, you can't get that" and I think I was aware early on that it was an issue of money. I knew we didn't live in the nicest place and I didn't have the "latest" fashions. I think in some ways, I've tried to compensate for that with my boys. Instead of having sons who are appreciative of what my husband and I do for them, I have three boys that take things for granted. If they leave a toy out and the dog chews it, their response is either , "daddy will fix it" or "we'll just go to the store for a new one." They love art and I love fostering that. But, they leave the caps off their markers, break their crayons, let the glue sticks dry out, mix the Playdoh up until it's gray, and waste tons of paper. I keep threatening not to replace the art supplies if they get ruined. But, how can you not let a child color? They leave their toys outside to get rained on and don't care. Even if I threaten to take things away, it usually isn't a big deal. They have so many toys, they won't even miss them.
And so, I'm in a quandary. One part of me wants them to feel secure and not be worried about money or not having enough of anything. I rarely felt that way growing up and it's not a feeling I want my children to experience. On the other hand, I do want them to realize there isn't an unlimited supply of money, that things have a cost (and not just the monetary cost), and that you don't always get what you want when you want. I'm planning to scale back. I used to buy them souvenirs for every trip we went on, no matter how big or small the trip. Our last trip to NYC, I almost bought them "I Love NY" t-shirts, but then stopped myself. I didn't get anything at the museum gift shop. They didn't ask or complain about these facts.