Friday, August 10, 2012

Spoiling My Kids Just Right

Mommy Memo No. 6

“Loving a child is a circular business.  The more you give, the more you get, the more you get, the more you give.”  - Penelope Leach

My dear Mother, Julie:

Yes, my kids are spoiled, but are they spoiled rotten or spoiled right?

When it comes to parenting, I have never believed that food and shelter was enough.  As a mom, I have learned not to worry so much about letting your kids stumble and learn from their failures.  You don’t have to let that happen.  It just happens.  No matter what you do, life will teach your kids some hard-knock truths.  But in the meantime, we should all play an integral part in shaping their lives, creating enriching experiences for them, and challenging them to be their best possible selves.  Wouldn’t you want that for yourself?

I’ve always wanted to be as involved in my kids’ lives as much as my parents were in mine.  Always there for me…helping and encouraging me through the emotional, financial, and practical obstacles I faced.  Thankfully, everyone of my kids are more resilient than I have ever dared to hope.

Stacy and I have always wanted to be there for our children to help shape them, even as adults.  We never wanted to hold their spoon, but without a doubt, we wanted to expose them to different things so that they could find what they liked to do and what they were good at.  Like most parents, we have always wanted them to have a full rich life. 

Healthy meals, swimming lessons, bagpipe lessons, drum lessons, soccer, theater…yep – they did all that.  Football, baseball, piano lessons, college, and yes….business.  Are my kids spoiled?  Perhaps, but are they spoiled rotten or are they spoiled right, because, and I stress, because - they are gracious, appreciative, work oriented, service-minded adults with high moral values.

My kids have it good.  They are ‘lavishly indulged’ compared to most industrialized countries, I am sure.  (I know this because I have a daughter who lives in Argentina.) 

But…

My three children say thank you for every blessed thing.  They said thank you when I took them to the library.  Thank you for the burrito from the drive-thru on the way home from something.  Thank you for getting my hair cut, thank you for taking the family to the movies.  When they were two years old and had diarrhea in the middle of the night, like any two year old, I changed them, and when I put their jammies back on they said , ‘fank you mommy’.  OH melt my heart!!!

Okay - this is making my kids sound really good, and don’t let me fool you, they are not angels all the time.  But most of the time, they are awesome, I will admit.  Parent your child how you see fit, but please oh please, I hope that means teaching them how to be responsible when they are older, thanking folks when they have something done for them, and speaking for themselves when they have a problem. Teach them to be sensitive to other peoples’ ways and feelings. 

If you want to shower your kids with Juicy Couture clothes, Ugg boots, new cars, lap tops, whatever, make sure they APPRECIATE it.  I like nice things.  (If I could afford it, I would buy the next Marc Jacob’s bag in a hot second!)  But teach them to know where it all comes from.  Someone’s working hard for it. 

Let me clarify one thing….I like nurtured kids.  Spoiled kids - not so much!

1 comment:

Andy's Mom said...

Your Mom is wonderful, Sharee! I always felt love from her, what a wonderful lady!