We were out for dinner at a friend’s place. Norah had cooked delicious four course meal. The arrangements were flawless. She said the kids must be hungry let them start first. I called the kids to the table. All of them were happy to see the food prepared.
My daughter popped up a question from nowhere, “Aunty don’t you have separate chairs for us kids?”
Aunty was a little startled and said, “No dear we all use the same chairs.” My daughter continued in her regular over informative style, “At my place when I was a baby, I first had a high chair and now I when I sit on a normal chair I get a cushion to adjust the height.” We all smiled at her smart reply.
Aunty said, “Oh is it? So do you need a cushion dear?” “No thank you aunty I am fine. I think I have grown up now”, was her reply. We laughed and moved ahead. The kids had a sumptuous meal. While the kids were playing us adults started with our dinner. My daughter came over and observed and said, “Mom you all are eating our food.” “Where is your food? “ I said “Aunty cooked the same for everyone.” She nodded and left to play.
My friend Norah asked, “What was that?” I replied,” We all enjoy food which is spicy on the higher side, so I always cook two versions of the same food, a milder one for my daughter and spicier one for all of us. That is why she asked this question.” Norah said, “We all have cut down on our spice level and so I cook only one version for all of us.”
We had wonderful time and so did the kids. As we were leaving, Norah came to drop us to the parking because it was raining. She was carrying two umbrellas. My daughter said, “Pari, let’s go in your umbrella. “ Pari opened a regular floral umbrella, when my daughter said again” Don’t you have a kid’s one? Something with a Minnie mouse or hello kitty or some other cartoon?”
I thought Norah would have a bad time once we left because Pari might insist on buying one immediately. But Pari was matured way beyond a 3.5 year old could be, “If I buy a kid’s umbrella now, I would grow out of it soon, so I told mamma not to buy one for me.”I was surprised at her maturity. The kids bid a goodbye and we reached home.
After everybody slept, I revised the day’s event. A regular practice I follow. But today it was a different version for me. Instead at smiling at all my daughter’s conversations for the day I was little worried.
I realised, my daughter has a separate kid’s toothpaste, a different kid’s soap, her own milk cup, her kid’s plate, her own kid’s lunch box, her kid’s umbrella, her own little chair, her kid’s mat, her own kid’s cupboard, and the list continued.
I pondered. Is this really necessary? The child has a set of her own crockery, her own linen, her own child safe furniture, her room?
Our generation never had this when we were kids. We grew up just fine. Then I realized, she never asked for all this. We were the ones who introduced her to this lifestyle. We bought it all for her.
And now is this making her selfish or will she think high of her going ahead in life? No why would she? All kids have the same stuff these days? My thoughts were running faster. Why did I buy this for her? She would never learn to share now. And this happens quite naturally, especially single child in the family and kid’s version of everything, she will never learn to share it with anyone. Will she grow up demanding her ‘extra’ space all the time?
I pondered and decided I should revisit and rethink on how and what I buy for my child in future?
On the one side I wanted to buy this special stuff for my child because somewhere I had this feeling “we never had such nice things when we were kids, then why not let my child enjoy it, now that it is available and affordable as well?” And then on the other hand, I thought, “No, I think I am building up a false esteem in her. She should learn to value things and with abundance of these around her she will never learn.”
Raising children is so tough I thought. With so many factors around, it is difficult all the more. But there has to be balance and sense in my actions. I simply cannot make her used to getting all the things she wants right away. She will never value it. She needs to learn to cope up with disappointments. Like wanting something but not getting it immediately or perhaps not getting at all.
I need to make changes in myself and start with small things.
I liked Norah’s idea. Small thing like cooking the same food for everyone is where I started. It was a good change for me too and the entire family. Everybody was supportive of this action.
When I asked my daughter to sit on the regular chair at home while having dinner without a cushion, to my surprise she quickly adjusted the sitting position and was soon comfortable. No doubt her high chair helped her in initial months but I noticed that kids get acquainted to new things easily.
My point is our kids have exposure to a level which was unimaginable at our times.
A whole kids industry is building up so fast and thriving and flourishing because of buyers like me. Kids are going to demand at times, but we as parents have to balance our actions. Parents definitely have this urge to provide the best to their children and there is nothing wrong in it. Our parents also wanted to give us the best. But our generation in the process of giving them best, we are giving more than required to the child.
I noticed overflowing toy box is not getting my little one anywhere.
She sees so many things at the same time and ends up being confused and not replaying with anything at all. I de-cluttered her toy box and kept only two or three things around and changed them in rotation. I noticed she loved playing with those two things and played for a longer time. She valued them better now. Learned to take care of her toys.
A child will develop emotionally only when she learns to cope with her disappointments, she learns to share stuff with everyone around, she learns to give also rather than just taking stuff and she starts valuing whatever she gets. And as parents it is our duty to help the child develop.
What do you think about this? Please let us know below.
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.