Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Keeping Perspective: It Is Just One Day After All!

Today this post is part of The Boy and Me's Showcase Show off.  I have entered this as the post that should have done better!
ShowOff Showcase

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So Christmas day has been and is now gone...  How was yours?  Good I hope.  If you have kids, how was theirs?  Did they have a fun day or perhaps in their eyes more importantly, did they get all those toys or gadgets that they wished for?

JJ had a wish for a DSi XL and this mean mummy crushed that idea before it even made it to his Xmas list.  I just could not see why he needed one when he had a perfectly good DS and he is only 7 years old. I felt quite satisfied with my decision at the time and dh was in agreement but since then I have been thinking.

Last week I met some friends of JJ's and their mummies and I was asking about what their children wanted for Christmas and every one of them said a Wii, Xbox and kinect, DSi, iPod touch or flip video camera and they were all getting them.  I was the only Mummy who had said no despite others showing concern about cost or necessity.  I felt a bit like Scrooge and said this on twitter. I was relieved to see some tweets from people in agreement with me, that these things were not the be all and end all.

I have since found out that JJ can trade his DS in and get about £45 off the cost of a new DSi XL and I mentioned this to him and he has some xmas money so he can do this if he wishes but it just shows how much he really wants this new toy as he has not even mentioned it again since Xmas and he knows all the shops are open!  Arrgghh, peer pressure and TV advertising taunting our children to own the latest things and I know this will just get worse with age.

On Boxing Day my family came to visit and with them bought the next lot of presents.  JJ opened his and was pleased to receive a DS game and Guess Who Extra and with that he shouted 'yes, I have received everything on my Christmas list'.  I would loved to have heard the next sentence be 'I am so lucky' but I do have to remember he is a 7 year old boy who is seriously lacking in social etiquette but I do take his acknowledging that he had received his Santa list as being a realisation that he is lucky.  Would you like to know what was on his list?

This is what it took to make one 7 year old lad very happy -
  • DS Sims game
  • DS Club Penguin Game
  • Pink Smarties
  • Some smart clothes
  • Some lego
  • Some craft things
  • Guess Who Extra
and that was it!  I was pretty pleased with that list.  Not too greedy and quite varied.

So today, do I still feel like scrooge?  No I do not, JJ got all that he needed and plenty more.  He was a lucky boy. I feel glad that I had the courage to take the unpopular decision and to say no to him when I felt his desires were too much. I urge other parents to do the same, it is not a case of being able to afford these things it is about teaching our children to value things and to learn that there is a cost to spending.  When we have a world which has wealth that is completely unequally distributed how we can justify all the excessive spending that we do?

I may make myself unpopular by posting this and some may read this and think 'who does she think she is, pompous cow!' but that is not my aim.  I am not sitting here thinking I am any better than you are as I managed to say no.  I am a massive advocate of parenting as you see fit, do what suits you and your family.  No, my aim is to just ask you to think these things through and to make your own decision, do not be a sheep and follow the crowd.  Christmas Day is just one day, have some perspective and know that if you do not buy the Xbox your child can still have a fantastic time if they get love and attention from you.

And now I will step off my sopa box!

Do you like the army look?
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