We were always allowed an ice cream or a drink when we were younger and out and about. We knew the boundaries, we knew what a treat was and we didn’t push it (although no doubt asked for both already knowing the answer!). We sometimes got a pencil in the gift shop or perhaps one of those little bouncy ball things (that would be my sister) but never much more. I wasn’t a deprived child I had a nice upbringing in a lovely home, with foreign holidays and all the toys and clothes I needed, but it just feels a bit different now!
Today in general things seem different and I’m not sure in my own mind if this is a result of the world simply being different. With such a disposable culture nowadays you can literally buy anything for a small amount of money. Perhaps it’s because we are fortunate to earn more than our parents, or because we are making up for being at work. Perhaps it is just because it’s nice to buy treats!
Anyway this week I purchased yet more Lego for one small boy who is obsessed. He plays for hours with the stuff, his imagination is endless, and it’s lovely building things with him. He completed a whole week with no accidents of the toilet variety during the day and amazingly he is now 5 days into being dry at night. He has also had his hair cut. Now the hair cut has been a hideous event for us for the last 18 months, he hates it and because of this we all end up nearly in tears and covered in hair every time it’s attempted. He has a huge mop of thick hair and he gets very hot! So we need to cut the curls for more reasons than because it looks smart.
This week we talked about it lots and he finally allowed my sister to cut it with scissors (not clippers), it was a momentous occasion. She is a hairdresser so this isn’t so random as it could be but she is a colourist, she did however make an exception for her nephew and got the scissors out! He hates loud noises (random as he is very loud!) with fireworks and a hand dryer being high on the list of hates. Clippers apparently are also featuring as evil hence the scissors request!
So because everyone knows bribery is the official way the good parenting guides suggests to get toddlers to do things….I used Lego as the bribe. And to great success I must add.
On their own these things we buy seem small and the joy he gets is great. But is there now an expectation and are we creating a rod for our own back?
I am pretty sure he’s spoilt, trips out for lunch, getting character t shirts and new Lego probably seem normal to him. But this seems to be the case for a large number of today’s children. I’m not sure why I’m bothered, if we can give him these things why not, but at the same time if it’s not how you have been bought up it feels very strange. A bit like when you are a grown up and all of a sudden you realise you can buy sweets when you want and not just on a Friday!
Now these are probably just the ramblings of a crazy woman and I’m sure big piggle will continue to receive everything he could ever want….but it has made me think.