Monday, April 26, 2010

Keeping It Real.

I grew up in a working class home. Like many children I didn't notice money or the lack off, but I know now that we had less than a lot of my friends.
My children live a very charmed life.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this.

Parents often want to give their children a 'better' life - but what qualifies as 'better?'
I wonder what the effect of never being without has on my children.

I try to make sure that we get things based on need not want but of course want wins at times.
We talk about those who have less than us and do things that will help.

Nevertheless my children live in a beautiful, safe part of the world and have everything they need in abundance and many, many things they want.

In addition the husband and I want to live a great life and our children, inevitably, are a part of that.
Our recent trip to Mexico is an excellent example.
My vision was for a great 'bucket and spade' holiday where we spent lots of time together, played at the beach and swam.
We got that.

We also got upgraded on our flight, picked up in a private car at the airport and we stayed in a gorgeous resort with endless, food, drinks, ice cream and entertainment.
Money never changed hands as we paid up front so the kids never saw any transactions.
What are they learning from this?

At times, it really troubles me.
I have read "The Price of Privilege' - a great read by the way. I added a link if you're inclined.
I felt the need to balance the scales.

So, one morning we left the resort and got on the local bus into town.
My thought was the kids would see how the locals live in this area.
We would get hot and uncomfortable on the bus with no air conditioning and plastic seats (we did.)
This would help them appreciate the comforts they often have.

The seven year old made a friend on the bus and they chatted in first grade english/spanish.
The baby fell asleep.
The husband got hot and rolled his eyes a lot and I wondered if I should just accept that children maybe don't see things the way we grown ups do.

I will continue to remind my children of their abundance and the importance of serving others but maybe I can take a more relaxed approach in future.


  1. "Children don't see things the way (we) do." Yep. I worry too sometimes, especially because not everyone parents the way I do and there are now influences, with school, that are outside my control. But I had a similar reminder when we were on our recent trip and stayed in the best. hotel. EVER. Sweetpea loved every second of it, mentioned a gazillion times how much she loves hotels, but has been happy as a clam to be home and hasn't mentioned it since.

    You're doing it just right. We give them the info, show them what's important, and hopefully they sort it all out...

  2. My kids love American Idol. Last week during the "Idol Gives Back" show they just happened to be whining about what they had to eat for dinner. When they don't like it, they have a tendency to get up from the counter and wander around. I hauled their butts back to the counter and pointed at the TV and said, "Look at those children! They don't have peanutbutter & jelly sandwiches. Some of them don't have . . . " And I went on and on until they cried. Maybe not my finest moment, but they finished their dinner without another peep. Hopefully, they learned something.


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