Wednesday, July 15, 2009
You can have your cake and eat it, too!
As you know, I can't say no to my children - for the most part. I do try. I swear, I do. And they do listen to me, and they are usually well-behaved. They are as well behaved as can be expected for children their age when we are out visiting friends, or at a restaurant. They are loving, sweet, and they melt my heart. And? I spoil them.
I wanted to do some research to show the positive side of spoiling a child, and I could not find anything. It's all negative. But I wanted you to know, from my first-hand experience, it's okay to spoil a child sometimes. And I'm not talking about just buying them everything their little hearts desire, (but I tend to do that anyway, more so because I just love to shop for them) or letting them get away with terribly bad behaviour, but there are some things we can lighten up on as parents.
First of all, children will be children. They'll have their moments. Moments where they really test your patience. Moments you want to yell at them, to tell them to go to their room, and to apologize. My boys test my patience everyday - like when Dimitry writes on the couch with a marker, or when Christos runs around the house emptying the shredded cheese package all over the floor - yikes! My reaction? "Christos... go get the vacuum." I'm not going to fight with him, or tell him to go to his room - I just deal with the situation and move on.
A perfect example of testing a parent's patience would be my sister, who was spoiled growing up. She turned out to be a wonderful person. No damage done. Even though my mom would do everything for her. For instance, she would make her breakfast every single day. Until the day she got married and moved out. Seriously. Maybe it's just a Greek mom thing, I don't know.
So, one day, my sister came downstairs. She was very young, a mere child.
My mom said: "Good Morning, Gina, what would you like for breakfast? I can make you bacon and eggs, toast and jam, pancakes... what would you want?"
"I want waffles."
"Oh, sweetie, we don't have any...."
"WELL GO GET SOME THEN!"
And before I could turn to my mom to see what her response would be, she was in her car, driving to the store to buy some waffles.
Now, after reading this you probably think my sister is horrible. Or that I was neglected. (Don't worry, I was spoiled too!) But, truth be told, she's not horrible. Sure, as a kid, she had her MOMENTS, like, um, what I described above. But she was excellent in school, not just with her marks, but with her people skills - always friendly, always happy, just a ray of sunshine. She is very personable, to this day - she has tons of friends, she's never in a bad mood, she always see the good in people, and I'm sure even MY friends like her more then they like me. Seriously. She is that nice. I tend to bitch and complain a lot. She does not. She's also not a mother yet, so...
She was a handful as a child. She would throw those tantrums you only read about or perhaps have had first-hand experience with. However, in the long run, despite the fact that she was spoiled - she's a great person. My boys love her, and she is a wonderful aunt who comes over almost every day.
Sometimes, you just have to give in a little more. It's not going to hurt them in the long run. It's really not. As long as you do your job and love them, teach them right from wrong, and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Talk to them about the real world, explore with them, read to them. Spoil them in love and attention. Try not to get mad or upset over the little things they do wrong. They're just children, after all!
If they want to stay up an extra half hour, let them. If they want to eat chocolate for breakfast every so often, indulge them. Have fun with them! I'm not one to live by too many rules with my boys - and they're happy, thriving, smart. And they do test my patience, and they do things that make me shake my head, but I'm not going to stress over the little things, you know?
Life is precious, and our children grow up too fast. Try not to let the little things bother you so much. Enjoy the present, and spoil your children.