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  1. #1
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    Default **spin off** Do you think 'stuff' makes your child a better person?

    I was reading another thread and basically I got to wondering.

    Do you think that providing the best for the best is going to make your child/ren achieve in life? Or do you think that learning that working for what you're given is more important and that 'depriving' them of things (like holidays overseas, mobile phones at a young age, video games as rewards etc) teaches them a valuable lesson?

    And ultimately (for parents of more than one, or considering more than one) do you think that not being able to provide as many luxuries for your children than you could if you'd had one child less makes you feel guilty sometimes?

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    I firmly believe children do not need "stuff". We recently took our 4 to the beach for a picnic dinner. Cost us $20 for dinner and they are still raving about it as the best fun ever. Loving your kids and giving them your time and playing with them is far more important than stuff and overseas holidays (after all will your 4 year old differentiate between a holiday 1 hour from home at the local beach or 12 hour plane ride away) and kids do not need mobile phones or exy video games. If you can afford it do it but I don't think your kid will grow up any better or a better person cause they had expensive stuff. I think they will be far happier if they have the love and care of their parents. And yes when our children have part time jobs they can buy their own phones/pay for their own credit.

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    I don't think stuff makes children better people... But I do think it can enhance lives, open up new ideas, inspire etc. Just like the travel I've done in life has opened my eyes, inspired me and given me a richer understanding of the world. Just as a new toy etc can give great enjoyment (like my new bedspread is giving me )
    I want to take my children travelling, but I didn't travel until I was older (first plane trip age 17. DS1's was 7 months) and I turned out fine I want my kids to have nice things, but I know growing up there were times when I had little and I was still very happy.
    I would never not have another child that I wanted based on stuff, or think that's what makes a good childhood... But is it wonderful if you can do it? Yep. Do we try to? Yep.

    (except the video games... Want to avoid those!)

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    I don't think "stuff" makes your child a better person but I will admit as a person who quite likes "stuff" myself, that my kids probably have enough, if not too much "stuff".

    But having said that, I love and am grateful that we have been in a position to take our kids travelling and on really nice holidays (because I like that myself so to deprive them of nice holidays to make them a "better person" would be depriving myself iykwim), to have a nice home, to enjoy new experiences, to have the privilege of choice as to where to send them for school, for them to have mobile phones for safety reasons and so forth, laptops for education etc
    My older two are high achievers at school and in their sporting lives so I don't think having access to stuff has meant that they don't value hard work.

    I don't know, it's a hard one.

    One thing I have learnt though along the way, once you have teenagers, it's harder to avoid or say no to "stuff"
    Last edited by Mod-biscotti; 09-03-2012 at 12:56.

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    I don't think it makes them 'better' that's not the right word but I think being able to provide things can make a more fulfilling life, yes.

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    I don't think travel is essential for children. I think it's essential for people, but if they don't do when young they can always go as adults. Material possessions don't mean much to me. Honestly, I grow up not rich and my bestie was super rich and it had made not a scrap of difference to us as adults. She had all the material possessions under the sun, and she's no happier than me. She's private school educated, I'm public school (but a very good one), and she hasn't done much better. Ive seen hippy kids much happier than little Glamorgan kids. Some people believe providing the 'best' is about possessions, I believe it's about ethics and values.

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    Stuff is just stuff. It doesn't make you better or brighter. It is just stuff. We buy from op shops and garage sales and neither of my children are deprived because their things aren't new. They have one pair of shoes each, again not deprived.

    I think it starts before they're even born. We're given these big lists of things we 'need' and expected to have perfectly decorated nurseries AND have maternity/birth/newborn photos AND have a whole bunch of stuff for hospital, going home outfits, travel system prams, bouncers, rockers, bassinets, cots, wall decals, gliders, breastfeeding pillows, the biggest the best the most and it all has to be new and unique. It's crap. The hoopla that comes with having a baby is just too much, it's too over the top. I bought into it with my first and not with my second and you know what my second is happy and healthy so job done, right?

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    I think there's a line where as long as housing, food, clothing, some toys, books etc are available without too much struggle, then it's okay.

    My partner and I both came from low income, working class backgrounds. I never felt a sense of deprivation.

    But my partner does say that there were some particularly bad times and he did feel a bit deprived. For example, he didn't have many clothes and felt embarrassed on free dress day in early high school.

    It's hard for me to answer, I think, as I only have a 3yo, so the "stuff" issue hasn't arisen. I spend next to nothing at Christmas and buy him cheap clothes and he doesn't care about where we go.

    I am thinking of an independent school (due to his personality) but I doubt we will send our children to private high schools, and I don't think overseas travel is important for kids as it's something they can enjoy as adults.

    I really don't want to breed materialistic children, either. My partner and I live quite simply - old tvs, hardly any gadgets etc, old car which we share.

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    I don't think you can compare holidays to "stuff". I think if you can afford it, taking children overseas is a great form of education, holidays are a great way for families to spend time together - it doesn't matter where you go, camping, local beach, interstate or overseas.

    All the other "stuff" I often feel is unnecessary and I feel children often get so much at a young age that by the time they are older the expect too much. My DD2, now in grade 3, wanted a DS when she was in kinder, prep and grade 1, has since stopped asking (now I think she is probably old enough and responsible enough to have one!!), so many of her school friends have had them for years, along with ipods, wii, playstation etc etc. I see so many of her friends getting bigger and better stuff each Christmas and it does surprise me. Don't get me wrong my kids still have access to our computer, DVD's, DH's ipod etc, they have my old digital camera to use as they please. But most of this "stuff" belongs to the family as whole, we share it and use it together.

    My girls have so much "stuff" there bedrooms are filled with toys and plastic bits and pieces - yes they have too much, but they aren't spoilt and most if it is given at christmas and birthdays, or brought with their own pocket money. I like to think we are teaching them a healthy respect for their possessions and an awareness of where things have come from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMummy View Post
    But my partner does say that there were some particularly bad times and he did feel a bit deprived. For example, he didn't have many clothes and felt embarrassed on free dress day in early high school.
    My husband has said the same.
    His parents are on the land and in the bad years (which co-incided when DH was in high school) he did feel embarassed on days like free dress days (he would stay home he tells me). He was the teenager who didn't have an atari, a colour tv, a walkman etc and he says he did feel left out, and embarassed in high school where he was bussed in to the nearest town.
    He doesn't remember those feelings from primary school but he's not sure if that's because he went to a tiny country primary school and everyone was in the same position or because he felt it more when he was a teen and attending school in a town where the town kids seemed to have more money etc and there was more emphasis on who had what etc
    Last edited by Mod-biscotti; 09-03-2012 at 13:13.


 

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