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  1. #11
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    We feel that our kids are better off in the love of a big family than with lots of stuff.

    So they don't have the latest greatest stuff, but do have a family who loves each other and willing to sacrifice stuff to have them here with us. I am not saying that you can't have that in a small family (we had 1 child for 6 years).


    I think our kids have benefited and continue to benefit from have lots of brother and sisters. There are some things you can only get/learn from having siblings.
    These things are more important to us that the latest toy or holiday.

    Each to their own.

    No I don't feel guilty at all.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by loving6 View Post
    We feel that our kids are better off in the love of a big family than with lots of stuff.

    So they don't have the latest greatest stuff, but do have a family who loves each other and willing to sacrifice stuff to have them here with us. I am not saying that you can't have that in a small family (we had 1 child for 6 years).


    I think our kids have benefited and continue to benefit from have lots of brother and sisters. There are some things you can only get/learn from having siblings.
    These things are more important to us that the latest toy or holiday.

    Each to their own.

    No I don't feel guilty at all.
    This was very similar to my upbringing. I went without a lot of material stuff, sometimes felt embarrased on casual clothes days (people just had to love me for my charming personality instead of my stuff ) etc... BUT, I am actually grateful for those tihngs now as I feel I learnt a lot about what is really important and what isn't so important.

    I have 4 siblings and I adore each and every one of them and their partners... can't put a price on that!

  3. #13
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    nope, not a better person...perhaps luckier.

    I can,so I do.

    No more thinking put in to it really.

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by biscotti View Post
    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
    That's interesting as his parents were on a farm as well, and he went to a tiny rural primary school and it was a huge shock to go to a more regional high school. the differences became more apparent as a teenager. he loves his parents and his upbringing, but I think he wishes he had a few more clothes and similiar things to his peers.

    I think teenage years are very difficult, and those feelings of shame and peer pressure etc can definitely stay with kids.

  6. #15
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    I didn't have anything growing up, my parents weren't poor but just didn't waste money on stuff, so I never owned a toy, not a single barbie or anything the other kids had, never the latest in clothes or shoes etc. And I definately felt it! I always wanted things I couldn't have, always felt poor, left out, embarrassed.
    We travelled alot though and my education was good but that feeling I got as a kid never went away.

    There needs to be a balance, kids don't need everything but a toy here and there, or giving them something they want for Christmas wouldn't hurt them either. If I can get them the latest gadget all their friends have, why not? We're not rich and they'll have to work for the big stuff and will have that work ethic regardless.
    I see no need to deprive kids, there is no lesson to be learned because I certainly didnt learn anything from it.

  7. #16
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    I don't think 'stuff' makes anyone better as a person, I mean I'm no better person than another simply because I have a iPhone and they don't, you know?
    I think, as others have said, that stuff can lead to a more fulfilling life. That stuff can be simple or extravagant, but the experience can make a huge impact on a persons life. It can open their eyes, inspire and motivate them.
    Though I wouldn't consider experiences 'stuff', I couldn't compare a holiday to a item.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMummy View Post
    I think teenage years are very difficult, and those feelings of shame and peer pressure etc can definitely stay with kids.
    I agree with you here. I also think it's important for children/teens to see that who they are, is more important than stuff.

    I know that is what I am trying to teach my children. They go to school with a lot of wealthy families or at least a lot wealthier than us. While they never have designer brand stuff they always have nice clean socially acceptable clothes.

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  10. #18
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    No. Stuff is just stuff. I think we've been so ingrained by commercialism that we actually do start to believe that stuff = lifestyle or happiness or says something about our personality.

    I think providing too many things for your little ones simply because they want it will create spoiled children, although they are likely to get to that stage anyhow through the teen years.

    I want my son to fit in, I certinly don't want him going to school in ragged clothes but I do want him to learn that we work to be productive members of society and to pay our bills, we don't work just because we want expensive things.

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  12. #19
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    Although I think some deprivation can be helpful (not severe obviously). My partner saw his parents lose so much much in the 90s, that he is really very frugal and is good at just going without.

    My parents didn't have any money, but they would buy thing on credit card or treat themselves even if they couldn't afford it. It definitely instilled in my an attitude that if I wanted something, I should have it, which I have slowly shaken over the years.

    so saying no sometimes and learning that you don't need everything is useful, despite it being hard.

    I do agree with a PP about family holidays. it is great for everybody to go away to have quality time without work interfering. But it need not be overseas - camping or a week at a unit at the beach or whatever suffices.

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  14. #20
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    There's stuff and then there's stuff

    Nothing makes us a better person for having lots of stuff, but having lots of stuff doesn't make us a bad person either.

    I think many people mix up needs and wants and that is an adult concept that many adults seen to not grasp, much less children.

    I knw of people who wear their austerity like a badge of honour and almost revel in their meaness and I know an exceedingly wealthy family who are gracious and generous.

    I grew up in a family home where we didn't have a telephone until I was 8 - and we only got a telephone because my grandfather was running his own business. Prior to that we went next door to use their phone in an emergency (which was rare) or we walked down to the corner to use the public phone. In Australia today there are more mobiles than people - I am not sure if that is a good thing, but hey we all have a mobile in our house.

    My other grandparents had an outback toilet 'til the day they died, which was only late last year - no indoor plumbing in that house and wood fired heating and cooking - my grandmother didn't 'need' indoor plumbing in her mind it wasa luxury - to her is was 'stuff'

    Not having a phone or indoor plumbing didn't make them better or worse people, it didnt make them more honorable and it didnt make them bad people.

    I think the obsession with stuff can make us seem to be shallow, I think the obsession with owning and having stuff can distract us from other things in life and I think the obsession with stuff can detract from the enjoyment of life.

    Mind you, I like my indoor plumbing!!!

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