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  1. #21
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    I don't know.

    I'm not a fan of 'stuff' myself ... I'm really not materialistic at all. And I think a lot of that comes from my childhood. When your birthday presents consist of a ball of wool or a blank 64-page exercise book with a packet of cheap colouring pencils, I think you learn to make do, and become resilient.

    I went to a public school, where my parents couldn't even afford to send me to the school-run swimming lessons.

    I wore hand-me-down clothes until I was a teenager and got a job so I could buy my own.

    I am STILL 'growing into' the only pair of shoes which was ever bought new for me on my first day of Year 7 (and they're still in pretty good nick, too! )

    I experienced my first 'holiday' at 19.

    Do I feel deprived when I look back on my childhood? Well, to be honest, I haven't really given it too much thought, so clearly it hasn't had a huge impact lol.

    I LOVED my childhood. I loved making mud pies with my siblings and climbing trees and making up plays and skits to perform to our family. Everything I can remember truly loving from my childhood, was free.

    Did I feel embarrassed about being 'the poor kid' back then? Of course - who wouldn't? But I was never actually upset that I didn't have the things my friends had ... I was upset that my friends' well-off families judged my family for it. It made me feel ashamed, when in actual fact, my family had nothing to be ashamed of.

    So if it's one or the other (which, let's face it - it VERY rarely is), I believe that non-tangible things like love and fun and creativity are, in the long run, more important than 'stuff'.

    When I am on my death-bed and my life flashes before my eyes, I doubt I am going to think; "I love my family and everything, but gee I wish they had gotten me that tamagotchi when I was 9!".

    If you have the means to give your children these things, by all means, do it! It's not going to do them any harm. But on the other hand, if you don't have spare cash lying about to pay for non-necessities like holidays and the like, don't worry! At the end of the day, in terms of the big things in life, your kid is no worse off than the kid driving the Mercedes down the road.

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  3. #22
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    I don't think travel is "stuff" but I do think there is a difference between a holiday full of natural experiences and a holiday at 5 star resorts and theme parks. We recently had the theme parks holiday, which I believe is fun but not essential. We have also travelled by car long distances into the sticks. My child learnt a lot from that type of travel, including what to do if the engine dies (battery terminals came loose, easy fix) and what happens when you get a flat tyre. Plenty of other lessons were learnt from those travels, too.

    As for 'stuff' I think there's no such thing as too many books or too many art supplies, provided they are used and not just being collected. I don't think having a lot of material possessions makes anyone a better person, but it also doesn't mean they are worse either.

  4. #23
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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 was a luxury - to her it 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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  6. #24
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    MsMummy - you just put into words what I have been trying to figure out how to say!

    That's what I meant when I said that I learnt important lessons through learning to go without as a teenager.

    I think too, it's so much easier to be poor, then 'come into' money, than it is to do it the other way around.

    I also think that as a society as a whole, we are really losing the skill of saving for things we want, and living within our means. Two VERY important skills for financial success in my opinion.

  7. #25
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    You know, I sometimes do feel deprived from my childhood. We never really went on holidays (more so from age 9 onwards) and I feel deprived because of that. Not because of the holiday itself, but to have actually spent time - as a family. We never went on family outings, but again it's not the place we would have gone to but the feeling of belonging to a loving family. I resent it a lot because I often wonder, if we did things like that, would I have had a close relationship with my family? Would they have abandoned me like they have, if we were all close? Would they actually CARE about me? Would things, overall, be better?
    Probably not, but I can't help but wonder..

  8. #26
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    [QUOTE=Shoopuf;6428738]

    When I am on my death-bed and my life flashes before my eyes, I doubt I am going to think; "I love my family and everything, but gee I wish they had gotten me that tamagotchi when I was 9!".

    This exactly!!!

  9. #27
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    I dont believe having stuff makes a child a better person, but I will be giving DD the best things I can afford.
    Like it or not, it does change how you are perceived.. Having the best gear will help her not get bullied in school as opposed to the child with holes in their shoes and dirty smelly clothes (me when i was a kid). Giving her a nice home and a nice bedroom with toys helps her feel proud of her home and want to bring friends back, thus allowing her to make more friends.
    I had absolutely nothing growing up as a kid. We never had toilet roll, let alone a home phone.Mum tried her best but there was just too many of us to clothe and feed. I used to feel so left out going to school in hand me downs with holes in them, and not being able to take anything to school on 'bring a toy to school' day. Year after year I had to pretend I had forgotten my toy.I hardly had any friends and never brought anyone back to my house.
    Then in high school I got continually bullied for not having the latest shoes/jacket. I went to school in a pair of wrangler jeans one day and got slammed up against a wall and called a tramp...because apparently wrangler wasnt 'in'.


    So I will be making sure DD always has the best we can afford, even if that means going without holidays etc as I want to give her the best start in life, I want to minimise the risk of her being bullied by as much as possible.

    I know I am only adding to the problem by not addressing the issue of the bullies in the first place, but if or when it happens, I assure you I will be doing that too.

  10. #28
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    GothChick . That sounds really tough.

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by OurLittleBlessing View Post
    GothChick . That sounds really tough.
    Oh jeeze! Really?! See now you are gonna make me cry haha! It actually doesnt sound that bad to me because, well, actually, im not sure, I was going to say it was all I knew, but its not, I saw friends with their beautiful warm houses and their nice soft bed spreads in their girly pink bedrooms and I knew my own bedroom consisted of a broken mattress with the springs sticking up through, no sheets or pillow case and an old smelly doona,bare floorboards and 20 year old grey chipboard wallpaper.. and I knew I was different and not normal....

    I remember when I was round 9,a friends dad once running me a bath at their house so I could bathe whilst they ate dinner. I sat in the bath and cried, no one had ever ran me a bath before, and with bubble bath!! We never even had shampoo let alone bubble bath!
    I felt so cared for.
    I guess it does seem pretty bad reading it back now...

    Sorry, off topic.

  12. #30
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    It's probably all different now from when I was a kid - but I remember my Mum not really wanting me around, not wanting to spend time with me etc, and my Dad being too busy working or playing with my 4 brothers to care much about me. I don't remember not having the best toys or overseas holidays - and I definitely didn't have much being one of 5 children. Most of my clothes were acquired at Christmas & Birthdays until I was old enough to work myself when I bought everything out of my wages. Now that kind of bothers me - just that my parents didn't really provide for me (i.e. they never bought me one packet of pads or tampons for example - I used to deliver pamphlets to make money until I could get a real job!) - but as a child the thing that sticks out the most was a lack of real interaction between my parents and I. So nope, I don't think "stuff" is of much consequence. In fact my DP had loads of stuff growing up, and he remembers his folks just not being around too.


 

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