? I seem to be asking myself this question quite often lately. What is it? IT
is everything. The toys, electronics, summer camps, private school, unconditional love, a roof, home cooked meals, restaurants, clean laundry, new clothes, hugs and kisses, support, sports, respect and the list goes on and on and just keeps growing. My kids have it all but why is it
still not enough
? Do they even know what the definition of enough is?
You can tell kids until you are blue in the face that they need to appreciate it all because some kids don’t have anything. In one ear and out the other, am I right? I set limits, I use behavior charts, have volunteered as a family to help the homeless and teach my boys the importance of helping others. They know I have high expectations when it comes to manners and respect but still, they don’t get it
. Why does my 10-year-old ask me for something new every day? Can’t he appreciate what he has today
and not what he needs tomorrow
? Yes, he needs new sneakers and yes, he needs new clothes for camp and the new school year quickly approaching, but when does it end? I am guessing never. Why does my eight-year-old feel the need to write a birthday list (his birthday is four months away), two minutes after I explained the concept of appreciating what he already has? Told yah, in one ear and out the other. Really? How about a thank you list instead? Why does my five-year-old think whatever he wants
is what he will get
? As we were walking out of a store the other day, he said, “Mom, look at that cool ball. Can we get it”? My reaction? “Um…did I not just buy you a boogie board and goggles two minutes ago? We haven’t even left the store yet? Jeez!” Has the “Thank you, Mama, you’re the best”, worn off that quickly? Clearly. I know I need to take some of the blame. I have given too much and now they expect it all, without realizing how blessed they are. I am not even just talking about material things, but my parenting style as well that goes unnoticed and underappreciated. It annoys the heck out of me that they don’t recognize how good they have it with me. Not to toot my own horn but I put so much effort into motherhood. (Don’t we all?) I try to put myself in their shoes when they are upset, am constantly telling them how much I love and adore them, and have created a home environment that I would love
to have experienced as a kid. I am not seeking a verbal thank you. It would sure be nice once in a while, but it is not my goal. “Thank you’s” come in many forms. Going to bed when I say “Goodnight” instead of dragging it out for 30 minutes would be an acceptable form. Getting in the car for school and not going at sloth speed would be a huge payback. Something…anything!!! When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to be a mom. I would think about the kind of mother I wanted to be based on my own experiences as a child, both the good and the bad. I realize that my
kids only know the now. They don’t know any other kind of mother. I can tell them they are so lucky (and they are), but they have nothing to compare it to. I also blame the world we live in. I was talking with a girlfriend of mine recently and we agreed that technology has taken over our kid’s lives. It has killed their creativity and instead created
overindulgence. They want and need
their tablets, computers, cell phones, etc. They are addicted…and so are we, by the way. Our kids want the latest and greatest and from the time they come out of the womb, know how to operate it all.
Did I ever think my 10-year-old would have a cell phone? NEVER, but guess what, he does
and so do 99% of his friends. At first, it was for emergencies while attending sports practice on his own, but now it’s a part of his hand. I created a monster! Society created a monster. The idea of appreciating some quiet time to play and invent games doesn’t exist anymore, which is sad. I used to LOVE playing by myself as a little girl. Whether it was singing into a hairbrush in front of the mirror or pretending to be Jane Pauley, delivering a news story I wrote, I never relied on a screen to entertain me. Due to the fact all of these electronics didn’t exist when I was a kid, I didn’t crave it or rely on it. Kids today…it’s their go-to. Games, movies, texting, video chatting, social media….it doesn’t end. Technology has definitely had a negative impact on how our kids define play time, as well as their level of appreciation. As they stare at their screens, they want more and more games to download. My son asked me yesterday if he could download Netflix on his phone. Really? It’s not enough he has it on all of our televisions at home? If kids aren’t
staring at a screen, they are bored. They want to go do something or go buy something. The minute there is downtime, kids panic. They simply don’t know what to do with themselves. When we recently came home from a week’s vacation at the beach, the minute we walked in the door, it was, “What are we doing now?” As a parent, it’s so frustrating. Enough
is no longer enough
I yearn for the day when my kids think, “You know what, my mom loves me so much, tells me how special I am, lets me do fun things, cooks me gourmet meals and always makes sure I have clean underwear, so today, I am not going to fight with my brother, I will take “no” as an acceptable answer and treat her like a queen”. YAH RIGHT!
I want to know when enough will actually be enough! Will my boys ever recognize when it’s enough? Enough to know not to ask me to buy something? Enough to know not to complain about something? Enough to know to appreciate what they already have? Will they ever understand the IT?
As I always say, “It’s your world kid, I’m just living in it”. Well, no more! Today, I declare that ENOUGH is ENOUGH! It is our world and it is time to let our kids know this.
I will continue to stand my ground, not fold, and teach my boys about gratitude and giving, instead of always taking. One day it will click. I may have to wait a while, but when they have their own kids, they will get it. That’s when I will know I have done my job, which will be enough for me.
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD™!!!