I remember vividly handing over a parcel to a friends child who was about 8. He had a large pile of gifts to open and was just racing through the unwrapping of them. We had brought him a top. He tore open the paper and didn’t say a word, the gift fell to the floor, and he grabbed for the next.
I sat there in disbelief, I wanted to shake the kid and say “manners?”, but his Mom didn’t reinforce it so why would he see the importance to do so.
However, the little chats to remind them that Auntie Mary had spent lots of time choosing the ‘woolly hat’ and we must remember to say “thank you” is what’s important. Always teaching them to appreciate and be thankful.
But we did have holidays abroad, family meals, big birthdays and a very exciting Christmas’. I’m not saying that the kids that have all of the above are brats, but it certainly made me appreciate the good times.
I watched my Dad work weekends and come home exhausted. He would be asleep by tea time. As a family that were out for a meal quite often, we would decide to pass on the puddings. We were aware of money, and that we didn’t have it in abundance. This very grounded upbringing made me and my brother good savers. My first months wage, instead of wasting on clothes and drink, I brought a 4 poster pine bed ??. It was a little random at 16, but I worked very hard for that bed, “he he”.
So eBay and car boots are the very clever option. The importance of having the labels at this age for the kids, is, for them vital. If it takes me a day to find them at the right price, then I will. The need to be the same as your peers for some children is very important, you need a keen eye but it can be done.
Holidays we save up for them, and we’ve always lived by the mantra, if you can’t afford it don’t have it. It is so boring, but for the majority of our married life we have lived on one wage so it’s crucial that we don’t get in to a debt that we can’t pay back.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been tempted over the years to buy the brand new car, or have a loan to go to Disneyland. But the very practical me knows what comes in the house money wise and what goes out. If you can afford it brilliant, but realism is another important life skill.
So do I think our standards are perfect? No not at all. I really would like to give the children weekly pocket money, and some days I think that they hear too much money talk. I would also like to say “yes” a little more, “yes here’s £20 for the movies”, “yes you can go on that school trip”
However, if I buy Alfie a sticker book, he’s excited by it. If I save for trainers for Charlie, he may cry when he receives them. They save their pennies for flowers for Mothers Day, and share the excitement of day trips and holidays away. And, 99% of the time they remember their manners. If they don’t, their Mom will be in their ear reminding them of the importance of them ❤~