6/12/14

My Ultimate Job As A Parent...

There is a BIG difference between GIVING your kids the world, and SHOWING your kids the world. The difference being, one will ruin them, and the other will enlighten them...

Some of the most miserable and nastiest people I know, are some of the wealthiest people I know.  Conversely, some of the happiest and kindest people I know, are some of the poorest people I know.  Now, I am not saying wealth and poverty go hand-in-hand with happiness, but I am saying it appears that respect and appreciation for people and things can get very skewed when money is involved. 


If you give your kids everything, how will they ever appreciate, or understand the true value of anything? I recently read an article highlighting famous baby's birthday parties, and was beyond shocked and amazed by the extravagant parties and gifts the parents gave their child.  Beyonce and Jay-Z spent a rumored $200,000, on Blue Ivy’s party, in addition to an $80,000 diamond-encrusted Barbie. How in the hell does a 2-year-old play with a diamond Barbie? And how do you follow that up? They don't make diamond ponies... or do they?

I have a girlfriend who works as a personal assistant in Hollywood for the rich and famous. One of the families she worked for had her make sure their son always had a certain amount of cash in his wallet and his car was always fully gassed up.  So, EVERYDAY, she replenished his cash and filled up his car with gas. And to top it off, the son was always nasty to her, and treated her like she only existed to tend to him. How sad. 

I will feel like such a failure as a parent if I raise my son to think he is better than the next person.  We all get here the same way. Sure, we are born into different circumstances, but those circumstances can change in a second. We could lose everything overnight, any one of us. It's how we cope and move on that counts. If you have no idea how to operate in the real world, then your chances of overcoming are not going to be good.

 Kids should be allowed to be kids.  They need love more than toys. Life experiences over sheltered existence. They need to experience diversity and understand how to deal with it. They need to go to a public playground and understand they are no better than any other child there, and learn to share and play nicely with each one.

If you raise your child with credit cards and bank accounts, how will they ever experience and learn to love the simple things life has to offer? I don't care how wealthy my husband and I are (which is not very) or become, our son will never be given everything his heart desires. I think that would be doing a great disservice to him. I don't buy him a toy every time we got to the store (or really anytime), nor do I bribe him with gifts for good behavior. Good behavior is expected in our house. While it is acknowledged, it is by no means rewarded. I want my son to grow-up with strong values and a good kind heart, and understand how far that will get him in this world. Which, is a lot farther than money will. 

My ultimate job as a parent is to raise a respectful, compassionate, well-behaved child, that can find happiness in simple things. I will teach my son the value of money, and the pride that comes with working hard to earn the things he wants and need. Most of all, I refuse to let my son grow-up thinking he is better than anyone else, because to me, that attitude is the seed that grows into a life of hate and unhappiness. 

In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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