Giving Kids What They Don't Want

I posted a blog recently about the value of saying “No” to kids. The gist was:

1) Your kids will be fine if they don't get what they want all the time.
2) If you’re going to say “No” then be sure to follow through – unless you like to lead the double life of parent and white noise machine.

I just discovered another good time to say “No”– when it comes to buying them nice things. Ya know why? Because they don’t care.

Months ago, in spite of my no pet policy, my cheeky friend promised the kids a fish. She arrived at the house with a tank and all the fishy trimings. We negotiated that a fish could join us only after we moved into the new house in March.

March arrived and we moved into the new house. It is just lovely – big enough to suit our family, sitting on a quiet court and backing onto fields and ravines. The kids’ days are full of road hockey, catching tadpoles, chasing deer and trampolining. Soon summer will be here and they'll be passing their days basking in the pool, enjoying all the water fun summer has to offer.

On moving day, the kiddos had all been shipped off to various locations. When they arrived home to their beautiful new house that evening, they screamed in unison:
“Did we get the fish??”

Daddy-o and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes and thought: we just bought a new house, and all they care about is that stupid fish!

And that is not the end of it. I had decided (OK, my bank account decided) that we would not be buying new furniture for the house. I made one little exception. With the three girls sharing a room, I thought it would be nice to ditch the garage sale beds they had been using, and replace them with three new little beds with fresh and fun bedding. They excitedly picked out the beds that were being used by the athletes in Olympic village.

So you can imagine my frustration when I go into their room at night and this is what I find:

So if you are the kind of mama who worries about your kids doing without stuff, I think you can stop. Just go buy them a fish and let them to sleep on the floor. Clearly, that is all they need.

Picture of Julie Cole

Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children's label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

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