I want!! Can I get?? It’s not fair!!

If you’re a parent like me you’ll probably hear these words all the time.

There are lots of reasons why we try to give our kids everything; to see the look of joy on their precious little faces, to get 10 minutes peace and quiet or to ease our guilt for long hours away from them at the office. But are we in fact making a big mistake? No shopping trip is complete these days without one of my kids asking for something, I can feel my stress levels rising before we even get through the shop door. When did my child become so spoiled? Have I created this monster?

My kids weren’t born wanting anything apart food, love and security. I started the journey, buying them that little bar of chocolate for being quiet in the supermarket, the cuddly toy that they carried around the shop that they just loved. I’ve made them want and expect these treats with every trip. I’ve recently heard friends talk about Christmas presents for their kids, including expensive ‘fruit’ branded products for 7-year- old children, 32inch flat screen TVs for bedrooms for their new games console. These gifts cost hundreds of pounds and most likely push a lot of us into debt, all to give our

kids what we’ve conditioned them to expect and the media has told them they must have. But where does it end? What happens when these already lavish gifts are not enough to satisfy them and our credit won’t stretch any further?

I realised recently that by continuing this pattern of everything they want exactly when they want it my children will never learn the true cost or value of things. And worse, when they grow up and go into the big bad world on their own I will have failed to prepare them for the realities of our consumer culture. The shocking reality that you don’t just get things because you want them, you have to work and save hard. Worse still will they fall foul to easy debt to fuel an addiction to instant gratification started in childhood?

As a great top tip to start reversing this behaviour a friend of mine sent me a little picture the other day and I have decided to give it a go. To start teaching my kids to think about what they really want and what they really need. I know it won’t be easy I will probably slip up give them 2 things they want but I am only a parent after all…..