I have a problem

I tend to buy way too much for my kids at birthday and Christmas time. I overdo. And I know why it is. It's because I remember that feeling that I had, as a child, on every birthday and every Christmas morning, of unwrapping the last present and then looking up and thinking, Is that it? Isn't there something else? That feeling of disappointment that it was over (even though, I hasten to add, I always got very nice presents and I was never deprived of the things I really really wanted, except for maybe the Baby Alive doll). I don't like to think of my children having that feeling.

That's ridiculous, of course, and I need to get over it. Kids need to know that there are limits, that sometimes what their hearts desire isn't deliverable. Plus, in my heart of hearts I know that it's not my job to never disappoint my children; my job is to help them learn to cope with disappointment. And to learn, as well, that a certain melancholy letdown is part of the Christmas experience, and that maturity means letting it go and realizing that what we get is not what the holiday is all about anyway.

So I'm trying. There's one thing that Mallory has asked for several times and I'm just not getting it for her. She'll have plenty of other presents, more than she's asked for in fact, and it'll be fine. Her character -- and my credit card balance -- will be the better for my saying no.


aimee said...

I spoil my kids too. I am trying to compromise though and to teach them to share, blah, blah, blah.