Monday, November 28, 2011

How To Spoil My Toddler Rotten Without Ending Up With A Rotten, Spoiled Toddler

With the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers waning,  our home is in full holiday mode,  boxes of decorations are waiting to be placed and I am typing in the  white light glow of lights on our fresh cut Christmas tree.

 With the house bathed in shades of red, the husband and I are constantly finding ourselves whipping out our smart phones or tilting the laptop to show the other another wonderful Christmas gift for our soon to be spoiled toddler.  She gets so excited and even more than her excitement, her daddy and I are over the moon excited at the idea of buying Christmas gifts this year.

Last year since she was barely six months old, we held back and we made her a book that we hope she holds onto nostalgically for a long, long time.  This year we will find her a forever gift but the floor is destined to be covered in brightly colored toys as well. 

Of course, with our excitement comes a quiet yet steady little voice in the back of my head warning me about going overboard.

As a child, Christmas was about spending days on end with family and about amazing food and hours of board games.  It was not about shopping, it was not about presents and while we did receive gifts, it was never extravagant and there were no calculated expectations.

I do not want my toddler to grow into a spoiled child, I do not want a rotten sour faced child scowling back at me when she does not receive an entire aisle of a toy store that she requested.  I don’t even want her requesting gifts.

I want Christmas to be about giving and making presents for others, I want her excitement to be centered on family traditions. YET, I also want to give her the moon wrapped in a bright shiny bow.  Every time I see something and imagine a smile on her face when it is given to her, I am unable to resist. 

So how do I find the line? How do I spoil my dear Bean without ending up with a spoiled toddler destined to be a spoiled child?

 I see how materialism has changed childhood.  I see children that do not want to build forts in a corn field or hike through the woods when they can sit in front of a video game or IPad and while I am as guilty as any of being overly consumed by technology and materialism.  I want to protect the Bean, I want her to have a simple childhood protected from greed and envy for as long as possible.

So again, how do I draw the line between the competing desires of my heart?  How do I give her the world while making certain that she never takes it for granted? I realize that as a mom of a toddler, I have a bit of a pass but if I don’t think about it now,  how can I be certain I will figure it out before it is too late?

1 comment:

  1. I think that because you know what you want Christmas to be about (making, giving, family, tradition, etc.) you're setting the example your little Bean needs to appreciate the true meaning of the holidays...she'll see you appreciating what you have and what you receive (and also making and giving) and will learn how to create that balance! You sound like a wonderful mom : )

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