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Hmm... will I end up with spoilt brats?

(57 Posts)
FairyMum Tue 22-Feb-05 10:53:51

Do you only buy your children toys at christmas/birthdays? I often let them buy themselves something when we go shopping which I suppose is quite rare, but we fly once a month and they will pick up something at the airport. I remember my parents always saying no to me in shops, I suppose to teach me the value of money. It didn't work though as I am hopeless with money. I don't want my kids to be spoilt, but I also feel it's a bit unfair on them as they have parents who buy things without looking at the price-tags, so why shouldn't they be able to?
They don't have more toys than others, nor walk around in designer gear and still get very excited about getting a toy or present. But how strict should you be ?

colditzmum Tue 22-Feb-05 10:56:55

Ah, well I could say you are right to worry, but I do it too! It's nice to spoil them, I was spoilt rotten, but am very good with what little money we have! Pocket money teaches children about money IMO, presents teach them about presents! Not that that is at all a bad thing.


Laylasmum Tue 22-Feb-05 10:56:55

FM i buy my dd little bits all the time i guess it depends what you buy. If its a replica ferrari every month then yes they're more likely to be spoiled but if its a game or dvd or something thats different. If you want them to begin to appreiciate money try giving them a set amount before you go and when its gone its gone !!!

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Feb-05 10:59:07

I've been wondering the same thing.

My parents said 'No' to me a lot as a kid - but mainly in their case because they couldn't afford to buy much.

Perhaps consequently, I'm always indulging my little ones...and I have noticed an insidious "but I want it, want it" entitlement complex developing with my 2.7 year old. I also think it dulls the thrill of getting something new and exciting if such experiences are two-a-penny.

Have recently decided to make a conscious effort not to over-indulge them as I do think it spoils them. I won't be limiting to just birthdays and Christmas, but I will definitely be less lavish than I have been.

marialuisa Tue 22-Feb-05 11:07:02

Well, I tend to be the same (although I can't remember being told "no" or anyone making any attempt to teach me the value of money-and I'm financially inadequate too!). My family never did pocket money or anything they would just tell you to choose something. I think this attitude is quite common in Mediterranean families.

DD is pleasant company, she rarely asks for things but I suppose I probably spend at least a fiver on a book/toy for her most weekends. That said, she knows that "big" things are really for special occasions. She seems to have taken on board that she won't have loads of presents from mummmy and daddy on her b'day because she's chosen a very expensive party (currently looking at £350, still got to organise food etc).

As far as I'm concerned I'm in the fortunate position where five quid isn't really noticed (IYSWIM) and I prefer to spend my money on her (DH likes to spend his money on drink and CDs). DD definitely doesn't have a higher than normal numbert of toys (although she does have quite a library) and she really appreciates what she has. I don't get the "spoiling" thing, sure you can raise a child with an unpleasant attitude but i don't think that's always linked to what you buy them and when you buy it.

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 11:14:37

We primarily give the boys things at Christmas and birthdays. Mostly if I buy things at other times I "put them away". Occasionally I get them something as a special, surprise reward/present. If they whinge for something they get nothing. Also they save up their pocket money to buy things themselves.

They are great to take round shops; they point out things for their 'Christmas lists', but they certainly don't whinge for me to buy them things.

However, some of this I think is character/personality. I had two long-term fostered sisters who were brought up with us from when they were 3 and 4, but they always whinged and whined and begged for stuff (my db and I never did).

BUT if my boys 'need' something (our judgment) - new swimming costume, goggles, trainers, football boots, bike helmet, etc. we do buy it immediately. So they certainly are not lacking in anything.

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Feb-05 11:14:38

Well my theory (and it may well be flawed) is that children of the seriously well healed may be more susceptible to a lack of ambition and not achieving because they have always had everything on a plate.

I know Fairymum is not quite talking about precisely this scenario, but that's where I am coming from...

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 11:16:47

Oh ML you've reminded me - I do spend a small fortune on children's books: I wasn't really counting them! Sometimes I save them up for birthdays, sometimes I give them as a special reward, sometimes I just slip them onto the shelves.

scotlou Tue 22-Feb-05 11:20:06

I remember my dh and I discussing this before we had kids. Ours would not be spoilt, would only get things when they needed them, wouldn't get big presents at Christmas / birthdays (we even said we would just give a toddler an empty cardboard box!) Then ds was born. And we discovered we wanted to buy things. All the time! So both kids do get little things quite frequently - books, toy cars, small dolls etc - and at Birthdays / Christmas we do spend too much - but I think it is appreciated and I don't think they are spoiled. DS in particular is not hard on his toys and they are all in good condition.

colditzmum Tue 22-Feb-05 11:23:29

It's the look on their little faces when you put things in their hands and say "That's for you!"

Their faces just light up....

Kelly1978 Tue 22-Feb-05 11:26:12

I treat my kids to things when they've been good or when I want to, not just for bdays and xmas. I suppose they get presents twice a mnth or so, not including clothes.

They def aren't spoilt, because they know I will buy it for them when I have the money and they've behaved, and not when they ask. They can have presents, and they do have a lot of nice clothes etc. but they know that no means no and it is completely worthless trying to argue with it.

I don't think buying children lots of presents makes them spoilt, it is when they are allowed to demand and parents give in to them, and they think they can have whenever they want.

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Feb-05 11:29:14

Okay, I know if I hang around this thread long enough someone will agree with me, and then I'll give them a big cyber hug

Bozza Tue 22-Feb-05 11:31:57

Would think I come in somewhere in between. DS occasionally gets a toy but not every time we go shopping. Nor does he get sweets every time we go shopping although often we are walking past a sweet stall or whatever and he decides he is hungry. Hmmm. My parents were of the go over board at Christmas/birthday and nothing in between type and this is how they are with DS and DD. My ILs OTOH buy DS something (usually yet another car or set of cars) every time they see him which is every 2-3 weeks. I find this irritating because he has got sooo many cars, probably heading towards 200. Would prefer a book.

We also give DS money to save up to buy something. Not strictly pocket money because he is only just 4. But he has control over what he wants to buy.

FairyMum Tue 22-Feb-05 11:34:00

I do agree with you a little HMC. That's exactly what I worry about. But my kids are not exactly the Beckham-kids either.....

Kelly1978 Tue 22-Feb-05 11:34:10

IMO wealth has nothing to do with it, not spoiling a child means teachign them that they can't always have. As long as they understand that money isn't endless and we can't always have everything we see, the amount of money spent on them is irrelevant.
I guess no hug for me then

Enid Tue 22-Feb-05 11:37:28

mine get a magazine or something tiny like hair clips when we go shopping (only twice a week as we live miles from any shops) for bribery reasons. Big toys are usually only xmas and birthdays but dd1's birthday is 5 days before Xmas so I tend to have a bit of a splurge every few months. We went to London at half term and I took them to a big toyshop and said right, you can have whatever you want (as long as not too expensive), you should have seen their faces. Sweetly dd1 chose a 3.99 jewellery set and I had to insist that she had Polly Pocket as well

bambi06 Tue 22-Feb-05 11:38:21

at thwe weekend my son who has ASD ate an apple whole for the first time(unless you`ve got a child with autism you wont understand the importance of this)anyway we were obviously so pleased that we said he could choose a present from a stall in the market where we were and do you know what he wanted ..poor love..A FEATHER DUSTER>>!!!! but we managed to persuade him a chocolare brownie ws much better(he`s got a feather duster at home!)

Enid Tue 22-Feb-05 11:38:35

oh and lego is half price in our local toy shop so have bought them both some (but it it hidden away for a rainy day).

Also books don't count, we buy dd1 lots (I'm afraid dd2 gets the handmedowns)

Enid Tue 22-Feb-05 11:39:07

bambi lol, actually my dd2 would LOVE a feather duster

maisystar Tue 22-Feb-05 11:39:14

ds is 4 and i give him pocket money (£4 a week) to spend on what he wants. he can save it if he wants something bigger. occasionally i see something that i think he will love and buy it as a present. i think he has quite a good understanding of money and he knows that no means no

maisystar Tue 22-Feb-05 11:40:13

lol bambi, ds chose a feather duster with his pocket money last week!!

handlemecarefully Tue 22-Feb-05 11:40:33

half a hug for Fairymum and a raspberry for Kelly1978

Marina Tue 22-Feb-05 11:41:50

We exclude books from the equation too. Ds usually gets something of £7.00 or under as a reward for toiling round Bluewater with us, but now he is five and a half we are doing the save pocket money for mini-splurges.
Interestingly, now that it is clear to him that (with supervision) he has to get the money out of his own purse, check he can afford the megazord, and then handle the transaction with the assistant himself, he is a lot less pestery in shops. I thoroughly recommend this approach!

Enid Tue 22-Feb-05 11:42:51

ooh how exciting I think I'll start giving dd1 pocket money! She's 5 and a bit. Too young? How much?

colditzmum Tue 22-Feb-05 11:43:07

bambi06, that reminds me of my brother! Mum took him to town when he was about 4 to choose something for his B'day, and I kid you not, he chose a dead trout from the fishmongers. And when she didn't buy it, he screamed "You promised!You promised!" all they way home!

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