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Am I a joyless puritan?

(198 Posts)
trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:08:15

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Blackduck Sun 14-Aug-05 21:11:25

I'd like to know the answer to this one too....ds is only two, but I can see this issues looming on the horizon. Pre ds my BIL and SIL both came in and asked where the biscuit tin was (we don't have one, and still don't...)

Twiglett Sun 14-Aug-05 21:11:43

completely agree with the way you are raising your children but have no suggestions

I thnk a TV and DVD player in her bedroom - a very very bad idea .. I am with you all the way NO WAY ON EARTH

home-made cake and fruit juice when friends come to visit - let them help ice and decorate them then eat them .. far more fun and more tasty than

you never know in a couple of years her friends will start envying her

starshaker Sun 14-Aug-05 21:13:35

no i have kindof decided to do the same dd will get everything she needs but not everything she wants. i dont intend to give dd lots of sweets and stuff i want her to grow up healthy (im overweight and would hate dd to go through what ive gone through) i dont want her to have a tv in her room as i want to spend time with her as a family and feel if she did have 1 then she would spend all her time there.

how about getting a portable 1 that goes in ur room but on sleepovers and special treats she gets it in her room

trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:15:42

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sobernow Sun 14-Aug-05 21:19:50

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Twiglett Sun 14-Aug-05 21:20:02

as long as you can plan some really fun things to do whilst they're at yours then I think you can set up your children to be the envy of the neighbourhood kids

I'm sure there could be a huge list (from mumsnetters) to choose from that needn't cost a lot of money (or your time)

1) buy some cheap make-up and clothes and let them play dres-up

2) run a disco for them

3) buy cheapo decorations (crepe paper) and let them decorate the bedroom to a theme .. a beach / a jungle

4) hide treasures (plastic jewellry) round the house and do treasure hunt clues (Whizz and I are good at rhyming couplets)

.. bet there's loads of other things

as for birthdays

how about a trip to a cinema for her bestest friends (say 2 or 4 of them)?

.. its not the point to set one kid above another I know, but at least it'll make you feel better

trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:20:06

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Twiglett Sun 14-Aug-05 21:21:21

DS (4) and friends have baking parties or have made their own lunches (home-made chicken nuggets) and had a whale of a time by the way

but I know it just gets harder

beatie Sun 14-Aug-05 21:24:38

I like the suggestion of involving the children in helping to make the homemade treats. You might be suprised - these children may come to see your home as a lovely warm, family-orientated place where you all get involved in such activities. When I was a child I loved other children's houses that were very different to my own.

How about making some smoothies for the kids? I make a healthy smoothie out of banana, wheatgerm, unsweetened cocoa powder and milk. It tastes chocolatie and nutty and DD thinks it is chocolate milkshake.

I don't think you should have to compromise too far on your ideals. If only we with the same ideals all lived in the same town!

Caligula Sun 14-Aug-05 21:24:40

Trefusis, I'm right with you.

The only solution is to live in an area and send your child to a school where all of the parents agree with you! However, that is impossible, because it appears that we're in a minority. In RL I only know two other sets of parents who lives locally to me, who have the same attitudes. Although, the funny thing is, lots of other people claim to have the same attitude - don't want to spoil them etc., but then you go to their houses and their kids have DVD's etc. in the bedroom and the cupboards are full of biscuits. So I suspect that many, many parents are feeling persecuted into going along with all this consumerist crap (I know I do too - my DS's birthday party this year was testament to that) but are too scared to say anything for fear of being seen as either joyless puritans, or holier than thou smuggies who look down on everyone else for their sad materialism. Don't know what the answer is really, but honestly, you are not a joyless puritan, you are a normal person with a large dollop of common sense!

trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:25:33

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Blackduck Sun 14-Aug-05 21:25:53

Actually that reminds me my sil's son had the best time with dp making pizza.....chopping things and arranging them on the base and all that - good, cheap fun...

Caligula Sun 14-Aug-05 21:26:58

Agree with the fun stuff on playdates as well. I make popcorn and let it jump around the kitchen (hysteria-inducing), and let them paint our crappy garden fences with paint which washes off after about 3 lots of rain. You can tell they think they're in a wild Bohemian household!

TwinSetAndPearls Sun 14-Aug-05 21:30:25

Your house sounds like mine trefusis, except we don't have a telly in the living room never mind dd bedroom. Although there is a portable in the loft that i let her get down every now and again.

I don;t think you are mean but are just putting a lot of thought into your parenting. I don't think other children will be bothered, infact our house is permanently full of children who love to come and play. I think they like it that our house is a bit different.

Tomorrow dd (3.11) has half a dozen friends coming to play, they will not be having fizzy drinks, bags of crisps, sweets instead they are decorating home made cakes and playing in the playroom or garden.

trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:31:37

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luckylady Sun 14-Aug-05 21:37:55

RE the tv dvd in bedrooms- Why do you all seem to say no to this!.
I must confess my DD does have these (infact hers isbetter than mine ) But she can only watch it when it is ok with me, I f I say no tv/dvd tonight/day whatever she respects that. generally i find when she has sleepovers they play with er bratz, do scoobies , draw tell stories, then put the dvd on when they are ready to chill out and go to sleep.
it is not very often that I have sweets in but dd friends are all happy with fruit etc ( I only bake for occasions) I also say no to the coke and tell them to have squash, juice water or milk, which they are all happy with (even though I always have diet coke and diet lemonade in)

I admit that I have given DD too much she has aklways had what she needs and lots more, I said I wouldn't do it with DS but I have.. I don't know why I habe.. But DD is very level headed and understands that different houses have different house rules.. ialways make it plain to her friends that whilst in my house they go by my house rules not theres... as it happens all the sleepovers seem to be here so they can't think me that bad.

Sorry just waughling

luckylady Sun 14-Aug-05 21:38:58

ment to add when you say no to TV/DVD do you mean never never or not till a certain age.

spidermama Sun 14-Aug-05 21:41:37

I've had exactly the same thoughts. I've decided to stick to my guns.

My kids don't have as many toys as other kids because it's mostly a load of old rubbish which inhibits creativity, teaches nothing and ends up broken in landfill within days. Also, when my kids are given a load of things, they just don't play with them. It sounds corny but they like painting, cooking, large cardboard boxes, or making tents with sheets in the garden. They rarely ask for stuff and if they do it's because they've seen an advert. Solution - less telly.

I think the more things you have the less you value them. Also, my kids want to play with real things like tools or cooking equipment.

As for birhtday parties - I've notched up 13 so far for my 4 kids over the past 7 years. Yikes! It's a big effort but DH does the creative party game stuff. He's brilliant at entertaining them so I concentrate on the food.

Of course, I'd rather not bother and I think I've managed to convince dd to take one friend on a special trip for the day (Zoo, theatre, ice skating etc) for her up-coming 7th birthday which will probably be cheaper and far more fulfilling than a party.

I could just fold and take them to MacDonalds and let them watch loads of TV, eat a load of sugary junk, have tonnes of toys, to give them every opportunity to fit in. But I won't.

I do get upset when my son comes home and says "When I opened my lunchbox the other kids all said, 'yuk!'." I remember this at school. I remember wishing my mum would just give me Dairylea slices and white bread so I could fit in and NOT homemade wholemeal pizza. Now I'm really grateful to her because I'm generally healthy and thouroughly enjoy good food. Also, there were other kids with embarrassing healthy lunchboxes. I had to work a bit harder to find them sometimes, but it was well worth it.

You can only be who you are and do what's best for your kids.

donnie Sun 14-Aug-05 21:42:08

trefusis - I wish there were more like you around! your dilemma is one I also share. I grew up in a poor household and we didn't even have a washing machine or a television. On the other hand, we read loads , conversed, and listened to the radio and I like to think of myself as both well read and well informed.....but I was also bullied at school for being 'poor'. Now, I have joined the ranks of the chattering classes as I married into a middle class middle income situation and live in a 3 bed semi in a nice area of London, but I grew up on a rough council estate in Islington and I am painfully aware that my 2 daughters will probably never know what that sort of life is like. But I really want them to.
You are absolutely right to eschew playstations and tvs in your children's rooms and I really feel that parents give their kids far too much these days. Nobody wants to be a killjoy, but to be frank, having all these possessions is the only killer ( of the imagination). Stick to your guns girl.

motherinferior Sun 14-Aug-05 21:48:54

I don't think you're a joyless puritan - but I do deeply sympathise.

luckylady Sun 14-Aug-05 21:49:51

I just don't get it surley it is the amount of time you let you children on these activities that is the probblem not thet fact that they have them. We have a PS2 downstairs, DD plays on it if we say she can, or she will come on the computer to look at the mYscene website.

I make sure she sits and reads everyday, her homework is done when she is given it, if it is not to par thewn I make her re do it (ie not neat etc), she does her sports etc. Plays out with her friends at make believe games, plays board games with DH and I, makes up little games to play with her 14 month old brother to make him laugh. If I am cooking she will help etc.

I don't mean to sound argumentative but i am just curious as to why you all so no to these things, I don't really see them as bad. We have even had a dvd system fitted into the car (three screens) with slots for the ps. Ithas dtopped all the moaning when going on long journies (for DD anyway ds too young to know)

trefusis Sun 14-Aug-05 21:52:41

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Twiglett Sun 14-Aug-05 21:55:11

bedrooms are for music and books not sitting mindlessly in front of another video / programme .. that's what the lounge is for

Twiglett Sun 14-Aug-05 21:55:33

the only time my kids will have a tv in their bedrooms is when they go out to work and buy their own

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