Are my children spoiled?
Yea. They are. I can admit it. I can also admit that I would not have it any other way.
But wait. What is a spoiled child? Is it a child who is able to explore as many possible interests as possible? Is it a child who has more toys than they need? How about a child who lives in a nicer home and never has to wonder where their next meal will come from?
Or is it one that has no respect for their elders. No sense of empathy and no sense of life’s values?
If the later is the opinion, my kids are not spoiled. At least, I don’t think they are. Nor has anyone ever told me of a time that my kids have not been respectful.
Years ago, when I was a hell on wheels teenager bent on living my life the way I saw fit- because all 13 years old’s have it all figured out – I was in trouble with my parents. It started with my mom while my dad was at work. I can not remember what I had done to start the fight but I am sure I was totally, 100% at fault. I usually was.
When my dad got home, the discussion continued. I had caused quite the heated evening in my house.
Somewhere along the way of my standing there listening to my dad, I heard my mom say, ‘Be careful, you will spoil her!’
For, literally, decades, I had no idea what she meant by that. I always took spoiled to mean that people had a sense of entitlement. As punishment was being handed down for whatever I had done, I certainly did not feel entitled to anything.
As a mom now of three daughters who are spiraling towards the teenage years faster that I can type this, I am still trying to figure out what she meant. Best I can come up with is that she meant that if he was too tough on me, I might rebel and act out even more.
Or maybe she meant I was getting off to easily and would think I could do whatever rule breaking act again.
Whatever the definition I think the word spoiled gets tossed around too much when referring to kids.
Before my adoption I had, literally, nothing. No toys, no games, no TV… I barely had food and a few items of clothing. Once adopted I lived in a big house, got to try anything my heart desired from soccer to cheer leading to diving. I didn’t consciously think, at age 8, that I was grateful. In fact, I remember always asking for more.
Was I spoiled? Maybe. But I bet no one would think so or fault my parents for it based on the first 8 years of my life.
My kids have a much different childhood than I did. They took their first trip to Disney as toddlers, had any outfit I thought was cute, have had birthday parties for every year they have been alive. They also have a mom who can pretty much get any toy that is coming out that will be all the rage. Compared to most, they could be defined as spoiled.
They also are avid readers, have soft hearts for the underdog and animals, go out of their way to make sure their friends are not bullied and are always wanting to donate this that or the other to people who don’t have as much as they do.
Are they consciously aware and grateful? Probably not. Kids just don’t think that way. Their world is them. But are they disrespectful, spiteful and hateful thinking that everything in the world has to benefit them?
I can honestly say no.
So, are my kids spoiled? Probably.
But I am so proud of who they are becoming that I really don’t care.
Nor do I see it as adversely affecting the people they will become as they grow up.