silverswordDecember 5, 2010

... my daughter is acting like a spoiled, selfish brat. The tooth fairy came last night and DD8 looked under her pillow. "a dollar" she said "it's just a dollar". With a look of disgust on her little face.

Maybe if I hadn't run my tush off the past three days for her I wouldn't be so exhausted and I'd be able to handle this better. But after three days of running her from ballet to soccer to girl scouts to the mall to the special out of the way store to buy her costume to the holiday tree lighting celebration; and today we have an all day Girl Scout function that requires me to be there; I'm feeling really angry.

How do you deal with your children and help them feel appreciative? I told her I didn't think the tooth fairy was coming back after a remark like that.

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We go online with SS and he helps us choose which charities to donate to (he helps us narrow down our previously vetted choices). When he started realizing in how many places there are kids who are not hoping for the latest video game system but for $1 worth of medicine so their little brother won't die, or for a chicken because they've never had an egg in their entire lives, it really opened his eyes.

May I suggest that that "only" one dollar from the Tooth Fairy might be donated to Operation Smile? They repair cleft palates and cleft lips around the world so it seems appropriate. Kids (and adults) can only compare themselves to what they know - DD may just be too young and not experienced enough to know how lucky most of us are. She's not too young to start learning that.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Mattie had a good idea.

I think it is tough to instill a perspective in kids this age, but I think it's never to early to start trying. Eventually, you hope it sinks in.

I would have been annoyed by a comment like that, too! My kids have both made similarly irritating comments over the last year----about assuming that broken or carelessly misplaced toys would simply be *replaced.*

Something I keep meaning to do with mine---and need to get on the ball and just DO---is sponsor a child through an international organization. My grandparents sponsor at least a dozen kids around the world: countries in Africa, Guatemala, etc.

I want to say it's really not expensive, maybe twelve dollars a month or something, but it is so incredible the things that money provides for the kids---everything from school to medicine to food, clothes, etc.

Some of the older children write letters to my grandparents a few times a year and pictures are sent; my grandma's fridge is covered with their pictures, drawings, etc.

I think it would be neat for my kids to sponsor a child together----maybe that is something you and your DD could do?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:00PM
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I took DGS to a party hosted by a non profit group for families that are raising a relative child the other night. (it's mostly grandparents but could be adult siblings or aunts/uncles) and they had Santa. They said that most of the kids that told Santa what they wanted had nothing to do with video games or toys at all... they wanted to see their parents for the holidays.

During the holidays, I've always done something charitable with the kids... whether it's putting cash in the red bucket, buying toys to donate, helping out with the church, etc. We sponsored a family one year; bought them a tree, decorations, toys/gifts, & all the trimmings for a holiday meal. There were five or six kids at home being cared for by dad because their mom was in the hospital and would not ever be coming home. Another year, we took donated toys to the pediatric wing of the hospital & visited the sick kids.

If one of my kids had snubbed what Santa, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy gave them... they would have been told to give it back. They were always told that if they don't think it's good enough for them, there is a child somewhere in the world that would be so grateful to have anything.

My kids are all grown now, and as young adults they continue to do what they can for less fortunate people. We were never wealthy but they grew up knowing there is always someone worse off & to be grateful for what we have.

SD on the other hand does not get it. I've tried telling her and showing her by my example, but no matter what she gets for Christmas (or her birthday) she will feel slighted or dissatisfied. At least it's been that way for several years now... she is just an unhappy kid. But, then again she has not ever known poverty. Her dad has always made sure she doesn't go without anything she needs & up until recently I would take care of extra's... but she has never been exposed to the needy, nor has she ever been needy so maybe to her, it's not real.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 3:25AM
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Those are great suggestions, thank you. I guess I was looking for short term what to say. What ended up happening yesterday was we went to a function with her troop and there was a snack stand. We didn't go to the stand all together, but occasionally a girl would come back with a soda or snack. ALL the snacks/sodas cost....


LMAO. I have to give the kid credit. She did not once ask for a snack or soda. I nonchalantly said "how much do those doughnuts cost" (her absolute favorite thing in the world) and she said "$1". And I said, "wow, that $1 sure would be valuable right about now". And she took it like a big girl.

I've been thinking of sponsoring a woman through the loan programs (I forget the name...). Thank you for reminding me.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 9:09AM
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DD never got anything for her falling out teeth, teeth just fall out LOL. And frankly she didn't get allowances at young age. that helps, why does she need money, a dollar or 5?

As a short term I would say that dollar is a lot for some people, some people onyl have a dollar a day and some don't even have that, some people starve and would beg for a dollar

What helped me ina long run though...I always did grocery shopping with DD and showed her the prices, she knew how expensive everything is, and she knew I am not rich. I was not making much when she was young. She knew that without me saying. (we lived in expensive area so she can attend good school but she knew we are renting tiny apartment, everyone else has a big house, I didn't have to tell she saw what car we have, what clothes we buy compare to her friends etc) I didn't have issues with her wanting stuff.

I make more money now, she still does nto ask (well she is an adult) but i can help now and can get her nice gifts. :)

I also did the same thing that people decsribed, we donated to charity usually through my Temple, we donated for welness house (AIDs patients), food pantry etc DD was always involved.

As an adult DD is more into charity than me to be honest with you, she regurarly donates to charity, I do only once in awhile. She also volunteers.

I think most her values came from our family. I always told DD stories about history of our family and other people of the same culture, who lost everything and everyone, she knew that material possessions are not important.

Not to say that she does nto like nice STUFF, she does. But she is reasonable so far....

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 11:55AM
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DD gets money from the tooth fairy....

We donate, we give food to the food banks, etc. 10% of her allowance goes into a charity jar. Just this weekend I overheard her telling a woman doing a clothing drive at the mall that she was doing one for her school and how important it is to help others who have no food or clothes. DD does not ask for a lot of stuff or beg for stuff at the store. But she is not perfect.

I'm glad your adult child is reasonable and has values. That must be a great source of pride for you.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 12:05PM
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We do the tooth fairy, too. :) It is such a little thing to do, but such a part of childhood IMO.

I think we all just do the best we can with instilling a sense of charitable responsibility in our kids---and making sacrifies---and trust that over time, gratitude sinks in.

I think it's sort of an acquired taste. I HATED mushrooms when I was a child---now I love them.

I think it's just difficult for children to have a perspective of how fortunate we, in this country, with food and a roof over our head, warm clothes and comforts, really are. Even under the toughest of financial circumstances, just living in THIS country is a wonderful thing.

I remember Oprah saying one time, "If you are a woman born in the United States, you are already one of the most fortunate women in the world."

So true.

I think kids can understand things like this on a basic level but it doesn't REALLY sink in until we get older. They honestly do not have the worldly perspective and maturity to truly grasp that concept.


My DD was quite touched last year b/c her class went to a homeless shelter and delivered mattresses----and they saw some of the preschool children in the shelter daycare, got to play with them. Seeing these kids whom she KNEW were homeless really *got* her attention and she now asks periodocially what we can donate to that shelter.

She gets it as much as she can at this age.

BUT she still moans and complains that we don't have this Wii game or that DS game, that her one friend has a bigger bedroom, yada yada. And it frustrates me.

I just try to reiterate the same basic things: you have so much, you are so fortunate, there are so many kids who have so much less, etc.

And trust that it sinks in.

Silver, you are doing a GREAT jobwith your DD. You know that. :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:52AM
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Thanks Love. I looked into volunteer work here but haven't been able to find anything appropriate for a child.

And you're right, it's not something kids can understand right off the bat (nor do I want her to completely understand, if that makes sense??).

I feel conflicted. I don't want to tell her about how horrible the world is but I feel if I don't give her some indication she'll grow up without a clue.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 12:39PM
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"If one of my kids had snubbed what Santa, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy gave them...
they would have been told to give it back."


Something or somethings mentioned above reminded me of an experience I had a number of years ago:

I was working for an angel tree, cutting out angels & putting them on the trees & collecting the money & shopping, wrapping, & delivering the gifts (it was a very small VFW post, & most of the guys were WWII vets; it was better for everybody for me & a couple of the other "younger" women to do these things!).

Each family also got a food basket with turkey, Stovetop dressing, canned green beans, corn, a bag of potatoes, pumpkin pie, & 1 to 4 gallons of milk depending on the size of the family.

One of the other volunteers called me on the day after everything had been sent out, saying that the commander was in a bad mood (maybe the bar had been open for a few hours by then) & had told a mother of 4 that she should have called the day before, that he didn't care if she had been at work, that he didn't want to hear that her husband was at home & had the flu & they only had 1 car & no telephone.

Well, carp.

I was tired, too, & in a grinchy mood, but I went to the post & picked up the food basket & the gifts & drove to the house, grumbling all the way.

When I pulled into the driveway, an 11-year-old boy came out (no shoes), followed by his 4-year-old brother (I knew the ages from the angels).

"Where is their father?" I grumbled inside my head.
"Do I have to do everything?"

I told the older brother I was just helping Santa, & started pulling stuff out of the car.

& the little one got me:

he looked into my car & burst into a beautiful smile & said, "Milk!" & grabbed a gallon in his arms & took off for the house.

I find it useful to remember this event when I feel less than humble.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 3:38PM
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I think kids want so much because they get so much. So they don't understand the value of anything if they have everything at such young age.

I was never truly poor, just was not making much when DD was young but it shocks to hear what some of you guys buy your kids. no wonder they demand more.

My DD got her NintendoDS on her 20th birthday LOl she wanted it for commuting. It was over $100, it never occurred to me to buy at 8??? She got cell phone in 9th grade for safety issues, it was a cheap model. We didn't have WII, or XBox, first of all because I'd rather my child reads, and she never asked for any of that stuff, does not have it now either. We never had cable (that was probably dumb LOL), no fancy TVs. She got laptop her senior year before going to college, she needed one to take with her.

I am reading that your kids nag, well because they are spoiled getting such expensive items at such young age. At 8 DD had books, stuffed animals and board games, and a cheap bike. And she didn't nag. Well my niece is 9 and already has her own camera. DD got hers she was in high school already.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Who on Earth are you posting to PO1?

My child doesn't have a NintendoDS or cellphone. She too has a "cheap" bike. In fact, we just had to buy her another one because her 3 year old one is rusted, tiny and starting to break. It's had two tire replacements and one seat replacement.

She also doesn't "nag". She never asks for things in the grocery or whines about not getting things. She's probably the least bratty child you would ever meet.

I own a Wii and a DS and she can play with them on occasion (like on long car rides) and she reads plenty. She has probably well over 100 books in her room. The last long trip we took she said "oh no, we forgot the DS! Oh well, I have my books" and then settled in for a completely non-complaining car ride, that, due to weather conditions, ended up being 11 hours long. That's right. She was 7. 11 hours, including two in weather conditions that were so bad I told her not to say one word and she didn't. And then we got to our destination and had to shovel our way in to our cabin in the dark. And we're not from snow. And she had NOT ONE COMPLAINT the whole time.

She has also flown by herself since she was 5, and flown to our home state 6 hours away by herself for the past few years. Airline staff always pull me aside to tell me how self-sufficient and non demanding she is and what a good job I am doing and other mothers sitting near her tell me they cannot believe her capabilities when they get off the plane.

She does have her own computer, mostly because we use ours for work and don't want to share. But her time is very limited on the computer, and it's used mostly for educational games.

I think part of the issue is that when your daughter was young and when (many of us) were young, technology was expensive. My DD has a camera, it cost $20 and we don't have to buy film because it's digital. IMO, that's not spoiled. When I was a kid a camera, even a cheap one, cost $50. Which, back then, was a LOT of money.

I have a VERY good child. One who is lauded by every adult she meets as being an exceptionally bright, fun, personable, generous girl.

She also happens to be 8. And on occasion some things come up that frustrate me because I don't know how to handle it. It's perfectly normal behavior.... but I've never been a mom before and I'm learning.

If you can't tell, your condescension is irking me, so I apologize if I'm not handling this well. I've never dealt with someone who makes such assumptions and categorically slams others without attempting to understand the commonality of child-raising we are all facing. Although I suppose you've come out the other end, your child is raised... and things do look so much simpler when one is not in the trenches.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 5:18PM
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"attempting to understand the commonality of child-raising we are all facing. Although I suppose you've come out the other end, your child is raised... and things do look so much simpler when one is not in the trenches."

This is so true.

Each generation says the same thing---that the way they did it was so much better, simpler, etc.

And I do think that there IS wisdom to be gained from the words of those who have *gone before us* in parenting.

That said--the challenges WE face today are sometimes different from the ones our parents faced. Sure, most of the basic issues are the same, but society is ever evolving, and the balance WE strive to find today is different from the balance our own parents had to find. Or perhaps the balance is actually the same but the external factors are different. Yeah, that's it.

Society is so much more technology based today than ever before and this is only going to continue. Good grief. We did not get a computer until I was in fourth grade.

Today, my DD has four computers in her 3rd grade classroom.

My cousin is in highschool and from 7th grade on, each student is provided ( this is a private school) a laptop. (Obviously, tuition dollars purchase these.) The students are REQUIRED to take notes and do work on their laptops---the teachers communicate via the school network, etc.

I agree with Silver that money and cost is a factor, too. My DD and SS each have a KidZoom camera---$30 at Target. Digital, so there's no film to develop, plastic and sturdy but good quality.

I see that as something neat, fun and interactive for them to do.

They DO have Nintendo DSs and we have a Wii, as well. But you know what? My kids don't nag and whine much---they are generally well-behaved, pleasant children to be around.

They play OUTSIDE much of the time--my DD LOVES to read.

Heard of the series Fablehaven? It's typically for older kids, maybe 5-7th graders. DD is reading the third book right now.

She devours books.

SS loves to play soccer---they seriously would play in the backyard all night if I let them.

The Wii or Nintendos are like anything else---in moderation. Not any different than Atari or tv of your DD's generation, Pof1.

Guess what? My kids don't have cell phones and we actually do not have cable in our home.

Those are choices OUR family has made.

ALL parents face challenges that come with a changing society but the underlying issue is the same: struggling to find a balance that turns healthy, happy children into healthy, happy, productive adults.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:06PM
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LOL. I didn't get a computer until I was in 11th grade, and it was a DOS (model# POS if you know what I mean). I didn't have a DVD player in the home until I was 22, the year I got my first cell phone. I also didn't have cable until I was in my 20's.

We have the full cable package now. DH is a TV nut. But he likes the science channels, the home repair shows, etc. So even when DD is watching it's (mostly) good stuff. And we have the big TVs. Three of them. Flat screen, giant monstrosities that I could care less about, but that's my DH. Our office literally has ten monitors and three computers.... (DH is a techno-geek).

But DD does not, and will not ever have her own television in her room. She can watch movies on her computer but never does. TV is very regulated.

AND, I never had a Nintendo when I was a kid. Gosh! Every time I'd go to someone's house who had the game and who had electricity (that's right, you heard me, electricity... because we didn't have any) I would play my little thumbs off on their system.

DH bought me Mario Brothers for my Wii and I've almost beat it (one more level on level 9 and it's done...). Amazingly, even though I fought DH about bringing in the Wii it's a pretty neat toy/tool. It's great for balance and has taught DD a lot about getting in touch with her body. Even my techno-phobic dad and SM like it.

But yes. Compared to a lot of kids my DD is spoiled. She gets driven to activities, she has two parents in the home, both of whom are home at night and help her with homework. She gets to be a kid. She has a warm, soft, bed and her own room and clean clothes and good food. She has a car that does not break down and inconvenience her. We are both literate, well educated people who are not addicts or abusive. Her birth father is in her life and loves her.

She is very very fortunate.

I grew up extremely poor (in terms of money) PO1. Poor by choice. My parents "dropped out". We lived off the land, we didn't have city water or electricity or a car. They didn't work. I had a TON of attention, very healthy food, homeschooling, and all the time in the world to read books. And you know what? My cousins who were raised in LA with game boys and cable (oh, what I would have given for some Nickelodeon as a kid!!!) and swimming pools and BMW and Catholic schools and McDonalds are just as well adjusted and smart as I am. And not any more spoiled.

It's not the money. It's the attitude.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Sylvia - I'm sitting here at my desk desperately trying to blot my eyes before anyone notices I'm crying.

"It's not the money. It's the attitude." I agree wholeheartedly. Well said, Silver.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:51PM
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I am not saying it is wrong to buy young kids all these things, it is just my opinion, everyone can do what they feel right for their children. I am not an expert. is just my personal opinion, it is unnecessary for young children to own cell phone, DS, Xbox, Wii, playstation, computer, camera etc Even if one has the money, it is not the point. I agree it is not the money, it is in the attitude. It is nothing to do with money.

I do buy nice things and probably too many of them, I work though. And maybe if I will have grandkids, i would spoil them the same way you guys spoil your children, it is pretty normal for grandparents but then i will send spoiled grandkids back to mommy LOL. I won't have to deal with the whole mess dealing with spoiled children. hahaha

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:24PM
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"Although I suppose you've come out the other end, your child is raised... and things do look so much simpler when one is not in the trenches"

No, I just been there done that, I can look back and make assessments. When I was in my late 20s, early 30s and DD was 8-10 I also thought I knew it all. No I didn't. I also work with children my whole life, over 20 years, so I saw it all. LOL

No, things don't seem simpler, but I can make assessment looking back. Some things were done right, some didn't. DD is disorganized, I feel I didn't do something about it when she was growing up. I raised a person with good values though, I know that. So I can advice others. I wouldn't advice how to raise organized children haha because i didn't do good job with mine, but I can advice how to raise good people because I raised mine. But take it or leave it.

you asked for suggestion what to do with selfish demands, one suggestion is do not spoil with material possessions. take it or leave it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Lone, I had the same reaction...I just forgot to post. So thank you for reminding me. Once someone has seen a hungry, appreciative child... it's hard to forget.

PO1, again...

I don't spoil my child. My parents, who were uber-poor to the point of making me give away the few toys I had to kids who had less... accuse me of being too hard on her, of not giving her enough.

You cannot tell me you've never had an issue with your child where you had to explain the way things are, and why. When your child does not understand, by lack of experience, that others are not as fortunate?

I don't buy nice things. I rarely buy myself things and I've only taken DD to buy clothes twice in her life. She wears hand me downs. She could care less what she is wearing and I had to force her to the mall to buy new pants this last weekend because she outgrew her old stuff.

Kids need computers these days in order to be competitive. DD's computer was purchased for $100 and revamped by my husband. She has a flat screen, bought at an office going out of business sale for $25. That is not expensive.

I feel like you don't listen at all. I don't think anyone here is saying they spoil their children. I try very hard not to spoil my child. Especially since I grew up with nothing. And by nothing, I mean I got my clothes from the free bin. I went barefoot. I had a great education and absolutely no material possessions. Let me tell you, there are many ways to raise a child and purposeful deprivation does not work any more than spoiling does.

Have you ever seen the garbage pickers? In India? I showed DD a YouTube of them tonight because I wanted her to understand that school is a priviledge. Did you know that they work for a "few rupees" a day?

Do you know how much a rupee is?????? 0.07 USD.

F-me. I was bawling my eyes out. DD GOT IT. This is the kind of thing I'm posting for. Ideas of how to help our children realize more about the world around them. I tend to be harsher than necessary. I can't help it, my parents had no boundaries between adult/child. I want my child to have the opportunity to be a kid, but I'm conflicted because I never experienced that and at her age already knew way too much.

So I ask for help. Not flippant condencension. I work for my money too PO1. I worked hard for my education and I continue to work. I have been working since I was a small child. Your assumptions are so incredibly insulting to me I can't begin to explain how your ahhaahahhaa's make me feel.

This is real. I am trying to raise a little being to the best of my ability. I know I don't get it right. Who does?? Many only get one chance. I know I do. I get a full chance at DD and a hope for a slight influence with SD; who is spoiled and materialistic beyond my wildest dreams. And yet crushing their little souls won't work. Insulting them won't work.

I want them to see light. I want them to realize how fortunate they are without seeing that little boy with no shoes tipping his little face up to say "milk!" and grabbing the jug and RUNNING like his little life depends on it back to the house EVERY TIME I CLOSE MY EYES SYLVIA (darn you anyway!! :)

Does that make sense? I don't want to sear the horrific knowledge I have onto her little brain. I had that done to me. I want her to have a childhood.

I am conflicted.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:03PM
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"Society is so much more technology based today than ever before and this is only going to continue. Good grief. We did not get a computer until I was in fourth grade."

I feel so old because the first time I saw a real personal computer (it was a 286 I think), I was 23 years old. My kids were allowed to use it for homework in high school & the first laptop bought for a child was when my DD20 graduated high school.

Silver, it is part of teaching children to share some things about the world that are not so pleasant. When I was a kid, if I didn't clean my plate, I heard about all the starving kids in third world countries. It was used way too much by my parents, but I don't think it took my childhood to hear. As my kids were growing up, I tried not to harp on that stuff but also sheltering kids from the harsh reality of the world is doing them a disservice. Kids want to help others and it feels good to help others so while it might create sadness to hear the truth, it's an opportunity to teach them about giving & with that should come a feeling of gratitude for how fortunate they are.

Sylvia, thanks for the reminder. It brought tears to my eyes too.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Mwa-ha-ha! You're all children! Some things were better then though; we were explaining to SS how much more satisfying it was to hang up on someone when you could slam down the receiver on that big heavy black telephone that you had to rent from the phone company. Hitting "End" just doesn't give you the same sense of satisfaction. (I'm trying to control myself because I'm a geek, and talk of old technology gets me waaaaay too excited.)

I don't think having the newest technology equates to being spoiled at all. We always did, because my Dad liked to build Heathkits, I think it was? But if we were allowed anywhere near his stuff it was to be treated with extreme care. I think that's what makes the difference between spoiled or not - if kids are unappreciative of what they do have, however much or little, and they keep being given more, or are allowed to treat their possessions with disdain, therein lies the problem. Remember what happened if we left our bicycles outside where the dew would get them? And what a big deal it was to get our first wristwatch?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:10AM
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"I think that's what makes the difference between spoiled or not - if kids are unappreciative of what they do have, however much or little, and they keep being given more, or are allowed to treat their possessions with disdain, therein lies the problem."

Mattie, this was said so well!

Also---I was the one who said I got a computer in 4th grade---I was wrong about that. It was 7th grade ;) So that would have been 1993. Still much younger than a lot of people on here; my point, however, was that society simply was not so technologically dependent the way it is today.

My kids already need to use the computer for schoolwork and they're in 3rd grade!

As far as spoiling...there are MANY ways to spoil a child. Spoiling does not have to equate to lots of material possessions.

What about children whose parents permit them to be lazy? Not help around the house? Not clean up, or expect things to be done for them?

Isn't that a form of *spoiling?*

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Mattie, that was well said. And remember using the rotary phones and getting almost all the way through and then using a wrong number and having to start all over.... cccccckkkkk. (wait for it to spin back) ccccckkkkk....

We had party lines when I was a kid. It was super fun to listen in...

Good point Love. I seem to recall a conversation on here a few years back about folding laundry. Most women here were amazed that my DD age 6 was sorting, folding and putting away her own laundry. They said their 12 year olds still were not doing that.

My DD's school has a brand new computer lab and they go a few times a week. They need to know how to use the computer in order to do their work. Their tests are done by computer. There is a patch in Girl Scouts for computers and technology.

They are the cell phone programmers for their parents as we were the VCR programmers for ours.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:58AM
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What's a party line?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:05PM
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When I was in high school, there was a number (party line) we called & there would be several people that called the same number, connected (unintentionally) and we could hear/speak to each other. If I'm not mistaken, it was the number everyone called to get the time... it had a recording that told what time it was. Now we have iphones (or smartphones) that we can create a party line by calling several contacts at once. Somehow, it's just not the same.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:23AM
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All of this reminds me of when my mom and I went to a family event out of state, which happened to be held right near a house where Mom had lived as a young girl. We stopped by to look at the house (it was a really cool pre-Revolutionary house); the new owner was a really lovely woman with children who was out working in the yard and invited us in for a tour. Her daughter was about eleven, and was telling my mom that they had a hard time finding a place to fit the television in their living room (between windows, fireplace, doorways, stairs, etc.) and asked my mom where they had had their television. The look of shock and horror on the little girl's face when my mom explained to her that there was no television then was hysterical.

This is also making me think of when two middle-aged women where I used to work were grousing about having to pack for their husbands for a vacation, because they were just incapable of packing for themselves. I thought it was so funny because SS has been packing for himself (with supervision originally, but now just reminders) for a couple of years. SS is not going to grow up to be one of those kids who thinks the house, laundry and cooking just magically get done by house-elves. (I love Harry Potter but I really wish that she hadn't done that whole "house elves love to be treated like dirt while they slave away for their families" thing.)

One of the things that we try to do with SS and technology is to teach him that computers should be used as a tool, and not strictly a source of entertainment. I'm not saying that he can never play a game or watch a pointless silly video, but rather that that is not supposed to be their main purpose. It kind of frustrates me because in school now they play games to introduce them to computers. We started right in programming (OK, it's true that you couldn't do anything back then without some degree of basic programming knowledge, but still...)

I really wonder about the future because so many kids I see are these passive spectators who stare blank-eyed and drooling at video games, computer games, movies, and cell phones.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 8:58AM
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LOL Lonepiper. A party line was a telephone line that was shared by a neighborhood or area. We were so rural that when the lines went in we shared a line. What would happen was everyone had their own ring. So the first house was Ring (pause) Ring and the second was RINGRING and the third was RingRINGring etc...(and this is just in one neighborhood I lived in with my mother. We still don't have telephones at my dad's house.)

If you timed it right, or lifted the receiver really softly, the people for who the call was made would not know you were on the line. So you could listen in to their conversation. Since everyone knew everyone else's ring; we knew which would be the jucier conversations.

And when and if you got caught (by mom walking through the house or by the people on the other line) it was TROUBLE!

Three way calling came when I was in intermediate school and my friends and I would call one another and then get a third friend on the line. It didn't work a lot of the time, so much of our time was spent trouble shooting. We were the first "can you hear me now" kids :)

Ima, I can still remember the phone number for "Time". It was still in service until around 2005. Ours would say, "At the tone the time will be.... Nine Forty Nine... and Six Seconds. BEEP."

Mattie, my aunt loves to tell the story of going to college and meeting a girl in the laundry room; she was crying. When my mom asked what was wrong she said she didn't know how to run the machines! Her mother had always done it for her. I don't know how parents can send kids out without those basic skills.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:57AM
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"I really wonder about the future because so many kids I see are these passive spectators who stare blank-eyed and drooling at video games, computer games, movies, and cell phones."

So true, it is my concern too, sometimes parents prefer it this way so kids are out of their hair. I think it is fine when it starts at older age when kids/teens could at least make a judgement and pace themslves, but I am alarmed when it starts at very young age. I am mortified when i see young children glued to DS or computer screen playing games like zombies. Technology is great however it does not have to take over everything else at such young age.

By the way it is very funny about packing. My SO cooks, cleans and does everythign else but he cannot pack well, he packs but forgets half of his stuff or packs wrong things. i am famous for being a good packer, people actually ask me to come over help them pack for vacation. LOL But i am not a very good cook, others are. No one is perfect

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:52AM
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