Oh the Pressure

Swimming Pool - Any luxury their little hearts desire.
@MsTickle (24962)
Australia
December 27, 2009 5:43pm CST
When I was young, the father was the head of the household and we were told what to do and expected to do it. Of course a good Dad would be fair and just and have a great sense of humour and kindness and be very understanding. Part of being the head of the family was making all the decisions that would benefit the family. Mum and Dad would talk about any issues in private...never in front of us kids and they would decide what to do and who would take charge of that ...Mum or Dad. So Dad paid the household bills and Mum got an allowance to do the shopping. My Mum was a full time working Mum so her allowance was her wages. At Christmas Mum would buy gifts for everyone and I guess Dad gave her the extra money required for gifts and Christmas dinner. We received clothes Mum had made, books, games to share and something special like a doll or a tea set or later, an LP record. The amount of money that people throw around now is almost obscene to my way of thinking. Christmas for example...kids let it be known exactly what they want...several things and they usually get it...hundreds of $$$ are spent...my daughter has to have designer labels on everything. These granddaughters of mine get the best of everything and everything they want/need...phones, watches, laptops, games, money, clothes. The other family also get huge amounts spent but just at Christmas and birthdays...the money is simply not there all year round.Where does the pressure come from to have so much of everything and to spend so much...it all creates extra work and this is also where the huge mortgage comes from for the huge home. Kids have everthing their little hearts desire but Mum and Dad are both "having" to work to pay for it all. How far will it go? Does this lead to marriage breakdowns? Should parents take a firmer stand or continue to let their children think they only need to ask and they will get whatever they want handed to them on a plate. Do children appreciate what they have and what it costs?
9 people like this
22 responses
@gemini_rose (16193)
29 Dec 09
I think this is the reason that I dislike Christmas more and more each year, the pressure of it all. As a child I was allowed to choose one really special thing that I would like for christmas and I never wanted loads of things it would always be one main gift that I would ask for. These days kids seem to want everything. I have cut down an awful lot in the last couple of years in what I spend on the children at christmas because I just do not think that they appreciate what they get and they just do not look after things. It is just a nightmare, so this year they had to just choose a few things that they really really wanted and so far they seem to have really appreciated what they had.
3 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
That's so sensible...I was thinking it's not possible to go back to the old ways but it seems like it is. Grandmothers seem to undo a lot of those intentions by giving lots of gifts. I gave my two a gift card so they could choose their own music or movies to buy in the hope that they would get something they like rather than me taking a stab in the dark. I'm rather appalled at the tv shows etc they are allowed to watch. The generation gap is alive and well.
2 people like this
@rosepedal64 (4192)
• United States
27 Dec 09
Hi Tickle You have said nothing but the truth here. Me and hubby was having the same discussion the other day. He was getting a little upset on what I was buying for the grandkids and counting how many gifts they had. He wanted to know why I felt that need to spend so much at Christmas time. My reason is that when the boys was growing up as well as myself, they never had what other kids had.I could never afford it. Their dad(first husband) never really wanted to keep a steady job. I always had to work just to pay the bills. So now that they have children I am making it up to them by buying for their kids. Does that make any sense at all..
• United States
28 Dec 09
Im sorry Tickle I kinda got off on the another subject there for a moment. I don't think kids really appreciate the value of the gifts that they get now. I know my little grandson thinks that Papaw always has money to buy for him. They just don't understand the cost of things nowdays. I guess us parents,grandparents are to blame for that as well...
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
I don't think gifts to kids make up for anything...it's as if you feel guilty for something and if you feel guilty for not having the money for gifts then I think you need to look at your priorities. All year I hear people talking about how much kids have these days....more stuff, less family time. I see what my grandkids get at Christmas and for birthdays ...it IS too much.
• United States
28 Dec 09
This is true and since you have put it that way I very well could feel guilty for not giving to my sons when they was little and at home. But I do know that I did do the best that I could when they was growing up. Keep smiling
• United States
30 Dec 09
i can't believe some of the things kids get now just by asking (or whining). if i asked dad for anything that cost $300,my life better have depended on it. i guess you can partially blame the media for ingraining the "if you don't buy it,you don't love them" guilt. if i had kids,they'd be hating me because there's no way i'd ring up the national debt on toys and such.bills come first,kiddo.deal.
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
30 Dec 09
Yep, it's quite obscene the amount of money some of these items cost. What ever happened to earning rewards?...neither of my grandchildren shines at school but rather than inducing or encouraging them to study and do well, they get all these gadgets that are a total time waste. They need a good education to get good jobs..sure they do music and sport but they are not talented there either to any great extent...they need to get good jobs when they leave school to keep themselves in the manner in which they are accustomed.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Dec 09
exactly.i got a job at 15 so i didn't have to ask dad for the more expensive things i wanted.and when he got laid off,i was able to help him out for once.it was a nice feeling.
@dawnald (84147)
• Shingle Springs, California
29 Dec 09
My kids don't get everything they want, but the do get more things than I had as a child. And no, they don't totally appreciate what they have.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
I suppose there might be something to be said for the kids growing up with such a positive outlook and big expectations.
3 people like this
@dawnald (84147)
• Shingle Springs, California
29 Dec 09
Ha well they don't nearly get everything they want....
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
31 Dec 09
How do the parents pay for it all? CREDIT CARD dear!! Credit Card!! It's ridiculous but that's what parents do for kids these days. Hubby and I refuse to do that with our God kids. We get them what we can afford, nothing more and nothing less. Using a credit card will get one into more trouble than anything in this world and for that reason alone, I don't use mine except for emergencies only. You are right, it does break up marriages and kids don't learn the value of a dollar till they have to work themselves and IF even then! Giving in to kids and getting them everything that they want, isn't teaching kids a darned thing.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
31 Dec 09
Yes ats, sadly the message of Christmas is lost.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
28 Dec 09
Well mine used to get one big Item and then small Items For their Birthday they got some clothes and again one big Item but that was it I have to be honest though then the Laptops and all that is about now was not about then, so we where talking TV Portable and Stereo not all at once lol they got one Item one Year and another Item another year When the Game controls came out I bought them one for both to use as I was not willing to pay out for 2 But yes today it is very expensive but again it is down to Parents to control it I think these Days they take it for granted not like we used to take special care of things
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
Kids have so much these days. I remember when I received my very own doll...I was six. Dad made a wooden cradle for me as well and I had fabric scraps as sheets and blankets. That dolly was my best friend for the next few years. Kids are given to much too soon and they lose out on their childhood I feel.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
28 Dec 09
Hi Ms Tickle, you are completely right about the total folly of such materialism. I used to work in finance and saw so many people who couldn't cope with normal bills and things blowing money they didn't have for christmas and presuming for some reason that it wasn't necessary to take care of regular bills that month. They then spent the next year facing the consequences. I left the UK just as my son started school there at age 4, but even so the round of birthday parties had started. I was appaled that parents were trying to outdo the value of the other peoples presents to give to the birthday child, and if you added up the cost of the average gift and multiplied it by the number of likely parties it was obscene, but of course they were all on the treadmill of outdoing each other. Luckily we don't have that senseless materialism here. My son recevied one present from me for christmas which was affordable, and a few from people we know. No pressure to overspend. I have taught my son the value of money. There are no designer labels or feeling the need to keep up other parents as they too have the same approach. I think its more important to bring up children with the right values and luckily they still have them here. I can imagine how hard it would be to keep apart from the UK circus of one upmanship through the children.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
Those same people would see your way of life as backward thea . I think people have their priorities wrong for the most part anyway. People who receive benefits...lash out on vast quantities of takeaway on the day then a visit to the betting shop and the pub. A couple of days later there is no money left and they are visiting the relief centres for food and money for bills. What I'm noticing more of is that kids get the big ticket items usually reserved for Christmas at any time of the year. What is left to make Christmas special for these people when they have basically trashed it?
• United States
28 Dec 09
Oh, no truer words were spoken. The kids today have EVERYTHING! And I find it really sad because what will they look forward to? Nothing. They get everything they want, and normally don't even have to lift a finger to get it. Things were so different way back when I was a kid. I'm sure I got a couple of things I really wanted, but then I got surprise gifts and loved them all. They were great because I didn't expect them so they were special treats. We got what was affordable, nothing more, nothing less. I wish things could go back to that day and age again, the happy days.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
I often wonder what will happen when they are older and need to work for what they need. Or will Mum and Dad still be paying for everything so "the little darlings" can have what they want?
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
4 Jan 10
I know that children these days get so much, thats how it is with my grown children , they buy my grandkids very expensive gifts & they have whatever their heart desires...I am assuming that they buy this because they can afford to, hopefully they are Not going in debt to give these children so much, at least they should not be..When i raised my children i did what i could and gave them as much as i could afford without going into debt...We did not have a savings back then because we had 5 children..Now days i spend what i can afford too, and i also put up some in savings in case of an emercency..I know that i spend way to much but as long as my bills are paid and i can manage to save some i just spend like a lot because i am a big shopper...I am addicted i guess..LOL
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
4 Jan 10
Hi slick. I'm a bit like you...bills always come first, then necessities then I can spend. Lately, I've been spending without checking first if I can afford it. Funds are short and utilities and food have become much more expensive...I'm actually in the middle of revising my budget...need to take a break...lol. Happy New year to you.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
5 Jan 10
Happy New year to you too..I hope 2010 is going to be the best year ever for you....
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
7 Jan 10
Let's hope so my friend...cheers!
• Australia
31 Dec 09
I completely agree with you. Even my girls were telling me what they wanted for christmas, and I was rather dismayed at the brands of things they wanted. Because I am not one of these people who believes their children should have the 'best' or the most expensive of things, nor should they have every thing they want, we went for practical items for christmas this year, with books and outside toys being top of the list. Yes, absolutely the stresses of providing what kids demand puts a strain on relationships. Parents don't want to think their child is missing out, or they get the items to stop their kids from nagging. Either way, they are raising spoilt brats (sorry, but this is a first hand observation). As their are enough of these spoilt brats running around already, I am determined my own children will not be a part of that group. They will have their needs met, and if there is the money to get extras, then they can have some of them too, but nothing that costs more than I earn in a fortnight. My kids will never have a television or computer in their rooms, unless they have earnt the money for it themselves and are paying rent (which they will be when they start working). And people are wondering why there is so much rudeness in the world. it is because the same people asking the question are the ones giving their own children the 'best of everything'. Living below our means is what we should all be aiming for, so that we have money saved for special treats. I live by this rule, and while unemployed, I am still able to save $400 a month for emergencies and birthdays etc.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
31 Dec 09
Most heartfelt response - Trophy awarded to newzealtralian for her thoughtfulness and skills as a MUM.
I love your response my friend and it's really great to see you here. How are all your girls...the little one is nearly two isn't she? Or has much more time passed.Living within our means seems to be impossible for too many people these days and I'm afraid they have dug themselves a big hole and they are about to fall in if the latest debt figures are any indication...that's in Australia I mean. Congratulations on your savings too...My income is about $250 a week and that doesn't go very far but anything I don't need stays in the bank...I am certainly not going to fritter it away on useless gifts for my grandchildren. I also hate the idea of children with their own TVs and computers in their room, I've heard of people with pre-school age children who live this way and they don't have a problem with it.I'm afraid I've already awarded best response but I feel you also deserve and award.
1 person likes this
• Australia
31 Dec 09
Our girls are well. Growing fast. The youngest is almost 17 months old, but might as well be 2 LOL. I agree that too many people are living above their means. My parents are a prime example of this. They have 2 mortgages(one is an investment property)and buy a new car every 2 years. While my dad has a good income ($75,000+AU), they are still drowning in debt because of bad investment decisions. And yet they are quick to tell us off for being financially irresponsible, despite the fact we are debt free, have no credit cards and save more than they do. Neither my partner or I work (unless you count him blogging for other sites for peanuts), so we know how tough it is to live off the Centrelink payments, but like you, we only use what we need to use at any time, which allows for good savings. We also got smart and buy most things in bulk (non perishable items)which helps a lot and we also sacrifice part of our payments which we get back at the end of the financial year (our forced savings) which is what is then used for car rego and a start on christmas shopping (I did say a start). Those people that allow their children to have a television and/or computer in their rooms are really harming their kids futures. Those kids are going to be socially inadequet and not really all that able to stand up and be counted. I firmly believe that if a child is to use a computer, it should be done under the watchful eye of a parent/guardian, meaning in the areas of the house that are shared. Same with the tele. The solution to the problem is not easy, but banks play a big part in national debt, so starting there will help, as will financial instruction at school. Basically, educating children and parents on how to make the most of the money they have, while being able to save for those emergencies.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
28 Dec 09
No they dont appreciate anything about cost or if they need it! just so they have more or the same as the other kids do. I have even seen kids break what ever to get a better one if possible. but get it replae in any case. I do beleive kids would be better off if they got what they needed and maybe one thing they want as long as it dont cost and arm and a leg for the parents. DOnt make much sence to give all as then the parents have to work harder to pay for it all specially if they put it on a credit card. I stay away from doing that . When my kids were growning up I never had a credit card. things were got with what ever money we had to spend. or I would make alot of things . Seemed like the really like the homemade things as that was from love not money!. Kids are spoilt today. and Parents should be ashamed that they have takedn the spirit out of Christmas!
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
I'm afraid you're right Lakota...it's the parents who have done away with the spirit of Christmas...the meaning is lost forever for most families I'm afraid.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
29 Dec 09
me too!
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
15 Jan 10
I have to agree with what you say here. Things now days are getting way out hand. I grew up pretty similar to you. My dad was the head of household until he passed away when i was 6. My mom then had to take on those rolls, and at the holidays, we got to make our wish list and most generally we only got one thing from the list and anything else we got was things we needed that mom couldn't get threw the year, such as clothes, shoes, school supplies. Our son is 7, and he knows that "santa" has a budget to stay in and that's all he is gonna get from santa. We have set boundries on what he can and can't ask for, though he tells us all of the other kids get this, or that and he wants it too. It sickens me to think that there is this pressure coming from other kids that if my son doesn't have what they have then he can't be their friends or fit in. Times have changed so much, and people put so much emphasis on material things.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
15 Jan 10
Aww. It's so hard isn't it? Little kids don't understand...how can they? If we can keep them happy and secure as they grow they will grow up to understand and know that what you gave them are what is important in life...good loving, a good home, the ability to budget and not expect things handed to them on a plate, the knowing of how to appreciate what they have. Brightest blessings to you and your family.
@bunnybon7 (36504)
• Holiday, Florida
10 Jan 10
yes, i think this is a terrible thing they do these days. when i was a child I got only one special gift a year on xmas. from mom. i will admit grandma also came up with one to though. when i lived with my daughter, id sold my house and she really took advantage of that. i made the mistake of putting her on my account because i was often to sick to go do my own shopping. she thought her kids should have everything they wanted and would "borrow" the money from my account now that im mostly broke, living here, away, she is reaping what she sowed. as now she is living in the car i left her and i cant even help her any more so, yes, they are teaching their kids bad things.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
10 Jan 10
Yes, it seems to me that this generation of parents has no clue about consequences. Did we as their parents fail to teach them that? Maybe at the back of everyone's mind is the idea of "Life Is Short" so people try to enjoy it as much as they can...but you have to earn what you you need to have a good life. It won't always be given to you and you can't take what is not yours. My grandkids are not very bright at school. So they will only ever have ordinary jobs. There parents are pushing them to do music and sport to keep them busy so they won't get into mischief and that costs more a week than what I get to live on. How will these kids survive when they are older when they don't have the skills they need to get good jobs? I can see my daughter having to supplement their income for a long, long time.
28 Dec 09
Hi Ms Tickle, When I was young we sused to get just one present for Christmas, Mum dind't work, not in those days and my Dad was working and sometime his work took him away from home but we were happy just to get a present for birthdays and Christmas, but today I see motheres taken on two, three parttime jobs and fathers doing all the overtimes he could get, I can see that they are always so tired, it work and sleep most of the time and for what? these kids get everything they want all competing with each other, there is no sense of value or how much their parents are working for, to be honest, I blame these modern day parents to give, give give to their spoilt children. Tamara
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
Yes, I think you may be right...the parents just give with no real thought behind it. The kids stick their hand out saying Gimme gimme with no thought behind it. There are opportunities for life lessons being missed...if you want something you should earn it, work for it or do good deeds. If you give something just because a child wants it ...then it has no value.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 09
"NO!" is the word parents have forgotten how to say. My folks never made a big thing out of what we got and we never did with our children. They and we did know that what label is on a child's rear end does not make the child and we stressed that to them. For my children, we often bought clothing from thrift stores. When my daughter ripped a hole in the knee of her favorite 'no name' jeans, I cut out different designs, such as stars, moons, etc., from cloth in my scrap bag and not only covered the rip, but placed them up both sides of the jeans. The day she wore them to school, her jeans became a HIT! Suddenly her friends were asking me to make them the cool jeans! Even my husband got caught in my 'fixit'sewing. He ripped a back pocket in his jeans. I not only repaired the pocket, but found an applique of an old outhouse and sewed that on it, too. He got a good laugh out of it and wore them often. For Christmas, we were allowed to ask for one item and so were my children. Then we prayed we got it, because times were tough some years. Usually Santa came through bringing not only the one special item but boxes of luscious tangerines, oranges, and apples. We were almost as excited over the fruit as the toys. We lived on a farm and used what we grew to get us through the year, but fruits were not part of the crop. When Mama bought groceries, she would inevitably buy a bunch of white seedless grapes. For special treats, we were given a small tag of the tangy sweet goodies. Yes, too much is spent these days on things for children. I especially dislike every child having telephones and so many electronic, no exercise gifts. They remain stationery instead of playing outdoor games. Forget the food making our children fat. WE are doing it by allowing them to have every electronic gimmick on the market. They have no incentive to go out and play by running, rolling, spinning, playing cowboys, or anything else that requires real body movement. When I see young girls texting TO THE PERSON STANDING NEXT TO THEM instead of talking in a normal fashion, I want to grab those cell phones and toss them piece by piece into the trash. "I only bought it so Sally, Joe, Mary, Sam would have it in case of emergency," just doesn't do it. There are public telephones that can be used. The one time my son had an emergency, he had forgotten to charge his phone and it was of no use to him. No, I didn't buy it for him. He's now thirty-eight and buys his own. He and his wife have those little gizmos stuck in their ears every minute they are away from home and sometimes when they ARE at home, supposedly resting. How ridiculous! This year for Christmas, we all gave each other clothes - from Walmart. I finally gave in and got my daughter who is thirty-two a CD player and we exercise to the music. When parents and grandparents learn to say "NO" once again, maybe we can learn to live normally once more.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
29 Dec 09
I think we have gone past saying "no" mysticmaggie. It seems to me the word, the very idea, must intimidate some, maybe even most people. Some folk if You said that to them would become very defensive and make all sorts of excuses...like the "phone is in case of emergency". I wonder what it will be like when my grand kids have their own kids. That will be interesting.
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Dec 09
hi mstickle you really outlined this right to the t, we today seem to think you must spend tons of money for christmas to be happy, when I was growin up in the thirties and forties we did not do all that crap and we had a ball every christmas as we were not so damned spoiled. we got some clothes a few toys and we were happy as larks.My dad was boss and mom second in command and when they commanded we did obey. My mom was also a stay at home mom and was there when I got home from school with a snack as I was always hungry then. now days everyone works just to put on this big christmas show and then work all year to pay for it. it does not make sense to me at all.kids are spoiled as they do not have to work for anything. we did. big difference.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
I wonder where it will all end Hatley?
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
28 Dec 09
I won't raise one of those spoiled kids. If mine want something they have to earn it themselves. I don't have the funds to spoil them & wouldn't give it to them anyways. I'm not trying to raise a politician! My daughter had to learn the value of generics early. One day in the store she soooo wanted the Dora the Explorer Spagettios. I pointed out that they taste the same as the generic store brand but have fancy shapes. Were those fancy shapes & the face on the label worth an extra 50 cents per can when she could save that money & get an actual Dorra doll after like 20 cans? She decided no.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
Good for you. You found a way to teach real life lessons to your daughter. Those lessons will stay with her always. Treats for kids while doing the supermarket shopping are so common these days. My girls got nothing...in fact they had a hard life all round while they were with me. I always paid bills first and we bought food and then it was fares to school and work. Money had to be put aside for uniforms, shoes, clothes for me...I made my own. There were always so many expenses, there was never any left for any fun and certainly not for treats.
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
28 Dec 09
What a great discussion and I for one, thank you for bringing it up because I feel exactly like you - kids these days expect (and get) too much from their parents, and I don't feel there are many who truly appreciate what their parents do for them. Parents these days let themselves be put under so much pressure to get their kids what they want - but are the kids happier for it? Don't think so. We may be preaching here, but when we were kids we were happy to get just one toy and a piece of fruit! Not much money around then to lash out on us! But whatever we got, I remember being thrilled with it and feeling so lucky to have it! How times have changed - sadly, not for the better.
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
28 Dec 09
a lot of times, no... I, too, grew up in a house where mom stayed home and dad worked - only later did I learn it was in part because if mom had worked it would've put them in such a higher tax bracket they would've actually had less, because then you are talking day care & stuff
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Dec 09
Do you think that's possibly where it's gone wrong? In Australia, the Mum's went to work anyway and the government gave them rebates so they bought bigger homes and then whined because they wanted more children and to be paid while they were off having them and they wanted their jobs back when they came back to work. Still others stayed home and the government paid them to stay home. They put the kiddies in childcare 3 days a week, they play tennis and have Tupperware parties and jewellery parties and they make Dad work 2 or 3 jobs to pay for it all. Of course they need a new car every so often, a beautiful home in a beautiful area and so on. I think these mums put pressure on each other to out-do each other...it's probably subtle, but I'm sure it happens.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
28 Dec 09
"keeping up with the Jones'" was something that I don't remember feeling and I really don't think my parents did either - at least I didn't see it for example (not that we had space for a pool) but my dad didn't want a pool BECAUSE it was so much work and he didn't want to do it - heck, he didn't want to mow the yard either and most often found someone else to do it for him mind you, later in life he developed an allergy to sun light!
@magic9 (981)
• China
7 Jan 10
I am sorry to say if your daughter does not make money herself, why would you allow her to buy designer labels? These are for rich people or middle class people. At least these people can earn themselves. Why not let your daughter know that you are under great pressure and she needs to help to stop this? To buy expensive clothes is not that big deal. What is really big deal is that it is the parents' duty to make their children understand how to make money and how to mangage money. If one doesn't know where the money comes from, then he or she must suffer in later time. so, please think about this and I wish you get out this soon. Good day@
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
7 Jan 10
What rot. What makes you assume my daughter does not earn her own money? That I allow her to buy designer labels? In fact, she is 39, has two children (my other daughter also has 2 children....these are my grandchildren)she works for a company in an upper management position and earns in excess of $AU80,000. Where do you get off telling me what a parent's duty is?? You should apologise for responding this way but I don't expect you will.