Monday, August 18, 2008

Materialism and a 6 Year Old Girl

This past weekend was the big tax free weekend here in Texas, and I braved the malls and ridiculous traffic to go shopping. I was a little nervous about the impending shopping trip because, lately, Kaeli has been a royal pain in the butt when it comes to clothes. If I touch it or think it's cute, she wants nothing to do with it. She only wants to wear clothes featuring the face of Joe Jonas. I literally caught her longingly petting a JoBros t-shirt. Fortunately, she was more open this weekend, and we had a lot of fun.

Things were going along just fine until we were talking while standing in a ridiculously long line at a register.
KAELI: Mom, I need an iPod.
ME: You're 6 years old. What do you need an iPod for?
KAELI: To listen to music, duh.
ME: You're 6 years old. You're not getting an iPod.
KAELI: But I really need one.

Now, I'm not opposed to iPods. I have 2, my regular one and my shuffle (for when I work out...that's my story and I'm sticking to it) I just can't believe, that at 6, I'm already dealing with her requests for this stuff. I thought I still had a few more years of dolls and Junie B Jones books. Seriously, if I were to buy her an iPod at 6, what will she be asking for at 8 or 12? I don't even want to think about 16. I kind of feel like buying her an iPod now will open a door I'm not sure that I'm ready to go down. You can't close Pandora's box, my friends.

Am I overreacting about this? (who me? overreact? never!) Is an iPod no big deal these days? I was stoked when I got my first one, but does that mean I am just still mystified over the iPod because I grew up with cassette tapes? Should I add it to her Christmas shopping list? I need thoughts, opinions, perspective. Help me, wise Internets, you're my only hope!


Cherish said...

OK so Rayden got an mp3 player 2 christmases ago, when he was in kindergarten. Sounds a little early doesnt it? He is really into music though so I caved and gave it to him. For the last year or so though it isnt good enough and the kid wants an ipod. You are totally right about it getting worse but I really dont know what to tell ya. Rayden isnt the only one in his class to have an mp3 player and Im sure many of the others have ipods. Its really only a matter of time and how long you can hold out with the constant begging! Good luck girl.

MaryB said...

Disclaimer#1 - I , by NO means think that I am some kind of perfect parent! but I do think I hae done a darn good job thus far and think that I have seen real results from my imperfect efforts.

Disclaimer #2 - None of the folllowing thoughts or descriptions are directed at you AT ALL. In the end, how people choose to parent their children is THEIR choice and not mine to judge. and, the fact that this issue at least gives you pause makes you not one of the people I deal with every day that make me crazy! (and, by deal with I mean I am closely related to them and love them dearly but REALLY think they are screwing this up big time!)

With all the disclaimers said...
I am the wrong person to ask about this...I see the resultant attitudes of over-indulged kids every day (private school is FULL of them!)

YES!! IT IS TOO DAMN EARLY!! For EXACTLY the reasons you stated. If she gets and i-pod at six, then WHAT does she have to look forward to? And I do not care how responsible for a person of her age she is, she is still SIX and she will somehow eventually lose it. And then you will want to kill her. The sense of entitlement and materialism among the kids of this country is un-effing-believable because their parents do not know any way to say "I love," or "I care" without giving a gift. Sometimes the best way to say I love you is to set boundaries, to consistently enforce them, and sometimes to say "no." I have never really had a problem with my kids begging for stuff, they certainly ask, but know that when I say no, I mean no. And, at 10 and 13 I usually make some sort of incentive type deal for them regrading things they want. i.e. Straight A's gets you a new Babolot racket, or a pair of Nike shox...Life Lesson being that hard work pays off. Also, life lesson that money does not grow on trees, and you have to prioritize your "rreeeaalllly wants," "wants," and "needs." Then you have to REALLY appreciate and take care of the things you do get off of the REALLY want list. OR, how about an mp3 player unitl you are older and, in the meantime, mom can see if you keep track of and take care of it (like a trial run)?

Okay, you will probably never read my blog again after my rantiness. so sorry!! I know I am opinionated, but I also really do beleive that what other people choose to do and haow they choose to raise their kids is their perogative...BUT, since you asked I gave you my full on opinion. Can we still be friends?

Kristi said...

I'm not really worried about the begging. Normally, she's pretty good at not asking for things after being told 'no' once or twice.

MaryB - We can totally still be friends because I completely agree with all your rantiness!!

I had pretty much made up my mind about the ipod issue, but I wanted to get other people's opinions. I have real life friends that don't seem to think it's a big deal, but I just can't stomach the thought of getting her one right now. It doesn't feel right. It feels like too much.

Thanks, ladies!!

april said...

it so so hard to not spoil them when you have only one! on one hand im thinking well i only have one and we have the money but on the other hand i really dont want her to be a brat or to have us end up on a my super sweet sixteen! i actually touched a juicy dress for her the other day but i caught myself, i said self, you dont even have a juicy anything and you are going to by it for a two year old that will end up wearing it for a couple of months and at some point stain it and make you cry. ya i talk to myself and thats weird.

Astarte said...

Both my kids have a ds. Actually, Josie is 9, and she got it for Xmas from her grandmother two years ago, but Patrick, 5, earned his fair and square with chores (cleaning his room, following house rules, etc). Maybe if you give her an incentive program to EARN it, and to also earn money for the resulting downloads (they both buy games with their own money), it might work out.