Monday, February 4, 2008

What Kids See as "Normal"

Ever notice how people expect to grow up and have more than they did growing up? We expect our adult home to be bigger than our childhood home. Our cars need to be better than those that our parents drove. Our vacations should be more exotic. The gifts we received as kids should pale in comparison to our kids’ birthdays.

Sometimes I start dreaming about a new house or a fancier car. But then I consciously stop myself. Do I want my kids to have ________, and think that this is "normal?" We could have “more,” but I don’t want it…all because of the message it sends to my kiddos. Frankly, it’s bad enough as it is. We already live better than the majority of the people in the world.

My mom often said that she would have happily “lived in a trailer as long as she was able to stay home with her kids.” That mantra, which I heard from an early age, led me to an early understanding of what my parents, my role models, valued. I hope my kids grow up understanding that stuff means nothing…but people are everything. I know we best teach by example, but living in this society, this one is really hard.

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