Parents! HOW DO YOU DO IT?
As a parent of a teen and a tween, I'm really having a hard time keeping up with the trends. I find myself wondering how in the world some parents do it? I am by no means wealthy. We are just ordinary, hard working parents with full time jobs and bills to pay.We live in a 3 bedroom home with no special bells or whistles, the predictable "mommy" mini van and 2 dogs. To me, were an ordinary family. But after paying all of the bills and paying a little over $300 a month on cell phones (I know. It makes me cringe just thinking about it) , we have little money to spend on dozens of pairs of Levi's or the latest Jordans and Vans! HOW DO YOU DO IT?
It seems every week, my 10th grader comes to me asking for money for shoes or clothes or new phone cases and it seems every week I tell him "We don't have it right now" and do you know what his response is? Its, "well my friend is getting it" or "C'mon mom, they're cool now!" And I think to myself, "Geeze! That kid has it made!, how does his mom pull that off?" Now, my kids are pretty good kids. They help out around the house, make good grades, they're involved in school activities, and they really do deserve to be rewarded for things. With that said, a reward in my eyes is, a trip to the movies or 20 bucks, not a pair of $200 shoes or $50 Levi's. I feel like this generation feels a sense of entitlement and as much as I try to teach my kids that they have to earn what they want and the value of a dollar, I can't help but feel bad for not being able to get them the things they really want. It's like wanting a Snickers but all you can afford is a Hershey's Kiss. They're both good but that Snickers really would have made your day. I'm not saying I don't "splurge" for my kids every once in a while, I'm just simply wondering, how do some of you other parents manage to buy the latest and greatest every time? Between the clothes, shoes, gadgets and activities with friends, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to buy and when to buy it. It makes my head spin!
Kids these days can be so cruel and I try to teach my kids that its not what you have, it's the kind of person you are when you have them. Lets be realistic though, kids don't care about that sentimental crap, my kids could be the nicest kids on earth (which they're not) but if others aren't, its going to cause a problem. The pressure is on once children get to middle and high school and being "cool" is a big deal to them. So it's no wonder they want those new shoes or most high tech cell phones, their happiness within their peer groups depends on it. For goodness sake, you can barely even communicate anymore without a complete data package on your cell phone.
So I ask you, how do you keep your kids and your wallet happy at the same time?