A friend of ours has a 4-year old daughter. While she's great now, she is going to have some issues later in life. I don't blame her for any of this because it all comes down to the parents and how they set their kids' expectations.
Here are a few of the things I have issues with:
- By age 3, she had a little Gucci handbag
- I don't think I have ever seen her wearing clothes that don't bear a Horse/Polo Player, the logo for Ralph Lauren.
- She has an 11x11 bedroom that has $5000 furniture.
This really got me to thinking. The Mom is not wearing Gucci or Ralph Lauren. Why the little girl? Why the crazy expensive bedroom set when Babies R Us could have setup the room for $1,500. Could it be the old saying that says, "your kids should have it better than you"? When I asked the parents, they claimed that it was, "What she liked". It was clear that I was not going to get an answer so I let it go.
This still bugs me though. We all want our kids to have the good life but at this age do they really appreciate it? Do you really appreciate giving them luxuries when there is no real reaction? What 4-year old jumps around excited for a Ralph Lauren sweater? None.
I think the bigger problem is that you are training them to buy brands instead of items and that expensive purchases equal happiness. This is a very rough road to head down. As your kids grow up, everything will become more expensive and even worse, you are going to raise someone that has a difficult time understanding the real value of anything.
In my opinion, giving your children nice things is fine provided that there is a real reason for it. Good behavior, chores, etc. should be rewarded but don't take the easy way out everytime by spreading love through money. First, it's too expensive and second, I guarantee the little girl would have more fun and generate more memories by being taken to a picnic at the park.
Next time you want to do something nice for your child consider doing something nice WITH your child. Happiness does not have to come from Nordstrom's or Target.