Too Many Things


[ From DailyOM ]

When you spoil your children with material goods, where is that motivation coming from, your own inner child?

One of the greatest things about children is that they have the ability to entertain themselves for long periods of time with something as simple as a cardboard box, a container, or a set of measuring spoons. It makes you wonder why we feel the need to buy them so many toys that they won’t even have time to play with them all before they grow out of them. Often, if we take the time to question our compulsion to constantly give our children new toys and clothes, and to spoil them with food that is not even good for them, we will find that we are trying to fill up the space to avoid our own difficult feelings and pain.  If you feel yourself wanting to spoil your child with material possessions, take a moment and see if you can feel where your motivation is coming from.

We may be inundating our children with things they don’t need out of our own desire to create a feeling of abundance that was lacking in our own childhood, or out of a need to feel liked by our children. Both of these motives tend to be unconscious, stemming from unresolved issues from our own upbringing or even our adult life. These unresolved feelings naturally come up when we find ourselves in the role of a parent, often as our child reaches the age we were when these traumas were most pronounced.  Spoiling your children will not save you or make your pain disappear, only acknowledging and working on your emotional issues can do that. What our children really need us to provide for them is both a sense of safety and a sense of freedom and love of which there can never be too much. If we are able to do this well, material possessions need not take center stage.

We all want to provide our children with a good and happy life, but most of us know deep down that material possessions play a very small role. We confuse our children when we seek to make them happy through buying them things. When we do this, they take our cue that happiness comes in the form of toys and treats, rather than in the joy of being alive, surrounded by love, and free to explore the world.


3 Responses to “Too Many Things”

  1. EMILY OKOTH Says:

    Please send me daily posts

  2. The Smiling Spirit Says:

    My son just turned 11, and his grandmother called me because she was completely lost on what to buy him for his birthday.

    I told her that, what Michael values the most is time and attention. Why not come take him to dinner, just the two of you, and just hang out with him. Maybe a birthday card with $11 in it so he can get himself something he may want, but give him your time and attention.

    He came home after dinner last night just brimming with smiles. He had such a nice time and was SO happy to have spent an hour, alone with his grandma.

    I firmly believe that your love and attention is so much more important to them than the stuff you can buy.

  3. rachael Says:

    Thanks for this post.

    I totally agree but felt that it’s a pity that not many can spare the time or thoughts.

    All the best for the coming year.

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