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ansateza's avatar

Should you give your kids whatever they want?

Asked by ansateza (8points) December 11th, 2011

What should and what we shouldn’t give to our kids. Where are the limits in good and bad way.

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11 Answers

AnonymousWoman's avatar

No. Children need to learn that they cannot and should not expect to get everything they want in life. They need to be told “No” sometimes.

A person should know how to deal with disappointment, and what better time to teach him or her how to deal with it than while he or she is still young?

Teaching a child the difference between wants and needs is extremely important. It may also do well for one to teach his or her child to earn the things he or she wants, but does not need.

JLeslie's avatar

No. The same way adults should not get every little thing their hearts desire. Not without at least thinking it through. I guess maybe the very wealthy can get whatever material thing they want, if they do the same for their kids, I hope the kids are getting a big inheritance to sustain it or they are screwed.

Infants would be an exception, if a baby cries I think a parent should answer their needs.

flutherother's avatar

No, as part of growing up is learning what to want.

geeky_mama's avatar

Heck no. I’m sure that would create a spoiled brat.

We make our kids learn the value of a dollar by doing chores, saving up money for things they want..and explain the limits of our household budget.

Food..we’ve handled in a slightly different manner with far fewer limits.

I came from a household where food was severely restricted—especially sweets and pop.
I struggled to learn healthy eating habits after moving out on my own.. and HATED the all-natural gross stuff I was forced to eat as a kid. (Karob = Yuck!)

After we had kids my hubby and I decided to never restrict candy/sweets and to let the kids pick what they eat to a great extent. We don’t fight them on eating certain foods—we just want them to eat meals with us. This means we cook kid friendly meals that cater to what they like (read: corn dogs, chicken nuggets, pasta as an entree).
Of course we insist on them eating at meal times..we insist on fruits and veggies (they get to pick from a variety we keep on hand) and we’ve talked to them as they’ve been growing up about the relative merits of food (“Sure, you can have that chocolate bar..but I don’t think it’ll fill your belly up. Maybe have a bowl of oatmeal and then you can have the chocolate bar at the end if you’re still hungry for it..the oatmeal will stick with you longer and is better for you.”) they understand the basics of high calorie vs. low calorie, what foods are high in proteins, good for calcium and so on.

The interesting thing is that we have candy just laying around the house and the kids are just as apt to eat an apple or a bowl of cereal as they are to eat a cookie now.
Without all the restrictions in place (and KNOWING they can have candy or a cookie whenever the craving hits) they tend to eat more “real” and healthy food all on their own. not limiting their access to candy or junk food…we’ve somehow taught them lifelong (?) healthy eating habits at a relatively young age.

2 of our kids don’t even like soda pop, and the oldest recently stopped drinking it because she heard the acidity is bad for her teeth. (All on her own!) It’s really interesting.. if we go to a restaurant one orders water the other white milk, the oldest (a high school aged teen) orders chocolate milk.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No. I feel they need to learn how to assign value and then prioritize within their immediate dynamics.

Exp: My ex stepdaughter wanted a car on her 16th birthday. She was a top student and also working so we didn’t think it was unreasonable and we had means for a pre owned car to give her. She wanted a new Mercedes and was upset she got a pre owned non luxury SUV. Her lessons were to not expect a car newer or nicer than we could afford for ourselves and also to not expect beyond our comfortable budget.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My aunt once told me to try to say yes to my children as often as possible. I think we get in a habit of saying no. When your child has a wish that you could easily fulfill, then why not? To get them used to disappointment? That sounds harsh. I’m not talking about luxury cars or candy for dinner – just tring to make it happen if they want to go to the zoo, have a sleepover or a birthday party. I really started listening to how many requests got an automatic no from me, and I tried to stop doing that. If you as a parent have any brains at all, your kids’ wants are already limited to what you can comfortably afford, so they will learn soon enough what is possible and what is not.

SuperMouse's avatar

I don’t think children should be given everything they want.

zenvelo's avatar

My biggest challenges in this area with my kids have been:

1) their being aware that the family can’t afford everything; and
2) getting them to think through what they want.
They are realistic about what I can afford, and don’t usually push the limits (except for the Christmas wish list). Its their mom that has no limits, that is a source of friction.

But sometimes they think about their immediate wants without thinking through that it will be ignored in a month or so, or won’t do what they think it will. When they were little it was seeing a toy advertised and their not understanding it did not do anything and did not even encourage their imagination. Now it is more complicated stuff, but with the same issue. They want an X Box, but forget that they won’t use it in a few months.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@zenvelo: my stepkids have been ADDICTED to the Xbox ever since I met them 3yrs ago. When they come over, they don’t want to go anywhere or do anything except eat, preferably in front of the Xbox and they can goo round the clock if you don’t direct them to shut it off in order to sleep. On one hand I can say we don’t worry about them hanging out with unsavory friends, getting into face-time trouble. On the other hand, we question whether they are developing socially and sometimes wish they’d never gotten into Xbox.

Brian1946's avatar

If ever a thread was destined for unanimity, this just might be of them, unless a certain coherency-challenged user posts here. ;-)

Incoherency_'s avatar

NO! Parents shouldn’t give their kids anything!

Whatever presents they’re going to give to their talking monkeys should instead be given to ME, ME, ME!

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