Why do we spoil our children/grandchildren?
We know it's really not a good idea then we go and do it anyhow.
My wife and I are guilty as charged for doing so this Christmas and I'm sure a large percentage of you are as well.
My parents and grandparents were guilty of this crime as well. Hey, I'm grateful, Christmas was a blast for me growing up. But the reality is, we are too materialistic and in a way, we create little monsters who think they can get what they want.
A few generations ago, there were very few spoiled children. When you think about the World War II generation and before, money was very hard to come by. Most didn't earn much and there were no credit cards handed out like today.
Somewhere along the way, the toy market exploded and it continues today. My theory is television exacerbated the problem. As soon as toy commercials hit the air, kids started making mental notes of the toys they wanted. Today, with eight or so children's channels broadcasting 24-hours a day, our children are absolutely overloaded with the sights and sounds of the latest toys on the market.
I have literally seen my 5-year-old son turn his head to me after a toy commercial and say, "How about that for Christmas Dad?"
On the positive side of this mass spoilage is the fact that it certainly pumps them up when they get their hands on what they wanted. There is nothing like seeing pure joy in the eyes of a child.
While on the topic of toys, can you believe what cool stuff there is to play with? Without a doubt, the neatest toys ever made are available now. However, you better have some batteries to power these gizmos up.
My children now possess toys someone could witness me playing with if I weren't careful. And I don't mean playing with the toys while the boys are, but rather when they aren't. For instance, when my wife takes the boys to their grandmother's in a moment, I may be inclined to get out the MegaRig and fly around a little bit.
Maybe that's the real genius behind these toy and game producers. Maybe they realize if they can get us adults interested in the toys and video games, their work is done. If that's the case, not only am I guilty of spoiling my children, I've been duped myself.
Oh well, I can't wait until next Christmas.
Copyright Christopher Blackburn 2009