To Spoil or Not to Spoil?
I am working on a very controversial theory. Here it is.
I think spoiling your child rotten is beneficial. What? Who? Where? Gaa?
Let me explain.
I spoil The Dictator silly. If she even points to a toy, I will buy it for her.
I've been like this since, well, since she learned how to point.
If we're at Shoppers, and she wants bubbles, she'll get them. If we're at a toy store, I'll say, "Whatever you want, pick it. As long as I can lift it, it's yours!"
We'll go to Chapters, and I'll be like, "Whatever books you want, go!"
I probably buy The Dictator something every single day. (Because she's only two-and-a-half, I'm not talking about clothes here. When I buy her designer duds, who am I kidding, it's really for me.)
I'm also like this with junk food. If The Dictator wants chips, she can have them. If she wants to eat smarties before dinner, I'm absolutely fine with that. Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm a chocolaholic and, who am I kidding, I need chocolate in the house.
I'm no hypocrite. I like eating smarties before dinner too. If I do it, how can I expect her not too? If she wants to eat ice cream for breakfast, go right ahead, and get me a bowl too, will ya?
Now, before you think I should win Worst-Mother-of-The-Year Award, let me explain why all of this has worked out just fine, more than fine even.
I took the Dictator to Zellers the other night to buy her more toys. We walked around and I was like, "Pick out whatever you want," as I always do. So she picked out a Tea Set ($3.99) I asked her if she also wanted the Dora the Explorer Truck thing. "Maybe tomorrow," was her answer. What? Who? Where? Gaa!
Then it happened again. Last night, I took her to Shoppers to buy her some bubbles. I asked her, "Do you want the skipping rope too?" Her answer, "No thanks. Maybe tomorrow."
She's like that with junk food too. Because it was always readily available to her, she's now like, "No thanks," when I ask her if she wants chocolate. "Maybe later."
That's right. I've spoiled my child into a very nice little girl who now rarely asks for anything and actually likes to eat corn and broccoli. The best part of her day now is when a plate of peas is put in front of her.
I always knew this is how I'd be as a mother. I knew because of the way I grew up, which was no sugar cereal in the house, no McDonald's, except twice a year, and I most definitely could not walk into a toy store and hear, "Whatever you want!"
So, as soon as I moved out, I was eating fruit loops for breakfast and McDonald's for dinner. My mother, by forcing me to be healthy as a kid, kind of ruined me as an adult. (I still love fruit loops and McDonald's.)
So I took the opposite approach raising The Dictator and it's working!
For The Dictator, chocolate is not a "special treat." It's always there, take it or leave it, and now she leaves it.
Same with toy stores. The Dictator has thrown only two temper tantrums in her life and these are supposed to be the Terrible Twos. I'm not joking. And not one of those happened in a store because I refused to buy her something.
She's actually quite mature because I spoiled her. If she says, "Mom I want a bike," I'll say, "Well, I can't carry it today, but we'll get you one on the weekend," and she'll be like, "OK, we'll get one on the weekend," because she knows I'm not lying. Why would she think I'm lying after I've always gotten her what she wants? (And all kids deserve a bike!)
I know there will be the naysayers out there, scoffing and saying, "Well, just wait until she's 15 and she'll be a real piece of work."
And, to that, I say, "You show me yours in 15 years and I'll show you mine."
Because, really, no matter how we raise our children, no one ever knows how they'll turn out. No one can see into the future. Which is why talk shows always feature university educated, career-oriented parents, with children who have turned into prostitute drug addicts (Knock on wood. Knock on wood.)
So, spoil away and don't feel bad. How many toddlers do you know, after all, who say, "No thanks. Maybe later," when you want to buy them toys, and say, "No thanks," to junk food?
God, forbid, she ends up like me eating Fruit Loops in her 30s.