Monday, January 23, 2012

Is it all to much?

As I watched my 5 year old daughter open gift after gift at her birthday party yesterday, I wonder if it is all to much? She was able to take four of her girlfriends to a salon where they all got manicures and pedicures and then back to my mother in laws for cupcakes and little sandwiches. That was just the first party.

A few hours later, the adults arrived and there was more food and more gifts. She knows the routine well enough that after dinner was desert followed by presents. Occupying the "birthday" chair, she opened presents, and ours (a pink baseball mitt) wasn't even in the pile. That gift I am saving for her actual birthday on Monday.

I will admit that I am guilty. Guilty in that I want my kids to have birthdays, and experiences that they remember. Experiences that they can draw upon to learn as they make their way in the world. The old adage that I want them to have what I didn't have rings true, but part of me wonders if it is all to much?

There is a fine line as a parent that we toe I believe. A line that on one side children learn about responsibility, respect, and caring for their fellow man and on the other, a dangerous descent where they feel entitled, know better than anyone else and don't respect others. We model much of what they will learn in these first few years before their circle of influence expands and the impact of what they will learn from us diminishes. I know which side I want my daughter to be on, but I can't help but wonder if sometimes such experiences like this weekend have her on the wrong side of the line.


John said...

I had no idea a 5 year old even new what a manicure and pedicure was to even want to have them.

estorms said...

We've felt the same. Only do a few gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Our son, who has a birthday coming up soon, asked if he could have a little party with 2-3 friends so that he can get a specific Lego set (the Black Pearl ship!). It was good to see him make the correlation that there is only a finite amount of money to be spent on the birthday and he prioritized accordingly. It was also good to see him want to spend time with a few of his closest friends as his "party" which, we feel, is far better than being indulged with gifts he'll only use a few times at most. Apparently they do pay attention to the messages you send them periodically. :)

Roxanne said...

Happy Birthday to your little girl! I'm not a parent so not even pretending to know what is right. With that said, how about having her pick a few older toys to donate to someone without. Thinking of the needs of others often helps us all stay grounded. Sounds like you have great kids!