When it comes to kids, less isn’t more. NONE is more. Are all kids programmed to want more no matter how much you give them? Or is it just mine that seem to be ungrateful sods?
Let them eat biscuits.
I like to think I’m a fairly cool mum.
OK, let me clarify that. Not Kate Moss cool. Obviously. But the type of cool that makes me do wild stuff like let my kids eat a biscuit on the sofa. Like let them eat biscuits. Wild, eh?
But lately, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of appreciation. An air of expectation. Followed by dissatisfaction. That’s a lot of ‘ions’.
And I’m wondering when my kids started to become spoiled.
And when I began to spoil them.
A chocolate bar and a biscuit chaser.
A chocolate bar is a treat, right?
Then WHY when I let Beaver have one, does she ask for a biscuit on the side?
Yesterday she was feeling a little emotional (her words, not mine. Someone shoot me now). So I offered her a snack sized Twix as a treat. (I had a few left over from the tagine. Click here if I’ve completely lost you.)
‘Can I have a biscuit as well?’ she said. ‘As I’m feeling so EMOTIONAL.’
The worst bit is I let her. Because I couldn’t cope with the fallout on a Sunday afternoon.
Ahhh that’s when I began to spoil them.
Just say NO.
Still, I’m not a pushover.
And when I have the will, energy and a large G&T in hand, I do say no. For my sins. It goes something like this.
‘Can I have a chocolate bar. AND a biscuit? As a treat?’
‘No, you can have a chocolate bar. On its own. As a treat.’
‘Why can’t I have both?’
‘Because too much sugar is bad for you. Your teeth will fall out and you’ll never get a boyfriend.’
‘But I don’t want a boyfriend. I want a biscuit.’
HOW is this my fault?
Sometimes, the above results in a FULL ON meltdown.
And as the tears roll and Beaver’s world slowly falls apart, I stand there, slightly dumbstruck as I wonder how this has backfired and why she is having a go at me? ‘
‘I’m the cool mum who’s letting you have a twix in the first place. HOW IS THIS MY FAULT?’
But, of course, Beaver doesn’t think I’m cool. She thinks I’m mean. Because I won’t let her have a biscuit chaser. The twix lost its novelty value seconds after she first tried it. She’s tasted the nectar and now she wants more.
We would all be much better off if I’d refused everything from the start and given her a satsuma instead.
Apart from the satsuma, that is.
Dangling the carrot.
So this is what I think I shall do from now on. Offer a satsuma with a carrot chaser IF she’s really good.
Because clearly, where kids are concerned (or my kids at least), NONE is more.
Unless we’re talking about teeth, of course.