“What was your favourite doll when you were a child mummy?” asked one of my daughters in one of our play times. Without a second in thought, I responded.”I didn’t have a doll as a child”.
Her first expression was that of confusion, you know like when you are given a Maths equation to solve and you are, for lack of better words less enthusiastic about Maths? Then it changed gradually to worry and then back to confusion.
“What do you mean you didn’t have a doll,” she asked again. This time she had stopped fiddling with one of her dolls and her full attention was turned towards me as if to say, I know you did not understand my question. “So what did you play with when you were my age she carried on”, determined to get to the bottom of this very serious matter.
“Oh I had so much fun in my play time, I carried on… I played in the rain, running around and trying to catch rain drops with my tongue, I played hide and seek with my siblings, We climbed trees and when I was by myself, I played pretend house with as many kitchen utensils as I could lay my hands on “(at least the ones I was allowed).
By this time, the earlier expression on my girl’s face had vanished and was replaced with another one which looked more like awe and almost envy, and her next response was “sounds like you had so much fun… I wish I could climb trees”.
Children are the most flexible and adaptable and though they love the toys, the gadgets and all, It is not the end of the world when they don’t have them.
As parents, we sometimes get guilt tripped by the media, neighbours, family, friends and the society at large into thinking we are the ‘worst parents ever’ if we do not go with the trend and give them everything they want and ask for. I must say there is hardly a parent out there who has not dealt with ‘guilt trip ‘ at one point or another. ‘Guilt trip ‘ in parenting varies from one household to another .Some parents have such demanding jobs that they hardly have time for the children. Others do a parents shift pattern where the dad is out the door from certain time and swaps with mum who dashes off as soon as dad is home.
There are those in a single parent situation where they both provide and nurture. Some have mums home full time while dad does the working and providing. Whatever the ‘working’ situation of the family, at some point, if not careful, the feeling of inadequacy sets in which is usually followed by guilt.
You see Trends are set by people and/or events and as a result, they come and go. The value of Educating children when it comes to needs and wants is priceless. The lack of this vital education most times is the root of some avoidable tantrums.
Toys and gadgets come with seasons and some season ‘must haves’ make more waive than others. Some are forgotten as soon as newer versions appear in the market while others last a while longer but ultimately, they get packed up, or are outgrown or the children just get disinterested. What lasts mostly are memories. The memories of how a parent or sibling got involved with that gadget/toy, the fun they had in the ‘silly moments’.
As a parent, add quality to the time you spend with your children. 24 hours with them is a luxury you may not be able to afford and that is absolutely okay. If you can afford just an hour with them, then make it count.