|a fancy cake|
Not that there’s anything wrong with ordering fancy cakes.
Birthdays are not meant to be gimmee sessions. Birthdays should be about the person; who they are, who they are growing up to be and what joy and meaning they bring to our lives.
Why do we raise our children to believe that they deserve to get the latest and greatest thing? Are we trying to buy our children’s love? Do we allow them to manipulate us into believing this is what ‘good parents’ do? Who told us this was acceptable parenting; going deeper and deeper into debt so our children can have gadgets, 24/7 internet access, designer clothes and more … stuff?
You see, the problem with upping the ante every holiday or gift giving occasion is that you never arrive. You start a cycle where you always have to out do yourself and go bigger. If you’re blowing hundreds today, are you prepared to spend thousands next time?
I say “Enough!” I suspect, that in comparison, our home this birthday week was filled with a minimal amount of inexpensive gifts. But I would furiously argue that we were not poor when it came to love and fun and memories.
Every child, regardless of their age, can find a way to express their gratitude towards their sibling.
And finally, my favorite birthday tradition; pulling out the photo album. Year after year, it never gets old. We reminisce over how little, how mad, how poopy and how sweet or fussy our little angel was. We tell stories about how happy we were when they were born. We remind them how special it was when they did that cute thing that one time. We laugh and share and remember. But mostly we communicate to our child that this family is better with you in it!
Stephanie is a Parent Educator for the Monmouth-Rosevile School District. She runs the First Steps Parent Program. She can be reached at Lincoln Early Childhood School.