Thursday, March 27, 2008

apparently we're poor...

at least according to the girl. last week we got the rant about technology. (have i already done this post? i can't remember. if it's duplicated it's only because this is such an issue right now.)

last week she told us she feels like a caveman in a school of high tech because evidently EVERYONE in fifth grade has a laptop, camera cell phone, wii, nintendo ds, a phone and tv in their room and something else i'm sure i'm forgetting. this same conversation included her wishes to stay up later than the boy (they both go to bed at 9pm on school nights) and a higher allowance (she doesn't even really earn the $5 a week she gets now). prior to this her wishes included wanting to wear makeup.

that night we talked to her for quite awhile and then after she went to bed we came up with this compromise. we'd give her my old digital camera and we would go in half with her on the nintendo ds (one of the dogs had chewed up her gameboy) and she could wear some makeup (lip gloss and mascara). she was not thrilled or appeased with this compromise and grudgingly said ok. like she'd done US a favor or something.

flip forward to last night and she starts asking how much spending money we're giving her for her upcoming school trip. this will be her first school trip (3 days) going anywhere without us. i'm a nervous wreck about the whole thing but that's not the point of this post. we are getting her a pre-paid cell to take with her for the trip, she doesn't know this yet. we haven't yet discussed how much spending money she'll get but i told her she can also save her allowance to take (seeing as how we've been making payments on this trip since school started). then she said she doesn't have any name brand (abercrombie & fitch/hollister) clothes. i told her i'm not buying a shirt for $30 but she's welcome to save her money for that. she went on and on and the hubs asked if she thought we were poor. she looked around and said, well, look at where we live. (the pool we put in last year must have escaped her attention.)

uh, i'm so not a materialistic person at all, and we don't live in one of those newer, cookie cutter neighborhoods where the houses are on top of each other, but we also don't live in a hovel. we live in a ranch house in an older, upscale neighborhood. i'd say we're middle to upper middle class. we certainly are doing better than either of our parents did when we were kids and the girl barely remembers the time we lived in the trailer before we bought the house.

anyway the conversation just went on and on. i'm at my wit's end. really, i don't know how we've managed to raise such an ungrateful, diva. she thinks she's entitled to just any and everything she wants and that she shouldn't have to work for or be thankful for any of it and it's really, really pissing me off to no end.

and the thing is, i totally get that most of this is coming from that place inside her that just wants to fit in. i get that. she's not even really interested in the things she wants. the hubs said i'd take her to the mall over spring break (yeah, thanks for that honey) because one of her gripes is that we're too poor to go to the mall. uh, no, we told her we aren't too poor to go to the mall but we both hate the mall and that's why we don't go. i have no doubt that if we do go to the mall she will want to go to build a bear instead of abercrombie & fitch. if i gave her $30 she'd spend it on a bear or webkinz and not a name brand t-shirt. i am positive of this.

i wish i had friends that were older w/ kids cos i need some advice. how the hell do we get through this? how the hell do we change her thought process and get her to not be this selfish, entitled little brat she's becoming?


Anonymous said...

Yikes! I do not envy you guys. Would it be possible to come up with extra "chores" that she could do to earn extra money? Like washing windows or something larger like that?

I remember not having all the techno gadgets that my friends had, but my parents wouldn't buy those things, either. And I really didn't miss anything. I think it's a lot worse now. Back then it was a microwave and a vcr, and cable. I'm still a few years behind in my electronics, which is okay by me.

Take her to help serve meals at the local soup kitchen. That's an eye-opener. Ask her if her friends who have all this stuff are really any happier. Remind her of the things she had to have, but doesn't play with anymore.

Hang in there. It's a phase. We all went through it and still do from time to time!

Sweet T

{sue} said...

Oooh! We have the same problem here. I would love for my kids to spend time with people who truly are poor. Not just folks like us who don't have kids with cell phones and TVs in their rooms. (We also don't have massive debt, but try explaining that one to them. This is definitely a HOT topic for me!! :-)

creative kerfuffle said...

sweet t--i've tried a million different ways and times to show and explain to her that it's not the stuff in life that's important. the hubs vetoed the soup kitchen idea (cos i did bring it up to him tonight) he says it's too dangerous.
sue--it's good to know i'm not in this boat alone. i just wish there was some way to make them realize what they have and to be thankful for it. or hell, at least not give me attitude and huffiness every other hour.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? The soup kitchen is not dangerous. I've been a few times and my niece and nephew, and other fairly young kids from my church go, and they actually like it. They argue over who gets to take plates out to the people. You don't have to go at night. And, you don't have to "mingle" with the people if you don't want to. You can stay in the kitchen and help.

Sweet T

Kristin.... said...

Ok, so my oldest is only 7 and we're already having these discussions. Money doesn't grow on trees and that is foreign to them. Ick.

hope you don't mind...I tagged you for a meme. :)

creative kerfuffle said...

kristin--holy crap, i've never been tagged! lol