February 2012 Moms

Do your children own anything?

http://demandeuphoria.blogspot.com/2011/12/do-your-children-own-anything.html

What are your thoughts on this?

P.S. When I searched for this blog on Google, one of the recommended searches was '"Kidnapping your own child." 

Managing tree nut (me), peanut & egg (DS) allergies.

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Re: Do your children own anything?

  • Ok I think there is a difference in a child "owning" something and then getting something they really really want and having some strings attached.  SD has a Nintendo DS.  She LOVES that thing.  But when she makes bad decisions, at home or school, she loses the DS for the night.  It's the only thing that makes an impact with her.  She doesn't understand time out, and nothing else makes any sense.  I don't see what else we can do to punish her.

    Now on the other hand, if she had saved up money and worked hard to earn the money and buy her own DS I feel that is something you can't take away. That is her's.  When she is older, if she doesn't help buy the car and help pay insurance I feel we have the right to take it away.  If she works and buys the car, it's her's.

    Also the part in the post about letting them do what they want with their belongings doesn't seem right to me.  She said she lets them do whatever.  How is that teaching responsibility?  You should be teaching them to care for their belongings.  Playing with the monopoly money in your cash register of your play kitchen is one thing, but teaching them it's ok to cut barbie's hair or color in books is not teaching them responsibility in my opinion.  Kids need to be taught how to become productive members of society.  If I was able to do whatever I wanted with my stuff now, I would have ruined a company car.  They gave it to me so I should be able to do what I want with it, by her reasoning.  Well that is not how the company sees it.  If I decide to take the perfectly good car they gave me and go get it painted a different, crazy color, or get it into an accident that is my responsibility, not the company, and they will take the car from me because I can't be responsible.  Does that make sense?

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  • I have to say that I agree with Dana!  Said much better than I could've ever written myself.

    When I was 16, my mom bought me a car.  She paid the insurance.  I had a job, and paid my own gas.  The car was to be used for "family" purposes as well...taking myself and my sister to school, running errands for my mom, getting us to church, etc.  However, if I did not abide by rules, my car was taken away.  Yes, a junior in high school, I had to ride the bus to and from school for 2 months because I disobeyed.  Use of the car was a privilige, not a right!  Now, if I had bought the car with my own money, none of my mom's money involved, I might have to argue that she might not have the "right" to take the car away, but also might have to say that as a minor it's still my parent's 'right' to discipline me and 'take care of me'.

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  • I appreciate her definition of gift.  I really do.  BUT when I didn't take care of something my Mom would take it away.  She taught a good lesson of "If you put things away you'd know where they were".  Which is probably why I'm tidy and organized .  I learned to take care of my things and I think it was a very good lesson because I take such good care of things I don't need them replaced (like my 9 yr old car).

    I have a REAL big problem with writing in books.   To me it's a respect thing.   Books are very important they teach us, they have wonderful stories in them.  Writing in them shows a lack of respect for them.   So granted when they are little and they don't know better that's fine.  But when they are big enough to understand not ok.  I also believe you share books once you are done with them you give them to someone else to enjoy and hopefully love as much as you did.  If they are all trashed and written in that would be impossible.

    I also cringed when she said her children didn't have to share toys.  I get when there are special toys that mean too much to a child they can bear to part with them EVER.  Then you put those away and share the rest of your toys with your friends.  

    My son had a stupid guitar that he cannot let go of and his cousin wanted it, I asked him to share so he gave it to his cousin.  Cried doing it but he gave it over cause he's learning how to share.  His cousin saw he was so upset he gave it right back.  It was a really sweet moment and while they were too young to understand the beauty of it, it showed me they are learning to be thoughtful human beings.  

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  • It makes sense. Another side to that argument I've seen is that if they destroy their things then they no longer have that toy to play with. They learn their actions have consequences. Does that teach responsibility?

    The part about letting their child do whatever they want with their toys resonated the most with me, but for another reason. I grew up in a home were everything needed to stay looking brand new. The knife can never touch the cutting board so the board never has any marks, the electric mixer can never touch the sides of the mixing bowl, hands must be washed before ever touching a book and a book can never be opened all the way. If the book is big and laid on a table to open, something needs to be placed under one side so it doesn't open 180 degrees. 

    I was given a lot of dolls. Most were immediately taken out of my hands, placed in a stand, and up on a shelf high in my closet. I could go in and look at them but never play with them. I wasn't allowed to brush the hair of any Barbie that had curly hair, which most do, and isn't hair brushing the whole point of having a Barbie? I want my children should be allowed to play with their toys however they want because that is the purpose of a toy. I get upset when he destroys a toy and I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I want him to be allowed to do that because the opposite extreme sucks. I'm not saying another way of parenting is wrong, that's just how I want to do things. I'm responding to one extreme with another. lol

    And I can't imagine how I could discipline without ever taking away a toy. I want my kids to feel like they own some toys, so I guess I need to make a distinction between what are their toys and what things they have the privilege to use, like a cell phone, computer, gaming system or TV.

    Managing tree nut (me), peanut & egg (DS) allergies.

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  • I also have a hang up about gifts with strings attached. I can understand a teenager losing car privileges, but at some point there has to be a limit on the conditions of a gift. I was given a used car as a college graduation gift. I was given the title and because I was an adult, I paid for everything car related. I thought it was my car. Shortly after my brother totaled his truck, due to his own carelessness, my mom decided she wanted to give my car to him. She said it was her right because she gave the car to me. I think that is wrong. I would like to not repeat the same thing with my children, so as naive as it may sound, I intend my gifts to be true gifts. If I want to be able to take away car privileges, I will buy an extra family car he can earn the right to use through responsible behavior.

    Managing tree nut (me), peanut & egg (DS) allergies.

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  • I agree with the other ladies.  Regardless if something is a gift or it is bought with the child's money as a parent you should teach your child to respect items that are theirs.  You should also teach them to give to the less fortunate meaning that their items should be in some sort of working order so that another child could enjoy the item as well when you are finished with it.  I'm not saying that every item will be perfect and it doesn't mean that you won't allow them to break a toy or two so that they can learn the consequences of their actions.  Like everything else we discuss here you must find balance in everything you do with your kids, extremes aren't healthy for anyone.  In life there are rights, gifts and privileges, at the end of the day it is a privilege to stay in your parents home, potentially have your own bedroom, or at least a space that you can call your own.  They are allowing you to store "your" items in the space "they" provided and as a requirement of having that space for "your" items you have to abide by the parents rules, which may be coming home at a particular time or making good grades or at least trying your very best.
    Also, if kids were allowed to play with all their items with no rules at all how would you keep them from staying up all night playing on video games, building lego towers, reading books, watching TV, or playing on the internet?  There need to be rules in a house bottom line, and sometimes those rules will encompass gifts. As a parent you are to lead and guide your child, I am not talking about dictating every moment of their lives and I don't believe in over disciplining kids either.  I think it sucks when a parent takes something away for EVERY bad grade or thing done wrong.  Also, if you teach them that they don't have to share "their" items how will they learn to be a spouse or a parent because in my 5 years of marriage I have shared a LOT of things with my husband and in the last 16 months I have shared nearly everything with Sky.  Parenting is about life prep.  I don't expect a child to share everything, but they do need to learn to share their items at some point.  How would they feel if the parents put all the kids names on all the toys and they never had exclusive privileges to an item?

    Starbuck, it seems like you come from a home on the extreme side of the spectrum and it makes sense that it affects your choices as a parent.  Never in a million years would I give my child a car, put their name on it and let them care for it and then take it from them to give to another kid.  My Mom sort of did this with my sister.  She bought them both cars and she wrecked hers.  She took my sister's car so she could transport me to and from school and so she could get to work.  My sister was in college and was able to take a free bus to her PT job.  It was more of her asking her to sacrifice for her family but it was still a bit unfair.  Especially since her car took forever to get fixed because she had no insurance and had to pay cash.  Because of this exact situation I refused to let my mom purchase a car for me or pay anything towards my car so she never had a right to it.  I didn't live in her home when I owned my car, so I wouldn't have to worry about how she felt about it.  I also would never have my kids treat their barbies, dolls and books as you described.  We did one porcelain doll and one holiday barbie each.  They were gifts from my Mom's sister who was on her death bed.  We weren't allowed to touch them because they would break and my mom wanted us to have a keepsake from her even though we were very young, maybe 3 and 7 so it made sense and we had dozens of other toys to play with.  

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  • I think the situation will change as my kids get older, but I wouldn't say Lucia really owns anything.  But her lambie is hers.  When we are at the girls house, the expectation is that everything is shared, except their one lovie.  If one of the girls is playing with lambie and she wants it back, they have to give it back.  The same is true for their lovies.  Otherwise whoever is playing with a toy first gets to play with it, regardless of whom it 'belongs' to.  

     

    With toys I don't really like the idea of taking them away as punishment for something.  TV isn't supposed to be some sort of treat that's given and taken away.  It's just a form of entertainment that we use sometimes, as are video games.  The only time I take toys away is if they are fighting over them and cannot come to any resolution.  

    I think toys and books are meant to be loved.  So I won't support her trashing them, but they don't need to stay pristine either.  I certainly wrote in and highlighted books, and when she's older I have no problem with that if there is a purpose.  It makes me nuts when her crayons and chalk break, but I just remind myself they are there to be used.  

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  • I'm going to say no, my children won't own anything. I fully intend to teach my children how to be responsible with their things and with their money. But the bottom line is that while they're under 18 and living in my house, I am ultimately responsible for them and therefore I am responsible for their things. Just because my son may one day buy his own car doesn't mean he can't be punished by not being allowed to drive it. FWIW, I intend for my kids to fully understand that while they are children in our house, H and I have the authority to dictate when and how they may use their belongings. It's not fair for it to suddenly be a surprise like the example the blogger gave.
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  • image Starbuck128:
    I also have a hang up about gifts with strings attached. I can understand a teenager losing car privileges, but at some point there has to be a limit on the conditions of a gift. I was given a used car as a college graduation gift. I was given the title and because I was an adult, I paid for everything car related. I thought it was my car. Shortly after my brother totaled his truck, due to his own carelessness, my mom decided she wanted to give my car to him. She said it was her right because she gave the car to me. I think that is wrong. I would like to not repeat the same thing with my children, so as naive as it may sound, I intend my gifts to be true gifts. If I want to be able to take away car privileges, I will buy an extra family car he can earn the right to use through responsible behavior.


    That is really messed up, especially since you were an adult and put money into it.
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