* When reading this post please note it is not a reflection on anybody else and their parenting it is my personal story about some of the things that I struggle with as a parent. For some getting your child a fidget spinner could be a one off event and that is totally fine … please keep in mind this is not a judgement on those who have bought their children fidget spinners already.
It would have been a few weeks back that I started to hear the words “fidget spinners” and saw random posts popping up on my Facebook feed and now they seem to be the talk of the town.
There always seems to be some kind of “latest thing” that my kids want and mostly if it costs a few dollars, for the sake of entertaining them and giving me peace, I have historically bought them one.
Having said that something deep down inside of me has not been ok with that. If I was to be honest I don’t really want to spend money buying my kids small crappy toys that will entertain them for a few days just because everyone else has one but I am so tired and busy as I parent I often take the easy route and just get them one.
As the years are rolling by and I am observing my children’s behaviour I am becoming more and more concerned and some of that is on me. Life is so hectic with work and kids and all of the things that I often take the easiest shortcut to solving a problem if it’s not really that big of a deal e.g a $2 crappy toy that everyone has and it’s the end of the world if I don’t have it.
The problem with this is I have raised somewhat entitled children that are not learning you don’t always get what you want even if everyone else has it and on top of that the world will not end and you will be ok. If my kids can’t learn this about fidget spinners, and all they ever do is follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing then God help me when it is about something that actually matters.
My eldest daughter came home asking for a fidget spinner over a week ago because everyone has one. I knew they were only a couple of dollars and historically would have said we would get one when we are at the shops next but something inside me said NOT THIS TIME. She is getting to an age where she really comprehends things and I felt like it was time to really talk about want vs need.
Something inside of me said if I can’t teach my children that they can’t always have something just because everyone else has it then I are creating a big problem.
Something inside of me said if I as a mum can’t listen to my own inner voice telling me not to buy it (even though I know this is going to cause conflict and it could be solved with $2) then I have a problem.
I looked my daughter in the face when she asked for one and said very directly and calmly … “I need to let you know that under no circumstances will we be getting you a fidget spinner”. I explained to her why. I explained that in life we have to realise that we don’t always get what we want when we want it just because everyone else has it. I recounted stories of the past when she got things she so desperately wanted and a few days later didn’t care about at all. I told her it’s important to know how it feels to not get that thing you want but really don’t need that everyone else has and realise in a few weeks that it didn’t really matter at all anyway.
As you can imagine this did not go down well. From memory she refused to eat her dinner with us that night because she was not a happy camper. We let that slide as it was partially our fault she was feeling like this. We had created a child who was used to having the fads along with all the other kids. Partly because it was easier for us to do that and partly because no one wants their child to be left out but deep down I have always known I have not wanted to go along with this and I want to raise kids who can see through this kind of hype.
So this is why my children are not getting fidget spinners. I wanted to share my story with you and let you know that if you don’t want to get your child one either then don’t. Having said that if you buy one for your kids then that is great.
I actually feel really proud of myself for going with my gut even if it was the harder road. After a few days our daughter has gotten over it and it is now something we laugh about and she uses to be a bit cheeky (eg. Just letting you know I played with my friend’s fidget spinner at school today haha). But she knows and has come to terms with not getting one and I kind of feel like she is proud of herself that she has moved on from wanting it so badly and can just shrug her shoulders about it all now.
THIS IS A COMPLETE SIDE NOTE
I wanted to let you all know that in 11 days … starting the 26th of May I will be participating in a week Parenting Girls course with one of my favourite parenting educations Michael Grose from Parenting Ideas.
I will be setting up a private Facebook group for any School Mums participating in this course so we can talk about some of the key topics and issues together as we are going through the course. It is only $67 total to participate in the course and the key topics they are addressing are:
- Understanding the psychology of girls
- Helping girls understand their feelings and emotions
- What she needs to be brave in challenging situations
- Helping girls to develop a foundation of strong self-esteem
- Developing healthy relationships: making and maintaining friendships and what to do when friendships don’t work out
- Sexualisation and how to develop a positive, healthy body image
- Developing good mental health habits
- Navigating the online world and technology
- How to be the mum and dad that girls need
I am really looking forward to this and think it will be a great help for me personally raising 2 girls who are currently 9 and 7. I know I need all the help I can get moving into those next years. The course content is relevant for parenting with girls aged between 3-15 and you can find out more about it here … I am able to track our School Mum participants as long as you sign up via this link and you will be invited to join our own private School Mum Facebook group to discuss the course.