Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Okay, Talk to Me...
As I'm sure you are aware, a lot of Mommy bloggers are parents of young children. I think in a way, it is easier to write about your life when your children are younger. Those of us who are parents of older children walk a very fine line as we try to share our lives without invading our children's privacy. What that means, however, is that we have very little in the way of exchanging parenting information and advice. I think that stinks. So, without breaching any confidences and without embarrassing anyone, I am going to share with you a few of my parenting dilemmas in hopes that a) I'll discover I am really NOT alone in this and b) someone will have an amazing pearl of wisdom that will magically solve my problem(s).
Here is my dilemma today. How do we raise our children to fit in with their peers even as we want them to reject the "I have this cool gadget thing so I'm better than you" mentality that seems so pervasive. We know things shouldn't trump character, but the kids are blinded by the shiny things. The current gagdet setting the Middle School set on fire? An iPod Touch. Yep. In addition to cell phones from which you need to text incessantly, apparently cool factor is measured by possession of an iPod Touch--to the tune of $200-$300. Valiant doesn't want a cell phone for texting, but, man, is he lusting after an iPod Touch. He really, really wants one. There is just one little thing. He doesn't really want it for the applications (of which he knows very little). He really wants it because it is a cool little gadget that confers a certain status on the possessor's of said gadget. Never mind that he's the only kid in the neighborhood with a job and his would come out of his own money, while all the other children have parents who buy this stuff for their kids. Intellectually, my boy totally understands that these kids are riding on Mommy and Daddy's coattails and shouldn't be bragging, but the truth doesn't change anything. Kids want to appear "cool" in the eyes of other kids.
You and I both know that next year there will be the next "cool" thing and having an iPod touch will be a snooze, but the male teenage heart aches. The truth? My heart aches for him, even as I see how stupid it all is.
So tell me, bloggy world, what is a mother to do? Do I let him spend $200+ of his hard-earned money on this, knowing full well he'll wish he hadn't in two months? Do I stick to my guns and say, "you're going to want to drive in 2 years and you'll want a car". I know lots of you have older kids...I can't be the only one out there.