Until about the age of 3, kids are mostly just playing by themselves in the company of other kids. They play in parallel, not together. They might want a toy from the other kids, but they don’t really interact with one another or eyeball the other kid’s toys. This is the time that you can buy them anything you want. Electric cars, bedazzled hats, you name it, go for it. Because they don’t care anyways and this is just to feed your ego, which is totally fine.
Something changes around the time they turn 4. They begin to look around and compare their belongings with other monsters. This is it. This is your window. Now is the time to truly look at your kid as your contribution to society. You can shape your little monster into a jerk or a pretty cool human right about now.
There’s no such thing as fixing them later. You are molding human beings that the rest of the world has to interact with. Please take that into consideration, for all of humanity. Kids need to learn that happiness does not ever come from material things. You should know that by now. We all love pretty things and there’s nothing wrong with splurging on something every now and then. But we should all understand that these things are blessings, not rights. That brand new bike is a beautiful gift, not your birth-right. This is the time to either set them up for a miserable life of always wanting more and never appreciating what they have, or being grateful fully functioning members of society without the typical “eshme3na*” attitude.
Kids need to learn that hating on other people will only make their lives miserable. Teach them to be joyful. Teach them to accept that people are different and thus so are their belongings. Instill in them the ability to truly and genuinely be happy for other people’s happiness.
You’re at the club, park, playground whatever. Your 5 year old spots some kid’s nifty bike with streamers and squeals “I want!”. What do you do?
“Of course my angel, I will go and buy it for you as soon as we get home my little care bear beauty!”
14 year old girl in hot shorts, purple lipstick and a selfie stick demanding a debit card.
That really is a cool bike. That kid has nice taste. Why don’t you go over there and tell her it’s a nice bike? Maybe one day we can find you a cool bike that works for you?
14 year old girl in hot shorts and purple lipstick.
Mommy how come she gets to buy candy and I don’t?
Yalla, buy whatever you want!
Obnoxious 6 year old with a brand spanking new iPhone 17. (Think: Darla from Finding Nemo)
Malnash da3wa**. You look out for yourself and don’t bother yourself with what other kids are doing or buying or eating. We can find other ways to enjoy life. Let’s race to the swings.
6 year old with a ball.
Of course at some point in time these children will turn into pre-pubescent assholes that will eventually turn into teenage jerks. That is just the circle of life and there’s only so much we can do to tame their atrocious personalities.
But seriously, please, don’t raise your kids to be jerks. An English middle teacher will thank you at some point, I promise. We all want our kids to be happy, but please for the love of God, think long term happiness, not instant gratification. What an empty life that will lead to..
*eshme3na: an Arabic term that is heard all the time, meaning how come? (ie not fair)
** malnash da3wa: an Arabic term meaning that’s none of our business.
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