Author Topic: creating memories or buying things?  (Read 1173 times)

Offline optom3

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creating memories or buying things?
« on: May 03, 2008, 11:57:59 pm »
A friend I have made since moving to Florida has what I think is a wonderful take on life.

She and her husband are exceptionally wealthy,yet you would never guess it if you met them.They are so down to earth. Their 2 kids could have everything that money could buy,but don't.

We were all down at the beach one evening,and she told me that her son wanted the latest gizmo's for his birthday.She had agreed but said it would have to be both birthday and Xmas present.
I think I may have looked surprised as she went on to explain. She wants to build memories for her kids,not keep buying them things.

She continued by saying,think back,how many Xmas or birthday presents can you remember getting when you were a kid.My answer was pretty well none.Even if I remembered the odd thing I could not have Told you if it was a Xmas or b'day and what age I was.

What I could remember in vivid detail though was looking for crabs in rockpools with my dad.Climbing a really big mountain In Scotland with mum,dad and brother.I could remember the smells of Xmas,turkey roasting,tangerines.

In other words my memories were of people,places ,smells etc.

I now try really hard to try and adopt that attitude with my kids.It seems such a great and simple philosophy.Her kids are a credit to her and her husband.
I have been guilty in the past of trying to buy my kids everything.Yet what she pointed out was so true.I really can hardly remember any presents,but I can remember lots of events.

What is more they are happy memories.When my kids were composing their mile long Xmas list last year,I tested the theory on them.They could not remember what they got the previous year and they muddled up b'day and Xmas presents.

But they could remember the treasure hunt I did for them one year on holiday in France,That was at least 8 years ago.Not only that they had no recollection of the prize,they just remembered tearing around looking for the clues.

So there you are.food for thought.Also I think, just a lovely philosophy on life.

Offline Kelda

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Re: creating memories or buying things?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2008, 06:31:57 am »
Yes, I think its a great philosophy too!
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Offline optom3

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Re: creating memories or buying things?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 09:54:29 am »
Yes, I think its a great philosophy too!

I love it and the family as well.Not just because it's a great philosophy,but because they coud get their kids anything they desired and they choose not too.
The kids are 14 and 11 and so far really have turned out well.I look at some of the kids where I live here,who just get everything, and there is no comparison.
I think I used to get mine so much as a compensating thing for being a working mum,so they had a full time nanny.
If they moan these days, and they do,I always cite this family as an example,then another really obnoxious family  we are aquainted with.Even my kids have to agree who they prefer !!!!!

I just think it is funny how random statements can occur out of the blue, and radically change the way you think,if you are open to it.

Offline Artiste

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Re: creating memories or buying things?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 10:18:10 am »
Merci optom !

It is great to think of values !!

That way, we find life valuable and appreciate it !! ??

Au revoir, wonderful idea for a thread your created,
hugs!

Offline optom3

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Re: creating memories or buying things?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 11:22:13 am »
This has been true in my own experience with my daughter.  Even at age 4, it is clearly my time and her father's that she values most, well more than any playthings.  And I don't even recall myself which holiday gifts were from who, or much of what I received for my last birthday.  At the end of the day, things are just bits of atoms that we have manipulated into more complex forms, which we value for their beauty or their entertaining qualities, but those are usually fleeting pleasures.  What engages our minds and to an even greater extent our hearts is what we truly value and take with us through life.  I think children inherently understand this.  Unfortunately the desire to have what their peers have is part of what drives them into requesting so many material possessions (the child version of keeping up with the Joneses), and advertising is not very helpful either.  I applaud those parents for the lesson they are imparting to their children, a lesson most of us either learn in hindsight or not at all.



I know, see my reply to your Disney weekend.Did similar for my daughter at the Grand Floridian,what did she remember,the chocolate Micky Mouse!!!!
I am trying really hard to live by the philosophy of that family.I just wish I had done it from the word go.It must be easier to start as you mean to go on,rather than change horses mid stream.
What really annoys me is that when we moved here,most of the kids toys went into storage for over 6 months as we were in a rented house in England for longer than expected,then customs here took ages.The rest of their things went to Oxfam.
How much did they miss any of it?? not at all. Not once in 6//12 did I hear I wish I Had my a,b,c.
When we arrived here they had no electronic toys as it is a different current here to U.K so they had got rid of all of them before we left.
Did they ask for new ones, no. It was stupid mum here who went out to replace them as I felt guilty.
However at long,long last I have learned,that for the 2 younger ones it is me they want,even if it is just to watch them do something.The older one ,well nothing would make him happy these days.
Sometimes I can be very slow to learn, and occasionally it takes someone to say something in just a slightly different way,and all of a sudden it clicks.
Better late than never!!!!!!