Can love be bought?
In most circumstances, the answer is NO. Sure, the finer things in life, and money and gifts can make it easier to stay with someone because of the sheer conveniences that these things provide. However, in the long run, – while money can buy comfort – it cannot buy love in the traditional cannot-live-without-you, think-about-you-all-the-time sense of the word. Money cannot buy the I-will-die-for-you love
But! When it comes to your children, love can be bought (at least temporarily), and especially when they become teenagers. Why? It’s simple, because children love their parents unconditionally whether they know it or not. Parents and kids are constantly playing knee deep within the confines of a love-hate relationship that turns and twists over time. And this makes buying your child’s love possible – especially in the short term. Truth is, our children ALWAYS love us (although they would never admit it) just like we always love them. When they are most angry with us for being ‘parental’ and authoritative, rewarding them with a special present that they have been wanting for a long time, can turn the rolling eyes and back talking mouths around in mom and dads favor.
Yes, buying a child’s love is a cheap attempt to make up for all the mistakes that we inwardly feel as parents we are making. Buying gifts in lieu of ‘time together,’ or out of guilt is really about padding our own parental egos than it is about making our kids love us. Because remember, they love us – often grudgingly – anyways. While they live under our roofs, they can spend a lot of time not ‘liking’ us and thinking we are the biggest idiots that ever walked the face of the earth – but they have to love us. Right? These are our children we are talking about.
There is nothing wrong with feeling the gratification that comes from your child actually posting on Facebook – that they have the BEST mom ever. Sure, mom may have had to buy the spoiled brat an I-Phone in order to breach the golden gates of a teenagers Facebook social profile – but who cares? Seeing it in black and white, posted for the world to see – makes the money worth it. There is nothing wrong with surprising children by bringing home a massive trampoline when they are 5 years old – or showering them with gifts on their birthday or during the holidays. And when you do these things, the kids will jump up and down, shower mom and dad with kisses, smile a lot, and think temporarily that they have the BEST parents in the whole wide world.
The problem comes in when buying a child’s love becomes a way of life. If you don’t know how to interact emotionally with your child, don’t teach them to appreciate the things they have in life already, and feel that the only way to settle issues, or make things better is to buy your child a gift – then you are setting your child up for some serious therapy in the future. Additionally, far too many parents today – in an effort to keep up with the moronic Joneses, (who in this economic climate SHOULD NOT EVEN EXIST) put themselves under water in order to purchase their child showy things, and big things, and expensive things – so that their child develops self-confidence alongside their things. (THIS NEVER WORKS) This is especially evident in high school. You know the kids that come driving up in brand new hot rod vehicles or Jeeps, a week after they get their license. Well their parents are pretty much suckers, who are trying not to just to buy love – but also trying to buy their child’s self-esteem and confidence with things during an often awkward time in a persons life.
If you spend too much time buying your child’s love so to speak – you end up with a child who does not make a very good adult. After all, how in the world are they going to keep up their lifestyle habits when the flowing tap of parental cash runs dry? And how is this child, who has always had everything – going to learn how to provide themselves with the things they want in life. How will they learn to separate needs and wants? How are they ever going to feel good about themselves if they have grown up in a world where everything has been easily handed over on a silver platter – with no expectations or consequences in return?
Truth is, that with the understanding that our children love us as we are, with what we have to offer them – it really isn’t necessary to ‘buy’ love from a child. Children are selfish creatures who believe undoubtedly that they are the epicenter of the Universe. And most parents get some sort of satisfaction and joy from giving their child some of the things that they want or desire in life. If you are doing it because you want to, because you want to see your child’s face light up – then buying gifts isn’t about love, but about parenthood. On the other hand, if the things are meant as replacements for earnest parenting and unconditional love – then you should probably think about your choices as a parent. Even so, the newness and thrill of the new I-Phone will only last so long – and then you will be right back in the knee-deep love-hate mud of your parent-child relationship!