It’s Spring Break! And suddenly choruses of spoiled rotten kiddos are asking their parents the dreaded (and quite frankly annoying) questions. Such as….
“Why are we the ONLY people in school not going to the beach?”
“So and so gets to go to Disney for Spring Break, why can’t we go?”
“I am bored, what are we going to do today MOM….everyone else in the entire world is on vacation!”
“Are we poor, cuz all my friends are on vacation and we NEVER get to go anywhere?”
And of course….
“This is soooo unfair! Every one I know is at the beach and I am stuck here. With you. I HATE MY LIFE!”(Insert door slamming as he or she (thankfully) disappears into his or her room.
(Luckily – you grocery shopped so these hormonal teens at the very least have a wide array of food in the fridge to keep their mouths busy!)
And so it continues. For a solid week. The kids start thinking that they are the ‘have nots’ in the world and are caught in a rut of comparing their ultra boring lives to their friends (via Facebook of course, where everything always looks better than it really is), ruining not just their Spring Break, but yours as well. (And to think you took off for this)
It seems that the lessons of how to keep up with the Jones’s is one that children learn very early in life. When they’re toddlers, they wonder why Cousin Jane lives on a big farm with horses and animals and they live in the ‘stupid city?” Then, the neighbor kid gets a better bike than your child, or more gifts for Christmas and of course, you have to hear about it. As they get older, it becomes a serenade of being constantly reminded how all the ‘cool kids’ at school spend their weekends or Spring Break, or get new clothes every week - while your kids are simply ‘stuck at home’ wearing the same old jeans they have had for months – solemnly destined to a life of boredom and needless pouting and lack – because after all – their life sucks!
Woe is me, right? (Do you hear the hallelujah chorus, because I DO NOT!)
Of course as a parent, you want to give your kids the best opportunities in life. You want to make memories, and offer them a childhood filled with perks, fun vacations, good times and cherished moments. You want them to look back at their teenage years with happiness and excitement. And no matter how much you value the life you have – and work hard to provide for your kids – the irony is that they will always point out the places in your life where they perceive you are doing it all wrong! Subsequently, you can quickly begin to dread Spring breaks, Christmas holidays or even the long months of summer break which provide endless hours of whining, complaining, and comparing.
But eventually – you have to teach your kids to “GET THE HELL OVER IT!” Life is what it is, and in every moment, they have a choice to be happy and fulfilled or solemn and bored.
If you begin to feel bad that you aren’t enjoying the white sands of some Florida beach with your kids (because EVERYONE ELSE IS) – remind yourself AND the kids all the ways that you do DO (did I really just say do-do?) for your children. Maybe numerous vacations aren’t in the plans because you are spending beau coups of money on travel ball, or college savings. Remind your kids just how much they DO have – even if it means taking IT ALL AWAY for Spring Break so they can see what ‘bored’ and destitute really means!
And most of all, refuse to listen to it!!! When they start complaining, or comparing and driving you insane or putting you down – be firm that you could honestly care less about what other people are doing. Seriously, who has the time or energy for that?
Chances are the families on Spring Break aren’t having as much fun as the Facebook pictures and updates seem to indicate anyways. Those kids are complaining too (and its costing their parents a ton of money) driving their parents crazy, bitching and whining. The only difference is they will come home tan. And broke.
And truth be told, the chances are also pretty good that there are plenty of other kids ‘stuck at home’ during Spring Break because their parents have to work, or because they are saving their money for a summertime vacation or new car for their teenager – or whatever else it is that is important to them.
And remember, when you don’t think you can take another minute hearing about so and so’s awesome adventures on their cruise, or at the beach – or wherever it is they chose to go – Spring Break is only a week. This time next week, all of this complaining will be OVER! (At least the complaining about Spring Break)!
Read More about the adventures in ‘advanced parenting’ from Stef Daniel at Mom-Spirational and don’t forget to *LIKE* Momspirational on Facebook.