Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hometown Memories: No Jacket For You!

My kids discovered early on that when they asked me for something that “ohmygod-every-kid-in-the-world-has-it-except-for-me”, I had no trouble saying no, and that no amount of pouting, crying, pleading, tantrum-throwing or "you-are-the-meanest-mother-in-the-whole-wide-world" calling was going to change that. I had no intention on raising kids with a sense of entitlement, and the lesson to be learned was that if they really wanted something badly enough, they’d have to pay for it themselves. It was a hard lesson to learn, but learn it they did.

My girls when they were 10 and 5.
My smart-ass, eye-rolling, rebellious,
know-it-all, bleach blond, self-permed hair period.

I understand how frustrating these lessons were for my daughters because I was just as frustrated when these same lessons were being taught to me by my parents who said ‘no’ to many, many, oh-so-MANY things. No matter how desperately I wanted them.

One particular time stands out in my mind when I was about 16; that smart-ass, eye-rolling, rebellious, know-it-all period we all go through. There was a really cool jacket being worn by some of the girls in school that I just had to have because “ohmygod-every-kid-in-the-world-has-it-except-for-me”.

I pleaded with my mother to buy it for me, describing it as a good winter jacket, which it wasn’t, and that it would be a practical purchase, which it wouldn’t be. She gave it the benefit of the doubt, and went with me to the store where it was being sold. Excitedly, I pointed out the jacket, and after looking it over, she said in no uncertain terms: “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” There was no way she was going to spend hard earned money on this cheap quality, over-priced, sorry excuse for a jacket. NO WAY!

This used to be a clothing store when I was a teen, and it's where my 16-year-old world was shattered
when my mother refused to buy me the
ohmygod-every-kid-in-the-world-has-it-except-for-me jacket.

Well.

My 16-year-old self was not pleased, and you can just imagine the drama that ensued. But my mother didn’t budge. She stuck to her guns, and although I wasn’t pleased with her that day, and for many days to follow, I thanked her for that hard lesson when I got older. She taught me the value of money. She taught me to work hard towards something I want. She taught me to appreciate whatever I acquired because it doesn’t come easy. And she taught me to live within my means.

Did you ever really want something as a kid and your parents refused?

33 comments:

  1. I think these are very important lessons to teach children. I don't have children (yet) but I too will instill the right values in them. It's vitally important to their future well-being and it they will end up appreciating the important things in life :)

    To answer your question, I wanted a pair of Jordan Air Nikes when I was younger and that was a hell-to-the-no LOL

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    1. I know you learned a good lesson from those Nikes, but I bet you'll never forget the feeling you had back then when refused!

      Yes, these lessons are extremely important for kids. Growing up being spoiled and with a sense of entitlement will not lead to anything good.

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  2. I remember begging for advances on my allowance all the time for stuff.

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  3. Self-permed hair. I remember those days. Too funny.

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    1. Yup. We did a lot of crazy stuff back then. I certainly had my fair share of self-permed hair!

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  4. I never had "the latest things" when I was young. Never. We were poor and that took care of that. I learned a lot of life lessons about value, worth, going along with the crowd, etc. because of that.

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    1. That would certainly do it, Debra. I grew up in the same environment. And my parents said no more often than not. But I did learn a lot of good things from my upbringing, and one of them is to find happiness in the simple pleasures of life.

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  5. My mom got me whatever I wanted that was within budget, and I understood that most of the time! Most of the time.

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    1. At least it was MOST of the time, Christine! LOL... So you weren't too bad :)

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  6. I was the kid who never asked for anything...which pretty much left me open for grabs once I had a son, considering our none fortune and no dad around much, it was pretty much 50/50

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    1. It sounds like you were a great kid, Lorraine! I can't say I never asked for anything, but I wasn't too bad. I learned from very young that we didn't have much money, so I didn't push.

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  7. and ps you were and are still very very pretty...

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  8. What a great story. Yes, I can remember wanting lots of stuff as a teen, but my folks didn't have a lot of $$$, so if I wanted it bad enough I had to buy it myself. Coughing up my own hard-earned dough for something forced me to think long and hard before buying.

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    1. Oh, I can certainly understand that, Linda! When I had to pay for things myself, they didn't seem quite as important anymore :)

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  9. Oh man oh man I do remember many of these incidences.

    Love your blondness frizzz !!!

    Just teasing!!

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    1. Oh, I had many interesting hair styles back then! All do it yourself types...gawd...what the hell were we thinking? LOL...

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  10. There is no end to materials. More we get more we tend to want. This is not only with kids but also with adults nowadays in today's materialistic society. So teaching a balance between desire and right desire, desire according to affordability and working hard towards fulfilling a desire are indeed important.
    Once I wanted a lovely dress(costly one), my dad bought it for me but later told me what important things he curtailed to give me that. His emotion, his honesty and reality knocked me so hard that I did not repeat the same mistake.

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    1. Oh you bet, Chirasree! Today it's all on credit for instant gratification. That's a terrible thing. Thankfully, my husband and I are not like that, and we don't owe money anywhere. The only debt we have in the mortgage for our home, which is a normal thing.

      That is quite a lesson you learned from your dad. You will certainly never forget that!

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  11. Such a cute shot of you and your sister.
    I always wanted a pony and always begged for one for never got it ... LOL
    You had a good mom Martha that instilled good values in you, mine did too.

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    1. Oh, that first photo is of my two daughters! I don't have a sister :)

      A pony! Now there's a great request. I think many kids would love that.

      Yes, my mom was really good with stuff like that. We learn great things from her.

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  12. Such a good Mother you are, Martha ... sticking to your guns! I never really wanted a bunch of stuff. My parents remembered the recession years and World War II. Rationing everything. Mother never threw away anything. Dad was a firm believer that if you can't pay cash ... you do not buy anything.

    Mother believed in layaway. She bought 'unneeded' items on layaway. There were no Bank Credit Cards ... credit was issued individually by the retailer.

    YOU WERE / ARE adorable! loved your hair ... haha... you're so freaking young... I was young once, Martha... yep ~ your girls are soooo lucky ... I really mean that ~ I'm not just whistling Dixie... ;)

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    1. My parents were like that, Carolyn; they paid for everything up front. They also believe that if you didn't have enough money for something, you didn't get it. No instant gratification for them.

      I think layaway was much better than all this instant credit. You paid a little at a time, and took the item home where the debt was fulfilled. And it was truly yours. Now everyone buys everything on credit, and they own nothing!

      Hahaha...my hair... I look at old photos and laugh. We did our own hairstyling back then, and some of the things we did were just crazy! But fun. We had so much fun.

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  13. I SO enjoyed this post, Martha! Wasn't growing up difficult! But lucky you to have a mother who knew how to bring up kids the right way!
    Mine were much the same and since there were 9 of us we learned to wait for things. At least some did....you see since I was the oldest boy of 5 brothers I got new things and no hand-me-downs!! YEAH! So I would get new things way before my brothers ever did! And that was important back then, right?!

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    1. You were lucky, Jim! I didn't really have hand-me-downs either because I was the only girl! We were both lucky :)

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  14. yep! I can remember quite a few things that ended in eye rolling and such. Teenage years are always hard, and now I have it coming back to me in spades with 2 girls at the same time - LOL

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    1. The teen years are truly difficult no matter what. For some it's harder than others. I also have two girls, so I totally get you! My older one is a young adult now, so I've got one more teenage period to get through!

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  15. As you say it was a hard lesson to learn but it paid off.

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    1. It sure did pay off. I'm grateful for those hard lessons.

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  16. here's one. my second job - around the time roller-skating can back, hmmm around the mid 70's - i wanted to buy myself, with my own money, a pair of skates. when i told my mother my plans with my money, she said, "no. you are not bring rollerskates into the house to scratch up my floor. imagine that! i was livid. ha. being the ill-do-what-i-want-to type of child, i bought my skates. eventually, my mother got over herself. but the nerve. I WAS MY OWN MONEY. it wasnt like i was asking her to buy them for me. cheers!!

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    1. Oh...hahahaha...yes, the nerve! Moms can be quite funny sometimes!

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    2. well, being a mom myself, yes we can be quite funny. cheers!!

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