Let’s go a little bit back in time. Let’s say you’re seven years old and your sibling is five. It’s your birthday and you’re really very happy that it’s your spotlight day. You are loving the attention you so deserve from everyone and for all the beautiful seven years of your life, you are the happiest person in the world on your birthday. There’s cake and lots of presents, your favourite foods and life is utterly beautiful.
Then comes this five year old sibling who suddenly doesn’t understand why it’s only you being given all this love and attention. And what about presents?! Where are my presents, this five year old thinks? The pouty lips exaggerate some more and threaten to swallow the child whole if pouted out any more, unshed tears sparkle in the eyes and the pain on this child’s face will make you think that nothing good has ever happened to it. Ever.
The parents see all this and decide that every time the older child has a birthday the younger sibling must also be given a present to be made to feel involved in the older child’s birthday. I’m sorry but this is where you go wrong as a parent in my opinion and bring up a child whose expectations will only ever get higher and higher.
First of all, it’s not this child’s birthday so why are you making the other child feel bad by buying the younger one a present too? Exactly what are you trying to teach your children? That it’s ok to get whatever you want and whenever you want it? Often I’ve been argued with that if parents can afford to buy their kids presents on one child’s birthday who am I to interfere? True, who am I to interfere, but aren’t you being ridiculous? When you die, which you will by the way, we all do, who is going to look after the whims of these children? You are setting the foundations for them that it’s ok to be gifted something when it’s not your birthday. No. It’s NOT ok.
Teach your child to take the back seat once in a while. In my opinion, again, this is how we create spoilt brats and then let them loose in society and encounter morons whose demands get bigger and bigger. Expectations to get things falling into the lap are also very high because that has been the norm in the childhood, thanks to Mummy and Daddy who didn’t think it important to only celebrate the birthday of only one child.
What’s it to me, you ask. You can afford it, so why am I getting bothered? I’m getting bothered because these are the kids who will grow up and be the dysfunctional brats of our society because they want everything and they want it now. In childhood, they would shed tears and get everything and as adult they resort to blackmail to get what they want. You see, it is a habit you have created in them.
Be kind to your children and teach them that they will definitely get a present but on their birthday and not the sibling’s. Teach them patience, allow them to know that other people who will be n their lives are also important and need to be at the forefront too. You will instill in your children one of the most wonderful lessons in life by doing this.