Do you think our children who have more are happier than us who had less at the same age?

Desiree - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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This thought came while I was answering another post on working moms. When I was a child i remember having so much less than my kids. I live in South Africa and while i was growing up, we didn't have things like TV 24 hours a day, the government controlled TV at that time so it came on at 4pm and ended at 12.00am. We didn't have TV games or a huge choice of movies to watch,And outside is where you spent your time. and books and board games is what you did indoors on a rainy day. Today my kids have everything computers, Xbox, WII and play station and everykind of movie you can think of. Satelite with however many channels 24 hours a day. Every Christmas I run out of ideas to give my children because what do you give some one who has it all. Sometime I wonder what on earth am I thinking.... So do you think ourchildren are happier having more than we did at the same age.

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Tara - posted on 10/06/2010

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Happier isn't the word I would use but different yes. I find too many children today suffer from an entitlement disorder. They think they are entitled to what ever is new and whatever their friends have. They feel entitled to the newest version of their current cell phone/i-pod/mp3 etc. etc. they just assume it is their "right" to have these things.
My kids have a Wii system, we have satellite, we have 3 computers and a laptop. We have a dishwasher, lol (when I was a kid I was the dishwasher!).
But we still shop frugally, they wear second hand clothes (more environmentally friendly as well as cheaper) and they don't get what they want most of the time. Mostly cause they are kids and they don't really know what they want. They know what their friends and the TV tell them to want, but really they don't know. They think they want cell phones, but really? An 8 year old doesn't need one and wouldn't really have anyone to call. Once explained to them they usually see the reason behind my denials .:)
But on the other hand I think it depends on geography, where you live has a lot to do with how much time outside your kids get.
Mine are outside all the time, doing kid things, like climbing trees and collecting bugs or skipping rocks at the river, they love to ride their bikes and play hide and seek etc.
But they also love to go on webkinz every day to feed their pet etc. and they can navigate the internet as well or better than I can. :)

But not happier, no.

Ntombi - posted on 10/06/2010

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My kids have everything you have mentioned but they are most happy when they are playing with these things, are on a picnic etc when I am with them. It doesn't matter what you buy them. They enjoy it most, even watching their favourite show on TV. They enjoy it most when I'm watching with them.

Marabeth - posted on 10/06/2010

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I think most kids go through about the same stuff growing up no matter what generation. I'm sure our moms were thinking this same thing when we were little and their moms when they were little. What gets me is it seems like every generation goes through stuff younger and younger! :)

Sharon - posted on 10/06/2010

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My kids have every gadget and toy imaginable. But they mostly prefer to play outside with their bikes, in the trees, atvs, whatever.

They're doing the same things I did. Playing hide & seek, tag in the dark, etc.

If nothing else, the games they have, the bikes they have can always get new things for the holiday/birthday. New paintjob, tuneup, etc.

[deleted account]

I would have to say no.

I think it's a personality thing more then anything. I had very little growing up and I was a very happy, easy to please child, so was my youngest sister. My other 2 sisters were more materialistic and not happy at all in our living situation. My older brother wanted more things, gaming systems and what not, my baby brother was happy with a fishing pole.

With my 4, 5 and 6 year old I see huge differences on how materialistic they are. My oldest has everything a child could want at her dads house and doesn't care, she's happier outside playing with her pet caterpillar or going to pick berries with me. But my other little girl is very hard to please and hates the fact that I won't buy her what she wants. She hasn't been spoiled she is just into material things. My son doesn't care except for his clothes, he's a unusually picky boy about clothing.

Jackie - posted on 10/06/2010

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I don't know if happier is the correct way to put it. I think we were more creative with our time and used more of our imaginations. Which in turn helps the growing process because you use and develop a larger part of your brain when you're actually forced to use the damn thing. Today kids are glued to TV which is pretty mindless and too much can actually cause a trance of some sort.

I don't think happier but definitely more creative!

ME - posted on 10/06/2010

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My 2 1/2 year old is just as happy playing with the box our new tv came in as he is watching it an hour or so a day...I think we underestimate our children...teach them moderation and they will live that way and be happy doing it!

Kimberly - posted on 10/06/2010

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I don't think so because as kids we had no idea what they would come up with next in the future We were content. Hell, I was content using my imagination to create all kinds of things out of a dishwasher box. And we played outside with other kids until Atari came along and even then we still spent the majority of the time outdoors.

Jodi - posted on 10/06/2010

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My hubby and I were just discussing this same issue tonight, mostly for our 18,13 and 11 year olds. Our 5 year old is easy to buy for. But the others, I just have no idea......

Are they happier? I don't think so. However, I don't think they are less happy. But my kids do like playing outside, and the boys often head off to the local basketball courts or football oval and play around there. Or we take them to the skate park to "hang out" while we take the youngest to the playground which is nearby. I never have to nag to get my kids outside, so I guess that is something. But what do I get them for Christmas?

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I agree my kids have everything and its hard to get them something new for christmas. My oldest son would never leave the house if i didnt make him, its sad really but i live in an area where they couldnt go out to play on their own until they were about 9 so they are used to being indoors a lot more than i was. When i was young i was out all day playing from the age of about 5 or 6. Saying that i think they are happier than i was i had a miserable childhood through bullying, i hated school.

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