Need versus Want

I just couldn’t wait until 2011 to blog. Being off for two weeks and having a major dose of family has driven me to write for the purpose of saving my own sanity!!

Living in a culture where we covet things, my 13 year old daughter, Molly is in full covet-mode.

Since Christmas, she has been chatting with her friends and finding out about what they got for presents over the holidays.

The two most popular items seem to be MacBooks and Blackberrys; something that every 13 year desperately needs.

As a result, my wife and I are now getting the “I want one, too” routine. We get this in all modes of communication: little notes left on our bed pillow, emails and text messages and of course, last but not least, verbally, usually late at night, right before bed.

For the record, Molly DOES have a cell phone (we got it for her at the end of Grade 6 as she would start walking home from school on her on and her social outings would change taking her away from home on her own with friends) and she does have a laptop computer that is now two years old. She and I co-invested in that with some of the proceeds from her Hanukkah gift money that she received two years prior.

So, basically, she needs nothing. But, as I have stated in previous blogs, we are programmed to never be satisfied. The big corporate behemoths know this and always seem to introduce new products that are sleek and shinier and better and faster models.

I own a Blackberry…I unfortunately need it for business and would be happy without one. Not only do the kids share the laptop, but we also have a desktop computer that they seem to use as well. We are fully high-teched up the ying yang!

So, how do you explain to a hormone-enraged, irrational 13 year old girl, that she doesn’t NEED a Blackberry or another laptop to replace the reasonably new devices she already owns?

Intestinal fortitude!

We, as adults, are already guilty of this sin and are sucked in at this time of year to ditch our old stuff for the slightly discounted unnecessary new stuff. Sometimes, it is too tempting to pass up.

I remember a time when all I really coveted were new wheels for my skateboard or a new baseball glove or maybe a new pair of Adidas running shoes.

The bar has been raised and the ticket-price of these gadgets and gizmos has gone through the roof.

As for Molly, I have informed her that because of the lousy cell phone plan I signed on for, she is committed to this phone until the summer and that to get out of it any sooner would cost us in penalties. While she generously offered to pay the penalty out of her own pocket, I questioned the validity of wasting money on a penalty. It’s bad enough when the banks squeeze us in penalties to get out of high interest mortgages so we can save a little bit of money. Needless to say, she doesn’t quite get it.

Since I started this blog this morning, Molly has added to her list of stuff: Doc Martens (I thought they were for skinheads), and Top Siders (didn’t know they were back in fashion – not that they were ever fashionable).

All we can do, as parents, is to be the voice of doom (I meant to say reason)…to question her choices of how she spends her money and why we would prefer not to spend ours.

To all the readers of teenage children or who are approaching their teens, any advice you might have to offer would be greatly appreciated.



About I'm Just A Dad

Stephen Gosewich is just a Dad (he is a former Enlightened Male but decided to change the name because when you search Enlightened Male, "other...wink, wink" are displayed. He spends his days during the week as a working stiff. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters.
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One Response to Need versus Want

  1. Debbie Donsky says:

    Here is my advice…!/video/video.php?v=54561525458

    We all need to learn to say no to our kids without guilt. Saying no takes us to the same place as surrender and letting go!


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