Life in Poland

Our kids don’t have everything

Our kids don’t have everything. By our choice.
I had pretty much everything as a child. I did grow up in America after all. My husband a child of PRL had adventures, not toys.
Years ago we bought a house about an hour outside of the city in a village of 500 people surrounded by farms and forests. A house is an overstatement. It was more likes a collection of bricks. No heating, no electricity, no water, no bathroom, but one hectare of land and peace and quiet all around. 
Now the house has new windows and a new roof. It has electricity and water and heating and its first ever indoor bathroom. Ameryka, po prostu. Our kids have a big room, shared, full of books and toys – it is true. They have less than what I had, and more than their father had. 
There will be no gaming systems, no iPad per kid, no television sets in their rooms, nothing like that. There will be family bike rides, their own personal flower beds (weeded out by Mom), worms, snakes, frogs, bug bites, swimming in the lake, and family barbecues – emphasis on experiences, instead of things.
I must admit it is often harder for us as parents to say no than for the kids to hear it, especially the parent who had less as a child. Yes, one Coca-cola won’t kill them, but today it’s a coke, tomorrow a candy bar, the next day a video game. It’s a slippery slope 😉
If you know Polish, here is one parent’s perspective on the “kids with everything ” issue – from a parent who grew up with “nothing”.,nasze-dzieci-maja-wszystko

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    June 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    how wonderful. I limit things for my son just because he needs to learn he can't have everything. And he has to learn to make choices. and yes, the most difficult part is myself, I would love to see him enjoying every attraction in amusement park, and instead I hear myself saiyng \”you have to choose one\”. And I feel I am a cruel bad złamatka 🙂

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    June 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I'm zła matka too because my kids have chores as did I as a child. Does your son have chores (takie domowy)?

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    July 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I grew up in PRL and played games outside, spacecraft, landing on another planet, exploring, when raining I was jumping of my bed on a parachute, riding a horse (wersalka), read lots and if I did not like the end I was making my own. Did not have a Barbie, played with my brothers cars and soldiers. Now I know that we were not rich but I would not called us poor as we were not, had food and roof over our heads and love. We did not have a washing machine so when I went abroad and earn some money I went back and bought one for my mum, so she does not need to wash all the clothes by hand. Parent should be parents not friends we find those in our life. I know that my parents said no to us lots and explained why we cant have something, I grew to respect work and things I got with my own money, it is good not to have everything as you enjoy more the things you have. Take careEdy from London

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    July 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments Edy. We're here at the Polish seaside for the first time and are working hard at keeping our parenting philosophy intact. I've seen some wonderful families here enjoying the sea and each other's company. And I've seen some terrible examples of parenting as well from constant \”nie wolno\” to parents bullied by kids to kids sitting on a go cart with a hot dog in one hand, chips in the other, Grandma waiting with a waffle, and the kid is still not happy. My husband also bought his parents some much needed things back in the day. It's very touching that you bought your mother a washer.I have to say that we were taken unaware by the cold temperatures here at the sea. I have the right not to know – I'm not Polish. But then I realized my husband didn't know either because he never went on vacation with his parents to the seaside or anywhere else. I still got sunburnt though. Cloudy, windy days are no protection from the sun I have learned.Take careChris temporarily from Hel

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    August 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    I dont have kids, but i can clearly see the ones with less are much nicer and better off than those with everything..

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    August 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    That's the plan. Fingers crossed we are on the right path.

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