Isn’t it funny that you can agree with something an author says, yet the way they say it jars so much that you start resenting the agreement? I am reading ‘Affluenza’, Oliver James’ book, and I struggle with his interpretation, not the outcome. This is nothing new, my husband and I solved a ‘spot the killer’ exercise accurately in the same timeframe by noticing completely different things (checking guns on the computer vs isolation and bullying) which reflects our different professions. But my profession and Oliver James’ profession are closer, yet the difference in process is just as huge.
I keep at the book because of the little one, who’s nearing an age where consumerism rears its ugly head so I am gathering information. It’s one thing to read about ‘emotional distress’, but having it apply to the little one gets all the protective juices flowing!
Her computer time is limited (as is her sugar intake and a host of other things) but she has an amount of freedom in what she’s watching and I try to respect that. The things the little one sees range from making slime with home ingredients, cooking a Harry Potter cake, opening toy packets, make-up tutorials, making decorations out of fruit, looking for wild animals in the jungle and all that quite apart from cartoons and songs. All these subjects are so far away from our real life that I restrict subjects as well as time – so far I have put my foot down at pranks, which she adores and I loathe.
Of course the little one wants all the toys and materials she sees, plus the experiences (you know, going to London and taking the train to Hogwarts from King’s Cross station, going into the jungle to find this worm or that lizard) and I get very tired of saying ‘no’ on repeat – especially when I wouldn’t mind going with her!
Of course there are things I can do. Asking her to choose one and only one item when we get to the shops, teaching her about money and how far it stretches, distracting her with interesting games, making it a rule that if she gets a toy than one needs to be donated, actually making things like slime etc… she’s also getting to the age where we can discuss pocket money and how to manage it.
It helps too that we read my type of books – heroic and moral, that is. We’ve started on ‘The Hobbit’, yay! Harry Potter is still there (Sirius Black is her favourite) and goodness knows I have shelves and shelves of yet more of the same, including legends and myths from all over the world. Don’t get me started on the subject of books that provide the thrills but not the backbone, I have read some and still have nightmares! I know, I’m a lightweight It also helps that we all listen to the type of music where consumerism is less often mentioned, and, if mentioned, usually derided. Rock, anybody?
But even though these are plasters on a broken system (still needed, just never enough), I also need to pay attention to something else…. Wait for it… people! If I accept that friends and family are on par when it comes to influence on any individual, I was thinking about the friends I would like her to have. Yes, I am very well aware that this is wishful thinking, but given the fact that I am not taxed for dreaming, I might as well go to town with it And what better place to start than with my own?