Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Setting Limits

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There comes a time when we all set limits: how much to spend on something.. how far we will go... how much of "that" I can eat??? ETC.

I love setting limits for myself and creating challenges for my own self. I've recently set a challenge not to go to Medford. Medford is the biggest "city" close to our small town. It's a fine "city" but it reminds me of a lot of things I don't want to indulge in.. mostly consumption. When we first moved to Ashland I told myself that I wouldn't go to Medford all that often. That I would do all my shopping locally and that lasted for a good 10 minutes. I really don't have much against Medford. I enjoy going to Target, to JoAnns, to Chipotle.. you name it.. I'm pretty much OK with it. I am, however, not OK with the effect it has on my pocket book and what I am teaching my kids.

Medford to me and my kids means we are going to consume. I will make excuses on why I need to go to places like Target. I need toilet paper (got that in Ashland), I need cleaning supplies (got those in Ashland), I need something (probably got that in Ashland too). But I realized that when I would go, I would always leave with a few shirts for the boys, a new something for me, a little something for the house. I realized I was leaving with more than I had set out for. Then came my kids. They are good at not asking for much and I am good at not giving much. Toys were always off the list. We don't buy toys outside of Christmas and birthdays, but I started watching them lose it over getting a new shirt, or socks, or something. They felt entitled to getting "something." They needed it...  But really they don't really need anything right now. I realized that I was setting them up for a need for material things, even if it was just something as simple as socks. And let's get real, this town of mine, was listed as one of the best small town's by Fodor's!Ashland kicks Ass! Shouldn't I keep my dollars in this town? Isn't that kind of my personal responsibility?

It wasn't really how I wanted to raise my kids. I really want to raise them to appreciate the things that they have. I know that it's natural for kids to want things and at times have a need for things, but I also want to provide a good example. To find simple pleasures in things surrounding us. To not drive 40 minutes to consume when our town does provide us with the necessities that we need.

Going beyond my kids, I realized how I was supplementing consuming with being bored. Instead of finding something that would fulfill me in a positive manner, I was finding ways to quickly release the dopamine in my brain from purchasing. So here I am, journeying into self control. Finding ways to set limits for myself and to reduce consumption. I feel that consumption is hard on us physically and mentally and I do want to tread lightly on the Earth. Even if it's a small step, I hope this is a bigger change for my family.

Do you ever feel the need to set limits on consumption?

If you'd like to read more on the subject of entitled kids, I recommend this article:  http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/Giving_your_child_the_gift_of_abundance--without_spoiling/

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