Getting the balance right between indulging my kids with love and not spoiling them is always hard. On the one hand I want them to have the world, to feel invincible and believe that anything is possible. And its so tempting to say yes to everything, especially when they crank the adorable up to 11 . But equally I don’t want to spoil them, or to instil a sense of entitlement in them. I want them to understand that there is hardship in the world, that nothing is free or a given, and that they must work hard for the things that they want.
Jasper has recently discovered the influence of the adverts on TV – he just has to hear the HotWheelz advert in the background to trigger him into a rant on how much he WANTS a garage full of plastic cars and he NEEDS them and ITS SO UNFAIR if I say no. I want my children to have anything they may ever need, without getting everything they want. If its a worry for you then here are my two pearls of wisdom, both passed down to me by my parents:
Teach Them to Earn Things
Children become spoiled when things come too easily to them, because it encourages them to take those things for granted. I always wanted my own pony when I was a child, and much to my disgust instead of buying me a unicorn wrapped in a bow for my 6th birthday my mother signed me up to work around the farm with a whole list of chores so I could help raise enough money to get riding lessons. If I wasn’t cleaning out the hen house or collecting eggs I was emptying the dishwasher and washing the car. Looking back as an adult I’m so glad she did that – I learnt what it was to earn each riding lesson, and I appreciated them so much more. So I’ve pinched that pearl from mother, and I have a reward chart on the fridge for the children. If they do anything extraordinarily nice or good they get a star on their chart, and if any of them get a full chart they all get a day out of their choice as a reward. It’s already made such a difference on their outlook; they understand how to earn things through teamwork and being nice always beats being horrid. Yesterday Jasper helped Aryella put her shoes on without me even asking (proudness level: 1 million).
Instil Philanthropy Early
This pearl came from my dad, who taught me about those less fortunate from a very early age. When I was a child, my father was a general surgeon and every Christmas before we had our lunch he would take us into hospital to sit with his patients and keep them company. It certainly made me appreciate everything I had even more. Even at such a young age remember how grateful the patients were and how good it made me feel. I always wanted to find a way to do something similar, so when Jasper sat there saying ‘I want that!’ to the TV one cold November, I had a light bulb moment. I decided to auction off some KeriKit sample handbags and use the proceeds to buy gifts for vulnerable people in the local area. Thanks to a social worker and fellow mum I met at the school gates one day we found 10 suitable families. Jasper helped me wrap all the presents we bought and it really opened his eyes to the fact that there were other children like him out there who weren’t even going to have a mummy or daddy on Christmas day, let alone presents to open. And he was so excited to be part of it.
But I don’t just want to instill this charity in my children, I want to instill charity into my business too.
I believe that every child deserves a childhood, and yet it is a harsh reality that not every child gets one. I realise how lucky my children are and it breaks my heart to think that there are other little Charlie’s and Aryella’s out there who aren’t as fortunate. I wanted to ensure that KeriKit had philanthropy built in its foundations, and establish a collaboration with a children’s charity as soon as financially possible. Although KeriKit is still very much in its infancy and has a lot of growth still to do, I have ignored my poor accountant’s advice and feel that if we don’t do it now there will always be an excuse . Its very easy to think ‘not yet’, and spend your money on other things, but then you will never feel ready to do it. So I am thrilled to announce that KeriKit has partnered with the Honeypot Children’s Charity, which has given me even more motivation to grow.
The Honeypot Children’s Charity
Since 1996, the Honeypot Children’s Charity has been working to enhance the lives of young carers and vulnerable children aged 5-12 by providing regular respite breaks at one of their two Honeypot Houses. The charity also provides on-going outreach support through the Honeypot Playbus, which visits children in their local communities up to three times a year. Many of the children Honeypot supports are young carers, looking after a chronically ill or physically disabled relative, taking on adult responsibility on a daily basis. Honeypot makes sure these children have a break from demanding and stressful responsibilities at home and provide a safe, nurturing environment where children at risk can develop to their full potential.
So, for each KeriKit bag sold online, £10 of the profit goes straight to the Honeypot Children’s Charity. When you buy your KeriKit, you will also help to fund a Playbus session for 12 vulnerable young carers to become children again and #CreateASmile.