Children don’t know what is quality, versus what is cheap. Or in other words, children don’t know how to truly decipher worth, or value of an item, because they don’t pay for anything. We as the parents, are the representation of what is valuable, or worthy, versus what is of low value or unworthy. So as adults, why do we try to use our children to be living representations of how well we are doing in life, or how great our children are living in our home? Is there a reason why so many people are in debt, but their children look like a literal MILLION bucks? Too close to home right? I digress.
DISCLAIMER :I’m going to say some real ish in this post. SOOOO…. Don’t come for me, cause I’m not coming for you, or anyone personally. These are my thoughts, and my opinions….. So deal with it. Love you!
When my son started daycare, as a single mom working full-time, all I wanted to do, was to make sure that he looked presentable. I wanted his hair to always be done, or cut, I wanted his clothes to be clean and looking new, I wanted other teachers and parents to see my son and go, “ohh he’s so cute. Look at his boots, or his little jacket. His family really takes good care of him.” Name brands never crossed my mind, nor did I have any desire to go out and spend $2-$300 dollars every few months, when I knew he would grow out of shoes, pants, and tops. It didn’t make financial sense. However, what also never really crossed my mind in this bubble fantasy, was that there would be tons of kids in his class that looked like him (race, and gender), but wore nothing but name brands. Theoretically, these kids were already one upping my son’s baby gear game, and leaving him sometimes looking like the broke kid in class.
To be honest, at first I took the approach; It’s cool, they’re babies, and toddlers, no one will notice. That was until I started to notice the Nike shoes, and Timberland Boots in the winter, the polo tops, and the various NBA player shoes on these kids, that I know cost as much as my own damn sneakers. Then I was like… “Well Damn! Am I slippin?” No, No I was not. You see (again see my disclaimer), some of the parents whose children wore all these name brands were on public assistance, and were not paying the full tuition amount that I paid. Which paying that tuition every week, kept a chick like me hella humble. Some of these families had help from both sides; two sets of grandparents, both mom and dad contributing etc. Some parents did it cause that’s how they dressed, or wanted to always dress, so they made sure little Timmy did too. The point is, my son, and the other 12-22 month old’s, did not care what name brand they had on. They didn’t even notice. Juice would be spilled on these expensive clothes, rips or tears would happen, dirt, and surprise poop explosions would graciously cover all areas of these pretty items; that clearly possessed so much pride for some of these parents. So, y’all were trippin.
I had a talk one day with one of the teachers in my sons room, about him coming home in old clothes that didn’t belong to him, only because I knew that I always kept some spare clothes in his cubby. “You know children get messy sometimes, we can only do so much.” The young lady blurted out defensively, as if it were pre-recorded in her brain. I held my hands up and smiled. “No, I don’t care about him getting messy, I was just saying check his cubby before putting other clothes on him. That’s all.” I could see her physically calm down. She went on to explain how some parents, of the Nike, Gucci, Prada wearing kids, that lived in suburban Po-dunk Ohio, had gotten upset with some teachers for not keeping their children looking immaculate from drop off, until pick up time. Saying that they didn’t want to see stains on their expensive clothing. I said without a filter, because most days I lack one, that maybe they shouldn’t buy such expensive clothes, and then they wouldn’t care if their 1 year old spilled juice on their shirt. This situation was a clear example of why I didn’t buy fancy name brands for my son. Did my son wear new clothes? Absolutely, because I could afford to buy him new clothes. Reasonably priced new clothes and shoes, typically never spending more than $75-$100 every few months. POINT is, he wouldn’t take care of it anyway! He doesn’t know who Ralph Lauren is, wouldn’t care if I said I bought him some Gucci loafers, and for damn sure couldn’t pick out Michael Jordan in a police line up. He just didn’t care.
So here is my moral and advice. Stop buying all those name brands for your kids, if you can’t afford to pay one full year of his/her college tuition in cash right now. No seriously. We teach our children how to value things, and in my opinion, by buying your kids ONLY name brands, you teach them that others who don’t wear things like that, are some how less than them. You teach them arrogance… Hear me out. When you set the standard that a child can only wear name brands, you show them that if they somehow purchases anything other than those name brands, then they have somehow become a less valuable person. My son is 2, he likes Paw Patrol, Dinosaurs, and animals, so I buy him things that he likes. It makes him feel good about himself, so much so that, when he sees people, he says “Look, I gotta dinosaur on my shirt.” His face lights up, and he is reassured that he is awesome just the way he is. On the other side, I’ve never heard anyone say how cute, smart, funny, or special my son was ONLY because he had on name brand clothes or shoes. The brands don’t make or break him. Nor will they make or break my personal bank. At the end of it all, buy your kids what makes you happy, but give them memories that will make them ever more happy.
-Be the best version of YOU!-