Kids don’t need us to buy them things. Kids need us to love them, accept them and understand what they are going through.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a father. His son Eli was having a very hard time; he was struggling in school and was depressed. Eli confided in me that he is struggling with mental health and would often cut himself to try to numb his emotional pain. His father had no idea what he was going through and would often yell at him for not behaving. Eli told me that he hadn’t had a normal conversation with his father in almost two years. When I spoke to the father and tried explaining the situation, he got very upset. He told me about how he gives his son everything he needs, he buys him whatever he asks for, he has more things than any of his friends and he isn’t missing anything.
What he didn’t realize is that this child needed a father; not things.
Interestingly, when I meet adults that are in pain from their childhood, I rarely, or almost never, hear them complaining that their parents didn’t buy them enough toys when they were younger. What I do hear very often is that their parents weren’t there for them. “My father was working late hours. My mother was stressed. She didn’t give me attention; she didn’t give me love.” Adults who have happy childhood memories rarely attribute their happy childhood to things their parents bought for them. They usually talk about how loving and dedicated their parents were to them, and how they knew that their parents loved them.
So really, kids don’t need more stuff. Kids need love, attention, affection and understanding.