It occurred to me while transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer that the issue of Wants vs. Needs can be sticky. Putting the words together I came up with "weeds". I don't know why the thought began in the laundry room!
I think it surfaced partially because this is a time of gift buying, but also because in raising children I am very aware that the behavior I model is what will be handed down to the next generation. My attitudes, my actions, my spending, my saving, my worries, etc. are all part of the package that communicates to my daughters the value I place on things.
So, what are our needs? What are our wants? Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them or put something into one category or another. And just because I want something does not mean it is bad or not okay to have. As a mom though, on a budget, it is also tempting to only acquire the real "needs" for my family since I am the one who actually makes a lot of the purchases. It is easy for me to think that since an item is not an immediate need it is not worth buying. Even in this category, I can reason myself out of what I originally thought was a "need" and determine that in fact it is not necessary, at least not now. Flavored/good coffee falls into this category, for example!
"Wants" become more apparent at this time when we think about and list our desires for gifts. But, are these just for Christmas time and birthday time? What happens when we have a surplus at the end of a month or a week? What happens when the girls earn their own money (from birthdays, others' generosity, etc.)? Great questions for parents and us to ponder.
Also, are we at all responsible for others' "needs" or "wants"? When do we extend ourselves and give to the point where we satisfy the needs of others and really stretch ourselves? What is greed? How does it manifest itself in society and in our home?
If we don't have these conversations and communicate well with our children, they'll grow into adulthood wandering through very tall and messy Weeds.