We are not raising entitled children

I am not buying flowers for my daughters first recital. Why I am not raising entitled daughters.

Back Story

My Little E was our firstborn, the first grandchild, niece and great-grandchild on both sides.  She went through chemo at 9 months old.  She was loved by her family, her nurses, random strangers.  She was spoiled rotten.  She wasn’t really around many other children for the first few years of her life because she had no cousins, she was very susceptible to disease and I was a SAHM and she never went to daycare.

I am saying no to childhood extravagence and not raising entitled children. Let them be little and stop indulging them in activities that were made for adults.

Fast forward.

She is a perfectly healthy, wild, loud, little three-year old girl who LOVES life.

About the time she was two and a half and had been cleared to resume life as a “normal” child we decided that she needed a lot more socialization with kids her own age.  We started attending a church with a great kids program and enrolled her in dance.

For the first month each event was traumatic.  She cried when we dropped her off on Sunday mornings and she refused to leave the corner of the studio at dance.  Eventually it got better.  Much better.  She now loves seeing all her friends at church and begs to go to dance almost every day.

I am saying no to childhood extravagence and not raising entitled children. Let them be little and stop indulging them in activities that were made for adults.

We are coming up on her very first dance recital which Little E refers to as her “party”.  Let me just preface the rant I  am about to go on with this.  She is 3.  The other little girls in her dance class are 3.

Weekly Parenting Series

There are times where it's fine and normal to hide our stress, anxiety, fears and hurts from our children.  Yet there are other times when hiding these feelings from them could cause more long-term damage then we realize.I DO hide certain pain points from my children and I recommend you do the same. Children and Grief

Our Parenting Focused Email will land in your inbox each Monday morning giving you themed ideas on fun things to do with your kids. 

We will have seasonal topics, food topics as well as other general topics like ice, the solar system and firefighters.

We paid for her little recital outfit, bought her new shoes and have purchased our tickets to the show.  Now we have started being peppered with all kinds of other purchasing requests and I am finding them a bit outrageous for my 3 year olds dance recital.

I am saying No

No, I do not want t-shirts to commemorate this wondrous event.  Where on earth would my family wear these except to sleep in, or to paint the living room.

No, I do not want to put an ad or dedication to my child in the program.  She can’t even read.  She’s 3.

No, I do not want professional photos taken in her dance outfit.  Firstly, I’m a momtographer and can do it myself and even if I wasn’t I can still take great pics on my iPhone! Secondly, this is a 2 min. recital….I’m not paying $150 for commemorative photos.

I am saying no to childhood extravagence and not raising entitled children. Let them be little and stop indulging them in activities that were made for adults.

No, I do not want to order the $10, $20, or $30 package of flowers to give her after she gets done.  With her 2 min. dance.  Because she is 3.  My child has no interest in flowers and I’m not buying them just because it’s what I am “supposed” to do.

No, I will not be joining all the other dance moms and their 3 year olds to get a manicure and pedicure before the show.  Seriously…they are 3.  Since when do 3 year olds have to get professional nails instead of mom just using a bottle of polish at home?

No, I will not be going to the makeup counter at Macy’s and getting Little E’s makeup professionally done because she is 3.  She might get some glitter eyeshadow and blush.  Maybe. There will be no foundation, lip liner, eye liner or having her eyebrows drawn in.

I am not a bad mom.

I am not a kill joy.  I am not just trying to save money. I am not raising my children to feel entitled.

She is three.

Can’t I just let her be little for a little while longer?

Can I just tell her how great of a job she did, even if she doesn’t, and take her out for ice cream afterwards?  Can we just have a fun mommy daughter moment the night before painting our nails to match?  Can she just be excited wearing glitter on her eyes instead of piling on tons of makeup “for the cameras”?

I am saying no to childhood extravagence and not raising entitled children. Let them be little and stop indulging them in activities that were made for adults.

What will I be teaching her if I did all these things for her?  Every event in your life is to be celebrated with unnecessary extravagance whether you deserve it or not?  If everyone else is doing it, well its okay for you to do it too.

What are the consequences of “treating” our children with these adult experiences? I really don’t know.  I also really don’t want to find out.

It’s not that I think doing these things would ruin her for life.  It’s not that I want her to miss out.  I just feel like these things are more for mom and dad.  I put Little E in dance for the socialization for HER.  Not for ME.  If she hated it, I wouldn’t continue making her do it.

She is three.

She is not in dance because I think she will be a world-famous ballerina one day.

She is not in dance because I think this is a life skill she needs to learn.

She is in dance because she likes to dance. That is enough for me.

This mom does not need self fulfillment through the life of my daughter.  I do not need to live vicariously through her.  I do not need to “keep up” with my fellow dance moms.

I am saying no to childhood extravagence and not raising entitled children. Let them be little and stop indulging them in activities that were made for adults.

I will not train my daughter to feel entitled with extravagance.  I will not teach her that makeup makes you beautiful.  I will not show her that every accomplishment deserves a reward.  I will not.

I will be her mom.

I will teach her that she is beautiful because of what is in her head and in her heart.  I will teach her that sometimes you wont get all the same things that your peers get because life isn’t fair.  I will teach her that the little moments spent together are more valuable than anything you can buy.

I will teach her to be real.





    • TheGracefulOlive says

      For me its just the absurdity of these adult things they want them to do too. I mean if we were buying little ballerina dolls for them or something like that I would be all for it. But no, no flowers.

  1. Allison says

    Well said Momma! I completely agree and I know that pampering these kids the way some families do is not good for them. Living life simply is the best way and you will have so much more joy doing so. No other fluff and distractions! Good for you Momma! Keep up the good work!

    • TheGracefulOlive says

      Yes! We have been really making an effort to put more of a focus on each other and less on our “things”. Being more unplugged, getting outside more just being together can being us enough happiness.

  2. Jillian says

    I feel like I could have wrote this. My daughter is 10 and in dance class and I still think everything they want you to spend is ridiculous. I’m teaching my daughter also that you don’t have to get everything and it’s not the end of the world to say no to things. We don’t have to keep up with the other moms as you said. W just have to do the best for us and our children. Love your blog!

    • TheGracefulOlive says

      Thank you so much! I did end up finding a little handmade bracelet with a ballerina on it that I know she will love. I wanted to get her a little something to commemorate the event but make it age appropriate (no flowers). She’s also getting it as a gift NOT a reward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

Error: No posts found.

Make sure this account has posts available on

Error: admin-ajax.php test was not successful. Some features may not be available.

Please visit this page to troubleshoot.