If you have young children and you happen to be ahem less than excellent parent, chances are, you are familiar with Hobby Kids TV YouTube channel. Let me tell you, this thing has become my number one free babysitter over the summer. The kids love it. And not just mine, the channel has close to 3 million subscribers. I’m certain the Hobby Kids TV parents are clearing at least six figures per year through this little project.
As expected, the version of family life they present on YouTube is prettied up and sterilized. Nobody ever argues, and kids never get cranky. And why would they? Toy companies and businesses constantly give them free stuff and free admission to various parks. Of course, the parents (and kids, for that matter) work their tails off and it shows. The videos are professional quality and very entertaining.
They even make mundane stuff seem exciting. The other day my daughter came up to me and said that Hobby Kids went to the dentist and the office was full of cool toys. She then proceeded to complain about the fact that our dentist only has puzzles. Oh really?
So here is what I told her:
“In my day, back when I was growing up in Soviet Union, you were lucky to get your teeth fixed at all. You had to go to state-owned clinic early in the morning and get a ticket that would assure your spot that day. No ticket=no fixed tooth. It sure would have been nice to have puzzles in the waiting room. You know what else would have been nice? A numbing medicine!
Oh yes, that’s right, I could feel excruciating pain while the dentist was drilling the tooth. That’s why I avoided them like a plague and why I have so many dental problems today (according to my current American dentist.). The one who only has puzzles in his office.”
I don’t think my kids have a clue on just how fortunate they are. Obviously, I want them to be happy and entertained, to have things I didn’t have when I was young. Travel is one of those things. I try to occasionally treat them to stays in upscale, amenity-rich resorts, though apparently, that can be a double-edged sword. My kids, who used to be happy anywhere, now ask me which brand we will be staying at. If it’s not Hyatt, there comes the eyeroll. Oh no you didn’t!
That’s why I like to mix things up and add less fancy trips during the year. Plus, I’m cheap, so it comes naturally. Next March my parents will be visiting us in Florida over spring break. We plan to stay in IHG property as well as Wyndham motel on the beach. Yes, a motel, because it was the best deal on points. If the kids don’t like it, tough.
Did you see the post on the South Pacific trip I hope to pull off next year? I’m planning on visiting Tahiti without the kids. It’s a bummer because I would love to have them with us. Unfortunately, schedule-wise, it’s not an option since my sister-in-law wants to spend extra time in New Zealand and Australia. And she insists on having the kids with her. But they are planning to add a stopover in Fiji, which should be fun.
Apparently, it’s not good enough because my daughter started complaining how she would love to stay in an overwater bungalow. Well, the truth is, I would love that too. In fact, I started feeling really guilty. But then it dawned on me, at her age all I did over the summer was take a train to a nearby town in Belarus, to visit relatives. Oh boy, now I sound like a crotchety old woman. Next time a troll stops by to comment, I plan to tell him/her to GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
Anyway, I told her it’s not fair that I don’t get to visit Fiji, and we are done discussing it. It’s a tough balance, for sure. At what point there is just too much of a good thing when it comes to travel? Am I spoiling the kids and making them think that staying in a $1,300 per night presidential suite at a Hyatt resort is normal? Because it’s not. Neither is going to Australia and Fiji when you are 10 years old.
Sure, I can only do most of these things thanks to miles and points, plus occasional elite status matches, but my kids can’t grasp that concept.
Am I presenting a version of life where things come easy, and you don’t have to work that hard for them? The sterilized and prettied up version? Or am I overthinking this whole thing?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.