Wanty, Wanty, Always Getty!

February 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm 4 comments

“Can we buy that? Oooh, can we get those? What about this one? Pleeeeezzzzzzzze!” Children everywhere beg their parents for treats and trinkets whenever a trip to a store is made.

My family was never poor when I was growing up, but we certainly weren’t rolling in it either. Budgeting was a big deal, and my mum would spend at least an hour every week balancing checkbooks, calculating the credit left on cards, paying off bills, and searching for something to put in the savings accounts at the end of the month.

I quickly caught on that it was better not to ask for extra things, and just be thankful for what I was given, but before I caught on, I would occasionally ask for chewing gum, a bag of chips, or whatever else had tempted me. Once in a while, I would get it (which resulted in a slew of surprised and elated thank-yous) but more often than not, my mother would shake her head and say, “Wanty, wanty, no getty!” She’d learned this phrase from my Jamaican father and thought it was perfect for situations like these. It means, “just because you want something doesn’t mean you’re going to get it”/“wanting all the time doesn’t necessarily get you what you want”. It’s a simplified version of a longer Jamaican saying, which is, “Wanty wanty caan get it; Getty getty nuh want it”. I.E. “Those who want things cannot get them, and those who get them all the time don’t want them”.

My understanding of this phrase’s purpose is that it teaches people to appreciate what they have, and stop complaining and asking for something else all the time. It also makes reference to the fact that often, people who have “everything”, either A) aren’t thankful for it; B) don’t really want any of it and are craving something else; C) have been spoiled with things they don’t really need or appreciate; or D) all of the above.

And so this leads me to something I feel I must comment on: Spoiled Children. To me, they are a plague. A pandemic that the world has to deal with. And that pandemic needs to be eradicated. It is sickening to see a 6-year-old brag about his cellphone, AND his laptop, AND his digital camera to other children. It disgusts me to see someone who’s only been able to speak properly for 4 years, asking other kids how many cars their family has, and laughing when they answer, “One”.

And as much as I dislike children who behave this way, I know they are not to blame. It is the people who brought them into the world who are 100% at fault. Parents provide the blueprint for their child’s development. They teach and shape their offspring into what they will become. If parents don’t provide their children with the right blueprint, they won’t be built correctly.

In the case of The Spoiled Child, his/her parents have been particularly neglectful. They have refused to instill the value of modesty in their child. They have denied their child the ability to appreciate what they have. They have poured materialism and superficiality into their child’s soul by constantly providing it with whatever it desires. I find this appalling.

The remedy? Better parenting. It’s unfortunate that some children may never receive it. Hopefully they will find some other way to learn to be grateful for what they’ve been given, and hopefully the rest of the parents out there will create much better blueprints for their children. If more sound foundations are built for the children of the future, they will understand that they can’t always get what they want. They will be thankful for what they have, and no longer will it be “wanty, wanty, always getty”!




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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cheryl  |  February 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    unfortunately some parents will take the easy way out & try to buy their kids love…which usually backfires. You cannot buy good manners & morals – they are priceless

    • 2. sarahmunn  |  March 1, 2010 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for all your comments. And yes, it is unfortunate that this happens. I see it a lot, as I attend a private school. Some parents have no idea how many gadgets and toys their children have, where they’re going after school, who their friends are, how much money they have, etc. And these “well-to-do” families are almost always the rudest, most unkind and selfish people around!

  • 3. lucesitam  |  March 10, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Well, my family was poor when I was a kid here in Mexico and I learned to appreciate everything that I had. Now that we are better off, we have spoiled our daughter with everything she wants but have noticed that she does not appreciate nor take care of her things, loaning them out and never getting them back.

    About a month ago, I began pulling these luxuries away before it’s too late.

    • 4. sarahmunn  |  March 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Hi, thanks for your comment,
      I can understand wanting to provide everything possible for your child because you know what it’s like not to have much at all. I think it’s a good idea what you’ve done (pulling away the luxuries). Once she understands the importance of respecting her possessions, everything will be great. Perhaps you could get your daughter to donate some of her toys, etc that she no longer needs/wants/uses, and she would be able to share and see how other people can benefit from what she gives them. Maybe you could also introduce an allowance system, where she does chores around the house, and earns a bit of money once a week, or once a month, or whatever, and then she can save it up and buy the things she would like. That way, her possessions will mean a lot more to her, because she worked for them.
      Just a suggestion, and you may even already be doing this.
      Good luck and thanks for reading!


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