Chris grew up with 8 siblings, yes EIGHT brothers and sisters. His mom was a stay at home my and while his father was very successful when you have 11 members in one house money doesn't go far. Because of this though there is a really big gap between what I want to give my kids for opportunities and just fun family moments, and Chris' meted deprivation.
Both of my parents were born in real poverty. At the feed store the cashier teased me about eating the ducks and my mother, quite serious, explained what a pain in the rear it is to pluck a chicken or duck by hand. My father won't even eat chicken because that was the only meat he ever really ate until he got to college. It seems so removed to me to even imagine my mom wearing flour sacks or my father jamming to the "40's on 4" (the Sirius Digital Radio station) alongside Captain America back in 1943.
The funny thing is that since they were both so poor both of them with shear determination pursued college degrees and became quite successful. They made sure we as kids had all the oppourtunities that they didn't. I grew up with frequent theater trips in Los Angeles and San Francisco and annual trips to see the Bolshoi Ballet. We went to private school and always had the best clothing and other material needs met. Later when practicing law in a Texas got more complicated the easy living days were over but I was still left as a young teenager with the desire to work hard and achieve, just as my parents had.
Chris on the other hand learned to work hard for anything he ever wanted. His family lived in a nice home in Mesa AZ with a pool and so he and his older siblings would spend their summers holding a day camp for kids in the neighborhood. He proudly proclaims how he picked cotton, babysat, moved lawns, framed homes, and worst of all worked at McDonalds just so he could visit Golfland or buy a video game. This upbringing taught him that if he wanted more he had to earn it.
So in Chris' mind our kids need to be the same way, deprived; while I think you can teach kids good values through good oppourtunities. The only solution when confronting such different parenting techniques is compromise. I think we did that well last week. We went on vacation and enjoyed Disneyland, Long Beach, and Las Vegas which was up my alley but we stuck to a very strict budget and the kids had to work to earn money for their trip which is up Chris' way.
It is very difficult in making a modern family in the shadows of our own upbringings. We just have to remember is that it matters less how it was back in our day but being united in parenting in the here and now.