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It figures that the first year he really chose his own costume, this is what he came up with. I can see what I'm in for...
ANYhow, while we were there, we perused the toy section for a good amount of time, and I told him he could get something. He could not decide, of course. We ended up with two small Angry Birds toys. When we got to the checkout line, he saw more Angry Birds figurine things and I gave him a choice between those or the stuffed toys we'd already picked out, and explained to him that there was a certain amount I was going to spend and he couldn't have both.
All the way back to the car, he whined and complained about how I had not bought him enough toys. Wha?! My immediate response to "two isn't enough" was "Well, is NONE enough, because that's what you're going to end up with if you keep acting this way!" I tried explaining to him that he should say Thank You and be happy for what he HAS. I told him about how we only have a certain amount of money, and that I was being nice by letting him pick out some new toys, especially since even though it's for his costume, the mask is also a toy.
It's possible that he continued to throw this little fit for most of the way home. When we got home, I sat on the couch and mulled over the whole situation in my head. The last thing I want it so raise a spoiled, bratty kid. So, what is the problem? Is he just five, and they're like this sometimes? Do I spoil him too much? Am I not teaching him the right lessons about how to appreciate what he has?
It's very important to me that my kids learn how to be grateful for what they have. Yes, there is a part of me that just wants to give them everything. But more than that, I want to teach them to be kind, generous, appreciative, and to value things. I want him to recognize generosity from others, and acknowledge it. Clearly, I need to do some thinking about the subject and figure out how I can teach these things to him and Danny. I have thought about having Sam donate some of his toys to "kids who don't have as much" somehow - maybe to a local shelter or something. Especially since we moved, he doesn't even play with half of his toys anymore. I'm sure that I'll think of something, especially if I look for ideas online.
If you have children, what are the lessons and values you want to instill in them most of all? How do you make sure that you help them along the path to understanding those lessons?