It’s Happening – My Child Has The “Gimmie’s.”
My family and I were shopping recently at toys r us for a Christmas gift for my nephews. My husband and I thought it would be a good idea to bring our 5-year-old and 2.5-year old; we could not have been more wrong.
We started our time by telling them in the car that we were there for buying a gift for their cousins, and we wanted them to help us pick them out. This trip was not to buy them a toy and it was important that they understood. They both said that they understood and would listen in the store.
We Started Off Strong
We started off strong in the store; both boys were listening and pointing out toys that they liked. We reminded them that the toys were gifts for their cousins; we want to pick something that they will like.
Surprisingly, my 5-year-old had the hardest time with picking something out for his cousin, he wanted everything in the store for himself, and he picked a toy for his cousin and then began asking for a toy for himself. He was clever. He said, “Mom, I listened and picked out a toy for Quinn, now can I have a toy please?”. I thought to myself, he did listen and did as we asked. However, I wanted to teach him that he couldn’t always have a toy when we are out; also I wanted him to understand the meaning of giving. That is when the argument began. He went to ask his dad the same thing, and his dad said no. The whining began and then out of nowhere, he started to get louder and louder. We did not expect this from him; we thought our 2.5-year old would be more likely to get upset, we were wrong.
We Offered Two Choices
We gave our son two choices; he could stop the tantrum now and he could earn a toy, or he could continue and not earn a toy and be taken to the car. At this point, he was too upset and could not stop. We had to take him out of the store and to the car. This was really hard for him, he could not regulate himself, he was almost overwhelmed with the toys in the store.
We spent the rest of the weekend trying to explain and teach our son about why it is important to give gifts. Followed by, helping him understand that he cannot and will not get something each time we are out. He can earn things by listening, doing chores around the house and saving the money that he earns. We are continuing to work on this with him and our younger son, each of them has a piggy bank, and we have started having them put money (change) in them to save their money. Then when/if they earn something we will take them out to buy it. If they want to spend their money, they can do that too as long as they have enough.
We Remain Optimistic
We are hopeful that this lesson will teach them about giving, money and saving money.
Amy, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Child Development, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. First working in an infant classroom, and then moving to JK, preschool and toddlers. Currently Amy works as a Supervisor of a childcare facility in York Region.