I read an article this morning on Parentdish about Katie Holmes having to say no to Suri in public and how Katie had faced what every other mum faces, their toddler demanding something in a shop. I applaud Katie’s approach to this and the fact she said no to Suri. As parents it’s easy for us to say ‘yes’ when our kids ask for something but I think it’s important for us not to keep giving into toddler demands.
I am as guilty as anyone at sometimes spoiling Roo. Often we go out for days out or just to the shops and she will end up coming home with something, or we’ve used good behaviour as a way to get a reward or a new toys and occupationally we’ve used the lure of something new and shiny to distract and avoid a full blown meltdown in public. I think most mum’s could identify with all those reasons above but recently with Roo becoming more aware of advertising on TV and toys we’ve begun to crack down.
Whilst we were away on holiday in Florida there was temptation left right and centre to buy her things. In reality she ended up with far more than we did but the holiday was ultimately for her, however there was at least one instant in the Disney store where she beelined for a cuddly toy and already that day had been bought a Lego watch, Lego Duplo hospital and something else and both Daddy E and I said no to the cuddly toy.
In the financial scheme of things it was $13 and wasn’t going to break the bank but we wanted to make a stand, as my parents and Daddy E’s had done with him that ‘I want never gets’. Roo clung to this cuddly toy for dear life and we had full on bottom lip wobbling and going rigid to the floor in an attempt to move her away from him.
We explained to her that if when we came back next week she still really really wanted this toy then she might be able to have him but that right now she must put him back. No joy. We tried once more and were again greeted with the steely eyed toddler stare that simply said “I don’t think so mummy.”
Not to be phased Daddy E turned our backs and said “Roo we’re going, come on please.” Firmly and calmly we walked towards the exit. Slowly little feet began to shuffle forlornly behind, eyes slightly downcast.
Although I felt bad, around me parents were flashing serious amounts of cash on their kids, I knew that small lessons like this were vital little life lessons. Ultimately I love Roo to death, so much so it breaks my heart when we fight, but I don’t want to cave into every demandshe makes and she has to learn that being loved doesn’t mean being spoiled.
With the impending going to school in September I believe that she has to learn that she won’t always get her own way and begin to listen when she is told no to something. Do you agree?