Having it All

"But, Mommy! I told you I want ice cream!"

Sound familiar? Replace "ice cream" with whatever your child wants at the moment and it probably rings true for most of us.

We ventured outside the house today. *gasp* It's been a while. The kids blinked their eyes tightly against the sun like a couple of shut ins that hadn't seen daylight in months. It was time to take off the sweats and interact with people outside the family!

SuperTarget was our destination. Oh how I love you, SuperTarget. You have everything I could possibly want all under one roof. And your $1 section? Lets just say it has come to the rescue on many occasions to fend off the beginnings of temper tantrums. Sure, all of those trinkets are covering Big One's bedroom, lurking, waiting to gash open my toe as I try to navigate the minefield. But some things are worth a tantrum-free shopping trip. Some may call it bribery. I call it effective. I digress.

Big One and Little One both behaved very well. I'm not sure what's wrong. That never happens. One of them always likes to challenge me, especially in public. Today we held it together fairly well. No tears, no screaming, no threats. And the kids were happy too. Until Big One saw another little boy with a slushie. I'd just like to say thank you to the mother who went ahead and bought her child one of these slushies. Thanks to you, I had to hear all the way home about how Big One wanted ice cream.

His sugary sweet pleading for an ice cream treat made me start thinking. He wasn't whining about it. He just kept asking. I could tell he really, really wanted it. I want my kids to have what they want. But where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line between creating fun childhood memories and teaching them to be materialistic brats? I want my kids to have fun. I want them to be happy. But I also don't want to teach them that "stuff" = happiness. What's a mama to do?

Today this mama did not give in. Big One didn't get his ice cream treat/slushie. I think he has already forgotten it. He did get lots of praise for being such a good boy at the store. Wishing tantrum-free days to everyone!


Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I always try to preface trips to the store with a talk in the car before we go in the store. Talks like, "Today we are not buying toys/ice cream/popcorn/candy. Today is a grocery/diaper/toilet paper day." Or, at the zoo, "Today is not a train/carousel day." I make sure they understand that BEFORE we go into the store. Sometimes it's "Today is a toy buying day, ut it has to cost under $2." It works really well for me. When they start begging, I remind them of our talk in the car. This is just something that works for me, you can take it or leave it. I know not all things work for EVERY child. But I agree, the dollar section at Target is a great treat section!!

amy lou. said...

if you master finding that delicate balance between giving and giving in, will you let me know so i can then master it when my time comes??