Thursday, May 15, 2008

A sweet gift and some jealousy

My daughter surprises me the heck out of me sometimes. She gets money for doing certain chores around the house and sometimes she impresses me with how she spends it. Obviously, sometimes she heads blindly into the toy aisle and buys the first thing she sees, but usually she doesn’t. I’ve already mentioned how she saved up $76 to take to Disneyland and when she donated some of her money to her school.

Well, yesterday she came home from school and said she wanted to buy her teacher an apple as a present. I suggested buying a fake apple and painting it, that way she could keep it forever. My daughter really liked that idea. So we went to the craft store with $5 worth of quarters in a ziplock bag. She ended up picking out a wood box that looks like a book and an apple decoration to glue on the front. It cost a grand total of $3.50. I thought that was so sweet of her.

While we were at the craft store my son, age 2, fell in love with a teddy bear. It was only $7 so I just went ahead and got it for him. He was just so dang cute with it I couldn’t resist. I have a general rule that I don’t buy the kids impulse items at the store. I don’t think that sets a good precedence. But once in a while they come across something I just have to buy.

Well, apparently this upset my daughter quite a bit. This morning she burst into tears when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. After some coaxing she told me that she is sad because my son got something brand new but she didn’t. I reminded her about this weekend when she got a new bathing suit and a new dress but my son didn’t get anything. That made her feel a little bit better.

I tried to explain that if she is going to be jealous every time someone else gets something she doesn’t she is going to be sad all the time. I don’t know if she really understood, but I hope she did. I know it’s hard when you’re six, but if this is an attitude she carries over into her adult life then she is going to be a creditor’s dream. I can’t let that happen!

Pic by: Zohar Manor-Abel

1 comment:

Emily said...

I think you handled the situation perfectly with the jealousy. We are going through some of those tough lessons of not getting impulse things, not getting everything you ask for, not getting everything everyone else has, etc...

My daughter is going to be 4 soon and it's so frustrating to see her already wanting everything she sees.

A big thing I try not to do is decide if she can have something based on the price. Because she doesn't know the difference between something that is $1 and something that is $100 all she sees is that she'll get something if she asks for it. I know too many people that just say yes to cheap stuff but don't realize that to a kid it doesn't make a difference the cost - they just learn they get things if they whine enough.