I never thought I’d say this, but I am so glad the weekend is over. K was out of town for a bachelor party so it was just Little A and me. I was so looking forward to our girls weekend, until it was here. And it was a hot mess. Literally. It was 90+ degrees all weekend and with no AC that made for miserable sleeping, which made for a cranky 3 year old. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in the state she was in. I was also not at my finest with the heat and her behavior. It’s looking like we’ll be getting no reprieve from the heat in the coming weeks. I just hope we can learn to cope better.
Not just this weekend, but over the last few months Little A has been less than appreciative, and Huebie and I are feeling it. She is wanting something new every day, wanting different meals, just acting very ungrateful. I get that this is typical toddler behavior, but for us, it’s new. It hit us hard. Little A has always been a sweet little girl, but things around our house have been stressful lately, with her new found behavior.
So a few months ago we finally decided to make some changes. We want our daughter to be appreciative of the things she has. So we took her toys away. Not all of her toys though. We left most of her learning toys out for her to play with. Building blocks, puzzles, games and books all were left out for her to play with. But her dolls, stuffed animals and all the other random toys she has were hidden away.
We thought it was going to be a tough pill for her to swallow. We thought, “it’s been a rough day already, but we need to brace ourselves for when she realizes her toys are gone.”
But then that moment didn’t come. She asked where some of her things were; her princesses (she has 7) and her race car track. She said she wanted a few of her stuffed animals. And then she started to play with the toys she had available to her. And in that moment I knew. I knew she would be okay with having less. I knew she would find a way to love the toys she did have to play with and not cry and pine for her missing toys. Sometimes she would ask if we gave such and such toy away to kids who don’t have any toys (we do donate stuff to needy families often) and we’d say no, her toys were just put away. Or yes, we donated this toy, and after getting a little upset, she’d accept it. And I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew she was learning and beginning to understand that sometimes we can’t have everything and that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world.
After about a month, she would ask for a toy that had been put away, so we’d give it to her. Because she was being so good! She wasn’t asking for new things constantly. And now that she has all her toys back…..we’re back to square one with the asking and constant wanting. Sigh. I feel like I’m at my whits end some days. The whining is like nails on a chalk board to me! It’s hard to take her to the store with us because she is always asking for something. And gets upset when she leaves empty handed.
[Tweet “It’s not always easy to teach our kids the hard lessons in life. But so important.”]
So we’re doing it again. We’re taking the toys away to make her appreciate what she has….again. And let’s hope this time we’re more successful. I think we may just get rid of a lot of them. She really doesn’t need all that she has.
It’s not always easy to teach our kids the hard lessons in life. I was so afraid to take away her toys. I didn’t want to! She plays with all of them. And being an only child she only has us to play with most of the time, so toys are a big deal. But now I see that she can do more with less and she has the maturity to accept what she has and not wish and cry for a new toy. She’s learned about people who don’t have as much as she does, and she’s actually enjoyed donating some of her clothes and toys to other families. She was so appreciative the last time we went through this exercise and I know she can learn to appreciate once again.
I know this won’t be the last time we have to take something away from her to make her appreciate what she has. But I think it’s the only way for her to learn and understand.
Question of the day: If you have kids, have you been through this behavior? What has worked for you?