Managing expectations and demands
Ok so we’re now into week four of operation summer holidays and there have been some great and some taxing moments with Roo since we came back from the US in June. That said I wouldn’t swap this time with her for the world as I know once she starts school it’s going to be a bumpy ride and this bonding time will hopefully make the transition for her a little smoother.
That said I have noticed that all of a sudden my quiet, placid and usually co-operative child has turned into Miss Attitude. Simple requests are met with stomping of feet and she’s had a few toys lately that she simply hasn’t respected or taken care of properly that has resulted in them getting broken within a few hours or her becoming disinterested in after a few days.
As a parent this is something that annoys me; with all the consumerism and advertising thrown at kids today they seem to lack the respect and responsibility of caring for toys as I did when I was younger. Ok so now I sound like one of those grumpy old people, but honestly I am not. I just expect her to show respect for the toys that I and Daddy E works hard to buy her and instead of the words “I want” every time an advert comes on she should just be happy with what she has and play with her toys nicely.
Before anyone starts, I desperately try not to spoil her. If we go out for the day she doesn’t get a toy every time and rarely do we head out to the toy shop to get treats. Most of her toys are second hand, and indeed she has a lot of my toys from when I was a child and quite a fair amount of her toys are off eBay as you can get some great bargains. But there are two pieces she got bought recently that were expensive, she promised me she wanted these and she’d been really good for two weeks solid and done her little jobs at home of tidying her room, helping me around the house and getting herself washed and dressed so I spoke to Daddy E about it and we agreed she could have them.
The first day after purchasing them she played avidly with the sets, in fact we had a lovely afternoon playing role play games. Since then the toys remain untouched. So untouched they are gathering dust. I’ve actually begun to worry for the occupants of the play house that they are starving to death and checked on them this morning to see if they were ok. I’ve tried to engage her with play, attempted to bring the toy out and play games with Roo and the toys but she’s not interested. In fact when we offered to take it to nanny’s for a recent play date, Roo went positively apoplectic at us trying to take it with us.
I am not sure what the problem is, whether she sees toys like these as baby toys and because we keep referring to her as a big girl she is getting confused and thinks she must have big girl toys like she sees on the TV, I honestly don’t know. One thing I do know is that there is now a toy embargo in place in our house. Daddy E has forbidden any more toys, games, gifts and treats until her birthday in October. For me this is going to be hard and I must stick to the rule otherwise it’s confusing to Roo and I am undermining Daddy.
I’d love some tips from other parents out there as to how you manage the ever growing list of demands and expectations from your child of what toys they pop into their “must have” list and with Roo’s birthday coming up I worry that the present list may scale out of hand this year in an attempt to over compensate for the big change she’s about to go through in going to school for the first time. Help!!