Parenting dilemma...

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Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 9:20

Morning ladies!

I am struggling with the following and need a bit of advice...

My son received money from the tooth fairy last night (R20 from mom) and because Grandma was there, another R20. He has his heart set on a specific toy that cost R20 and told me I have to take him there as soon as he gets his tooth money as he would like to buy it for himself.
Now, I KNOW his little brother also likes the toy and there will most definitely be a fight about it. Do I now ask him politely to also buy one for his brother, do I leave them to fight (as he received the money for being brave and little brother will have his turn in a few years) or do I just buy one for little brother. It is not about the money for me, but little brother didn't do anything to "deserve" the toy and it seems kind of unfair that he should just also get one for "free".
What would you do?
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Honey on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 9:35

I suspect some people may differ from me, but I would not by one for your younger child. While he is only two, its never to early to teach him tiny life lessons, such as that he cannot always get something because his brother is getting it. This is a toy you promised your eldest, and by buying the smaller one the same toy would take away the awesomeness of his bravery. Why should he be brave for something when his brother can have it for free? Teach your younger one that this is his brother's special toy, just like you would teach your older one the same thing.

My opinion comes from the fact that I cannot stand people's attitude of entitlement, something that can be discouraged from a very young age. My mom did not necessarily by my younger sister something when she bought me something and vice versa. We fought about stuff, learnt to protect our special things and if the fights got out of control, my mom would take the toy, give it to its rightful owner, explain that the sibling has alot of toys of their own, and that was the final word.

Why not let dean do small little chores (like throwing away his night nappy in the morning) and let him also EARN his toy? We've done reward charts since Zander was two, and those are one of his chores. At the end of the week he can pick an activity (aquarium, butterfly world) and we also pay him pocket money. Half of it he saves for a special toy (he is very religious about his saving) and the other half he can spend on a small car or something. More often than not he would just save all of it because he figured out the more he saved, the quicker he can afford the special toy.





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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by kajol on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 9:36

That is a tough call, but i think that you are right - let him have his moment of glory coz little brother will also have his turn in a few years, and also u dont want to take away from his moment of being a brave boy.

when he does buy the toy for himself, u can ask him to be a kind big brother and share the toy at some times with his little brother (tell him coz his little bro is too small to have any money to buy for himself)....and then pray it works...lol


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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 9:50

Thanks guys! I am just dreading the fights / 2 year old tantrums Bang head , as most of their toys we buy in duplicate so that each has their own, but this is different, as it is "special" money.

Honey, I think I have left the "saving" too late and that is why I am struggling now. We buy them McDonalds most weekends from our own pockets, they regularly get other toys, I buy them both clothes every month, etc and therefore we don't really give pocket-money...
Now I know Dean won't understand... My own fault, I know.
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Kerryw on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 10:06

Hi

Natasja, goodluck My boys have mostly the same toys for the very reason I dont have energy to sort out fights all day.

But on the other hand I dont think it is too late to start teaching them about money.

I suppose I am lucky my boys are the same age so one doesn't have to learn before the other.
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Honey on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 10:52

Natasja I promise you you haven't left it too late. It will only be a battle until he bought the first thing he had to save for, then you'll be amazed at how easy it is.

The toy he wants is usually from the Crazy Store here by us, so he doesn't end up losing steam because he doesn't have to save for weeks on end. We usually count his money, and then I would give him "paper money" if the amount is bigger than say R20. He makes a big hoohaa of getting the item from the shelf and handing his money over. Very nice way to teach them how to speak to cashiers, ask for bags etc. Dont ever underestimate your four year old, they are like little sponges‼

Why not ASK your son what he thinks about it? Maybe he is willing for you to buy it for his brother (but not with the extra R20 hahhaha). Or buy the little one a reward for an achievement? But make a big fuss over Kian because the main focus should be on him Smile
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 11:08

Kerry, you are very lucky. The age difference can be a pain sometimes, as one understands better than the other.

Honey, that is great advice. We do them their birthday money and guide them in store as to what they can afford and let them buy it themselves and even waiting for their change, etc.
The only thing bothering me, is that I don't "reward" them for good deeds done (putting their own clothes in the basket before bath, putting empty dishes in the sink, putting away toys, etc) as I am of the opinion that it is houserules and should be naturally obeyed...? Or am I totally wrong about that?
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Honey on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 12:33

You need to determine for yourself what you think is rewardable and what is not. We have the following listed on our chart as items:

1. Did he co-operate when he got up for school (no tantrums, putting his coffee cup in the dishwasher etc.)
2. Did he throw away his night nappy after I took it off?
3. Was his pants dry? (We had a few weeks where he would play so intensely, he'd forget to go pee). If it was moist from not "shaking" enough he got a star, but pee-in-your-pants-while-at-home got a sad face
4. Did he eat at least half his veggies?
5. Did he pack away his toys in the playroom?
6. Fact-a-week (feit-n-week)

The deal is he needs to get 75% stars to qualify for his reward. Thats about 25 stars. We also swop around, because by now he is so used to packing up his toys at the end of each evening, we no longer need to reward him for it, it just happens, so that gets taken off and replaced with something else. We also decide together on what makes the list, because I do feel he should have a say because he knows his capabilities as well as I do. That way he also feels a little bit in control and not like I'm "forcing" him into anything. I try to keep the chart a mix of chores and behaviours.

Fact-a-week is an example of something he insists on having on there. We play this game where I teach him a fact every week, more if he grasps it quickly. For instance, this week we did animal eating behaviours:

Me: What do you call animals that eat only meat
Zander: Carnivores‼

And the same goes for omnivores or herbivores.

This week I taught him about hibernation so if you ask him what do you call it when animals sleep all winter, he would then say hibernation, or you can say the word and ask him to explain (so you know he KN OWS the word and not just parroting). There are A LOT of things out there he will only learn about in school, but will be able to grasp now already.

It sounds intricate but it is a bucket load of fun, and we have loads of laughs doing it, and his face for his fact-a-week star is my favourite. Zander knows a truckload of dinosaurs by their scientific names because of this app we have on the iPad, so the current deal is I teach him a fact and I need to learn the dinosaurs. I'm usually the loser when he quizzes me, especially if I get the obvious dinosaurs mixed up (on purpose obviously because he LOVES correcting me so its worth it) We stuck the chart at the bottom of the fridge so it forces me to sit down on his level every night when we do it. And he gets to stick the stars himself. The chart should not be a blackmail method, but rather something he can look forward to.


Sorry for the long post, got a bit carried away.
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 12:51

Oh Honey, you are such a great mom for your little boy...
I always plan to do stuff like Fact a week with my boys, and when I open my eyes, another week has gone by without doing it. I need to just do it!
I know this reward chart will work wonders for Kian, but poor Dean will never get a smiley face, and therefore I don't want to go there. I give them their morning coffee while I shower, and when I am done, they go to the bathroom to brush their teeth. 99% of the mornings Dean forgets to drink his, and by the time he has to brush his teeth, he suddenly remembers, and then I need to leave for work, so he screams all the way to school for his mug of coffee. When I pick him up in the afternoons, he is still sad about the coffee he missed. But come next morning, and he does it all over again...
It is very difficult having a "model" boy and then also a "Dean". wink 
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by kajol on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 13:16

Natasja, my LG is the around the same age as your Dean, i think.
so i thought i should comment on the star/reward chart thing.
we started it about 2 weeks ago, and we started with minimal stuff - so that she is able to grasp the whole concept...and so far (touch wood ), it's had a very positive outcome.
eg, we use breakfast, lunch and supper - so provided she eats each one without a fuss n drama, she gets a star for each, then she gets a star for going down for a day nap without a fuss, and then a star for general good behaviour/discipline. and at the end of the week she gets a reward if the star chart is 70% full(we give her about 2 options and she can choose). it doesnt have to involve money, the last week she chose to go to the park to play on the swings.

so my point is that maybe u should give it a try with Dean, and it might motivate him.
with my LG, she looks forward to the evening to see what starts she gets, and we also let her stick it on, we have different colours, so she can also choose the colour.
goodluck!!
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 13:24

I've printed out reward sheets, and we will start with it tonight. Thank you for all the advise, I really do appreciate it!
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Honey on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 14:01

Natasja you also need to remember i only have one kid, and a good one at that, so parenting is not as hard for me? You have two kids, each with their own little quirks and personality traits, and juggling both can be very very tricky.

If he is still mad at not getting to his coffee when you fetch him at night, then clearly its a big issue for him. Zander doesn't fuss about a lot of things but when he continues his fussing where he left off when I pick him up, I know I need to listen to him the same way I expect him to listen to me. We had the same coffee issue before so now he gets to have it in the car on the way to school. When it comes to tantrums I just ask myself whether what he is learning out of the situation is going to matter 20 years from now. If its not, its not worth the fight, hence the coffee in the car if he doesn't finish it before.

Never beat yourself up for things you "don't get to". Thats what being a mom is all about. Look at the pics in your signature: you dont have to get to anything because you are doing it right already. In our minds we will never be the awesome moms we want to be, but in reality we are much better moms than we think. Smile
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Thu 1 Aug 2013 - 14:09

Crying or Very sad Thank you 
Thanks for the kind words, you now made me cry. I have been a "single mom" this last week as DH is in Namibia, and I couldn't do anything extra with the kids, as I could only fit in the normal chores and duties. Makes me feel a bit insecure...

Have a great evening!
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by Joleen on Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 7:33

And who ever said that parenting was easy. Whilst I cannot always buy something for the other child cause one child is getting something, I do try and remember that the one child got something on the last shopping trip and not the other. Erin needed takkies the other day but it did not mean that I had to buy Wade something just for the sake of buying. A friend of mine bought Wade Nike's last year and then Erin did not get. They need to learn that they cannot always both get. I time will come with parties when one twin will be invited and not the other. They are two individual children. Erin is going to the eye specialist on Thursday and Wade is going to school. She will stay with me afterwards and not him. We will do things on the day that he will get to do another time. I agree with Honey kids are never too young to learn.

I like the idea of asking your eldest "to buy fo his younger brother" but if he does not then it is also okay.

Fortunately I dont have to buy the same toys as I have pigeon pair twins but they dont necessarily have to always share their toys and are entitled to want to play with a specific toy on their own. I tell them "sharing is caring".
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Re: Parenting dilemma...

Post by natasja on Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 7:49

Well, it went way better than expected! Kian told me on Friday he can't wait for Saturday, as he and his brother will then get to buy their toys. When I asked him if he means I should buy his brother a toy as well (even if the tooth fairy didn't visit him) he replied: 'Oh yes, of course you must also buy one for him". Such a big boy!
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