Raising kids is the ultimate science experiment. Of course there are the things you cannot change and I’m afraid there are more of these genetically determined constants than is fair or comforting. However there are variables to play with and affect and hopefully improve.
Lately when I pick my kids up from school, my 4 year old son especially, starts immediately asking to go somewhere or do something. His requests always crescendo into tears for toys. He is SO toy crazy! I wonder if this is a boy thing?! I generally stick to Christmas, birthdays, and very special rewards as a general rule but I have bought the kids toys for no good reason before. I know I can’t give into this and I don’t want to. We already have way too many plastic objects all over the house. We typically do one play-date with their cousin and one library visit and the other days we go home. I think they need down time and they really enjoy it. But these tantrums are really getting to me.
Why can’t he just be happy to see me like I am him?!
This morning I had a breakthrough. Maybe school, even though it is just pre-school, feels like an accomplishment for my son and therefore he is looking for a reward. When I was working 8-10 hour days at an office, I would be looking for a reward at the end of the day too. As an adult I could help myself or rely on my self-discipline that comes with maturity. But my son is only 4.
To test out my hypothesis I am going to tell my son I have a small reward/surprise for him for his “accomplishment”. I am going to make a special snack perhaps and grab a video from the library. The reward/surprise I really think it is going to work! I also think that the rewards could get even smaller and less frequent over time and and still satisfy him.
If you do something like this already I would really love to hear your reward/surprise ideas!