Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perspective Grows Over Time

Today, I have a rant for you. 

What follows is an example of a conversation that drives me crazy.

Child:  Please bring me a spiral notebook with a red cover.
Me:  Sorry, I don’t have a spiral notebook with a red cover. 
Child (with intensity):  But I NEEEEEEEEEED one!!

Here’s where I have to resist the urge to say, “Oh!  I didn’t realize you NEEEEEDED one.  That changes everything.  Let me get my magic wand and conjure one for you.”  But instead I follow a  strategy of offering alternatives (a blue cover anyone?) or of suggesting a trip to the store the next day.  These are rejected as the child insists that the particular item is the only acceptable one and must be presented immediately. 

I’m not sure why this bugs me so much.  I guess I want them to accept the disappointment without falling apart, but maybe this is too much to expect of a child.  They are immature and don’t have the perspective that comes from forty-plus years of making do with what we’ve got. 

I think it also irritates me because it illustrates the entitlement that children often exhibit.  It’s as if Mom and Dad are here to satisfy all their demands; parents must pony up whenever they want. 

These situations do drive me crazy.  They happen often in our house, and I want those kids to accept that I am not able to give them everything they want.  It’s not just that I don’t want to—I am not ABLE to. 

Sometimes, though, the above conversation is followed by the child finding her own solution to the problem.  Maybe she’ll take the dreaded blue notebook and glue a sheet of red craft paper to the cover.  Voila!  A red notebook!  Every time this happens, she will install in her memory these truths: Mom doesn’t give me everything I want, and it turns out okay. Over time, she will develop perspective. 

I hope.

Have a good rest of the week, everyone.

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