Long before P could talk, but at about the time she started reaching, I started giving her the ability to choose the things she wanted. For example, at five months I remember shopping for teethers. She grabbed everything I had in hand. I narrowed it down to two and she grabbed out to the one she wanted.
As she’s gotten older the process seems to still be working. A few months ago we were in a grocery store and P wanted a dolphin balloon and a crab beach pale. I told her she could have one, her choice. I could see her thinking and looking and she tried to grab both as if it was the third unmentioned option but she eventually chose the balloon.
My goal is to show her moderation. I won’t say no, but I wont say she can take it all. At this age balloons and pales are super important to her. To me they are inconsequential and in a way money thrown out the window but it’s the lesson in moderation I want to show her. Plus I want her to understand that I will say yes when I can, but when the toy is not within the price point or whatever it may be, I am saying no because of a valid reason not because her desires are not important to me.
My next lesson is delayed gratification in purchasing. We’ll sometimes shop online for toys. I tend to find more of what I’m interested in online instead of brick and mortars. I love wooden toys, not made in China, with an educational or imaginary play element. I also love modern design so Toys R Us isn’t exactly my first destination.
Over the weekend we went toAllModernBaby.com (I like their site plus Allmodern.com for their contemporary furniture) and together scrolled through the toy section. I told her she could chose one toy and I narrowed the search down to my comfortable price point. It came down to the Noah’s Ark Chicken and the Tea Time Wooden Playset. The tea set won. I entered the credit card number with her and as always explained that these are the same as cash. After we checked out I explained that now we wait for it to arrive. Delayed gratification.