Dealing with the Inevitable Trip to the Toy Aisle

Trip to the Toy AisleIt seems almost like everyone is born with a gimme-more spirit. If you don’t believe me, check out the toy aisle and see where meltdowns are happening. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to be happy with the things they have. Of course, that is made even harder by the fact that many adults have the same problem. Take a close look at your family model and see if you can tell where I’m coming from. Do you automatically obtain everything you want?

Another type of trouble at the toy aisle is caused by parents who over-gift. So what is over-gifting you ask? Over-gifting is, unfortunately, what I taught my oldest daughter until I saw where this was leading. Up until the time she was perhaps five-years-old, every time she went to the store with practically everyone she always got a little something even if it was just a five dollar item. One day my eyes were opened when we were in Walmart and she said, “I don’t think grandma loves me anymore because she hasn’t bought me anything in a while.” This actually made me quite angry, but I should not have blamed her because that’s what we taught her. So, after this incident, the gravy train was over, and I got a more realistic view of this thing than I had before.

Can We Just Look At Toys?


Parents, I think we’ve all been in this place before; you’re wheeling your cart around the store when your little darling speaks up and says, “Can we look at the toys?” You know you probably should say no, but you agree to stroll down the toy aisle. You may be setting yourself up for a fall, but you can certainly ensure that 99 percent of the time, your kid will do exactly what she said and just look, provided you have taught her how to window shop. Okay, she might just hold it before you put it back.

There is no reason that a child should not be able to enjoy looking at and playing with toys in the store and leaving without any. When I was a child, in the day when it was safe, (or so we thought) the kids in the department store would head for the toy aisle while mom did her shopping; when mom was ready to leave she came to the toy aisle, picked up her kids, and went to check out. No one cried and begged for toys because Christmas and birthdays were normally the only time we got new toys. So it is totally conceivable that kids can be trained or taught what to expect. If we teach them that every trip to the store will result in some type of trinket for them we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Yes, I also realize that some kids will make more of a fuss than others. But it is still their parent’s responsibility to teach them what acceptable behavior is. So, everyone can enjoy window-shopping without a meltdown.

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