Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Always Cry at Parties

When I was pregnant with my first child, everyone talked about how spoiled she was going to be. Not only would we the parents spoil her but her grandparents too. Obviously, they didn't know us all that well.

Yes, Peri was the first grandchild on my side and our first baby, but spoiling just didn't happen. I personally don't see the point in it. I didn't want my child growing up feeling like she's entitled to have whatever she wants when she wants it. I thought I was doing pretty good on this front. And then came the awkward reality.

On more than one occasion I've picked up a sad/upset Peri from preschool.

"Peri, what's wrong?"
"(so and so) has ______ and I don't. That makes me so sad."
"Peri, it's okay. You don't get everything that everyone else has. Be happy for (so and so)."
"But it makes me so sad because I don't have one."
"I'm sorry, it's not fair and that's okay."

I took Peri to a birthday party over the weekend. Oh fun. When she didn't win any prizes from Pin the Tiara on the Princess, she had a small meltdown. Annoyingly whiny, "But I didn't get a purse and glasses." "No, Peri, you didn't, but you can be happy for your friends that did." Then came the cake. The birthday girl had her own cupcake shaped cake and the kids had smaller cupcakes and ice cream. Peri bawled, "She doesn't want to share her cupcake with me!" "Peri, that's her special cake, here's yours. Be happy for her, it's her special day. When it was your birthday, you got special things, but it's not your birthday today." This one eventually ended with, "Do you want to go home? Then stop crying." Then came the presents. This one I was dreading, but it wasn't as bad as the cake. This whole thing made me glad I didn't just drop her off at the party. But it doesn't make me want to take her to any more birthday parties either.

Seriously, where did this entitlement come from? Just because someone else has something, why does she think she should have it too? I feel like I'm getting blue in the face trying to explain this to her; I'm trying to figure out a way that we can teach her it's not okay to react the way she is. We've thought of taking turns giving treats in the house, but I think in taking turns, she knows hers is coming so it's not a big deal. The whole thing is kind of embarrassing since no one elses' child seems to be having these breakdowns, just mine. I wonder if people think I spoil her. Has anyone else dealt with this? Help, I need ideas. Especially since birthday season is in full swing! Yikes! "No, don't worry, she always cries at birthdays."


  1. See, what you need to do is be cruel, like me, and never take your kids to parties. Then they have no idea what they're missing out on, resulting in no whining! YAY!

  2. My son is the same way. He wants to open peoples' presents, have what they have, etc. I chalk it up to toddlers thinking they're the center of the universe, and sincerely hope he grows out of it! Otherwise I'm in trouble.

  3. My daughter is the same way. Except it was with commercials for toys. I was going insane with the "I don't have a ________fill in the blank". We got rid of cable and now she watches commercial free PBS. But I still hear this when we're at friends' homes. Let me know if you figure it out.

  4. Oh no! I am sorry! One more thing I get to look forward to as autumn gets older... ;)

  5. Have you tried validating? All your responses shut her feelings down. Next time she gets upset, just tell her "I know it is hard sweetie, when others get presents and you don't". Dont say anything else. Let her cry and let her get her feelings out and vent. You will be amazed at how she will come out of it herself! Children don't wallow in feelings, crying is like letting out steam, they have to be able to do it in order to move on. Don't you feel jipped when you see someone else get something and you dont get anything? Be honest with yourself.. now imagine your child feeling this but not being able to control those feelings yet. Try it! Our son happily opens gifts with others and smiles when they open theirs! It works, I promise.


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