Being Appreciative

Every once in a while, as Calvin looks at the box for his remote control car, he will say “How I wish I didn’t have Monsty (was supposed to be an alligator) and I had shark fin instead” and then his lament will get more woeful and his voice starts to sound tearful. Today I couldn’t really take the ungrateful attitude anymore, especially after we tried our best to suggest helping him decorate it with a shark fin and he said it doesn’t look the same because the pretend headlights are not in the same place. Then I decided that it’s time to stop pandering to his unappreciative behaviors and start teaching him how to appreciate the toys that he has. First, I told him if he doesn’t like the way his toys look then he should try to decorate it the way he likes it. That obviously didn’t really work so I said if he really didn’t like Monsty, which we picked out because we thought he would like one looking like a monster truck, then we could give it away to a little boy who has no remote control car. Of course, he said he doesn’t want to give him away. He continued on with his whining with his dad while I escaped upstairs before I start using harsher words than I would to. Recently, he has been trying to get us to buy him random toys at the stores too. He will see something he likes and say “I’m going to get this one. I am going to bring it out of the store”. To our credit and his as well, we’ve always refused and he never fussed. I guess no one can help having wishful thinking.

I wonder if there’s a good way to teach him to appreciate the things we do buy for him. I guess maybe we’ve been giving him gifts randomly on any old day just because we couldn’t wait till his birthday and also because we’re not the type to make a big deal out of birthdays.

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