Friday, June 8, 2012

Please Tell Me I Am Not Alone

I am really hoping someone out there will validate that this is a normal phase, that I am not alone, that this too shall pass, that it is okay to be *this* frustrated with your own child. Let me explain.

Lately, Logan has been exceptionally greedy and seemingly ungrateful. Now, I am not sure he is meaning to be this way, he is just now learning what those words really mean, but it is really getting on my last nerve. Whenever we go anywhere, and I mean anywhere, whether it is something he wants to do or an errand we need to do, as soon as we leave he asks where we are going next. Now, I understand this when we are doing boring errands, but when he asks after leaving one of his fun activities, I want to lose it.

Take this morning for example. We went to see a movie with friends and then went to lunch with them, the kids played on the playground, and we had cupcakes for one of the kids' birthdays. Fun day, right? As soon as we leave, and I mean, we weren't even out of the restaurant, he asked what the rest of our plans were. I told him nothing and he got mad. I explained to him that we had a busy morning and that now is time to go home and rest. He argued that it wasn't busy, it was only 2 things. I told him that I didn't have to take him to do anything, so he was lucky and should be grateful, etc. He continued the whole way home, this time wanting to go to McDonalds (even though we just ate lunch). I told him if he said one more word about it, he would go to his room for the rest of the afternoon. So he continued to mutter under his breath, I couldn't quite hear him but I heard Chuck E. Cheese mentioned so I know he was still talking about going other places, but purposely staying out of earshot. I chose to ignore him, which worked for the moment. We had to run one more errand and when we left that place, he asked if we could go to a park or if we could do something else. I told him yes, he could go to his room the rest of the afternoon. He began to spit his tongue out and make ugly sounds, which I chose to ignore (until we got home). When we got home, he went straight to his room. Now, he has books and a couple toys in his room, and I don't mind him playing in there, I just needed him away from me for the time being. Am I overreacting to this? Is this a normal stage? This is not the only time we have had this discussion, it happens every time we go anywhere (or don't go anywhere).

Same thing with toys. The other day we were out with my dad, who, yes, spoils Logan. That's what grandpas do. I understand that. But when Logan starts talking about getting a toy as soon as T-Luv (yes, that's what Logan calls him...long story), that is not okay. That is greedy and rude. He should not be expecting to get anything from anyone unless it is food, water, or shelter. Everything else is a bonus. He kept on, whining and throwing a mini-fit, and I finally lost it when he threw a stuffed animal and it hit me in the side of the face while I was driving. He knows that is a big no-no (throwing anything in the car, much less toward me) so I quickly turned off the road we were on and pulled over, yanked him out of the car, and spanked him. That quieted him temporarily but the attitude continued even when we got to the restaurant (I know, I should have just taken my dad back home and gone home ourselves). But when he decided to eat, his attitude got better. This kid is highly affected by food, I mean, he turns on a dime once he eats. I think I have discussed this before. So then I feel bad for reacting the way I did, but nonetheless, he shouldn't act that way...he is getting old enough to control himself (at least I hope this is something he can control). So after he ate, his attitude did turn around a little, but it was still a rough day.

But that's a common occurrence with the toy (or book or shirt or anything) thing. He is constantly wanting more, more, more and he doesn't even play with all that he has (which I know is too much). Please tell me this is normal and my child isn't just being the most greedy child on earth. We talk about greediness a lot and how he should be so thankful for all that he has and for all the people that love him. But I just get really frustrated when he acts that way, but then I stop and remember that he's only 5. Am I expecting too much? I am thinking about starting some sort of marble jar or something where he can put in/take away marbles when he is acting inappropriately and when it is full, he gets a special treat. Has anyone done anything to successfully curb this kind of behavior before? Any ideas or suggestions? Or even just a reassurance that this is all normal?? Anyone? Anyone?

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