How to reward 8 year old?

TJ - posted on 03/13/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )

7

0

0

My 8 year old daughter does not feel that we appreciate her/ love her/ care for her enough as we don't show appreciation by buying toys (even though we can). As a matter of fact, she has hardly ever played with toys which she already has & does not care if we give away some of those (with her knowledge) to underprivileged children. She plays with only few specific toys but wants us to give her the ones which she does not play with generally (we have tried giving her toys she wanted & we could afford.. but still she did not play with those later). I feel she just looks around & sees her cousins & friends having truckload of toys & wants the same.
When I speak to her, she understands that she does not really play with toys. And there are other ways of appreciating/ loving/ caring which she too gets.... But that lasts for only some time & she eventually falls back on her thoughts.
We do show appreciation by cooking her fav dish or making/ buying sweets she likes or taking her to a movie occasionally. I tell her or other people at home who were not around at that time (in descriptive specific/ targeted way) if she does something well or she has shown improvement in some way.
Should I buy the toys just because we afford those even though we know that she doesn't play with those?
Am I going wrong somewhere? Is this normal? How to tackle this?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Angela - posted on 03/15/2014

2,457

9

322

TJ – I always think EXPERIENCES are a good “gift” to give to a child! People of all ages collect too much “stuff”. Think of ways you can give your child some one-to-one attention doing something interesting that they’ll enjoy – maybe they can even bring a friend along? This does not have to be an expensive outing like a theme park visit, it can be a picnic, an arts & crafts afternoon, baking cakes or cookies, a treasure hunt (with your own special clues), or maybe just gather some free souvenirs from places you visit and then have some time together making art journals or scrapbooks? OK – so you’ll still accumulate some “stuff” but without the expensive outlay or the issue of items taking up heaps of room in your home!

There is also the issue of charity work …. Get your child involved with visiting old folks homes, animal refuges etc … kids find this an enjoyable experience and will remember it all! There’s a special initiative in the UK where people put together backpacks to give to homeless people. Basically you get a backpack and in it you put stuff that’s useful to a person who’s homeless. This might include a couple of pairs of clean socks, 2 or 3 cans of soup – don’t forget the can opener – a paperback book, sleeping bag or blanket, warm scarf & gloves etc … Now if you get these items from a charity shop or thrift shop, you’re not spending a fortune and you’re also helping TWO good causes – or rather you’re helping THREE good causes, because capturing your own child’s interest & enthusiasm in getting involved in this project is very definitely a good cause as well!

Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 03/14/2014

3,728

8

3246

My 2 oldest children are from my 1st marriage and I do shared care. My ex husband has always bought the boys the latest everything!!! Even replacing iPads that were broken after a few months.
I haven't bough the boys everything they wanted and it's amazing the difference in them when they are with me. This time that they have come to me they didn't even bring their iPads and for Christmas they only asked for a Nerf gun and some Lego. Not expensive gifts but something they enjoy playing with.
I was a single Mum for a while and had to watch every cent but I have since remarried and am also working full time and have a bit to spare but they never ask for huge expensive gifts.
I think you need to teach her the value of money, instead of just talking about donating her toys, go and see families worse off. See if you can visit a hostel where the people only have a few possessions.

5 Comments

View replies by

TJ - posted on 03/14/2014

7

0

0

Thank you Michelle.... She does see few of unfortunate underprivileged people/ kids on roads or around... but does not relate to them much... I have only thought about taking her to actually "see" how they live... Will take a step further & actually take her to see few of such families... Thank you again :)

TJ - posted on 03/14/2014

7

0

0

Thank you Angela for the comments.. Wading through many such dilemma and wondering all the way if I was right in choosing whatever path... I sometimes feel that people should encourage children to enjoy playing outdoor with friends (weather is great for almost 10 months a year) rather than piling up toys & locking up kids at homes!! Hope my daughter learns to retain "the talks" over longer period :)

Angela - posted on 03/13/2014

2,457

9

322

Children are quite mercenary. The toys etc .... that they request often have nothing to do with their own interests but it's a peer thing. They wish to be on an ownership level with other kids they know. There is also the possibility that other children hold up their possessions as endorsements of self-esteem & parental appreciation - "I must be a great son/daughter - my parents got me all this!"

Children are also very astute at putting prices on stuff. Many children within one neighbourhood will fairly accurately assess the total financial value of the Christmas gifts given to each child they know (including themselves).

Protests from parents about what they can actually afford (given their employment, earnings and how many children they have etc ...) are not generally seen as good reasons! Because we all know someone on a very low income who will buy their child fantastic amounts of expensive goods for Christmas or birthdays, often taking on debt to do so. Their electricity may be getting cut off next week because they didn't pay the bill but children don't report THOSE embarrassing facts to their friends!

In my experience, the lower the income of the parents, the more money they spend on their offspring! Jobless people on welfare benefits often have "something to prove" and it can be a very expensive cycle of spending for others in the same community, regardless of income!

I don't have any bright ideas on how to resolve this issue but I wish you luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms