Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spoiled, and I'm not talking about the milk

I was so pissed off last night that I couldn't even write about this. Still mad today, but at least not to the point where I'm having chest pains and steam coming out of my ears and nose.

My child, my wonderful child, is becoming a spoiled brat.

It seems that no matter what he has, what we do for him, it's never enough. The kid got to stay up until 10 PM every night over the holiday. Now that we're back on a regular school week, the regular bedtime has been reinstituted. It's not like it's a surprise, but the bedtime battle with me and Mr. Poutypuss has been an ongoing thing in our house. Yeah, I get it - all the fun stuff starts after 8:30, but he also has to be AT SCHOOL at 7 AM which requires us to leave the house at 6:45 AM which means that a bedtime after 9 PM isn't gonna happen anytime soon. He is too difficult to get ready.

He just had a birthday party. And a family birthday party. The kid got some really nice toys. And with the influx of holiday commercials, the "can I have" has increased tenfold. Honestly, he has hardly played with most of the toys he got - there are a few that he's played with consistently, and the others he's played with a little. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not like the kid got a stick and a rock and he's bored already with all that.

So last night, I had to go to CVS to pick up a prescription. He made the statement that he wanted this little junky Transformers toy and I told him that no, there would be no more toys until Santa comes. He has more than enough. So I sent him home with Joey and then I went to pick up my prescription. While I was there, I bought him something that he really did need - a new toothbrush ('Mater from Cars, thank you very much) and when I presented it to him when I got home, all I got was Poutypuss.

This was followed by him stating that he wanted to watch the Steelers play. Well, the game didn't come on until 8:30. So I offered to tape it for him. And ya know what he said?

"I only like to watch live football games."

At this point, I lost it. I was offering to do something nice for him, and that's what I got.

I guess it's human nature to always want more. Heck, that's what keeps us motivated to live. What I'm scared of is a case of OnlyKidItis. Something like one of the characters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A kid who feels that he is entitled to get or do whatever he wants.

We do a lot for him. And it's not like I expect him to bow and scrape every time I enter the room, but I do expect not to get BS like what happened last night. So for now, we've decided that he will not be allowed to watch or play football until the attitude improves. Harsh, but it's the only thing that really resonates with him and might actually nip this in the bud.

I'm trying to think of other things to do though. Like maybe start making him earn an allowance so he can buy crap for himself. Getting an angel off the Angel Tree and buying a gift with his own money for someone less fortunate. If anyone has suggestions how to deal with this case of OnlyKidItis, I'd appreciate it.

He's such a good kid. And I'm very disappointed in him right now.


Today, I'm thankful that we have the ability to do nice things for our family and our son - even if they're not always appreciated the way we hoped they would be.


Tanaya said...

I have no help. We struggle with this one, too. Our motto is spoiled, not spoiled brat. I think you are right to take away priviledges. We had some issues this summer with back talking. We stopped all bike riding, no snacks and bedtime at 8:00pm instead of 8:30 or 9:00, in some cases. I honestly think the extra sleep played a huge role in earning back his priviledges. When he's tired, he is very emotional and doesn't have as much self control.

Mitzi Green said...

well, you know i've felt the same way about bob. until i watched him happily buy his teacher a xmas gift with his birthday money, and agonize over whether it was prudent to buy a $5 book. so now i know he's only spoiled when it's MY money we're talking about. (he's even told us before, "why don't you go to work and get more money, then you can buy me xyz.") i really don't think i spoil bob--i don't buy him stuff "just because" and since we've been pinching pennies recently, i've said "no" a lot more than "yes" to things like eating out. but yes, he is spoiled compared to my childhood experience. we didn't have birthday parties (outside of family), we didn't eat out more than maybe once a month (and that was a sack full of mcburgers, not individual happy meals) and we didn't have all the crap my kid has. i guess the only remedy is "don't know what you've got til it's gone"--i.e., take it all away for a while and see if it makes an impact.

g-man said...

That's why you beat them. 'nuff said. :)

Good luck with that.

joansy said...

I don't think it's an only kid issue as I have two and they both definitely have it.

I know Billy gets frustrated when our kids ask for more, more, more. I've elected to see this as a big game where their role is to ask and push and test limits to see how far they can go and my role is to say no and set limits and never back down. I don't take it personally, I just think it's what they're about at this age.

But . . . I have zero tolerance for rude tone of voice, back talk and whining. Sometimes I'm a constant recording of "ma'am don't use that tone of voice with me," but dammit they'll be human someday and it's my job to get them there.

Just a long rambling way to say I'm right there with you.

Tree said...

I hope I can finally post this! I tried in vain several times yesterday - problems on my end, I think.

Anyway, Monkey Man is not a spoiled brat and the desire for everything not restricted to only children. Nathan will watch TV and say, "I want that" everytime he sees a toy, even if nobody else is in the room.

Recently, I went through the room that houses the toys, put the toys in bins and where N could see them and have access to them himself and it was incredible to see how much he started playing with things he had barely touched in some time. He has been playing much more lately.

Additionally, MIL took him to her church when they were doing the biker toy run and it boggled his mind that some children have no toys or only get one new toy for Christmas. He still talks about that 2 wks later.

What I am saying is that I do think it normal to want everything your eye sees. But I do think we have to set limits - as you have. And I think the gratitude does come.

Oh - I wanted to also say that when N does not sleep enough, his attitude and behavior are horrendous. I definitely think that comes into play with these kids that go at 150 mph and then stop.

(((HUGS))) Let us know how this week goes.

Gretchen said...

My kids (all three of them) have done the same thing at one point or another.

Or, you could always send him here for a couple of weeks. He's bow to your feet when he gets home ;)