Joseph had his toys confiscated today. He kept nagging for a toy in the store, and when we reminded him of all the nice toys he had at home, he said he did not want them. The attitude of entitlement is really something that irks me, and I am determined not to foster it in my own son. After he had repeated a few more times that he did not want his toys, I calmly explained that if he said so one more time, I would take up all the toys in his room and put them in garbage bags. Alas.. he repeated.
And I always follow through when I say something. (You think that he would have found that out by now.) So we came home and I grabbed two garbage bags and filled them with all the thomas take and play and puzzles and every toy in his room. I had planned to leave the books untouched but he declared "He did not want them" as well. So... A third garbage bags was retrieved and therein went all the books. There was a minor tantrum of course but I ignored that. When he was calmed down, I sat Joseph down for a little talk on gratitude. How people work hard and when they give him things, it is not nice to say that he does not want them. It makes people sad.
Fast forward a few hours. There were no major incidents anymore. Joseph was not all that grateful for his dinner, but he eats what he eats and mommy does not make anything else, we do not make any scenes about that here. If he declares himself finished after one or two bites, that is okay, but he will need to remain at the table like a semi civilized human being for x more minutes. Then he can be excused from the table. I love it when that little boy's voice asks: "May I please be excused?".
After he was excused Joseph played a little bit. Since he seemed in a good mood, I thought it was a good moment to repeat today's lesson a bit more.
Me: "Joseph? Can you tell dada what gratitude is?"
Joseph: "Uhm.....is gratitude...."
Dada: "Yes, can you tell dada what gratitude is? What it is to be grateful?"
Joseph, trying to put it in the right phrase: "ehm.. gratitude and be grateful and mama take them away... mama takes the toys away"
Dada: (helping out) "Yes, if you are not grateful, your toys are taken away. Now, do you know what 'being grateful' is?"
Joseph: Getting it back!!
I had to run out of the dining room and was literally bend over in laughter.