Was I wrong or right in this situation?

(47 Posts)
SkippydedoDaa Thu 26-Dec-13 15:44:33

Dd1 is 3.5yrs old. Both dds got a stack load of gifts for christmas yesterday. Dd1 also got £10 christmas money.

Took dd1 shopping today to spend her money. I specifically told her that she could pick one thing.

Dd1 had her heart set on a dolls outfit which was exactly £10. No problem.

She then decided she wanted something else. I said she could look but she would need to put the dolls clothes back if she wanted something else.

She had us walking round the shop for ages and eventually found something she liked. I told her she had to pick ...cue crying and tears.

My friend offered to buy both hmm

I stood my ground but she was really sad even after the tears stopped.

We left with the art set she picked.

Was I right in doing this or is she still too young to understand? confused

I think she's too young to understand so it was a mistake to do it.

Not a mistake to only buy one though.

Everyone makes mistakes, doesn't have to cost you a tenner

bengal38 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:48:14

I think you were wrong as she is very young yet to understand how money works. Even though you did explain it to her she is only 3 so is a baby really.

I think to be honest with you, you were heartless. Why could you not of just brought her the something else as well? It hardly would of broken the bank would it.

She isn't a teenager she is just a little "baby" who doesn't understand how money works.


MrsLouisTheroux Thu 26-Dec-13 15:49:35

No, you were right. She may not understand the value of £10 but she will understand 'you can choose one toy' at 3.5. YANBU.

OwlinaTree Thu 26-Dec-13 15:50:38

No I don't think it was a mistake, sounds like you explained it clearly.

Think you could have predicted she would want both things, you did well to stand your ground.

What was the alternative, if she cried enough she'd have the whole shop? Don't see what else you could do otherthan choose something for her.

BohemianGirl Thu 26-Dec-13 15:51:27

She may not understand 'value' but she does understand 'one' and more importantly she probably learned turning on the waterworks do not get you what you want.

AntlersInAllOfMyDecorating Thu 26-Dec-13 15:51:59

Fair enough, she had 10 pounds to spend, no more.

Trills Thu 26-Dec-13 15:52:11

YANBU to say to a 3 year old "You can have this OR that".

You might have confused her a bit by letting her keep looking after she saw the first thing, but it's not the end of the world.

Your friend was BU to offer to buy both.

statisticsthicko Thu 26-Dec-13 15:54:45

No you were right IMO. Presumably she'd already received another shed load of stuff on christmas morning so there was absolutely no need for any 'extras' on top of what she got then (apart from what she bought with her money).

Lurkymclurker Thu 26-Dec-13 15:54:55

I think you were right!

I would have done the same with my dd (2.3) and do frequently with other things - eg at lunch I told her she could choose to eat all of her ice cream or leave some and have more sweet things later - she was stuffed and only eating because it was there!

She chose to leave the last half and then 20 minutes later had half a mince pie and said "no finish ice cream more treats later" so she totally got it.

I bet if you ask your dd about the dolls outfit and explain next time she has pennies she can buy it if she still wants it and how much she loves her art set then you might be surprised at how much she has understood from the episode smile

statisticsthicko Thu 26-Dec-13 15:55:51

Bengal are you serious?!

DaveBussell Thu 26-Dec-13 15:59:00

No, I don't think bengal is serious - made me laugh actually.

OP you did exactly the right thing and it's interesting that she chose the other thing in the end so hopefully will get more out of it. You could always buy the dolls outfit and put it away for a birthday present.

YANBU - I think the concept of one toy only was perfectly understandable.

Bengal - I hope that was tongue in cheek otherwise you need to ask Santa for a grip and some perspective for next year.

SkippydedoDaa Thu 26-Dec-13 16:03:06

I had to add money to the art set to allow her to huy it so it wasn't about only being £10. It was more tge fact that she wanted both things when she was told one.

If I gave in when she cried. What else would she cry for and expect?

bengal38 Thu 26-Dec-13 16:04:05

Yes I am being serious.
She should have taken her to the till to pay straight away not let her carry on looking. Fancy saying to a 3 year old "you can look but if you see something you want what you already have goes back". She set a rod up for herself.

I think the mum was heartless and cruel.

Lilacroses Thu 26-Dec-13 16:06:34

It can be hard to make that sort of choice.....even for a grown up! However, it's fine really isn't it? She's not going to suffer lasting damage from the experience and having to buy what you can afford is a good lesson to learn,not in a bad way, just in a straightforward. Doubtless she had lots of lovely pressies on Christmas day too? She will be fine, don't worry.

Lilacroses Thu 26-Dec-13 16:08:37

It's not cruel! How silly! Ok, maybe they ought to have gone straight to the till but probably OP said "ok, I know you like that but do you want to have a look around just to check there's nothing else you like more?" That's a good thing to say, good grief. A child is not going to be damaged by not being allowed to have everything they want. You just have to calmly, kindly explain it to them.

ashamedoverthinker Thu 26-Dec-13 16:16:14

Its ok folks bengal38 'brought' so much insight in their initial post.

SeptemberFlowers Thu 26-Dec-13 16:17:12

Don't be ridiculous Bengal.

At 3.5 she can understand about choosing one item. She had the item got to the till and the OP's child thought about another item, fair enough if you want to look again and decide between the two if she was told she can choose one item.

Yes she got upset but my 3.5 year old was upset earlier that their toy lego plane couldn't go to the moon hmm

You are NOT cruel OP and I would have done the same thing.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 26-Dec-13 16:30:21

That's how you learn about money surely? Otherwise you end up with spoilt brats who get their own way if they cry.

SkippydedoDaa Thu 26-Dec-13 16:54:47

bengal seriously I'm cruel?

Get real. You can't judge me on one post. Perhaps you can give me a leaf out of your perfect parent book?

soverylucky Thu 26-Dec-13 16:57:21

Op you did the right thing. I believe you start as you mean to go on. 3.5 is old enough to learn that you can't get your own way by crying and making a fuss. I bet she is fine now you are home from the shops. She will soon forget about the other item.

SkippydedoDaa Thu 26-Dec-13 17:01:24

And bengal how do you know it wouldn't break the bank?

Do you have any idea how much clothes for the likes of baby born cost?

Not cruel at all. She was told she could have one thing, not two things. simple enough for a nursery age child to understand.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 17:08:27

You explained it simply to her. She's just had a shed load of presents. I think you did the right thing.

Not getting everything you want is an excellent lesson for a child of 3 to learn.

Bengal, if you think the OP is cruel, I must be an absolute monster because when mine were that age any hint of that behaviour would have resulted in going home with nothing. Though tbh, dd would have understood and respected the original concept of one thing only and not made a fuss anyway.

ashamedoverthinker Thu 26-Dec-13 17:08:30

skippy sometimes its hard to say to no to our kids or see them so upset IME so i totally get your post and it's nice to check with in with other parents once in a while about this sort of stuff.

I dont think you did the wrong thing. I think she is old enough to understand choices or at least begin to learn about them through experience.

What is the alternative? Say yes and buy everything indiscrimminately. This is why you see horrible little brats having tantrums still at the age of 6 because they have been conditioned to expect to get what they want by 'UNCRUEL' parents like bengal38

LtEveDallas Thu 26-Dec-13 17:14:28

Had DD have tantrummed for 'extra' after being told she could only have ONE thing, then she wouldn't have had either - it would have been the end of shopping trip, and a drive back home.

So I'm probably WORSE than cruel to Bengal (although I can't be doing too badly, DD is a delight)

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 17:17:02

Me too, LtEve. My dd seems to be unscathed. She turns 19 tomorrow and isn't prone to tantrums. I know at least one of her peers that is though, after 18 years of no one ever saying 'no' to her.

FudgefaceMcZ Thu 26-Dec-13 17:22:10

3 year olds can understand one and two, these are very basic number concepts. Mine has been able to do adding and subtracting numbers under 10 for at least the last 6 months now (just past 4th birthday so since she was 3.5). This doesn't mean they don't try it on with daft tantrums and 'traumatised face' after being told they can't buy armfuls of tat every supermarket trip- I think that takes until about 18 tbh! OP YWNBU at all, and it's annoying when friends offer them things going against what you've said (actually I've had strangers doing it when I've said no sweeties. ffs). I really wouldn't pay too much attention to her being sad about it still afterwards- maybe you could give her a sticker chart so she can save up towards the doll clothes later, but tbh mine was still sad half an hour later when we went to an outdoor shop and 'the poor tents were left outside in the rain!' so think you don't need to take it too seriously at this age.

LtEveDallas Thu 26-Dec-13 17:23:13

Oh God yes, I know a 17 year old like that. He's NEVER had any consequences for bad behaviour and as a result he can be utterly horrible, but 5 mins later wonder, openly, why people are pissed off with him. His friends are dropping away one by one, and I don't blame them.

HoHoHopelessAtNamingBabies Thu 26-Dec-13 17:29:15

Not unreasonable at all. Very young children can understand choice. I'd be very pissed off if a friend of mine undermined DH or me in the same circumstance.

I used to to that with my three DD's and was bought up the same.

My DD's are 16-28, they had excellent money/budgeting skills from a young age. My eldest worked three paper rounds at 13 and impressed everyone with her saving ability.

She had her own home at 19. My middle DD works full time at 18 and has already extensively travelled, she could be totally self sufficient.

I left my parents house and ran my own home from 17.

You are teaching an important life skill that is dying out, because of Molly coddling.

Just to add, my eldest'd DP was bought up differently and it has taken years to teach him what should be a basic life skill, it has put strain on my DD at times.

More annoyingly his Parents have expected my DD to pay off his debts to them, at times, they were told "tough, you lent it, knowing how his is".

DoJo Thu 26-Dec-13 17:56:34

I don't think you were cruel, however I do question the wisdom of taking her out to spend her Christmas money so soon after the big day - the frenzy of gift opening does tend to give children a bit of a 'getting things' high, so maybe she would have found it easier to just have the one item if there had been a bit of normal life between Christmas and the shopping trip.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 18:12:32

No, you werent cruel, what a silly suggestion!

I am sure that this is a lesson usefully learned. The only note I would offer is that if she has picked something up then she must put it down again before wandering round the shop looking further. Just a good shopping habit wink.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 26-Dec-13 18:36:25

Standing your ground is a good thing

SkippydedoDaa Thu 26-Dec-13 19:13:47

Thankyou. Dd is now happily running around thw house. Hasn't even looked at the art set so I'm guessing she's not bothered about the dolls clothes as much as I thought.

I felt terrible at the time though but like most of you say; its a life lesson....

foreverondiet Thu 26-Dec-13 19:22:35

My ds2 is three. Went shopping last week with £10. Each thing we picked up we explained if he had enough and if he had left how much. He loves Thomas tank and understood that he only had enough for one train but had left over enough for play dough or crayons. I think important to learn value of money.

charleyturtle Thu 26-Dec-13 21:57:03

Even my 1 year old dd understands that when she can have one thing that means one thing. For example we went to the local asdas and she found a cat toy and a baby toy that she wanted, we told her she could have one, but not both. As a treat for being so good that day. She put one back. End of.

It is not cruel to teach your children that they can't have everything. if you let her have both because she turns on the water works she will just try it every time (like my dd does with her nan because it works).

Good on you for sticking to your guns! (even if you feel a bit mean at the time)

CailinDana Thu 26-Dec-13 22:15:23

I think at that age giving an open choice is too stressful for a child. Choices should be between two or three things otherwise it's too overwhelming.

needaholidaynow Thu 26-Dec-13 22:20:10


FFS hmm and how on earth do you know it wouldn't have broken the bank???

Nerfmother Thu 26-Dec-13 22:38:12

Kind of with dojo on this; why did you need to go shopping today? Why not just enjoy the stuff she had and sit on the cash for a while?

UniS Thu 26-Dec-13 22:43:03

I think you were right.

3.5 is not too young to start understanding that "one thing" means 1 thing. and busting to tears doesn't make money appear or make "one thing" mean 2 things.

somethingchristmassy Thu 26-Dec-13 22:53:55

bengal, if a 3 year old can't understand...is it cruel to say no if she asks for ten things rather than two? If she picks something that costs £100 and thinks she can buy it with her tenner? Next time she goes shopping and wants everything she sees? Where does your "cruel" stop??

My children all capable of understanding "you can choose ONE" - in fact, my nearly 2 year old can understand it - she might not like it, or understand why, but she understands the difference between one and two.

Laquitar Thu 26-Dec-13 23:02:31

It wont break the bank?
Seriously Bengal?
I ve got 3dcs and if i gave in every time they cried i would be homeless and in debt by now.

Op i dont think you were cruel, i think that you have been very good at teaching your dd how life and money and choices work.
Your friend was unreasonable but im sure she meant well and it was the festive spirit and the sales.

CaptainTripps Thu 26-Dec-13 23:06:20

Maybe for your little one, it was too much information to process and she couldn't understand. But your friend should have kept schtum.

God there are some really nasty and personal posts on here today. Just seen it in my own thread. Is it the time of year?

KnockMeDown Thu 26-Dec-13 23:19:11

As the mother of a 3.5yr old DD, I think you did the exact right thing! My DD understands far more than I give her credit for, and certainly understands turning on waterworks to get what she wants! And she is beginning to understand the value of money, which your DD will soon do too, especially if you carry on like this. And I certainly don't think 3 is too young!

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