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Aibu regarding ds treats and tantrums?

(17 Posts)
Historygeek Sun 21-Aug-16 20:53:27

I think I need a bit of advice.

This year we've been on a few short breaks and day trips and that has been our holiday.

I tend to treat my 8 year old to something like an ice cream, some sweets or a small souvenir. I try not to spoil him, I don't think he has an excessive amount of stuff compared to most children I know. In fact he probably has less.

The thing is he always chooses the smallest, naffest and most expensive item. Then has a huge tantrum because I try to persuade him to choose something a bit more value for money.

For example in the old fashioned sweet shop on holiday I offered him pick n mix but he wanted a tiny box of jelly beans that were £3. I tried to persuade him to have pick n mix or a stick of rock but he was adamant he wanted the jelly beans and started getting really loud saying "no, no I want those", like he'd never seen sweets before. He then didn't like them and wished he'd had something else but he ate them anyway. They were the type of jelly beans you can buy elsewhere much cheaper.

In the gift shop today at the museum there were loads of interesting toys at a reasonable price that would last a long time for about £6 but ds wanted some play putty in a tiny tub for £3 and something similar for £3.

I tried to encourage him to have something that he could keep and something that you could only get at the museum. I just told him that you can get play putty anywhere for less money, and that it would be all dried out in a few days.

He started having a right strop and jumping up and down like a two year old so I ended up just walking out as I was embarrassed to be honest.

I'm obviously handling this all wrong but dh seems to agree with me.

I guess I've either completely spoilt him or I'm wrong to not let him choose anything.

I don't generally have any other problems with his behaviour only when it comes to him having stuff.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Sun 21-Aug-16 20:58:36

My 4yo dd can be a bit like this. I've started managing it with a bit of success by choosing two things I would be happy to buy then letting her choose from those so 'would you like this animal ornament or that soft toy' (change to age/interest appropriate).

It's like she almost gets a bit panicky when given free range, the pressure is too much for her and it changes what is supposed to be a treat into a stressful situation. I also give her the opportunity to choose just a postcard and put some pennies in her money box to hopefully instill in her that we don't need stuff for no good reason.

JassyRadlett Sun 21-Aug-16 21:01:11

Honestly? Let him choose, or choose for him, but don't do both.

He can't win - you've given him a budget (I assume) and told him he can choose something. He chooses, and then you tell him his choice is rubbish, and here's what you would have chosen if you were him.

He's 8. Of course his taste isn't your taste. Of course he's going to choose poor quality or poor value stuff, and he'll learn by making his own mistakes. Not by you sucking the fun out of every sweet shop or gift shop he goes into by telling him he's doing it all wrong.

Either give him a budget and let him choose how to spend it, or edit the choices and give him three or four things to choose from that you approve of.

I speak as the owner of a quite realistic plush plague rat adored by the four year old who strokes it and sleeps with its horrifying tail across his face.

AThousandTears Sun 21-Aug-16 21:01:22

That's a tricky one and I can completely see where you're coming from.

I think it's a case of pick your battles. As long as he isn't spending over what you said he could have then does it matter what he picks?

On the other hand the strops are not great and he needs to see that a strop means he can't get anything. Is he maybe protesting that you've said he can pick something but gone back on your word in his eyes? Maybe he doesn't know how to communicate that to you.

Why don't you set boundaries before you go in the shop.

E.g. You can spend up to £10 on either those or those.

Or in a sweet shop,

You can have any type of pick and mix you like up to the value of X

EssentialHummus Sun 21-Aug-16 21:01:25

I'd give him a (small) budget you're happy with and let him get on with it. He'll learn over time what is and isn't a good choice.

Verticalvenetianblinds Sun 21-Aug-16 21:03:31

my son chose his treat at legoland, chose to make 3 mini figures. they have every accessory under the sun. he made 3 plain cowboys, all the same. strange child, but his choice!

HerdsOfWilderbeest Sun 21-Aug-16 21:03:59

Agree. Give him the money and he can choose.

DixieWishbone Sun 21-Aug-16 21:06:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Namechangenurseryconcerns Sun 21-Aug-16 21:12:15

Oh gosh I have one of these. She will fixate on something shit and completely lose any sense of rationality!

I've had success with just giving her a budget and letting her chose whatever she wants. It's easier now she can read price labels and she accepts the budget. She always has to buy something though-won't entertain the notion that she could save the money if there's nothing she really wants.

If she sees something more expensive I just explain that that's more of a Christmas or birthday present or that she'd have to save up for it.

Jizzomelette Sun 21-Aug-16 21:12:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SharonfromEON Sun 21-Aug-16 21:20:28

You have to let them make rubbish choices..That is how they learn...My DS(9) has just started with pocket money.. I sometimes feel like I might as well chuck the money down the drain some weeks... However...he isn't

I can see why your DS is getting annoyed..Pick what you want but actually it isn't.

I sometimes say you can buy something that reminds you of the trip.. so putty wouldn't come under that..

Sometimes what we consider to be bad choices are learning experiences..My Ds has bought something from sweet shop..I have said up to you but I don't think you will like it..He has still bought it and not liked it ...Lesson learnt...

Historygeek Sun 21-Aug-16 21:21:56


I did have a feeling I might get told that jassy. I do feel like I'm saying his choice is rubbish but I try to explain it will last longer. A plush rat and some Lego figures would be preferable to some of the stuff he chooses honestly! The principle is the same though.

Dixie that's great advice about me buying a little toy for Xmas/birthday then giving him a small budget for something he wants. Or give him a choice of a selection of certain things.

I'm a bit of a big kid myself when I see all those lovely sweets or unusual toys.

JassyRadlett Sun 21-Aug-16 21:29:06

Oh, don't get me wrong, DS1 also chooses some total rubbish (I've actually got a bit fond of Plaguey.)

We have the world's largest collection of museum-branded highlighters, and a small zoo of those plastic squeezy animals that develop holes within 10 minutes that the National Trust always has in their pocket money toys section.

My fault for trying to get some bloody culture into the child.

Historygeek Sun 21-Aug-16 21:33:05

Jizz I probably do make a mess of it, I don't necessarily say he can choose whatever he wants, but I go in without an exact budget and clear guidance.

Jizzomelette Sun 21-Aug-16 21:59:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Historygeek Sun 21-Aug-16 22:02:30

No honestly I haven't taken anything in a bad way, sometimes you just need an outsiders point of view.

RubbleBubble00 Sun 21-Aug-16 22:20:43

My dh does this to eldest ds. We give him a budget, he picks what he wants then dh tries to get him to get something different and ds get upset and dh gets annoyed. I tell dh now he can suggest things to ds but ultimately he picks as its his choice.

It is infuriating when they buy tat, so I do sympathise

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