Friday, November 9, 2012

Being a Selfish Parent

I have refused to buy R a little car or similar vehicle, even though she loves them. Here she is at the park last week, so excited and happy because she's succeeded in taking another child's car. (Don't worry, it was a non-violent interaction. R is very good at getting her way using a combination of charm, persistence and quick action. I am not sure exactly where she learned this, because tact and diplomatic skills are certainly not my forte, or B's.)

Price isn't the issue. They aren't that expensive, and I spend lots on other R-related purchases (books, for example: she has around 150). The reason is purely selfish: they are bulky and ugly, and I don't want them in the house where I'd have to look at them. So R just has to keep buttering up her playmates if she wants to ride in a car.
Different day, different car: same reaction from R
Parenting a child successfully does require the willingness to make many sacrifices (sleep, tight abs, long stretches of free time, leisurely, quiet meals...) But I think it's important to preserve a little selfishness, for parental sanity, but also to teach children that the world does not always revolve around them.

Or maybe that's just what I tell myself (since this is an issue of mine). What do you think?


  1. Argh! My rather long comment was just a erased. I'll summarize and say that P has very few plastic toys (except outside ones which need to be plastic so they can get wet) and nothing that runs or a battery or makes annoying noises. I did get him a plastic car at a yard sale that he can ride on for $2 and he loves it so. I let him bring it in he house against my better judgement but it entertains him long enough for me to cook or clean the kitchen so I allow it.

    1. Yes, if we had an outside area/yard I'd probably get her something like that. But in an apartment there's nowhere to store it out of sight, and I very much dislike having my apartment look like one big playroom.

      And yes on the non-noisemaking toys! We have a couple (I bought a few for a plane ride) but I have hidden them because they are too obnoxious for me to put up with.

  2. lol they are kinda ugly. we have a cool dora one that's one of those power wheels ones. it's not too bad and we usually hide it in the basement closet ;)