Friday, February 17, 2012

Yesterday we received a letter from our seven year old

It read:
"You make me feel like you don't love me"

Underneath this, there was a picture of a boy with a sad face.

I wanted to take a photo of it and put it on here but Chris said that might be a bit embarrassing. Perhaps not one of our happier parenting experiences.*

Anyway, it turned out upon further investigation that Mister 7 thinks we don't love him because we won't buy him the Lego set that he wants.

The problem we are having here with Lego is that there is always something more that can be bought. We have noticed an unhealthy tendency with this particular child to want another Lego kit almost as soon as he has built the last new one he received. It's almost like an addiction for him. We need to keep explaining to him that he can't just keep getting more and more and that there are limits to our funds for these kinds of things (particularly when it's not Christmas or his birthday). And that we show him we love him in many other ways and not just by purchasing the next great Lego item.

Fortunately his older brother is much less interested in Lego. I wouldn't enjoy having two of them at us for more of it all the time.

We prayed for Liam last night. He is going through a difficult patch with making friends at school at the moment. I think the Lego addiction might be his current coping strategy to help him manage this. But we don't want him to become materialistic and thinking that the way to fix his problems is to buy more stuff.

We prayed that in the long run he'll come to know that love is not about the things he gets but about kindness, loving and serving others.

*although we did have a little giggle about it afterwards...


One for a wish.. said...

Ever read that "Five Love Languages for children"? I know that one of the love languages is "gifts" , maybe Mister 7 is one of those kids who feel loved through things? ..............or maybe he just wants a new lego set. Maybe you could do a chores for cash kind of thing and he could save for his next lego set? Makes my kids reassess how much they want something if they realise that one lego set is about 7 chores! Anyway, whatever you do, good luck! Isn't parenting fun sometimes??!!

Karen said...

I suspect his language may well be gifts (that is mine as well, and I think he is a lot like me...not an easy life ahead of him, I can see it now).

But he only just went out a few weeks ago and bought one with all the money he had saved up from tooth fairy/found on the side of the road or whatever!!

I am thinking the job idea is worth a try, he also has real issues with doing anything to help at home (even basic stuff like picking up his dirty clothes off the floor...although we won't be paying him to do that one unless it's added to a few other chores) so maybe that could be a motivator for him. Thanks for the suggestion :)

Wendy said...

Karen, we have Lego addicts in our house too. One of the ways we counter it is to find other things to build with what they've got. My husband goes online and finds instructions for things he thinks we have the right pieces for (we do have quite a bit of Lego).

Find interesting projects to do, one is this:

We're also pretty clear on the "only birthdays and Christmas" line...

Our youngest is our "gifts" boy. Yes, it can be a challenge. Particularly as he is always on the lookout for "unfair", i.e. I buy undies for the son who's are falling off him and an umbrella for the other whose 5 y.o. umbrella has huge holes and our third son feels hardly done by, even though he didn't have particular needs at that time. Sigh. But then he does get an inordinate amount of joy at a 50 yen soft toy from the school's Thrift Shop!

Deb L said...

I hear you. Our just turned 8 year old is quite vocal (from time to time) about the fact that we don't love her and that we only think about ourselves. Ouch. I think there's some combination of age-appropriate maturity and personality and sin all colliding together to make that come out right now. Hope it gets better for us both soon. :)