But I do have a low tolerance for whining for "stuff."
Especially in stores, talking about each and every thing DS decides he wants and what would have to be done to attain it would be to me and would take way more time than I have. Like lots of kids, my DS wants wants wants and sometimes you just have to say "No, you don't need that. period. I think it's good for kids to hear that once in awhile. Am I wrong?
I'm not the faucet they turn on and off to get stuff, so they rarely whine about it. If they want something, I will talk to them about how to get it. Or explain why I think it's not a great idea to get that. (Stuff that offends me. Great opportunity to discuss my values. )Or about how they seem kind of young for that.
And I listen to them. My parents were very big into that need/want distinction. Honestly, one needs very very little, as I know from growing up in a family with one income and 6 closely-spaced children. You need a couple of sets of play clothes, 5-7 pairs of underwear, 5-7 pairs of socks, one or two pairs of shoes, 2 dresses for church, 1 school jumper and two shirts, a bed with a set of linens, a desk, a light, a trashcan, 3 small meals, 1 or 2 snacks, trips to the library, blocks, books and balls. Maybe a doll if you were a girl.
My mom grew up without everything she needed, so thought we were greedy to want things. It made it complicated for me to want things and feel I deserved them as an adult.
I got some of what I wanted around birthdays and holidays. But expressing want in a store completely stressed my mom out. I got a very very tiny allowance. My kids get a virtual kid fortune.
So, I've moved away from the want/need dicotomy. I want my kids to get what they want and am willing to help them figure out which things they want enough to do something to get. So my 7 year old knows if they get *this* thing, then later when they want *that* thing, they might have already spent their allowance and have to start over again or have a yard sale or think about selling on ebay (so far all talk) or trade a friend or share or ......
My 3 year old is not there yet. She mostly wants stuff that belongs to her sister. They developed a system of "checking things out" of each others rooms, complete with due dates and renewals, with no intervention or suggestion from us. All they get from us is "When we share, there's a lot more interesting stuff to do."
The power is in their hands. I don't say to my kids, "You don't need that." They often say to me, "I don't need that."
Maybe they are just generous hearted by nature. They really are nice people. But I have found that , like monkey mom, both the generous messages and the "suck it up" messages I've given my kid have come back around on occasion!