Here's the story: my 8 y/o got some stickers from a schoolmate. He returned the favour by bringing her some washable tattoos (my idea ).
Now other friends saw the tattoos and they want some too. One of them gave ds a toy (maybe worth $5), the other one gave him a rock in exchange for tattoos. Ds is excited about both gifts and wants to bring more tattoos at school tomorrow. He even wants to give the kid who gave him the toy one of his own toys (worth $15).
So me and dh can't agree now. One of us says that we should stop the exchanges right now; the kids are not allowed to bring toys at school and we shouldn't let ds give away the toys he bought with his allowance and for which he saved for weeks. He doesn't grasp yet the value of something if he's equally excited by a toy and a rock found on the playground.
The other one says that whatever we do, we can't stop kids exchanging toys at school, and we should be happy he's telling us about it. We should stay out of it and let him learn the value of things by himself, as we all did.
So, what do you think? What would you do in this situation?
Ds 9 and dd 5
I think that if the school rule is no toys, then DS shouldn't have been bringing stickers and tattoos to school to begin with. Since that ship has sailed, I'd say sit down with DS and talk to him about the rule, and say it has to stop now. And that as nice as it is that he likes to share with his friends, that does not mean he needs to be giving away all his stuff in exchange for other people's things. Trading stickers and tattoos is one thing; toys and bigger items is a different story, and he should be able to figure out the difference.
I do agree that it's good he's telling you about all these exchanges going on. Maybe during your talk you also can ask him how HE feels about it. Does he feel these trades are always "fair?" Maybe start helping him draw his own conclusions and start thinking about it. It's okay if he values a cool rock over something someone else bought at a store, but the point is to teach him to know when it's a fair deal, not to keep him from giving stuff away. And at this age, if he does lose a toy, it'll be a good lesson for him, rather than having him get scammed out of something much bigger as a teen/adult.
hmmm. do stickers and tattoos fall in the toy realm?
i would not encourage taking toys at all... but dont kids exchange stickers and tattoos and erasers and pencils to school? the girls though do take backpack decorations to give friends.
because of 3 schools i thought this was the norm. just like exchanging or sharing lunch unless there is a school lunch policy (which neither of the 3 schools had).
however i do think giving away expensive toys might be more of a personality thing. dd when younger has come home with ipods and itouches and i had to send them back to the home. roll eyes. then dd goes and gives her DSi away. which the other family kept and still has it. been 4 years. but then dd got their scooters and water guns. so she considers it a fair exchange. thankfully the new nook she got, she doesnt plan to give it away. but if a child cries she si right there giving whatever she has to help them stop crying.
there is a lot of handmade exchanges too. of course now its tonnes of origami.
Wife to one amazing husband , SAHM to DS 10/09, DS 10/19, one furbaby , and lots of !
The way we handle this is you have to exchange like for like. We ran into a bit of a problem with this when my son was 5 and he was trading with a neighbor boy who was 8 and much more savvy about trading, so we had to have the like for like rule. Now my kids at age 7 and 9 trade all the time, it is pretty common at our school, but generally it would be trading pokemon cards or bey blades.
Toys aren't allowed at school. I wouldn't knowing allow a child to take any toy to school, and I would talk to them about not accepting toys from other children at school. It really is risking the toy being taken away.
Stickers and tattoos and cute erasers and such fall into a grey area that I think that we as adults are safe to stay out of as long as things are flowing smoothly for the child.
However, these are high thief items, and the teacher isn't going to get all worked up if someone swipes them. I, personally, would recommend that children not take ANYTHING to school that they are attached to, and that they keep things like tattoos in a pocket.
but everything has pros and cons
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