Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me! | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me!

A few weeks ago, while I was in the process of making valentines for the kids, Sophia threw an epic tantrum.  As I was getting everything set up, she asked if she could have some paper to draw pictures while I worked.  I agreed, and she went and got it herself.

She sat next to me at the table and we chatted about her preschool life.  That she was excited for her Valentine's Day party, who her friends are, things about her sisters.  It was all very cute and I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

And then I looked over and saw that she had nearly a whole ream of paper, and she had already used about 3/4 of an inch of it.  I immediately said, "Oh no, sweetie.  You can't have that much paper.  We need to save it for other things."  I took away most of it, while still leaving her with some blank pieces (I did want her to stay happy while I finished up my own projects), and then the tantrum ensued.

"You so rude, Mommy!  It's all your fault!  You ruined my draw!  And it's all your fault!  You so rude!  It's not enough paper!  I need onetwothreefourfivesixfirteen papers!  It's not enough!"  And so on and so forth.  Ad nauseum.  For about 45 minutes.

I stayed calm.  I didn't give in, even though I really really wanted to.  I finished the Valentines while Sophia's life ended under the dining room table.

I tell you, when it comes to wearing you down, Sophia holds the world record.  She completely trumps anything my other two children have ever tried in the tantrum department and when she wants something she doesn't budge.  Ever.

And I admit.  I give in to her a lot.  A LOT.  It's just easier that way.  But, this time with the paper?  I'd been reading a new book that TLC Book Tours sent me called Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me  by Donna Corwin, and there was no way I was giving in. And I've really been working on it every since.

This book has been great for me, because even though I'd like to say I do everything perfectly in my discipline and parenting, I don't.  Sometimes I rock, yes, but most of the time I'm just barely getting by.  And sometimes, I fail miserably.

Corwin really addresses the reasons we give into our children's demands so easily.  They are varied and many.  I recognized myself in some of them, and not necessarily in others.  Am I following my own parents' model?  Or am I rebelling against it?  Do I think I'm showing love by giving my child everything she wants?  Am I afraid of something?  Do I have a sense of entitlement myself?  Am I competitive?

She then gives excellent tactics on how we can prevent or reverse a sense of entitlement in our children.  What it came down to for me, is that we need to find better ways to show our children how much we love them, rather than simply giving them everything they want and feeling that is an appropriate way to show love.  We need to spend time with them, give them attention and teach them to be charitable.  We need to teach them responsibility and this wonderful concept called "delayed gratification."  We need to teach them morals and manners.  And all of these things can be done without buying them the latest and greatest--in fact, they are probably much more easily done when we're not buying them the latest and greatest.

I'm so glad I have this book now.  Because at the moment, my kids are young enough that giving into their every whim isn't all that expensive monetarily (especially since we don't have TV in our home), but pretty soon they'll be wanting iPods and game systems and cars.  And we have to draw the lines now if we want to survive teenagerhood.

So, back to Sophia and her epic tantrums.  She's three, it might take a while, but I have already noticed a marked improvement in her ability to get over it when the answer is no.  Like, tantrums only last 5 minutes now, instead of an hour.

If you have a kid like Sophia, or kids at all, and would like to read this book, the publisher has kindly offered to send two of my readers their own copy!  Just comment on this post, and tell me what you love most about being a parent, and what is hardest about being a parent, and I will enter you in the drawing.

Winners will be announced Monday, March 15.


  1. Hmmm... what I love most -- feeling so fully the JOY that comes from watching them learn and succeed. I struggle with consistency. I have GREAT ideas. In my head. I am quite a bit like you in that I know HOW to be organized. I do it really well for two days at a time, but I can't seem to make it last. And my children suffer. And I don't want them to inherit this problem.

  2. Lara, do you think it's a third child thing? Because, seriously, Will tries my patience more than Peter or Lily ever did at his age. And he can hold out longer than they ever could! Sigh, I worry about it so much, wondering if we give him enough attention.

    I love being a parent. I think the thing I love most about being a parent is watching my kids make good choices and have success.

    Inversely, for me, the hardest thing about being a parent is watching them fail. Or, rather, it's allowing them to make the choices that cause them to fail or get hurt. It breaks my heart.

    I would love a copy of this book! I could definitely use it!

  3. The best thing? Watching them grow up to be great people. Seeing them love each other and interact in the "real world" and seeing their personalities, gifts, and talents emerge. And rocking a sleeping, sweet baby.

    The hardest part? Overcoming my faults and not letting my weaknesses rule my parenting.

  4. PALEASEE!!! Pick me! I love being a mom. I love cuddling with my kiddos first thing in the morning or right before they go to bed. I love talking with them about their lives and the funny things they say. I love it when they give you the sweetest grin or coo or when they are old enough to tell you repeatedly you are the best mommy ever. The hardest thing is consistency. I can be really consistent with the daycare kids during the day, but everyone leaves and I collapse and it's usually "whatever you want...just give me a minute!" As a result Tyler is my most difficult child out of al the daycare kids....

  5. Three has historically been the hardest age with the most tantrums for us.

    As for being a parent, the things I love most is witnessing them learning and growing every day. I love to see how proud they are when they accomplish something new and I especially love the love they give to me. Unconditionally. Even when I am far from perfect.

    The hardest part of being a parent for me is the worrying. I worry all the time. Am I doing enough & teaching enough? I worry about each of them feeling individual and special (especially when we add a new baby in the mix). I worry about their self-esteem and them making good choices in life. And I worry about someone hurting them. Gosh-there is so much worry involved in being a parent.

  6. Perfect timing, as usual. When I became a parent I had all kinds of hopes and dreams for what it would be like, what they would be like, and what I would be like. I pictured musically inclined, drama pros who loved to read and the outdoors as much as I did. I pictured meaningful and interesting conversations with a miniature version of myself. My reality of parenting couldn't have been further from that dream. I have lost a child to a disease, struggled to help a child learn a phoneme who is learning disabled, tried to live up to the expectations of a gifted child, and dealt with the health problems of another. To me the loss of that dream and the loss of a chld have been the hardest things about parenting, but the funny thing is that those are also my greatest sources of joy. I have seen things in new ways as I watch someone who struggles with the written word develop alternative ways to do things. I have shouted from the very core of my being with joy at the learning of a single word or math skill when others take them for granted. I have watched as I have seen the beauty of a priesthood blessing and the power of prayer heal a newborn, and I have been challenged to the very ends by a potentially ground breaking thought from a child all within the same day. I have been given the gift of a heavenly daughter who I know will one day stand again with me and whom I strive every day to be worthy of. It is a life that is harder than I ever thought possible, but it is filled with the beauty that springs from adversity. In their eyes I am great, and in each of their successes I am.

  7. Thanks so much for this post! It is always helpful to know others have the same problems and issues, we are not alone. :)

    Some days it is hard for me to find the joy but every accomplishment we have together whether big or small is so rewarding. Seeing her face light up as she grows and develops.

    Probably the hardest part is knowing that you don't have all the answers and that it takes sacrifice to ask for and get help. And that follow through on things is really hard to do sometimes!

  8. I so need this book! Bret (my ex) does not get this concept at all. He needs this book. Since my kids live with him, he gives them everything they want, when they want it etc. They are teenagers, and it is becoming a huge problem especially for Jessie, now he is getting into trouble with severe concequences. Bret still doesn't get it.

    What I love about being a mother is watching my children find their talents and succeed in their accomplishments. The hardest thing for me as a parent is to see my kids make wrong choices that lead them on a path that will forever change the outcome of what their goals are and not live up to their potential. Also seeing them hurt or injured in anyway and not be able to do anything for them.

    That Sophia of yours is such an adorable manipulator! :)

  9. Oh Lara! It's always nice to hear that my kids aren't the ONLY delightful ones. :)
    I LOVE being a Mom and I love to watch my children when they develop a new talent. It could be as obvious as a new piano song, dance skill or baseball hit or not as obvious as being a better friend, learning how to handle a tough situation or showing love to a family member.
    Hardest is watching my kids, as they get older, learn to deal with relationships. As they learn to strengthen friendships, walk away from those who aren't loyal/nice, build a stronger relationship with their siblings and learn to show love.

  10. Sadly, I think I really need that book. =O
    My least favorite thing about being a parent? The stuff I can't control. The illness and conditions and stuff I can't make better.
    My most favorite? The spontaneous hugs and kisses. The handwritten notes and projects on the fridge. The best part? My kids themselves. I love who they are.

  11. I would love to read it! Good for you for sticking to your guns; it can be so hard. My little boy is almost three and he can give me a run for my money!

  12. I think I've done pretty good with my older kids, but my youngest? Oh heavens, I think he's a bit spoiled. Thing is, I can't really put my finger on why. Is it because by number four, sometimes it really is just easier to give in? Because he's so stinkin charming and sweet it's too hard to say no? I don't know!! He's the baby, is what it is... we'll see how it all changes when number 5 is born.

    What I love best? Unconditional love. I love feeling spoiled by their love.

  13. This book sounds fantastic. I need to read it and then recommend it to the parents at my school.

    The thing I like least about being a parent is worrying that some weakness or mistake I make will end up causing a problem or issue for one of my children later on. That haunts me.

    Ending on a positive note, the thing I like most is watching them (I have teenagers) start to make good choices and, on their own, do the right things that will bring them both proximate and ultimate happiness.

  14. Don't enter me -I'm actually getting to review this as well but my copy is lost somewhere in the mail:(
    I can't wait to get my hands on it because I think this is such a problem in our society.

  15. I NEED this book! Your post outlined so many of my own concerns. One of my challenges is my Husband. He grew up with a very 'hands off' Dad and so he gives in to the kids A LOT to make it easier on himself. That wouldn't be so bad if I didn't do it too.

    The Hubs and I both grew up fairly poor and have succeeded in life/education/careers beyond anything our parents imagined for us. We did it because we knew there was no safety net, whatever we were going to have/be in life was completely on our shoulders. Our kids are upper-middle class kids and we've overcompensated I fear. I don't want to raise entitled, failure-to-lauch kids.

  16. I am not actually a parent, although I would like to be. I have always been so terrified of this very thing, however, and I see it all around me in the kids that I teach. It is one of the things I am most apprehensive about as someone who has no children yet. And what really surprises me is that adults are not worried about what their children are learning, and they accept that children should have everything they want. It's disturbing and it gives me grave concerns about the future. If children ever happen for us I am sure this is one of the first books I will buy.

  17. This post could not have come at a more perfect time for me! My oldest will turn 4 in a few short weeks and my husband and I have been struggling with his inability to accept the answer "no". It has occurred to me that it's because I rarely use it. He's already starting that expectation that he gets something everywhere we go "because he's been a really, really good boy"...ugh! Anyway, I love being able to live life through my children's eyes and learn from their perspective but this stage (?) is frustrating! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  18. Ordering that book RIGHT NOW!

    Sissy's fits are enough to make my pull all my GRAY hair out!

  19. Boy, there have been times when I sure could have used that book, so here it goes...

    Best thing: The best thing about being a parent is the loves and cuddles that come from my children.

    The hardest thing: For me, there is a tie between two things. First, seeing my children hurt,whether it be physically or emotionally. Second, when issues arise - and they do more and more often - that I have no answer for and no clue how to handle.

  20. My favorite part of being a parent is watching my kid grow and develop.

    My least favorite part is getting up multiple times in the night to feed/comfort her!

  21. I haven't read it, but I'm saying buy it, buy it, buy it! I'm now in that "next" stage of parenting, and the entitlement thing is SUCH an ISSUE with teenagers and college kids.

  22. While I think we're doing a pretty good job with our kids (4 of them) extra info is always appreciated. Especially since we have one hitting 13 this year and another just turned four. What I love best is the five minutes I get to spend each morning just cuddling each of my kid individually before sending them to get ready for school. What I hate is when they play dumb about how to something because they don't want to do it and just want me to get frustrated enough to do it myself. It's really had to have patience with that.

  23. Look at you with a giveaway.
    The immediate give-in is always the easiest (right then).
    Gotta think long-term...

  24. My favorite things are the little things--the facial expressions, the phrasology, the roleplaying, etc. Really, this is my greatest joy, everything else is fleeting.
    My oldest is harder than all my other three combined. He knows what he wants and thinks as an adult but has the emotional maturity of his nine-year old self. If you think 45 minute tantrums are bad, you should try eight hours! Yes, eight. That was his longest ever, and it was thrown about a week after this last Christmas. We never give in to what he wants, never. Sometimes, now that he's older, he can be reasoned with. Sometimes we can curb the tantrum from ever starting by changing the direction things are headed. But all too often things escalate, and he gets violent with objects around him. He has to pay for the things he destroys in one way or another. And we draw the line with him hurting other people. He goes in phases, a period of none, followed by a period of several days worth in a row. Triggers are not enough sleep, company, stress, and not spending enough time with him. But then when we try and do spend individual time with him, he takes and takes and takes, and then his tantrums get even worse.
    Alas, there are no easy answers with parenting. Thank goodness that we, as parents, are entitled to revelation from God on how best to rear our children. In the end, I know all of our kids will turn out just how they're supposed to turn out, and I believe they will all be wonderful human beings.--Amanda B.

  25. Thank you for the virtual hug...I needed it and thank you for thinking of us and sweet Sage's family!

  26. I can really relate as probably most moms can, even thought my little ones are all big now, I recall a time when we moved to an area with no TV reception. My kids demands went from frequent to almost zero. They had no idea what to ask for for birthdays, xmas etc. Occasionally they would have some big things they really did want that were reasonable - new bikes, a game system etc. Together we would work out a means for them to earn the item. It encouraged them to know there was a way to get something that they really wanted that was meaningful, taught them to set and achieve goals. I'm so grateful we had those opportunities when they were younger and learning such important skills.


  27. Of course I'm late again in commenting, but the one thing I love about parenting is, despite the failed attempts and "back to square one" moments, when I hear each one laugh or see them smile. It just warms me completely and lets me know that I'm where I need to be...

  28. Hmm, not a parent yet, but this is exactly the thing that I'm terrified about! I'm most looking forward to being able to show my children the things I love, and hopefully instill passions in them, but I'm DREADING the whole tantrum thing—and my potential response to it. I'm less worried about giving in (I tend to shut down all kindness when I'm angry—not a good quality), though I might, of course, and more worried about blowing up and screaming at them, which is just as bad. Sigh. Wouldn't be nice if all of these books were combined into a parenting manual, that they hand you upon giving birth for the first time?!

  29. Oh man do I want this book. My step-daughter just moved in with us to finish the school year, and I also have a very stubborn 4 year old. I need all the help that I can get.

    I am also glad that other parents struggle as well. It makes me realize that I am not alone.

  30. My favorite thing about being a parent....I can't choose just one. But among my favorites are watching the light go on in my kids' eyes when they understand something, receiving spontaneous hugs and kisses and declarations of "I love you," laughing and giggling and playing together, watching them incorporate important teachings into their lives, whether it be clearing the dishes from the table or using polite words or sharing or making right choices.

    The hardest parts about being a parent are the worrying about their health, their emotional and spiritual development, their safety, and worrying that I am not doing everything I should to teach and mold them and prepare them for the future. Oh yes, and the hour-long tantrum that we experienced on Saturday with our just-turned-4-year-old. How to pick our battles and how to know if we're doing it right?

    Sounds like an empowering and inspiring book.

  31. What I love most about being a parent: the warm fuzzy snuggling and question, "mama" that only I can answer.

    What is the hardest thing about being a parent? For me, it's discipline. Not for my kids. For me.

    Sounds like a great book!!!

  32. Excellent review and I also really enjoyed the conversation it generated! Thanks so much for the time you put into reading and reviewing Give Me Get Me Buy Me. It is greatly appreciated!