Toys, Tantrums and Pocket Money

A couple of weeks ago I witnessed the worst tantrum in the supermarket that I had ever seen.  It came from my son.  It was over a activity pack that I said he could have if he helped me with the shopping.  Unfortunately Ben did not help me with the shopping.  He began running around the shop.  I had given him two warning before I put him in the trolley and told him we had to put the activity pack back.  He held onto the activity pack with all of his might.  But when we reached the checkout I took it off him.  WOW…… I have never seen anything like it – screaming, kicking, punching, tears.  His face was so red.  He was so angry.  But I couldn’t give it back to him……. could I……NO NO NO?  We got through the checkout, packed the groceries and out to the car and he was still screaming the place down.  By the time we had got home he had calmed down.  But I was shaken!

Last week when we went to the shopping centre I took back up.  Andrew came along to and we had had a long discussion with Ben that we would not be buying any toys.  We had jobs to do.  We once again had tears on our departure because he didn’t get anything but it was nothing compared to the first incident.

I know I spoil Ben…… only child and all.   Not really the best parenting strategy!!  So as a result we are going through detox.  The detox strategy is going to the shops and I am not buying any toys.  It breaks my heart to see him so upset but his behavior is unacceptable.  I do feel guilty because I helped create that behavior.  Mothers guilt!

We now seem to have reached a happy place when visiting the shops.  I have introduced pocket money.  Ben now has pocket money that he receives for completing jobs.  He loves it and is now more interested in collecting gold coins than toys.   So now when we are at the shops he has his pocket money to spend.  If he hasn’t got enough money he is learning that he needs to do some more jobs to earn enough.  His jobs include – feeding the dog, helping to set and clear the table, picking up his toys, collecting the eggs and picking up the dogs toys.  I have been using  You Rule Chores on my iPhone.

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We have found it pretty great.  However Ben sometimes plays with it and gives himself extra coins!  I found the application here.   If you don’t already read Li’l Magoolie it is worth a look.

Fingers crossed for no more tantrums!!

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5 thoughts on “Toys, Tantrums and Pocket Money”


  2. I had security called on me one Christmas in Target! I had to carry Tom out of Target “football style”. The most horrific experience of my life!

  3. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. I think we have all been through the tantrums. I remember Darrin in Toowoomba and me wishing the ground would open and swallow both of us.

  4. I’m part of the small team that made the You Rule app. And I wanted to thank you for not only trying the app, but for also mentioning it here on your blog.

    It’s funny, my first born is named Ben also and I had the same issue when he was younger (he’s ten now). I enjoyed getting him small toys when we would go to the grocery. Here I thought I was just being a cool dad, but it all came back to haunt me eventually when Ben acted like not getting a toy at the grocery was some kind of human rights violation! And tantrums ensued form there. Experiences like that certainly fed into our creation of You Rule.

    I hope the app continues to work for you. If you ever have ideas for improvements, please send them my way. We will be working on an update in early January.

    Thanks again for the mention!

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