Jake has always been one of those kids who attaches to something for a while, gets almost obsessed with it, and in an effort to make him happy, Hubz and I (and other family members) support the habit.
When he was 2 he was gaga for Elmo. We had Elmo parties, toys, clothing, pajamas, books, etc. For about 12 months he held onto this addiction.
At age 3, he was all about Thomas. We got a train table, Thomas the Train trains, clothing, books, blankets, etc. He lived, ate, and breathed Thomas. We even did the “Day out with Thomas” extravaganza in our area.
At age 4-5 it was cars/trucks. He couldn’t get enough of them. That was an easy habit to support…those 89 cent cars at the store kept him busy for hours.
At age 6, he was ALL Ben 10. He was Ben 10 for Halloween, had shirts, pj’s, and toys. We have way more Ben 10 paraphanalia than any human should.
Age 7 & 8 brought on the Pokemon obsession. He loves it. We rent Pokemon DVD’s from the library. He watches the newer shows on Cartoon Network. He has a few shirts. He has a binder full of cards.
He has grown to expect new cards every week. That is partially my fault. I was buying them as a reward every Friday. However, he began to expect it, and no longer appreciated the cards, so we had to nip that in the bud. It doesn’t mean that he didn’t keep asking…he just wasn’t getting any new cards.
Last week he was being particularly pesty about said cards. I was holding my ground. Hubz and I came up with the idea that if Jake did well on his reading test (he did–got 22/22) and got 100% on his spelling test, that we’d get him a pack of cards. Of course, this is the week that his teacher hasn’t handed the tests back to the students immediately. We’re still waiting for the grade.
Argh! So, I guess this has become less of a lesson of achievement = reward and more of a lesson of patience is a virtue.