Apr 8, 2009

Amen, sister

This post over at Antique Mommy reminds me very much of myself.

And this one I've finally decided to share. I pondered it when she originally posted it last week, but for some reason I passed on it. However, since I continue to think about it -- and since my children have the same unnatural obsession that most other kids their age have with Happy Meal toys -- I'm linking to it today. You may disagree with her method, which is fine ... I just love the heart and soul of both AM and her son as shown in the storytelling. She wrote a follow-up post to it the following day because of the backlash in her Comments, and you can read it here if you're interested.

7 comments:

RLR said...

Thanks for passing along the links to the 'Happy Meal Toy' posts. I don't read AM regularly, but I was glad to read her posts on this topic. I have a post on kids and materialism in the works, and it was helpful to read someone else's perspective.

WendyBee said...

Hi I'm a new reader...found you through Praying for Jonah. I 've enjoyed reading a little of your blog, (being the Mom of 3 boys myself). I linked over to AM and read the posts you referenced. And the comments. Personally, I found them upsetting. I'm all for teaching kids compassion for others, but I think this first lesson came on a bit heavy. At 5 years old, a child is still learning to consider others' feelings when he can relate to them--("Remember how you felt sad when so-and-so wouldn't share his toys with you?"), it takes more insight to imagine how a child feels with no toys ever, at all, when one may have never considered that such a concept could exist, and all while the temptation of a shiny new toy is right there and distracting you from abstract reasoning (an ability difficult for a 5yo anyway).......I got the impression that Sean's "remorse" was more a reaction to AM's expression of her disappointment in him after he made his choice. I think Sean was faced with emotional turmoil of the self-gratification of opening a new toy v. Mommy is disappointing/disapproving of me...it ties me up in knots to think of it. Postponing gratification is difficult for anyone and children need our help and loving support to motivate them. I feel strongly that AM's approach was too harsh, and unnecessarily dramatic. It just seems that she withdrew her gentleness and love until he repented of his decision. What a difficult, difficult time for both of them.
I am reminded a little of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, where the father gathers up his robes and runs to his son, meets him on the road, not waiting for the son to come to him, and repent. The father accepts the son's decision to leave and return, with nothing but love, love, love. That is beautiful.
WendyBee

Katherine said...

WendyBee, I totally get where you're ocming from and also really appreciate your insightful and respectful response. I experienced similar feelings when I read the posts, which is why I was hesitant to link to them at first (which I referenced in my post). However, because they stirred emotion in me, I decided that some of my readers might be interested.

At our house, we discuss the Need for Toys often. Our 6-year-old and 4-year-old are very aware that there are kids who don't have a single toy, and we adopt Angel Tree Children every year to help support some of them. We also go through our own toys seasonally and give toys that they've outgrown that are still in excellent condition to a children's charity in town. I think it's so important to teach your kids to have compassion for those less fortunate than they, and I think that was AM's goal ... even if her method ended up being controversial.

One of the problems with linking to someone's blog and a particular topic is that one post isn't necessarily representative of the author's entire life or parenting pholosophy. Although I've only been reading AM for a couple of months, I can tell you that she clearly has as much love and respect for her son as any mom does, and I hope that you will not judge her based solely on what I linked to. I don't know her personally, but I believe that would be unfair.

Again, I appreciate your well-thought-out response!

Anonymous said...

I also found you through Jonah's site. Thank you so much for posting the link the the Happy Meal Toys. I cried when I read it because I can see my 6 year old little boy making the same choice and then facing the same remorse. He is such a tender-hearted little fellow and I want to try to keep him like that as long as possible. Again - thank you for having that link. It really touched my heart. BTW - I LOVE Pottery Barn too!

Grayson said...

If this had been our kids Nathaniel would have given up the toy with out opening it and asked to go back to McDonald's every night to get more toys to give away. Nicholas would have opened the toy and never felt any regret.

Katherine said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you liked the posts. Even though everyone doesn't agree with everyone else's methods, I like to pass along things that strike me.

Katherine said...

Husband, you are so right.

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