Whenever Helena Bogosian takes her daughters, Margot, 5, and Nina, 4, out to eat, she asks if they can have the same toy in their kids’ meal so neither feels slighted. But one time the girls got different things because the restaurant had run out of the plastic grasshoppers they both wanted. Margot started crying hysterically, so the Tenafly, New Jersey, mom drove to four more franchises in fruitless pursuit of matching toys. By the time she gave up, it was dark, the kids were fast asleep in their car seats, and she felt foolish. “I learned that avoiding a child’s disappointment can be harder than helping her deal with it,” she says.
Many parents today seem willing to go to ever-greater lengths to protect their kids from the pain of dashed expectations. Consider how many preschools have a policy against inviting only select classmates to a birthday celebration; everyone must be included. At the party, you have to avoid playing musical chairs because someone ends up without a seat, feeling excluded.
Read the whole story: Parents Magazine