Sunday, December 1, 2013

Actual Conversations with Kids: Need Versus Want

From the Kids Say the Darndest Things file:  During a recent bedtime at the In-laws over Thanksgiving weekend, 3-year-old Drew and 5-year-old Sadie were snuggled into the middle of the guest room bed being read their bedtime stories.

When the second book was finished, Drew voiced his desire for a third bedtime book by stating, “I need another book.”

It just so happens that Sadie has been learning recently about the difference between “need” and “want.”  We try to teach it at home, and apparently they’ve been discussing it in Kindergarten as well.

With these lessons fresh in her mind, Sadie saw a teaching moment for Drew.

“Drew,” she began rather kindly for someone about to impart such an important lesson. “You don’t need another book.  You want another book.  All you need is water and food … and someone to love you.”


Needs include food, water and ... a baby walker?
She must’ve added that last one herself – or picked it up at school.  When I give the old “need v. want” lecture, I never quite remember the “someone to love you” part.
 
I was happy to witness the exchange, and content that my five year old actually does listen to what we say. Heck, she even understands it. 
 
But Sadie wasn’t done.  As Drew put an arm behind his head and looked up at the ceiling to ponder this lesson, his sister took her time thinking and carefully adding to the list.

“You also need a home…  (pause)

And a bed … (another pause)

And someone to take care of you when you’re sick.  Like a parent, or an aunt, or a grandmother … or an older cousin who’s like a teenager. … (pause)

I guess that’s kind of like someone who loves you.”

She quieted down for almost a minute, and I mistook the silence for the two of them possibly falling asleep.  Then she started anew.

“You also need a pet, like a dog or a kitten. (pause)

… And if you’re a baby, you need a walker, so you can learn how to walk. Though, I guess you could learn to walk without a walker.  It would be hard...(pause)

… You also need toys, to play with.”

Drew thought he was understanding how it all worked, and offered up his own.

“Do you need candy?”

Sadie drew the line there.  “No, you don’t need candy.  You want candy.”

Drew disagreed, “I need candy.”

“You both need to go to bed,” I said, sadly ending this important life lesson by a five year old.  Clearly, we all needed some sleep.

1 comment:

Bonnie Polla said...

They are really adorable. I miss everyone already. xo