:: Finding Vintage Star Wars Toys in an Antique Centre ::
He has reached an age now where he takes a wallet with him, filled with coinage with which to spend if he sees something of interest. Most of the time we have fun, sometimes we experience a hiccup or two.
Recently, I made a suggestion to spend a morning Op Shopping, "hooray" is his reply, "which ones?" he asks, because he has become familiar with his favourites.
:: $8 Star Wars Truck from Salvos ::
By the third Op Shop, I'm calling it a day, but the little guy is not happy because he hasn't found anything. We start to disagree, he tells me he wants a toy, I try reasoning with him, explaining there has been nothing appropriate to buy this time, that sometimes that's just the way it is. The meltdown starts as I tell him we have to go home, the crying continues in the car, on the 10 minute drive home, to the front door, into the house. I send him to his room until he calms down, finally we have a heart to heart about the situation.
He does understand that shopping secondhand means you never know what you'll find, but the problem is, a habit has come where he expects to go home with something, most of the time. If we didn't shop secondhand, preferring new goods over old, I wonder whether we would encounter the same issue? It is highly unlikely he would be accustomed to receive a new toy everytime we were to visit a shopping centre for example, yet at a secondhand shop the likelihood becomes more frequent, usually because what he finds is significantly cheaper than what he would find new.
Even at a young age, he would have picked up a small matchbox car with glee, and of course I would buy it because it would be 50c or less. Some Op Shops even have a 'Free Toy Box' for youngsters. If I go secondhand shopping without him, I'll usually come home with a 'new' toy, book, superhero t-shirt or similar, because it happened to be $2 and to see the happy look on his little face.
Since that day, we've not been back to an Op Shop or market, but we will, and when we do, I plan to set the ground rules before we leave the house. If we don't find something appropriate, he shouldn't get upset.
I'd be interested to hear from other parents that may have dealt with similar scenarios, have you encountered situations like this too? How do you approach secondhand shopping with your own young children? How do your kids react when walking away from a thrift shop laden with abundant (although not always appropriate) toys? Are you raising your children in a secondhand world? Do you believe it makes them different children to those not accustomed to recycled things?