These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Amy Rees
October 3, 2011

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Um, not quite. It seems that our preschoolers are a bit fiercer in their approach to favorite things. 

Brown paper packages tied up with string, sure. Those are always cherished.

But the rest of the list devolves from there. Maria never yodeled with kids who insist on only dark pink sparkly tiaras or the same green dump truck tee, day in and day out.

Or did she?  Perhaps we were all like that once, even sweet Gretel von Trapp. Part of being a preschool-aged child is developing a list of likes and dislikes.  It's a mark of independence, part of the shaping of a separate identity. Much as we cling to them, we are in fact raising them to thrive on their own, someday. (And that someday might just be a wee bit easier to come to terms with if you can envision it without glitter.) In that someday, they must be able to speak up for themselves, decide what they like and don't like, make a good judgment, life out their opinions. Believe it or not, the seeds of such independent thinking are sown in a preschooler's likes and dislikes, at least a little. 

So, what can a savvy parent do? Delight in the fiats dictated by your pint-sized monarch. Wait for them to change (which they will—preschoolers' passions are both fierce and fickle).  Try to adopt them as your own (not likely—many little ones insist that not only do they love nothing but, say, green, but no one else can love green at all.  Who knew favorites were so exclusive?!) Work happily around them when possible, through them when not. Get a laugh out of them.

Acknowledge them for what they are, basically. 

Frances in Bread and Jam for Frances is proud of her impossible eating habits, and then she gets only what she asks for and sees the light. 

Owen holds doggedly to his beloved blanket, foiling all of his parents' (and Mrs. Tweezer's) attempts to bulldoze him. The only solution is, of course, a compromise.

In Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, our protagonist proves her point that preschool fashion rules make sense only to fellow preschoolers. (You knew there had to be some explanation.)

Oh, you can also force some tough choices. Try provoking a little hierarchy to those dearly-clutched favorites, a la Would You Rather.

And what else, dear reader? How do you survive your little one's favorites?

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    What exactly is the change between the actual apple iphone 4 and apple iphone 5 that will be coming out for USA? i'd really like to discover should it be worth it to buy the iphone4 or if i should just wait for the i phone five.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    We've recently started recording both our daughters "reading" favorite stories and singing favorite songs on audio cassette with a full-sized lecture recorder. They love to hear themselves, and unexpectedly, their recordings have become one of my nephew's favorite things to listen to before bedtime.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 3

    My daughter has a t-shirt with Marie from "Aristocats" on it that she would wear every day if I let her. My confession- sometimes I forget to put it in the washing machine and it stays dirty for a week or 2 in hopes that she'll forget about it. She hasn't forgotten yet, but at least she wears something different in the meantime.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 4

    Don't forget that the favorite things change at the drop of a hat! Last summer I bought shorts and T's for my 3 1/2 year old only to find out that she only wears dresses. This changed back by this summer when all the dresses I bought were scoffed at in favor of shorts!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 5

    It just so happens that we left (meaning, I left) my daughter's favorite thing in the whole world at the beach house we rented last week. I am now paying to express ship one completely bedraggled stuffed giraffe back to us. While at six years old, my daughter could probably live without this animal who has been her companion since she was six months old (and was her constant companion for a good couple of years). However, I realized that I would feel like something was missing if we didn't have her. I became terribly sad at the thought of never seeing this floppy, love-worn giraffe again. Slowly but surely, my daughter's favorite thing has become my favorite memento of her toddlerhood -- something I will save and cherish forever.

    over a year ago


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