The I Wanna Monster! A story to help kids understand the cycle of craving

We call her The I Wanna Monster. This monster looks just like my sweet, lovable daughter, except she’s growling with her arms crossed and her eyes glaring. Usually, she’s screaming something that starts with, “I Wanna…”  I wanna treat. I wanna watch another show. I wanna play for five more minutes. I wanna pogo stick and a doll and a lollipop. I wanna go home. I wanna go out.

We all have this I wanna monster. Kids just let it show more. I can get equally worked up driving past a car dealership, inside an electronic’s store, or while wasting my lunch break on Zappos.

It’s important to recognize that this is a natural part of our consumer world, the vicious cycle of seeing and craving and then suddenly suffering because of it. It’s not going away. With new stuff everywhere, we are all going to have moments where we see something we want and this I Wanna Monster possesses us.

So my daughter and I made a short film. It was a fun project to help her understand the cycle of desire, craving and suffering we all go through, whether it involves a BMW or a piece of cake. You can watch it with your own kids as a fun way to talk about how the holidays can sometimes turn us all into monsters.

The takeaway is that by recognizing the cycle and the feelings that come with it, we can remove some of this monster’s power. It’s not going away, but it can be managed.

Now when my daughter starts revving up with desire, it doesn’t take much prodding to help her see that’s she’s trapped again in the cycle of craving.





  1. I have an I Wanna Lego Monster who must see this video! This might help abate the weekly battle of wills over the purchase of another and the fairness of it. Wish I had known about it last night! Could you make another one called the I Don’t Wanna Monster?


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