Like every parent I want my children to be well behaved. I want them to use their manners, be respectful, kind, and friendly. I want them to be well adjusted and open to new experiences. I want much for my children.
But perhaps, more than anything I want them to be grateful!
A couple of weeks ago my in laws returned home after a 2 month RV trip across the country. Throughout the trip they sent postcards to the kids, a box of Halloween treats, and Zoe a birthday package. When we went to see them they had a bunch of goodies for the kids including t-shirts, geodes, book, snacks, and other little trinkets. After looking at everything my children then asked, "Is that all you brought me?" I am sure you can imagine the steam coming out of my ears. In the next sentence they did say "Thank You" without prompting, but it still didn't erase the ungratefulness that they had displayed.
Now for confession time. I think I am partly to blame for their ungratefulness. I am the enabler. I buys toys when we are at WalMart just because, birthdays and Christmas abound with presents, they choose multiple snacks when grocery shopping, we go to McDonalds frequently, they choose restaurants when we go out...I could go on and on.
But, I am proud to say, no more! With the economy the way it is, our family is trying to be more financially responsible, which means scaling back. Through these harder times, I'm hoping that I will teach my children to be more grateful for what they have and what they receive. They need to learn that everything costs something and you must live within your means. This means saying no to some things, saving up for things we really want, and enjoying what we are lucky to have.
As I hope to teach them this, I realize that I have to make sure that I am also displaying gratefulness. I admit that sometimes I am also be pretty ungrateful. I find myself often wishing for a certain outfit, purse, shoes, wanting to go out to eat so I don't have to cook, new things for the house...rather than being thankful that I have a variety of clothes and accessories, have food in the fridge and cupboard, and a warm, cozy house to live in. Not to mention a healthy, beautiful family!
Especially during this time of Thanksgiving I hope to take the time to be truly grateful for all that I have!
I want to teach my kids gratefulness through my words, choices, and actions!