“This isn’t the snack I picked out.”
“Are you kidding me?”
We have all heard comments like this by our kids about food, activities, chores – the list goes on.
My son, just four years old has a LOT of words and talks non-stop. It is the best and worst all at the same time. I spent a lot of time teaching him what to say instead of really diving into the core of the problem with these statements – a grateful heart. Raising grateful kids is important to me, but where do you start?
My child has no idea what delayed gratification is or what it is to really wait and save for something he wants. I can thank myself for this awesome behavior of mine that has enabled this type of behavior in him. Our kids are really great mirrors of ourselves most of the time. If you want ideas for helping your kids be grateful, I recommend this book.
I have heard so many people say it and so do I, “I want my kids to have more than I did.” But is it necessary? Is it good? Is it even meaningful? Maybe it isn’t ‘having more’ but the art of appreciation and hard work that created this entitlement in my kids and quite frankly – myself. It was easier to hand over the snack, buy the new cleats, or say “yes” when really in the long run it created more work for myself.
We started slow, my son wanted new tennis shoes because he uses his beloved shoes as a nice rubber stopping point as he scooters causing “damage” as he refers to it on his shoes. Usually, I would say, of course, it is going to be back-to-school soon so I can justify it. I also justify lots of little things like this to myself. Instead, I told him he had to contribute to new shoes if he wanted them for back to school. He needed to complete chores and do them without complaining when asked. This delayed gratification was a new concept but he beams with pride doing chores to own something he wants.
It starts with you
Although we have a long ways to go we are learning together. Instead of thinking my children are whining or unhappy sometimes at the core, they are just not appreciative of what they have. It’s my responsibility to help them change their attitude and learn to be grateful.