Kid’s Attitude Towards Gratitude
Blythe-” When we come in here I must get a toy!”
Jhett-“Mom For dinner I want either McDonald’s or Ale House”
Tre’- “Don’t worry Jhett. Mom will just buy us a new toy.”
When I say out of the mouths of babes?!?!? MY babies to be exact. I cringe hearing these statements come out of their mouths but I know they wouldn’t have said it if they didn’t perceive some truth to it. I know parents always want to “give their kids the life they never had” or ” give them everything I had in life and more.” But not I. My lack of resources made me resourceful. I turned out awesome! I’m all about splurges. (Check the debt posts.) But I’m not about spoiling. I want my Lil Nuggets to enjoy life, have memorable experiences, and receive rewards when warranted. I feel by working for something or towards a goal, they would have a better representation of reality and prepare them for the world.
However those lies they tell above (but they’ve seen) alarmed me and told me I’m not doing something right. My teaching technique is off a little. Lemme show these kids who they are messin wit in deez skreets. How can I change my kid’s attitude and show them the importance of gratitude? I especially want to focus on my baby, Blythe. She’s my youngest and only daughter.Translation-doesn’t share a damn thing because she doesn’t have competition. So I was wondering. What do I need to do to get the kids back on track? Well, look no further because mama taught me well! I have three things I took part of while living with my mom, AKA “Lady”.
Stop Buying Them Everything Upon Request-
This is hard for me when they ask to go to 5below.com or the dollar tree. I ballz all day. I used to go to Target and walk my kids down each toy aisle. I’d say pick ONE toy. As if that was ok. Let me also mention I worked at Target and had a discount and they came and visited me often. (Some of those toys are on my debt snowball list called “Target Card.”)
Sometimes they didn’t ask. They’d just go and get them and meet me back at the pharmacy while I’m running my mouth with colleagues. It was hard to change that at first but now I go with a list. (I need that list because I’ll buy me things too.) But now they know I’m in store for a purpose and will TRY not to deviate. They now ask what can they do for me to earn a trip to the store to get a reward.
The Dose of Reality–
I surround my kids with positive people in a nurturing atmosphere, etc. Some kids may not have the option of going to these places or surrounding themselves with positivity. Many parents have irregular schedules, may live in areas not ideal for children, or may not have the means to offer these options. I take my kids to see places around the city of Orlando and remind them of the things they see there vs. home. I’m quick to show them the kids outside with just a ball and not electronics with bright smiles on their faces. Yes, it’s possible to have a life outside of a kindle or a cell phone. Just as I take them to one extreme of Orlando, I’ll shuffle them over to the next. “Look at these kids! They have electric scooters, hoverboards, etc.” I wanted to let them see how people live in different areas with circumstances and point out that no one is better than the other because of the possessions one has. A child with a scooter had the same smile on his face as a guy with a basketball. But as with all items or experiments provided to children, someone had to work to give it. We shouldn’t focus on what we have or do not have. There’s no need to be jealous of someone else. Reinforce that we are the creators of our own joy.
Service With Kids–
From a young age, I have done community service. It has given my heart true joy to know I have helped someone. I started teaching my kids the importance of it around Fall/Winter holidays seasons. We would give new items to shelters or gently used toys to new owners. My oldest, Tre’, once said he felt good about not just throwing away items and blessing other children with his things. But no matter big or small the service is, allow your kids to serve right beside you or start a project where they give travel size toiletries to soldiers or local shelters.
I will state that I’m hesitant to let them serve food at shelters with children. I don’t want to have my kids see other kids they may know. I’m not sure of their maturity level and I also know that there is a possibility that my kids act differently on the playground than in my home. Once my youngest turns six, I’ll involve them in the shelter component past dropping off toiletries.
I made it routine to get the kids whatever they wanted when they wanted and it contributed to my debt. I’m at fault. But I can plan the future of my spending and teach them the source of the dollar. This plastic card is not magical. The best way for me to show them is to incorporate a “work for pay” system. I’ve always been against paying my kids for chores they need to do already, but this generation is so much different from mine. I’m trying something different. I have the app, ChoreMonster/Mothershp that tracks chore completion on my phone. They can sweat and earn just as I do.
We are living in a world of entitled kids. As one gadget is introduced as “better than the last” and they need to have it. I’m not saying deprive them of those gadgets. Just make sure they appreciate that you were able to give it to them by reminding them that A. not every child has it, so take care of it, B. someone out there has a better version of it (or not) so remember to stay humble, and C. to get something, you will need to earn it. My Lil Nuggets have adjusted well and seem to be grateful. Only time will tell. I’ll make sure to post on our community service adventures.