The thankful/grateful child. Are we teaching them properly?

Hey guys!  How was your Thanksgiving?  I hope it was very blessed.  I love Thanksgiving.  Not a lot of pressure leading up to it, other than to plan the menu;  Cooking with my mom all day while my husband fries the turkey and my sister entertains my children… (She makes her part of the meal before hand and I’m not gonna say who that deal works in favor of… wink, wink!) It’s just a really nice day.  And I’m sure many of us share the tradition of going around the table saying what we are grateful/thankful for.  Some take it more seriously than others, but it’s a nice tradition.  Some answers are predictable, some make you think, some make you emotional, and inevitably at least one will make you laugh!  (At least at my house!)

Thanksgiving is a time set apart to consider what we are thankful for.  And I love that.  I know that some people will rather adamantly say it’s silly because we should be thankful all year round, but I still think it’s nice to set aside some time to think about, and express it.  And I want my kids to learn to be thankful but also to be grateful.  They are pretty much the same, but to me grateful takes being thankful for something one step further, and means you really appreciate, and value it.

Now I know that appreciation for the people in their lives probably won’t come until later.  Understanding how blessed you are to have the people in your life is a bit beyond a child’s understanding.  Though they will usually say they’re grateful/thankful for their family.  But man do I wish they were a bit more grateful for all the blessings they have.  I have a few that really struggle with gratefulness.  Who never seem to be satisfied.  I mean, they really appreciate that gift they asked for, and they do, they get excited and give you a million thank you’s!  But,  they soon want to know what’s next.  It’s a bit disappointing as a mother.  And I’m sure I’m part of the problem.  I mean, each personality is different and their own personality plays a big role.  But I love birthdays and Holidays, and I make a big deal, and usually go to the ends of the earth for whatever special item each child wants the most.  That’s just who I am.  I love to get special gifts for people.  Not just my kids, I put quite a bit of thought into any gift that I buy.  Because I love it.  I do limit the number for each (I have to, there are 6 of them!- my step daughter doesn’t live with us, but that doesn’t change anything for Christmas.). I”m also a bad example because I tend to love stuff….!  I’m pretty open about the fact that I am a hoarder.  I’m working on it though.

But where’s the line?  I know I’m not the only momma who’s kids can be ungrateful.  Especially in this day and age, in America.  The only way I know to teach them is to show them.  Lets be honest, you probably have just about everything you want too.  On a small scale, maybe not the house, car, etc.  But you get the stuff for your hobbies, buy clothes, etc.  We sacrifice a lot of our wants as moms, but on some level we still indulge in our desires.  Even if it’s feeding our coffee addiction!  So my point is, we should strive to show them how grateful we are for those blessings.  Show them that we appreciate what we have.  Say things like “I’m so glad that I’m able to drink my favorite coffee.”  Or “I know not everyone has this much craft stuff.  I’m so grateful I can make the stuff that I love making.”

Our kids are growing up in a world of instant gratification.  Not only of abundance, but probably of over abundance and clutter.  Lets strive to teach them that we shouldn’t have stuff just to have stuff, and have it sit around us.  But we should make sure we appreciate, use, and care for, what we do have.

Smile through the Trials!


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