All month we have practiced intentional gratitude, and then this happens…
The text came to me while I was at the office. She was frantic. Her most wanted thing of the season was on sale online…today only!
My tween insisted it was “an emergency.”
Yep, she actually thought buying an item on sale was an emergency. Sigh.
The one thing our kids don’t need is more stuff. Stuff feels good in the moment, call it shoppers high, but when that high wears off, you’re just left with more stuff.
More stuff doesn’t equal happy; it equals a hoarder.
To all moms and dads out there who are going to be bombarded with the “I want, I want, I want” this holiday season. I give you permission to Stop.It.Now.
FIND THE JOY IN ENOUGH. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude in our kids can be more easily said than done, sometimes. But, with practice and consistency, the “I want” can be tamed to a reasonable level.
- Make kids earn things they really want. I have never been big on chore charts and allowance. Our kids have always been responsible for cleaning up their rooms and their messes, but they don’t get paid for that. They take turns feeding the dogs and doing the dishes every night, which they receive allowance for. If they really, really want that thing that is a want, not a need, then they save their money. Period. They can also earn extra money by doing extra chores, like raking leaves, picking up dog poop in the yard, or cleaning the bathrooms.
- Regularly practice gratitude. It takes practice to be thankful. A lot of adults I know have yet to master an attitude of gratitude, so why would I expect my kids to be born with that trait? Practice year around, not just in November and December.
- Be a role model for gratitude. If you are always buying things you don’t need, or can’t afford, then that is the behavior you are modeling. Instead, be a model of gratitude in all things. Enough said.
- Explain economics. Kids don’t need to know the balance in our checking account, the price of our mortgage, or even how much our paycheck is, but explain that bills get paid first. And, as an adult, there are a lot of bills. This knowledge will only help them in the future when they are living on their own…paying their own bills.
- What is the value of that want? Kids think they have to have something, then play with it once. We’ve all been there. Kids don’t need more stuff, they need more of our time. They need more of our attention. They need more of us. There is value in that. Because, our love doesn’t cost a thing. That is the most valuable gift we can give our kids…and it lasts a lifetime.
How do you cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your home?
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