One characteristic we'd all love to see in our children is gratefulness but it seems to allude us all too often. I want to propose to all of you this holiday season something contrary to what you'd think. We need to do LESS for our children not MORE. Allowing them to do without and have to struggle some to get what they'd like to attain is what will be most helpful to have them learn gratefulness. When we do too much by helicoptering our kids they just come to expect life to go well, that things just appear in their lives.
Here are a two amazing parents who now have more grateful kids. Write and tell me your own stories!
A mom of young elementary girls
Today we had swimming class. I told the girls to get ready for class. I usually remind them to bring their towels and goggles. I had gotten busy with other things and did not remind them. They have been going to this class all school year so they know what they need to bring with them. We drove to class and when we arrived discovered they both had forgotten their towels and goggles. I have in the past bought goggles and towels from the swim school when things have been forgotten. I told them that since they forgot them there would be no swim class today and we drove home. There were tears and I just sympathized and said “I know” and “that really stinks”. When we got home we discussed how they used my gas and energy to drive them to nowhere. So to pay me back they both chose a chore around the house.
A mom of a middle and elementary boys
Both my sons were wanting new toys that were expensive. I was very supportive and encouraged them to save their money. It took quite a while but one was able to get a VR gaming system and the other a new trick bike. Yes, I might have thought they "wasted" their money but having them decide what was important is making them be more responsible in owning their own happiness and to be grateful once they were able to accomplish their goal.
A mom of a high school boy
My son was on the swim team and lost his $45 school team bathing suit. Before I was a Love and Logic parent I went out and bought him another. After starting Love and Logic training I learned I wasn't doing anyone a favor by fixing his mistakes. Sure enough, he came home one day and said he had lost his suit again. I gave him empathy this time and asked him how he was going to pay for a new suit. He later got out his OWN money and paid for a new suit. He's never lost his suit again and it's been a few years. :)
Now while these stories don't seem to be made of gratefulness material on the surface they really are! The little swimmers now appreciate having towels and goggles in a new way they didn't before. The boys know that they worked hard to earn their expensive toys. The high school swimmer learned that being responsible saves money. These are the seeds to plant in our kids to have them appreciate their lives and what opportunities they have and can morph into gratefulness over time.