Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful Reflections

Over the past 4 days of Thanksgiving weekend I thought a lot about all of the things in my life that I have to be thankful for.  So many big things and so many many more tiny things. I slacked off was lazy and didn't blog and just enjoyed the time off from work and pretty much all reality.  Which is one thing that I am so grateful that I have opportunity to do from time to time.

I'm currently enjoying a wonderful cup of hot coco, it may sound silly to be thankful for a cup of hot coco but there are so many people on this planet who live in such dire circumstances that they probably have never even imagined that such a simple thing as a cup of hot coco exists.  To them just a drink of the fresh tap water that I conveniently have coming out of not 1 but 3 faucets in my home would be nothing less than a miracle.

Today I participated in more than one disturbing conversation where parents were talking about how much money and the extravagant gifts they were giving to their young children this Christmas.  I posted my opinion on this matter on Facebook...

"People wonder why kids & young adults these days act so spoiled and entitled... I can tell you why kids act like that, it's kind of obvious. I was lucky if I got $10 spent on me at Christmas some years. What is funny/sad is these parents spend that much on their kids and they are gonna be disappointed because they forgot something, or didn't read their minds about wanting something. Tis the season for greed, disappointment and teaching kids that everything they want in life will just be handed to them with a bow on it."

That is a condensed version of the post however the point is still made.  Some of the responses my friends came back with gave me hope that perhaps I'm not the only one left in this world who does not feel like children need to have everything adults have and everything that they want.....

"I agree, and when these kids have to be out in reality, it hits them and they can't handle it. Our kids only get 3 presents - want, need, surprise. Christmas isn't about stuff."

"Maybe they should have taken there kids to the stores and had them pick out some gifts with some of that money for needy kids that aren't going to get presents this year. And then had them donate the gifts to toy for tots! Show them that giving is better than receiving."

"We always had a good Christmas when I was a kid, but I never felt entitled to anything but air. And even on some days that was questionable."

"I'm really proud of my kid; he only really asked for one thing, a bigger gun."

"Some of my best memories involve tall grass, streams and jumping off of the couch"

When your children open their presents do they spend time whining about what they didn't get?  Do they really need everything they ask for?  Is it possible to work out a rewards system and let them actually earn some of the more extravagant things that they want?

This holiday season when you are shopping for your children stop and think what kind of message you are sending to them.  I know too many young adults, and even ones my age, who are mooches, lazy sit at home and expect to have everything given to them and act like it's the end of the world because the life of their dreams is not being handed to them.  I personally cannot respect a mooch.  

I feel like a lot of times, based on certain people I know backgrounds, that this attitude can stem from being raised in circumstances where they had little to no responsibility as a child or teenager, everything was done for them and almost everything they wanted they received.  Perhaps the start to building a better future for our future generations is to stop spoiling them and to start teaching them in the way of love and respect and responsibility.  As one of my friends stated "Christmas isn't about stuff."  Christmas is supposed to be about family and love.  Are your kids more worried about their stuff or are they looking forward to spending a special day set aside for some real loving family bonding time?

As you are looking at your child's Christmas wish list perhaps you will see a thing or two there that you can use as a learning opportunity to teach your child how to earn the things that they want, even if it is just by being more helpful around the home.  And perhaps that will also teach them to be more thankful for what they receive.

As whoever "they" are say... just some food for thought.

Much Love!!

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