Preventing Spoiled Brat Syndrome

I don’t remember how old I was when I started feeling grateful for gifts that I received.

I would like to think that I learned early on the art of being grateful, but I don’t truthfully know.

I’ll have to talk to my parents about this.  Perhaps I was a “spoiled brat” and didn’t know it! 🙂

All that I know for sure is that I really, really, really, really (to the millionth power) want my children to learn how to be grateful for the many blessings that they enjoy.

And I just can’t stand it when they don’t seem grateful for gifts that they receive on Christmas.

I don’t want my children to be spoiled brats.

Jon and I have had many conversations on this regard and we both decided that we don’t necessarily care if our kids are spoiled (because it’s too late for that…they already are), but we just don’t want them to be bratty and ungrateful.  We want them to appreciate what they already have and to not be continuously wanting more.

Especially right after they open their Christmas presents.

I keep telling myself that my kids are still very young and they are simply not mature enough to feel extremely grateful.

But is that merely an excuse? 

Should they be capable of feeling and expressing sincere gratitude?

After entertaining such thoughts for a few days, we came to the conclusion that it’s our fault (as their parents) if our children aren’t grateful for what they have.  It is our responsibility to teach them to be grateful.  We need to not only help them to recognize their blessings, but to thank God for them.  This is something that needs to occur consistently on a daily basis.

Our kids watch and listen to us, whether we are aware of it or not.  When we complain, they hear it.  When we express desire for something that we don’t have (not needs, but unnecessary wants), they hear it.  Admittedly, I’m guilty of doing such things and I have been feeling very badly about doing so.

Jon and I were going to go shop the after-Christmas sales last week.  But then I realized that in so doing, were we possibly teaching our children that it’s okay to want more and more, even immediately after a day in which you received gifts?  There wasn’t anything that we necessarily wanted, we just wanted to see if there were any “good deals”.  We decided to stay home instead.

We have so much.  So much.  I had a difficult time thinking about what to give my kids for Christmas.  I constantly tell my kids that they basically live inside of a Toys-R-Us Store…yet they still walk circles around me at times and claim that they are “bored”.  It drives me nuts.  It finally got to Jon and I this year.  We decided that, starting in 2013, we are only going to buy our kids ONE present for their birthday and ONE present for Christmas.  Honestly, I don’t know how strict we’ll be with this new “rule” of ours, but it sounds good to us right now! 🙂

Until they can learn to play with all of their toys and be content with what they have, I am seriously going to have a difficult time buying them anything else.

Okay, my rant is over. 🙂

I hope that all of you had a great Christmas!

Aside from being fearful that my kids were turning into spoiled brats, our Christmas was quite wonderful.

Santa ate the cookies, drank the milk, and even left a fancy-shmancy note behind!  Jon has such excellent cursive hand-writing…the best part was that I didn’t even have to ask him to write it!  He may be catching on to this whole “Santa” idea after all. 🙂

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For weeks, Bryce kept talking about how Santa was going to leave a lollipop in his stocking.  Santa didn’t disappoint! 🙂  Ironically, both he and Lizzie only licked their lollipops a few times and then threw them in the trash.  See what I mean about them being ungrateful? 🙂

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This little man, however, has no lack of gratitude whatsoever!  He is as happy as can be with whatever he has in front of him!

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He is such a blessing!

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And a little Daddy’s boy, too.  The other two have been all mine, but Mason is a Daddy’s boy through and through! 🙂

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Lizzie only wanted two things for Christmas this year: A jump-rope and a new lunch box (she has been using an old one of Jon’s).

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She also received this art set, which she seemed pretty excited about.

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Bryce is obsessed with two things:  Swords and Spiderman.  He was happy!

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They also received some Tinker Toys (which they learned they have to play with behind a closed door so that Mason doesn’t interfere).

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And the Lincoln Logs were a huge success!  Also an activity that needs to be played with behind closed doors! 🙂

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We have always had something different every Christmas morning for breakfast.  I think that it would be nice to have a traditional Christmas breakfast, but nothing has stuck so far.  I wanted to stray a bit from the usual waffles, pancakes, eggs, and sausage breakfast that we usually resort to on special occasions.  I found a recipe for Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole in the first Our Best Bites Cookbook and I really wanted to give it a try this year.  (As a side note, Jon bought me their second cookbook for Christmas this year…and I totally opened it early!  I love it!)

I tried the casserole.  I liked it.  No one else was too crazy for it (which is weird because everyone usually drools over all of their other recipes).  I guess that we won’t be having it again! 🙂

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Happy New Years, Everyone!

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