This has been a crazy summer for my kids so far. I have been ill, as you guys know, so the going and doing has been cut to a minimum. I try to keep them occupied with other things besides television but – let’s face it – a 5, 4 and 2 year old need activity.
So the day I was released from the hospital I made my husband stop off at the kids cheer gym and dug deep into my scantily lined pockets. I dropped almost $400 for them to go to cheer camp for 3 days, 9 – 4pm, this week. Yes, a steep price to pay, but I trust the gym and the activities were non stop. Cheer, tumbling, face painting, acting, singing, a movie at the movie theater across the street, lunch and so on. They were geared up to have a wonderful time and I could have an additional week to rest, get caught up and have three days to myself this summer.
We talked about camp for a week. The girls went to bed early, got up excited, dressed and got ready without fuss and were over all super – DUPER excited about it.
Even Megan, who has never been to pre-school or babysat really, ran in happily to enjoy the fun.
The first day was a short day – I picked them up at 2pm. I missed them but was glad for the break. Before I could even get them in the car and ask them how their day was, the begging for MORE started! ’Mom, can we go to Cherry Berry?’, ‘Mom, can we go to Target?’, ‘Mom, can we go to Walmart and get colors and cookies and toys ’cause we need more!’, ‘MOOOM, we’re bored!!!’
No ‘Thank you for the day, Mom.’, No ‘We really had fun and can’t wait to go back!’, No ‘That was awesome, Mom! YOU are awesome and the queen of all things fabulous!’ OK – so maybe that is a stretch. But a simple thank you would not hurt them. Especially being raised by a mom who sees good manners and gratefulness for what you have as more important than just about anything else.
The next two days were the same thing. Except they were late days. I did not pick them up until 4pm. But even exhausted the demands to give more, do more, have more started before we even got into the car. I’ll be honest, I almost cried with frustration at their ungratefulness.
Now, before I go on, I will say that, I really REALLY try not to spoil my kids. I am of the thought process that kids should be told no and often lest they drain me of my entire retirement fund trying to get bigger and better things. Besides, between birthday’s, holidays and other trinkets they get throughout the year, I could go forever not having to purchase anything from them but clothing.
And food. They have to be fed. It’s the law.
So when we are in a store and they ask for things, overwhelmingly the answer is NO! And NO… and NO… and ‘you don’t need that’… and NO! So I really do not understand why my kids think that they get to have everything that they want, no matter what?
So the question is: Are ungrateful kids the product of Nature or Nurture?
I see on Facebook almost daily moms complaining that their kids are ungrateful. That they bleed them dry with “I want” and “Can I have” and “Give me that”! I am inclined to believe that these are really good moms that set reasonable boundaries so it has to be nature that causes this ungrateful trait in kids.
However, I also see moms that give their kids anything and everything they want and they say Thank You and I appreciate it and they take care of what they get. Instead of flinging them against the wall just to see if they would ‘hold up’ to the structure. True story.
So they must nurture their kids to be grateful for what they have and get.
If it is nature, then how do I pay nature off to take this trait away? And if it is nurture, what am I doing wrong? And if it is both, can you please send me a bottle – and by bottle I mean case – of wine.
Because if I hear one more time that the ‘$400 week at cheer camp is over so what are you doing for me next?’, I might just have to run screaming from the house to the nearest insane asylum.
And parenting class. ’Cause clearly I am doing something wrong!
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