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Kids and Gratitude

Today is Valentine’s Day. Being a single mom I still wanted to make the day special for my kids. I gave my kids each a surprise box of chocolate under their sandwich in their lunch box. I also left a bag of Lindt chocolates and a card for each of them for when they got home from school. I even sent my daughter to school with a bag of candy bracelets to give to her friends at lunch. No call after school thanking me. I got a call from my daughter complaining that my niece was not nice to her and I had to ask, “Did you get your candy and card?” I had to tell her that it would be nice of her to at least say thank you. After getting a forced thank you I ask to speak to my son. He wouldn’t even get on the phone?! I decided I am going home and making each of them write me a paragraph on what gratitude is.
We need to practice gratitude, reminding ourselves it really is the little things in life that are important. According to Wikipedia gratitude is a feeling, emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. I think this generation of parents needs to force feed being grateful on our kids. Instead I hear excuses on bad behavior; I’m even guilty of it. Tonight I will make sure that my kids write what being grateful means or what having gratitude means and if I am not happy with their answer I will have them copy word for word the definition from Wikipedia.
 I recently watched a man on YouTube publicly punish is daughter for going on her Facebook page complaining about her parents. She was warned not to do that because she has done it in the past but, she didn’t listen. I applaud that man for standing up to his daughter the only way she would listen. He said if he was a child and embarrassed his parents in front of people he would be called out and made to apologize right then and there. I know from reading the after affects that daughter is listening now. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for American parents on not accepting unacceptable behavior from our children. I certainly can take a lesson in better parenting; better parenting for the good of our children. I am happy that most of the feedback on this man has been positive which tells me parents are tired of their kids’ behavior.

Most of today’s youth don’t know how to be grateful, I know my kids don’t.  I plan to sit down even if it is for two minutes to let my kids know how they could have responded. Then I will practice what I preach and tell them that I am grateful for them.

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