Friday, December 23, 2011


My kids are beyond spoiled. I'll be the first one to admit that. They couldn't even think of anything (other than a puppy) to ask Santa to bring for Christmas.

(This is not a news flash to anyone who has been reading this blog for very long at all)

Travis and I are OK with our kids being a little spoiled. They are only kids once and most of the time, they are very well behaved. (I said MOST of the time!)

But, one of our biggest fears is they will feel entitled and expect things and vacations without an ounce of appreciation. It is SO hard to figure out how to ensure they do not grow up in this world of instant gratification expecting THINGS to make them happy.

We are diligent about picking an angel off the angel tree each year. We explain to them that there are kids who will not receive a thing for Christmas. (Which is often hard to tip-toe around the "Why doesn't Santa bring them anything?" questions. Because, yes, our kids believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas.)

But, it's not only this time of year that we beat this into their heads talk about this. When they don't want to eat, we try to explain to them that there are kids that do not get to eat dinner because their parents cannot afford it. When they are complaining over what clothes they are wearing, we tell them that there are kids who have one shirt, one pair of jeans and one pair of shoes that they wear every day.

We explain to them that Travis and I work hard every day to provide our family with the stuff we have. And, more than that, we explain to them that it's not about the STUFF. Life is more than STUFF.

Still Travis and I live with the fear that we will have three unappreciative, self-entitled girls on our hands. I am sure this comes with parenting, but we question "Are we doing this right? Should we do something differently?"
Then, something happens to make us realize we ARE getting it right. All the talks about how fortunate we are finally sink in. It's little things that makes me realize they aren't going to concede to this self-serving world we live in.

 Like, when I took Hannah to buy a book for Catherine and Emma for Christmas and she was so excited to pick them out that she didn't even ask for a single book for herself. Or, when Emma is so excited to give Travis his gift that she asks him every night if he wants just ONE early present. Or, when Catherine shares. (Hey...she's two...that's huge!)

These small victories might seem like nothing to you. But, to us, they are confirmation that we are doing something right. When Travis and I talk about these things, we realize that we are raising three happy, healthy, giving and faithful little girls. And that is the best gift we can give them.

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