Spoiled, Brattiness, & Heart Changes

It never seems to fail that the times I am not in the mood for attitude, I get it from my little ones. This morning, a simple task of telling me today’s date turned into tears and unnecessary drama. Yes, prior to having to go downstairs for school, they were having a mini jam session with their guitars, but they knew what time it was so it is not like being told to get ready for school should have been the jumping off point for attitude.

I tell ya it can truly grate on momma’s nerves. I also was asked rather rudely by the Princess where her Ariel doll was and yes the asking was complete with head moving, tone, and if she were standing, she may have put her hand on her imagination. I politley reminded her first that she should not speak to me in that manner and second that she had told me before (in one of her Princess huffs) that I could give it away, so I did.

I have been feeling that my kids have truly been showing strong tendencies to be spoiled and bratty, things I was as a child and can’t stand now. To me, these are heart issues. Some people have a lot but are thankful, joyful and not bratty and feeling entitled. Conversely, some people do not have a lot and they are very thankful, joyful and just down right appreciative.

We discussed thankfulness, the importance of education and also visual pictures and videos of those that do not have a lot yet they are thankful, thanks to UNICEF for some amazing videosof children in their own words. I am not going to go into this being an American children issue even though I do think that a lot because of our culture.

There are many thoughts going on in my head so forgive me if I am rambling, but I do have some questions:

1) What do you do to help your children realize that it’s not all about the stuff?

2) How do your impress the importance of education?

3) For kids too young for some community service projects, how do you make the connection that they are a part of something larger?

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3 thoughts on “Spoiled, Brattiness, & Heart Changes”

  1. Southy, I’m glad you asked πŸ˜‰
    I’m not sure I know how old your eldest is… five? But every time that my younger kids’ get their feelings hurt (or whatever), I just turn it back to them by reminding them that this is why we treat others with kindness. example:
    me: How did it make you feel when that kid called you a baby?
    child: Sad. It hurt my feelings that they said that.
    me: And that’s why we don’t treat others like that because we know what it’s like to feel sad.
    I say this because, I think you’re right that it’s a heart issue. If our kids can’t put themselves into other’s shoes, then we have no foundation to expand on later. But even with my 4 yr old, when we walk the girls to school, we bring bags with us to pick up garbage on our way home. I tell him that we’re doing this because it would be nice if others did it for us.
    Or whenever it’s time to make a salvation army drop off, I have the kids go through their things with me and we talk about other families that need these items more than we do. All the time reminding them that we’re lucky that God has put US into a position where we can help.
    But I hear you as far as the American child syndrome goes. The other day, Miss B told me that she no longer liked bananas. I thought to myself, WHAT!?! This is a girl that two years ago would eat chicken bones and now she’s too picky for bananas?? Remember those Israelites who whined about manna? I firmly believe that it’s an issue that we need to pray through, not just for our children, but for ourselves as well.

    ..Stupid human condition..

  2. Great post and great comment Raquel! I definitely don’t have all the answers but here are some things we’ve learned in our family in regards to question 1:

    We don’t make a lot of money so we are always aware that we should be thankful for the things we DO have.

    We have been around people who think they should have every little thing they wish for and it’s really not an attractive quality so we really try to avoid that behavior. πŸ™‚

    No matter how little it might seem we have compared to people in this country – compared to the world we are VERY wealthy!

    We might not have much materialistically speaking but we have a GREAT family life and we love to be with each other – that’s better than anything we could every buy.

    I don’t know if that helps in anyway – or if that even answers what you’re asking but that’s what was on my heart.

    The importance of education… part of me wants to say let me know when you get the answer! haha! My kids are 7th and 9th grade and they will still say, “Why do we have to learn this?” UGH!!!

    We have taught our children that without a good education your opportunities for a good job are fairly small. I am not one of those people, however, that thinks that everybody should have a college degree. Some people are just not made that way – my husband being one of them. There are all kinds of ways to educate yourself and prepare yourself for the life God wants for you though.

    Honestly, I think that’s hard to teach young kids though. They just aren’t going to be able to grasp the reality of life outside of being a child until they are a little older. Know what I mean?

    I don’t really have any good answer for number 3. Sorry!

  3. Hmmm…..this was thought provoking. My kids are pretty young too (7,4, and 3) but I try to impress on them that life is not about material possessions and greed.

    1. We allow the kids one toy box each, and then a couple of additional smaller storage type boxes. Every year after birthdays and Christmas we make them choose enough toys to throw away, or give away, that they are never overflowing their toy boxes. If they boxes are overflowing some toys have to go. If you can’t store your stuff, you have too much. We also talk a lot about Bible stories where Jesus tells people to give up possessions and follow him and we talk about what children who have no toys do for fun. They have learned a few games that are pretty fun from that talk alone. And they were rather impressed that Laura Ingalls Wilder had only one baby doll. LOL….

    2. We talk often about needing a quality education to provide enough money to survive in our world. Not necessarily college, but whatever education you might need to do the job you want to do. We talk about what kind of job oldest would like one day, and what kinds of things he might need to learn in order to do it.

    3. Connection to something bigger starts with family for us. The actions of one person in the family affects the whole family. By having chores and pitching in, they are contributing to the overall welfare of our family unit. But we also go on many sweep the creek and earth clean up activities. We talk being a global family and how trash in our creek feeds into other rivers and the ocean causing problems for other people.

    πŸ™‚

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