Monday, October 13, 2008

Help with teaching about attitude/gratefulness

I like to do fun things with my kids. Homeschooling, contrary to some people's beliefs, does not mean being chained to home. So we go out and do different things and have I'm sure all of you reading this blog also do.

But it seems, to agree with a comment on yesterdays posting, that once the fun is over and we are back home, the claws come out. And maybe some people are logical and level headed enough to say "Oh, they are just overtired from such a fun day." And I suppose that is probably part of it. But it drives me nuts.

For instance, yesterday we had been at the orchard for a few hours and I decided it was time to leave. My mom wanted to stop at a garage sale up the road. The boys get out and immediately start talking about all the things they want to buy. I reminded them that as far as I knew, they didn't have any money with them, and I had just used a lot of mine to treat them to a good time at the orchard. Well, that went over like a ton of bricks. I told my mom we were going to sit in the car while she enjoyed browsing the garage sale alone. We went to the car and then I had the blessed opportunity to listen to Iggy (five and a half, going on 15) tell me all the logical reasons about why he's having the worst day ever. Now yes, I know, he WAS tired. But still. I'm not sure that's an excuse to act like a bear everytime we do something.

We like to go out, I like to treat the kids to things occasionally. But it seems like when I do, suddenly they think I need to buy them something everywhere from Walmart to Superamerica. I don't, obviously. Its just the attitude that drives me nuts. I hate greed. I hate people who feel they have a sense of entitlement, so maybe I'm oversensitive to the entire thing? I don't want to raise kids who think they need everything they see. I don't give them everything they see. So where does the attitude come from? And how do you axe it?

Looking for creative ideas on teaching about attitude and gratefulness. Or just a "my kids do the same thing, I'm at a loss..." will also work.


Sarah said...

Yeah, let me share a doozy with you from yesterday:

Fuchsia decided that she wanted the blue blanket that daddy gave sissy and so she had a 2 hour, massive, screaming, shrieking, scratching-her-face, unwilling to sit in dad's lap (and he was trying hard to just not get hurt)tantrum. And then afterwards? "I want MY blanket". We are still baffled by it--she's usually so chipper (or she will whine, but not the mega-tantrum of doom).
We are at the conclusion right now that buying stuff, even at thrift store prices, for them might be the culprit. But, both of the girls also had temps last night, so who knows?
Seems like yesterday was the day for parent bafflement and frustration.

Sadie said...

We had a day like this on Friday, We went to the Foothills Fall Festival. It was hot. They missed snack (other than some candy given at the festival). So yeah I know why they were all fighting and yelling at each other when we got home, but like you said I'm not sure it gives them an excuse for acting like that. The fact that I know they are tired helps me. I don't lose it. I keep our rules. I keep the consequences. But I don't turn into a ranting lunatic because I am telling myself...they are tired in my head.
I also tell them when they start to lose it to go into another room, read a book , listen to music, etc....letting them know it;s not time calm down before they lose control.
Of course Friday ended with my 5 yr old losing everything (we have a card chart) doing all the consequences....extra chores, sentence writing, and went to bed just after dinner.

We are working on the sense on entitlement too. I hardly ever buy them things anymore and they bring their money when they want something.
It's all a work in progress....

Amy said...

So what I'm hearing is that my kids are normal (fortunately or unfortunately). Sadie, I think you said it right: It's all a work in progress. Thanks gals!

Stephanie S. said...

Smiling over here - oh the Mommy Moments!
I can relate to this.
A couple of years ago when we first started going out alot (my youngest was barely a year, then) we'd play, play, play, and I'd get over done, and on the way home, I'd be grouchy. Now I've learned to sit before driving off and just breathe for a few seconds. :)
As for the children - it helps tremendously to think of it as the children have had such a wonderful and fun (as childhood should be) day that they are sad to see it end - thus on the way home after 9 hours filled with the zoo, lunch, AND the Planetarium, they ask to stop off at the park and to go get icecream!! :)
Chances are, they're just trying to stave off feelings of "the good stuff is over", and are sad to let such fun go.
Maybe look at it as a compliment that you've supplied them with this wonderful day, and have charmed them into feeling the day is magic and filled with the idea that Mama is great, and "anything is possible".
It helps to come at it from the other side!

Amy said...

Stephanie, that's awesome. What a great way to look at it.

Nichole said...

I am SO glad to see I'm not alone in this! I honestly wonder sometimes how Isaac got so "gimmee gimmee" greedy. We have the EXACT conversations, after a day of treating them, to how it is now the worst day ever because they didn't get something else they wanted. No real advice, but I feel your frustration!