One of the things that I have been doing lately, which my publisher has recommended strongly, is being on social media to get exposure for my book. It is a daunting task but I am here as proof of the fact that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I can actually "tweet"~ Listen! JK! A connection I made on Twitter used this phrase in their tweets, which tweaked my interest: "Say yes to less". Hmm! I truly believe that as contemporary moms, we have been convinced too often that one of our jobs is to make sure we give our kids everything they want, and then some. Especially if we didn't have much as kids, we frequently live vicariously through our children's expressions of joy when they get something they really want! Like a mom whose daughter has over 10 American Girl dolls, (do you know how expensive those are?!) we don't know how to say "No." Unfortunately, this mother readily admits that, when her daughter whines, or suffers a disappointment, or is sick, (or for a millions other reasons) Mom gives in... and more often than not, it's a new AG doll that "Princess" receives for all her begging, pestering, and "suffering".
Moms, we must learn to "say yes to less!" We have got to teach our children that they will most certainly get the things they need, however~ when it comes to the things they want, they will have to hear "No." The sticky term "entitlement" has bad connotations for everyone. That is something we would never want to hear in a description of our children. It carries with it the implication that they've been raised with the impression that they "deserve" everything they get and that they can't live without it! It is not a good place to be.
Christmas is right around the corner, and so many of us admit that when it comes to discipline about purchases for our children, we fail miserably during the holidays. I admit that I do too! How many of us deal with debt built up at Christmas from over- spending? We moms melt when we see our kid's eyes twinkle and their lips quiver...our hearts get all squishy as we listen to their shouts of glee on Christmas morning. "Ooh, I always wanted a 'Baby-Poop-'n-Pee'!" and "Wow, I can't wait to try out my new 'Break All Mom's Crystal' paintball pistol'!" It's enough to get us all teary-eyed.
The problem is ~ where and when do we draw the line? We don't want our children to grow up believing that everything they "want" is what they "need". A distinction has to be made because there is a big different between the two. Moreover, when we fail to say "no" to every "want", they come to truly think that they can't do without. We must all consider "saying yes to less!" on a more regular basis, even as parents. Wouldn't you agree? When it comes right down to it, we are a blessed nation! We need to remind our children of that on a regular basis as well.
In fact, on the heels of counting our blessings at Thanksgiving, let's teach our older children the beauty of compassionate giving to others less fortunate. Now that's what Christmas is all about!
Ann Van De Water, author of MOMMY MEMOIRS
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Hope your December has started off well~ Until next time...