Friday, June 8, 2012

Teaching Gratitude?

Anyone that has ever met Fiona knows that she is one of the most loving, sharing, and thankful children around. I am sure the person that came up with pet rocks must of had a child like her. She thinks rocks make fantastic gifts.

However sweet she may be, I am not sure why I didn't realize that it was bound to happen eventually. The it being ungratefulness. Well, it happened.

Living in our little small town,  book stores are scarce so while on vacation I have been stocking up on some wonderful reading material. The other day I bought her this book:

When we got home I handed it to her and this conversation ensued :
Fiona: Did it come from the kids collection?
Me: Not really, it was in the same location as a few adult books, but it is a children's story.
Fiona: I don't want it. Let's give it to the poor kids.
Me: What? Why?
Fiona: Because it didn't come from the kids collection.

Oh, my! I was crushed, not to mention without words. What in the world was I suppose to say to that? Was I suppose to scold her or take the book.  I was wishing they would have given me a Fiona manual when she was born. But alas, they didn't so I had to wing it.

I let it slide until I collected my thoughts. Later as we sat down to supper I decided the best course of action was the truth so I said:

Fiona, I was very sad when you said you didn't want the book that I bought you. I felt like you had formed an opinion based on where it came from rather than the contents. Secondly, I feel like there are children in this world that not only don't have books they also lack  parents willing to read to them. You both have books and a mother that loves to read to you. So your refusal of the book came across as being ungrateful which made me sad.

She thought about it for a minute but didn't say anything. After supper she said she thought she might like that book and asked if I would read it to her. Then said thank you.

Did I do the right thing? Who knows, and what does it matter. As parents, I think we often put so much pressure on ourselves to do the right thing, be the best parent, not to fail the "super mom" model. However, at the end of the day the right thing is doing the best we can with what we have.  And my advise, which should be taken with a grain of salt, is that when in doubt shoot it to them straight.

Happy Parenting and Happy Eats!

1 comment:

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