Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When I was growing up, my sister and I were very fortunate. I don't mean that we were very fortunate in that we got everything we ever wanted and a pony too.

I mean that we were fortunate to have all we needed and more, but not too much. When all I wanted was a tommy hilfiger shirt in grade 7 because that's what my friends had, my parents did not buy it for me. I saved up some money and bought the silly thing myself. I had lots of toys, but they were valued possessions.

On the other hand, the quantity of toys that my son has acquired in his three years of life is absolutely astounding. Perhaps even appalling. I am not saying that we are ungrateful for the incredibly generous and loving family we have... quite the opposite actually. But I do fear sometimes that Gavin will be so well provided for that he won't understand how much he has to appreciate.

So last week when we got home with most of his new toys (that's right, we couldn't even fit them all in the car), we needed to clear out some space for them all. We sat down with him and had a talk about how there are kids who don't have things like he does and that we would like him to share with those kids. We talked about it in terms that he would understand and he responded surprisingly well. He was just fine helping us pack up old toys and books that he doesn't use anymore and then taking them to the Salvation Army!

On our way home, we were telling him how good it was for him to share and he went on about how happy he was. He said that some other boys were going to have his toys and they were going to be so happy (he said it in the cutest voice too!). Then he asked if maybe they could come to our house so he could share his new toys with them too. It was just too adorable. It never ceases to amaze me how much kids understand if you take the time to talk about it with them.

What are your thoughts on teaching kids to be grateful in a time when many of our kids can have anything they want, but many other still have little or nothing?

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