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Attitude of Gratitude

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Guest blogger Dani: We found sneakers that light up for my 5-year-old, but at the checkout counter, all he could do was whimper because I wouldn't buy him a toy, too. Where am I going wrong in teaching him appreciation?


"MOOOOOMMM...Please....Mom! Why can't I have it? WHY? WHY CAN'T I HAVE THIS....THING, that I desperately need?"

Most trips to stores, from the supermarket to the gas station mini-mart, end this way now. No, they actually end with me shutting down his request and him sulking or crying most of the way home.

Nothing my son does infuriates me more. I can live with him eating only melted cheese and his obsession with Pokemon, but a lack of appreciation drives me nuts. Clearly, I am failing him as a mother, raising the human equivalent of a rotten tomato.

I don't want him turning out like me.

I have a beautiful life by any standards. A loving marriage, two healthy boys, enough money for food, gas and a good haircut, and yet there are still days when I find myself eyeing a luxury hybrid car or fantasizing about a bigger bedroom with, say, an adjacent office overlooking the Pacific and wondering, "Why don't I have that?"

I struggle with my "material restlessness" too much, and having it mirrored back to me in my child cuts right through me.

More than anything, I want to teach my children to be happy and not always looking over their shoulder at what they don't have.

Teach by example, right?

Dani Klein Modisett is the mom of two boys, and the creator/producer of Afterbirth...Stories You Won't Read in Parents Magazine.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
PAULESM2000 July 7, 2008, 12:33 PM

Hello Mrs. Klein,
I found this site just 15 minutes ago while working out on the treadmill and watching the Today Show.
Does your son attend preschool? Does he attend church with a Sunday school class. Does his Dad take him to Cub Scout meetings? Have you sought out any parenting classes, even online ones? Raising a child is never easy and these days many children get babysitting in front of the television watching cartoon shows. God Bless You as you work through a richer relationship with your son and family.

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