We are very lucky to have a lot of people in our lives that are very generous with the girls. We are also very lucky to be in a position where we can give the girls plenty of gifts ourselves. This does create one of those always enjoyable Chinese finger traps puzzles that seem to pop up in parenting every other hour. You love your kids and want to give them presents or the things you didn’t have, but you also don’t want to create raging, entitled brats.
If you’re a parent, you most likely encounter this yin-yang most in the form of the thank you note. If you want a threat with some teeth that will put the fear of God in your kids, just work thank you note into the consequence then watch them writhe in agony as they lose control of their limbs and slip from the chair.
So, how do you create an attitude of gratitude that goes beyond just polite manners? Or constant threats? I have no idea, but here is what we are trying:
- Be role models. Michelle is way better at this than me. She writes her thank you notes very promptly.
- Make them work. We have been slowly introducing chores and the value of work to the kids.
- Expose them to the world. I think gratitude is often in direct correlation to your perspective. Exposing the girls to other cultures, people and situations may help with those childish blinders.
- Make it a habit. A dinner table conversation staple is talking about who or how we filled someone’s bucket today to try to make service and thinking of others a daily practice
- Be patient. Like a lot of parenting, it may take years before any of this truly sinks in, but you need to try.
Anyone else have things that they feel are working with their kids? I’ll take all the help I can get.
This morning I was just grateful I remembered to set the timer on the coffee pot.
After celebrating with family last night, today is all about Cecilia’s sleepover birthday party. I do have hope of getting some sleep. The invite list was limited to four close friends. I’m most worried that Ally will be the one keeping everyone up. I think she was more excited than Cecilia for cupcakes and presents last night.
The whole crew eventually meandered down and took to the couch, but each of them interacted with a different device. Technology! Bringing families together.
I ducked out to do the Saturday group run. No gloves this week! Still a long sleeve top, however. 10k with little knee discomfort. I was a happy boy.
I spent the first half the run talking with a guy that’s running on Monday. The weather doesn’t look promising, but we’ll be out cheering and taking photos. Still one of my favorite days of the year, rain or shine.
While I was away, the girls wasted no time in hitting up some of Ce’s birthday gifts. Doing some fashion designing, room decorating and putty making.
When I returned, Cecilia and I took Dash out for a wood’s walk. This dog legitimately smiles when he’s happy. It’s sort of weird and sort of endearing in equal parts.
Then it was time for one more splash lesson for Allison.
Poolside might be Ce’s favorite place to read. No picture makes me happier.
The rest of the day was spent prepping for the big party. Cecilia had been prepping in her mind for weeks, but finally, the day was here. First she was allowed to pick a lunch place and we couldn’t say no. You could see this one coming.
Then it was off to the library to pick out some movies to watch in addition to the girl’s sleepover required Descendants. You never get too old for trains.
Ce and I are doing the duolingo Spanish app together. She was excited to find Spanish books at the library to check out.
After lunch, it was party decorating and trying to get the kid’s to chill out until the guests arrived. Eventually, we managed to get Ally to lay down for a very rare nap. She does not wake up well. We’ve taken to letting Dash go in and wake her up first. He’s got the touch.
This is the fourth year we’ve done a home-based party for Ce and Michelle has it down to a science. This was actually the most low key prep one yet. I baked some molten chocolate cupcakes last night, but for the party itself I didn’t need to bake, she wanted a sundae bar.
Dash and I took one last opportunity to escape. It’s key to tire him out prior to any visitors coming over. Since our house doesn’t include a secure panic room, we also strategized on where best to find sanctuary from the party.
Soon the doorbell rang and the girls started arriving. Pizza before candy. We’re not animals.
If you follow along at all to these Saturday posts, you can probably guess what’s coming next….crafts, dance party charades and a move.
The girls were too buzzed to stay still for any dance photos. I was also too scared to actually go down in the basement due to the high pitched squeals.
Then it was time for ice cream. I’ve never seen such polite young ladies suddenly turn feral and attack a candy spread. Thankfully, for us, and their own stomachs, no one ate their whole bowl.
They look ready for bed, right?
So tonight I’m grateful that a nine-year old had a good birthday weekend. Also, I had 11-12 a.m. slot in the parent’s when-will-they-actually-fall-asleep pool. I still have a shot at winning!