Last year was pretty rough in terms of my boys being expectant. Ripping through gifts like they were nothing, looking at them for only a moment and then asking what else. This year, yes they improved a little bit – but their attitude was still not as caring as I wanted it to be. So this new year I want to teach them both a lesson in being ungrateful.

I know that I am not alone in how I felt this year, sad that my kids were taking so much for granted. Curious and wondering if we ever made our parents feel this way during the holidays – or if this is a symptom of our children’s generation.

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How will I get my kids to learn a lesson in being ungrateful?

  1. PURGE – I am taking a lesson from the minimalists and purging a bunch of our stuff come the New Year. I want to think about less things and I have too many things and they have too many things. Enough things to toss, donate and sell out of our lives.
  2. VOLUNTEERING – Get them to find something they are interested in and see if there is a way they can volunteer (my boys are still young but I am going to try and find what I can – this may work better for others) in that field or whatever.
  3. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT – This is something that is important to help kids realize they need to contribute positively to their communities. Even if that means just cleaning up trash at their favorite local parks or trails each week, or helping a neighbor with some snow clearing.
  4. CHORES – Giving my kids more at home responsibilities will make them better people. I will have done my job if they can leave my home knowing how to use a washing machine, cook basic meals and clean up after themselves without having to be asked. Maybe bribed but I will take what I can get as a parent to kids still in the single digits.
  5. FAMILY MEETINGS – I want to make this a monthly thing where we talk about the things we can do as a family to make all of our lives better and easier. Maybe that means talking about dropping an after school activity or an idea on how we can do something fun as a family and give back to our communities.
  6. SWEAR JAR – My boys… well one of my boys has developed quite the mouth but he is also not someone who makes money to put into a typical swear jar. This is why I will be creating my very own swear/chore jar. Each time he is caught swearing he will have to pull a chore from the jar, a chore that can’t be used towards his allowance total at the end each week.

These 7 things I hope will help our kids get back on track in the empathy and manners department. Either way it looks like my house is going to be a lot cleaner which makes this whole idea a win/win for sure.

Where your kids a little ungrateful this year??

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