For the longest time I was frustrated with my daughter for not appreciating the things she had and the opportunities me and her mother would give her. We could not understand why she would always ask for more or seem like what she had been given was not enough. We would reward her for obeying the rules, we tried behavior charts with stickers for good behavior and even tried taking away toys and other privileges when she was out of line.
My wife and I would could not understand since we were able to provide more for her than either of our parents were able to provide for us. We tried explaining this and giving examples to our daughter but it just didn’t seem to sink in. It was so frustrating and we were near the end of our rope.
So one evening when my mother called and asked how things were going and explained our frustrations and with the wisdom and insight (or maybe just the ability to see the obvious that had eluded my wife and I) she stated, “That is all she has ever known”. It hit me like ice water in the middle of a sound sleep. How could she compare when this was the life she was accustomed to? It was not her fault that we had created an environment that she had become used to. Knowing this we set out a different path.
From that moment on I involved my daughter more in the charity work that I was in. I explained to her that not everyone lives the way we do. Not everyone gets birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese or gets to attend karate and dance classes. I explained to her the importance of helping those less fortunate. This has had an impact on her. We have even started to donate her toys anytime she gets new ones. Sometimes it is hard to understand our children. When it is we need to slow down and try to see the world from their perspective and it will make a world of difference.