Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis The Season...

I love Christmas. Halloween is my all time favorite holiday, but Christmas comes in a close second. I remember as a teenager, we didn't have much, but my brother always got me what I asked for. Birthdays as well. He was cool like that. But the one thing I remember the most was the year I went door to door asking for canned goods for our food drive. I was a personable teenager, I suppose. I was always polite to my elders, held the doors open for people and usually didn't give anyone a hard time (unless they were snobby....well we won't go there...).

So why do I remember that year so much? Because the feeling it gave me. The feeling that I was doing something good. I was GIVING.

I love kids, but sometimes I just want to go door to door and not ask for canned goods this time, but to give lessons on what it means to be a good parent. Working with kids these past few months I've heard and seen a lot! How kids talk to their parents, how they treat their parents and how parents just don't seem to care. Their lack of concern isn't always bad, I just think the parents get so wrapped up in their own private issues and stop communicating. They don't discipline either. Whatever the kids want, they get. So when it comes to teaching children proper manners or respect, that falls to the people who take care of them the most. Teachers and essentially in the end, us glorified babysitters. I feel like I am mean to them a lot, but when it comes down to it, those kids respect me and I respect the heck out of them as well. I try my best not to treat them like idiots, because they aren't. They are smarter than people, especially their parents, give them credit. They just lack the skills to verbalize their emotions.

Okay, so enough of that tangent. The whole reason for this post was to talk about the giving aspect of Christmas. I had to give you a little insight to kids these days. (Yes, I realize that makes me sound ancient...) Most kids these days have developed a Greed Syndrome that just astounds me. They expect everything to be handed to them and don't seem to be thankful for it. I have to stress again that I don't believe this to be the kid's problem, but the parents. You know, those ones who are all wrapped up in themselves and forget the kids. So when the kids ask for something, rather than question it, the parent just gives in. They don't "have time" to "deal" with their children, so they do everything they can to pacify them and get on with their lives. As the kids get older, they demand more and get more.

So who is teaching those kids to give?

Not very many people, I tell ya. I think the only kids who truly understand the giving and the receiving are those who have parents who are struggling to make ends meet, the parents who haven't turned to some form of addiction to help them get by; the ones who meet these challenges head on even if they hate how their lives have turned out. There are those parents who don't have to struggle and still don't give their children everything they ask for, but these sort of families seem to be a dying breed. More often than not, I hear about children demanding something from their parents and getting super snotty when they don't get it or worse, don't say thank you when they do.

We need to teach our children the importance of giving, not just to kill that Greed thing, but so they can experience the feeling it gives them. The pure joy of knowing that they are good people and doing good things can lead to greater rewards than the latest xBox game or iPod Touch.

Merry Christmas to all of you, my unselfish friends, the ones who truly care, who give from the heart and pass their wisdom on to their own! May your new year be blessed with most of your wishes coming true, because we all know that God answers all prayers, just sometimes the answer is 'No'.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You definitely have a point! I see this in young people all the time. Wow, are they going to get a reality check with they are in their 20's.
If I don't talk to you again, you have a wonderful Christmas, Mel!

Just Wendy said...

I totally agree with you.

It's no wonder the animal kingdom sometimes kill off their young ...!

Anyway, enough about that. Merry Christmas, Mel!

Look forward to seeing you back again after the new year :)

Hart Johnson said...

This really hits home. I have one of these kids--one who melts down if she doesn't get her instant gratification dose. She told me in maybe October that her Christmas would be RUINED if she didn't get the camera she wanted--if not that, then she didn't want anything at all. TOTAL SNOTTY TANTRUM. I told her we couldln't, then she said she'd contribute and she gave me some money from her bank account and gave up allowance through Christmas... so I went ahead and bought it (found a really good deal on Black Friday--still a lot, but she paid for about half)... but in the mean time, hubby and I decided no gifts for us. We don't have the money and so--to us, it's not that big a deal.

Daughter came in to talk to me the other night CRYING about what a selfish brat she's been and she doesn't want the camera--she wants us to get presents too. A little bitter sweet, but I think FINALLY she gets it. (she is 15)