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All I Want For Christmas is a Brand New Kid

Welcome to our four-week series!

There are probably a few things you wish you could change about your kids! Over the next few weeks we’re going to work on teaching kids appreciation.

As the holidays approach, we sense the frustration from a growing number of parents who say their kids don’t appreciate what they have, so for the next few weeks, we’re going to address that in a mini series of podcasts called Get a New Kid for Christmas.

Teaching Kids Appreciation

Let’s face it, you likely have kids who don’t want for much. Even though there are many parents out there who work hard to teach their kids to appreciate what they have, we just don’t live in a society that creates longing in our kids.

The holiday season has typically become one of trying to manufacture gratitude and appreciation in our kids by getting them to volunteer to help others. Not surprisingly, it is the most giving time of the year for all charitable groups. That’s because we feel good by giving back.

This year, however, we challenge you to do more than volunteer at the local food shelf. This year we challenge your kids to truly learn to appreciate.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to ask you to forgo Christmas!

One of the things you need to know about appreciation is that isn’t that kids don’t want to be appreciative, it’s that they’ve ever even realized that what they have is something to cherish. We’re going to help you get them to recognize that over the next few weeks.

So, here’s the deal. There are a lot of different types of appreciation. Often we encourage our kids to appreciate the food they have on the table, their warm and safe house, or the fact they get to go on vacation at least once a year. While it would be terrific to get kids to appreciate those larger concepts, we can make it a lot more real to them in the next few weeks.

For the holidays there are more tangible ways to show appreciation:

  • There’s showing gratitude by recognizing others for the nice things they do for you rather than complaining about how it’s done.
  • There’s buying people gifts you know they’ll like rather than a gift that is cheap and close to the cash register.
  • There’s realizing that a decorated tree, wrapped presents and a platter full of assorted mouthwatering cookies doesn’t appear with the wave of a magic wand.

When teaching your kids to appreciate what they have, be sure not to confuse it with gratitude. Yes, they should definitely be grateful as well, but appreciation is different. While gratitude is associated with being thankful, appreciation is about recognizing what someone else does for you. And raising a truly great kid starts with getting them to appreciate their life and the role you play in it.

So, what are you wishing for this Christmas? Which behaviors would you love to change? Let us know – we might address it on our next episode!

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