Who is ready for a radical new idea?! I am about to present new ideas
about a cherished tradition, new even to myself.
This excerpt comes from my notes as I utilized the wonderful creation that is a smart phone and emailed myself a quick note while at a
birthday party for toddler-aged kids. (I know, I know, I should have been totally focused on the festivities. Please forgive me.)
“I am witnessing a rather blatant exercise in entitlement
training. I am currently standing on the proving grounds of 'How to Develop a
Spoiled Brat'. Where am I, one may ask. At a birthday party for a 5 year old
and a two year old (combined party). Family
and friends encircle the room. All presents piled are high in one corner. The
child is plopped in the middle of the room and the material worship
begins. How much better if each person held their plastic-laden,
battery-powered, migraine-producing (unless of course someone actually got the
lad a BOOK or other learning device) offering in hand. Before handing it over
as though they owed this little being something, offer an explanation of love
and encouragement and what that child means in the life of the giver.”
First of all, I am NOT trying to rain on a wonderful parade or be the party
pooper. At the same time I cannot ignore the obvious behaviors displayed at
nearly all these gatherings. Child
demands another gift, grabs the card only to fling it like a missile, tears
through the $5/roll wrapping, peeks at the plastic mold that he/she just had to
have, throws it aside, and repeats process.
Wow. I almost called myself a prude after all that. Stay with me here.
I am not against birthday parties or anything of the like. Heck,
I LOVE ‘em! I am simply cautioning against producing this entitlement mentality
that is absolutely rampant across America.
That’s all. My wife and I still
have all the fun stuff for the kids and spoil them a little bit (mostly for
me). I’m simply saying we should be
careful and take time to explain to our children why we give gifts and
Take a mental walk with me. Close your eyes...never mind, I
forgot you’re reading. Anyway, imagine the consequences!! Or should I
say...RAMIFICATIONS. The ripple effect of instilling these values into our
children could REVOLUTIONIZE our great country. Can you picture a generation of
kids who grew up to be young adults who RESPECTED OTHERS and themselves?!
I’m sure we can all agree our nation casts a much different
shadow than it did as recently as a generation ago. It would take countless hubs to discuss it
all and frankly, I don’t have all the answers to our collective ills. I like the quote, “If I had a simple answer I’d
be a politician.” No offense intended, I just thought it was funny…and true! I do know that our nation has drifted so far
from the mainland that was 1776 that we can barely see the shore, if at all.
However! If we started
adjusting the way we develop thinking in our kids (and ourselves) with good ole
traditions like gift-giving, I truly believe we are on our way to brightening