Today I've been mulling over my last post regarding our Christmas. Specifically, I've been thinking about Wedly's response to the gift giving and my comment on how much we enjoyed his attitude towards all the gifts. I hope that didn't come off as critical towards other kids that do get wrapped up in all the excitement of receiving gifts. Part of me assumes that this is just a right-of-passage...one that Wedly just hasn't reached yet, but probably is coming. I don't think that a child's attitude toward the gifts is necessarily all selfishness. I think there is something so exciting in the anticipation towards what is hidden and unknown under the tree. I can see how easy it would be for a child to want to quickly toss aside what has been opened in anticipation for what else is under the tree. Who doesn't love a good surprise? Still, there is something so beautiful about a humble spirit - one that doesn't expect a lot and is willing to wait. So, I have a question for the those of you that read this blog. What can I do to help my children keep a humble spirit all the while knowing in their hearts just how wonderful they are? I wonder, is Wedly’s attitude due in part to his experiences in an orphanage and foster home setting?
This all brings to mind a conversation I had with our adoption coordinator prior to Wedly coming home about the long flight Dan would have to endure with a toddler. I had been talking to her about how I was a little nervous with how Wedly would do on such a long flight. It’s really a lot to ask of a 3 year old. She laughed and said, “Oh, Wedly will do just fine. I don’t know what we do to these kids once they come home, but if you tried to take him on a long flight 6 months after him coming home, he would probably be a terror. I don’t know what we do to our kids, but somehow our culture ruins them.” Now, I don’t think she really means “ruin.” Just that they grow a sense of entitlement that can be difficult to deal with in certain circumstances. I’ve certainly seen first hand this play out with Wedly. And it’s a good thing, even if it is frustrating at times. I want Wedly to know to the very core of his being, that his opinion counts and that he’s important. I want him to feel safe enough with us to be willing to let us know just how he feels about things. But I also want to teach him acceptable behavior. That we expect him to express his wants and needs in appropriate ways.
Then on top of all this is the fact that above all, I want him to know the true meaning of Christmas. Sometimes I wish we could just do away with gift giving altogether, even though it is a lot of fun. It’s sad how much of the focus the gifts take. So, how do you mom’s deal with these issues? Any words of wisdom to a new mom?