Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Entitlement & Ladybug fingernails

One of my goals in parenting my kids is to raise them without that spoiled brat sense of entitlement.  It seems like a wide spread epidemic of sorts.   I may not have done everything right but I know I got this one point right with our grown teenager as he is the one that calls me out when I whine or complain about the little things that get me all twisted up.    

But as a mother it is a fine line where you want to give your child everything you possibly can but you don't want to spoil them.  I had a bit of an eye opening experience a few months ago and yeah...I'm just now getting around to sharing it.  Stick with me now,,,there is a point to this story.  

Kobi's teacher just happens to be the most fun teacher you could ever have as a kid.  She had noticed that I had painted Kobi's fingernails to look like ladybugs and she invited me to the classroom to paint all the girls nails.  They were studying insects and ladybugs so we could put a fun spin on their lesson.   See, super fun teacher!  Of course I jumped at the chance.

So I ran out to the store to buy the necessary supplies.. and $5.00 later I came out with this....

Now, I will have to say that we live in an area smack in the middle of suburbia, where 99% of the children have never wanted for anything.  Most of the children in Kobi's class have a nicer wardrobe than I could ever hope for.  
 I got to her class and set up my little salon.  The girls took turns and one by one I sat there painting their little nails. I chatted a bit, but mostly listened, and these little girls were teaching more than I could ever imagined.  

The joy on their faces was priceless, they were over the top thrilled by their little ladybug nails.  But it was their words that got me.... "Do you paint Kobi's nails like this all the time?" "Kobi is so lucky that you know how to do this"  "When I grow up, I'm going to learn how to do this so I can paint my daughter's nails!" "I wish I could do this at home"  "Where did you get all of this cool stuff?"  " Do you have these things at your HOUSE?"  
 At that moment I was climbing towards "Taylor Swift" status.  I know for sure the joy on their little faces would have been the same if we were sitting in a poverty stricken orphanage.  

 It got me to thinking once again about the little things.  We all strive so hard to acquire the best of the best or to lavish our kids with all the latest crazes and gadgets. They come to expect these things like they are just a right of passage.  We deserve a fancy car or phone or computer or latest style just because everyone else has it. For $5 I had enough supplies to paint hundreds of little nails, it is time these kids want, NOT stuff.  The one thing I think we ALL crave the most is someone to take the time to see us, spend time with us, make us feel special, and take care of us.  I may not be able to give my kids the finest material things, they will have to deal with not having name brand clothes, or cell phone (unless they have earned them) in middle and high school.  But my job is to make them feel special without needing those things.   I'm sure I will have to learn more tricks than just painting fingernails, but it is a start.  

10 comments:

chksngr said...

You are such an awesome mom...and it is the time we spend with them, not the money. I'm lamenting because it just isn't in our budget this year to do a party for Jayden or Noah's birthdays. I've arranged to take some cool art kits to his class and to take him to the movies the afternoon of his birthday, trying in some way to make the day special without a party. I want him to know that for me, he hung the moon. But sometimes its hard to walk that line...

Sarah said...

LOVE this post. Try fighting this battle in Southern CA- oi. It is uphill!
Thanks for addressing things that are important and encouraging those of who are on your same path. Oh, and we will so be doing these ladybug nails on my 3 girls. Love this! :)

Kristi said...

you rock - your day of mani's will be a day Kobi's buds will remember for-evah!

and after seeing this post (my little is obsessed with Finn) she said "when I visit my friend, her Mama's gonna paint my nails too"

Jenny said...

I L-O-V-E you!!! Seriously, I L-O-V-E your heart, L-O-V-E the way your parent, and L-O-V-E your passion! You are an amazing mom and I can learn so....much from you!!! Hugs my friend!!!

Jenny said...

**YOU** sorry

fullertribe said...

I love this. I totally agree with you on all of your points. Being a blended family is ruff but our kids for sure get our time. I love going to Gabe's class and doing special things with them.

Paige said...

Love the ladybug fingernails, gotta do Madeline's. I totally agree with you with this post. Years ago one of my friend's daughters was over at our "very old" house and went home and told her Mom, "it is so much fun, they have everything" Still makes me laugh, she was talking about how much fun we had outside with their dad, Who by the way was very sick with cancer at that time. Kids notice what you do, not what you have:) We all need to learn from them don't we!!

Sarabeth Hudson said...

B just walked in and saw the photo and said, 'ooooohhhhh! I wish I had that!!!' Well, we'll just have to see about that, little lady!

Thanks for sharing - your heart and your tips! <3

MommyB said...

I love it, thanks for the reminder, we strive to teach our children to be humble, love God and others, and have respect for themselves and others and I love how even small things really add up.

Aimee and Cary said...

Amy-
Awesome post! Growing up on a dairy farm in Maine, we didn't have a lot of money, but my best and most favorite memories are the long walks my Gram took me on; I learned to identify trees, weeds, medicinal herbs, etc. My mom would craft with us and we had a great time not going to movies, Disney, etc. Caiya just asked me a minute ago to go check on our spider- we go on walks around the yard to check out flowers, leaves changing, and we have a rather large spider that we've been checking on the last week. I am so with you on this post- I want her to grow up knowing the most important thing was the time I spent pouring into her, not the things I buy or even the clothes I make her.. just time.. well spent!