Chris prompted some cool thinking on my last post about half-birthdays. I kept writing and writing a comment and decided this is a better post than comment so thanks, Chris!
I think one of reasons I double think the half birthday is that I’m not entirely sure its ok to appease JD with a gift just because he didn’t get one when the girls did. I want the kids to be able to celebrate each other on their birthdays–which they do very well. So yes, JD and Annaliese need to learn to be ok with NOT getting a present just because Maddie gets one on her day. We haven’t been doing “consolation prizes”. In life, they will not always get something nor deserve to get something just because someone else does. There is no “fair” as a general life rule. It’d be nice but its not always a reality. The “struggle” in all this, and Chris is right we’re probably over thinking it, is that I’d like to teach my kids that its not a bad thing to want something and not get it. We tell the kids there is nothing wrong with being hungry. They don’t have to be consumed by a craving–a skill Mom has not mastered by the way. I want them to learn delayed gratification skills i.e. praying over a desire, saving, making choices between two wants. I didn’t as a child. I whined and pouted until my mom couldn’t take it anymore. She was often tired from her Diabetes and Depression and rather than argue with me, she’d give in. Which was fine for the moment but didn’t serve either of us well later. At the same time, I don’t want to frustrate or exasperate them by withholding things just for the sake of withholding them–rethinking the “no”.
Now seriously, my kids lack NOTHING. So this is not REALLY a dilemma. I just want to raise grateful, responsible, generous kids who don’t feel entitled to get whatever they want simply because they want it. Its just not a good enough reason.