Christmas is HERE....Ready or not! For the most part, we are ready. Started reading the Christmas stories a few weeks ago. The kids are well versed in their knowledge of stables=barns and inn=hotel...a la...Holiday Inn. Jesus is the reason for the season and all of the wonderful things that we teach our kids. But they most definitely learn from what they see and are exposed to as well. We talk about lots of things.....then there is what we do.
I will personally admit that my focus has been on gifts. Who have I bought for, who will I buy for and what is left to "find" for the kids. Every day the email is filled with sales ads and the mailbox full of deals. I seriously did not realize until yesterday how off my focus has been.
Ethan has already seen Santa once this Christmas. That visit was SO successful that I plan to track down any Santa in a 30 mile radius for another visit. Well, yesterday Santa was at the High School here.
Let's Go Kids!!!
We came home from Church, freshened up and of we went. As we waited in line, Freddie talked with Ethan and Ansley about using their manners and how to nicely ask Santa for a gift. This was Ansley's first visit with Santa so we didn't know how it would go. As we got closer and closer to Santa, she got increasingly excited. She was not afraid a bit. Typical Ansley. She is Bold and Fearless. She scares us a little. We joke that one day she will take over....followed by nervous glances that we may be speaking the truth.
We were next in line as Freddie tells Ansley to ask for her gift but to also ask for Peace on Earth.
"What?! No Peace on Earth! I want a Princess Kitchen! A PRINCESS KITCHEN DADDY!" Yes, she is 2 years old and a few people laughed along with us. But it got me thinking. What are we really teaching our kids? I feel confident that we have good kids. They are generally well mannered and typically the best behaved kids in any group. They are well behaved because I mean what I say and do not soft parent them. I do not negotiate and beg my kids to behave. If we go somewhere and a certain behavior is expected, we have our "Come to Jesus" meeting before we get there. They know that if they act up there will be consequences. I do not spank them....torture seems to have a more lasting effect. Loss of computer time and all day Fox News or Daddy's 'Hits from the 70's' will do the trick. Loss of playdoh and trips to McDonald's is also a favorite consequence. We have a system and it works for us. We understand the expected behavior and the rewards or loss of privileges. Freddie and I also try to be careful to not set the kids up for failure and to be reasonable in our expectations. If we are skipping nap time with Ansley to go somewhere, we know that we are rolling the dice on behavior. We know that if we are going to a place that has scared Ethan in the past, that we need to be reasonable in the amount of time we are there, if he is stressing. Always looking for a balance.
But the Santa visit was an eye opener. We can all stand to take another look at what we are teaching our kids. I dare to say that no one has it truly figured out. Even with the best of intentions, our kids ultimately want the *Prize.* Maybe we need to re-evaluate what the *Prize* really is.
Sorry Ansley, it is not pink with cooking utensils.