This year it is cute but a little worrisome how Michael has really gravitated to the whole gift receiving thing. I was a little worried when he went to see his first Santa (yes he likes to visit them all this year) and asked for, wait for it, 13 gifts! I found this out as Santa turned in shock to me and said that he’d asked that. I told him that Michael was confusing the gifts for Christmas and his birthday which is a few days after and made sure, in front of Santa, to tell Michael that Santa does not have time to deliver all those gifts to him. Sigh. I have unintentionally become that parent I didn’t want to be, the materialistic parent whose kids wants more things.
To think I was so worried when as a baby he didn’t “get” Christmas. Add to this the fact he does not want to come to church, it is troubling. There is hope for Michael learning gratitude and giving though. At school we had to send in money to help a little girl whose family is struggling. Each child contributed some money to buy her toys. Our family also gives through our church to a charity that helps homeless men in Montreal. It is a sock campaign and they ask families to buy thick winter socks and each family can contribute toileteries to put in. There is also a canned food drive to make Christmas baskets. Michael usually helps us either buy, assemble or bring the goods to our church to help others.
We have answered many questions about children and families who don’t have enough money to buy food, clothes or pay for necessities. I think the message is being driven home somewhat, but we need to do more. Michael is rebelling a little bit and standing his ground about he wants to believe. I commend him for speaking his mind, and understand the difficulties of church for him due to a lot of it going over his head. Still, he is still asking about God, telling me he prays sometimes and the other day asked where his rosary was. I encourage all of this without pushing. Learning gratitude and that you are part of something bigger is important for all of us and a small step towards heading in a more spiritual and helping direction.
Exceptional Parents, how do you talk about gratitude and navigate materialism in your Exceptional family? Are your children at the stage where they are aware of it? Trust me, when it happens you need to be ready with lots of patience and love to show them that true happiness comes from connecting to others, helping and being a part of the bigger whole. Until next time.
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