Setting aside the general assumptions made about children who attend public schools, let's think for a moment how many other ways that money could be used. Supplies for the school, playground equipment, sponsoring some sort of assembly or guest that the kids might learn from and enjoy, let the kids come up with gift ideas for kids who are in need...the list goes on. I'm sure there are families at her school that will welcome the gift, but our family isn't one of them.
Debra and I both have been working on teaching Sofie about giving and sharing instead of acquiring more things. In so many ways, Sofie has a huge heart. She's compassionate, loving and gets pleasure out of helping people. So what is it about "stuff" that makes her turn into a big selfish brat?!?! Debra thinks it goes back to her orphanage days and not having stuff. That may be true to some extent but I think it has to do with the fact that we SPOIL her. I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to giving Sofie too much stuff. It started early and it's apparent it's going to be a hard habit to break.
Over the past couple of years while dealing with illness and other stuff, I've gotten into a space where "things" don't matter and I'm tired of all the clutter those items cause. It's partly spiritual, it's partly a change in a way of life. It's the way I'm
This morning became a battle of wills on the subject. In my quietest, most sincere voice I attempted to explain to Sofie that she's a kid living a great life and that there are so many other kids who, through not fault of their own, live in situations that might cause them to not have a happy holiday season. (As I was saying some of this stuff I was hoping beyond all hopes that she didn't say, "Why doesn't Santa just bring them toys!!"...luckily that thought didn't occur to her. Whew, I escaped that one by the skin of my teeth!!) In the the over dramatically way that she can be, tears welled up in her eyes and she said in a long drawn out moan...NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Theatrics at it's best! Well, that just annoyed me, so the quiet, sincere mom clammed up and the loud, self-righteous one reared her ugly head. After getting nowhere, I sent her upstairs to start breakfast while I got dressed.
While downstairs I heard stomping, slamming and arguing. I guess she'd told Debra of my evil plan to give away all of her toys...well, one of them anyway! After getting dressed, I went upstairs to continue the lecture. She argued, but didn't have any good points...it was mostly selfish. My point was that we could let Santa know that instead of the gifts she was supposed to get from him, she decided that she'd rather have the ONE gift from the Duke students and to please give those gifts to kids who were nicer and needed them more than she did. (Manipulative, yes. Effective...yet to be determined.) Bottom line, she WILL give up that toy to Toys for Tots or something like that. Will she learn a lesson from it? Again, yet to be determined. All I can say is we're trying to create a giving person instead of a selfish, wanting little person. Maybe it's too much for a 7 year old, but at this point my will is stronger than hers and I'll win this one!
Was I too harsh? Will she forgive me? I told her to tell her therapist tonight that Mama Jamie was evil and making her give away a toy! She laughed and glared at me in a fake evil look. At least that'll take some of the focus off of Debra's illness. I can be the bad mom, I can take it!