I'm not sure what was in the water on Sunday, but my four daughters went from this:..to this:
I have to give them some credit - they were very good during the long (to them) sacrament meeting. However my husband informed me after I finally got home from Ward Council meeting and R.S. visits that during the game in Primary, our daughters were pouting and crying when they weren't picked for the game. Let me rephrase. They weren't picked FIRST for the game. *sigh* No tears from any other children, no pouting, no whining. But MY girls - oh yes, they had to make a scene. And this isn't the first time.
Now, we have rules at our house. We also have fun. We have consequences. We follow through. WHY are our children still insistent channeling Veruca Salt? You know, Roald Dahl came up with the name Veruca Salt from the name of a wart medicine he had sitting in his medicine cabinet. Fits well, don't you think? Something ugly that rears it's head again and again unless it's taken care of for good! Such spoiled behavior is not okay in my books, and my girls know better.
We had a little talk with each of them separately. I wanted to see why they were feeling the way they were during Primary. I wanted to see why THEY justified behaving that way. Even after our talk, I still didn't get it. WHY can't our children learn to be HAPPY for someone else's success? WHY can't they see how such behavior is really hurting themselves? WHY can't they understand how unattractive it is? Ew! We talked to them about a certain character who stomps, whines, pouts, and cries when she doesn't get her way. It didn't take long for them to figure out who we were talking about - Veruca Salt! We put on the movie for them to watch and asked them if they liked her behavior. Why didn't they? How SHOULD she have behaved? How did Charlie behave? Who is more like the Savior?
Their behavior improved by the end of the day and the spirit in our home was much more peaceful and happy. BUT I'm no dummy as to who's to blame when children behave that way. The parents. I know that. I'm trying to look objectively at how we are parenting, and making some adjustments here and there. I always thought the main reason kids are spoiled is because they are never told "no" and there are no consequences to their wrong (and right) choices. But, we DO those things. BELIEVE me, we do those things. Maybe not well enough, I don't know.
How do you KEEP your children feeling grateful and not entitled? How do you TEACH your children the JOY in humility and gratitude and SORROW in behaving like spoiled little brats? I'd love your advice on how to behave so my CHILDREN will too. *sigh* Just chalk it up to a bad, guilty mommy day.