Saturday, August 20, 2011


How do you teach a two year old to be grateful?  Is it just a two year old thing???  We give our daughter all that she needs.  And sometimes more.  We have been effected by this horrible economy but we are living OK.  I have no complaints.  Well I do, I am human, but I have a nice apartment, food on the table and clothes on our back.  My husband and I have jobs that pay the bills and I am lucky enough to go back to school and get a grant to pay for it all.  So I am very grateful for those things, sometimes I don't show it, but I am.  Now how do I teach my daughter to be thankful for what she has? 

We went to the mall the other day and I usually don't have enough cash on me to go on the train.  Well when we went the other day I had just enough $8.  The train cost $6 so I put her on the little merry go round for a buck.  Well when we were walking to get to the train we passed this jumpy thing.  You know the one where they put you in a harness and you jump.  Well shes done it twice before and loves it.  It was $7.  So do I pay $7 for the jumpy thing, where she barely even jumps for five minutes or pay $6 to go on the train. I choose the train.  Well Zoe was happy about the train but then threw a whiny fit because she couldn't go on the jumpy thing. 

That then started a talk about how she should be grateful that we could go on at least one of those things.  I told her repeatedly that I did not have enough money to do the two of them and usually she understands but lately if its not her way its no way.  If she doesn't get the toy she wants then all hell breaks lose and if I am with my mom ten to one she will get the toy because my mom is with us.  So that brings me back to how do I get my two year old to see how lucky she is?  How do I teach her that life lesson? I've asked people at work and no answer.  So does anyone have a good way on here to teach their kid how to be grateful for the little things in life?  Or do I just have to wait until she is a little bit older?


  1. Sounds like Z has the two year old "I wants".. Jj went through it also.. And occasionally he'll try to pull it now @ 4.5..... What I've done is pu my foot firmly on the ground and stand my ground when I say no to jj. He knows that wasting food is a sin because of all the kids who wish they had the food he was throwing out. He knows that if his toys aren't picked up at the end of the day they'll be sent to some kid who will appreciate them. It's never too early to start telling them about the way the world is. It will make them appreciate what they have.

    I've started the 3S's jars for jj. Save. Spend. Share. Each week I'll give him $5 and he gets to decide whether he wants to save for something, spend it on something then & there, or share with an organization. If he chooses to spend it, he knows that once it's gone, it's gone. And he'll have to wait til next week for another $5. Once he saved up $50 and said he wanted to spend it on tokens @ chuck e cheese.. What did I do? I just got the $10 for $20 worth of tokens coupon from the Gazette, and saved the rest.. He has $32.67 in his Share jar which is going to deaf children at the end of the year.

    I guess what I'm trying to suggest is to start this system with Z, and if she really wants the train, she'll have her own $ to spend and once it's gone, it's gone. Worked with jj.. I don't know how it'll be for anyone else..

    Good luck!!

  2. Partly I think I think it is just Zoe being 2. I read a book once that said 2 year olds and teenagers have tons in common. They are selfish and moody and driven by their "wants". It's an age thing but it can be worked on. I have Ava and Ethan actively help me go through their toys and clothes every now and then and decide which ones to give to the "kids who have no toys/clothes". They then help me take them to the local charity house. I also give them money every Sunday that they themselves get to put in the offering basket at church. Also like Ally if they don't take care of the toys they have I simply take them away. After a week or so without their favorite toy they learn to take care of it when they earn it back.
    With Ava visual learning really helps. She's seen the kids walking around the downtown rescue mission area and asked me about them so I explained it to her. Maybe find some sort of simple charity thing Zoe can participate in. Like at Christmas we do the angel trees and I have the kids pick out a child from the tree to buy a gift for instead of them buying gifts for Tom and I. They love to pick out and wrap and then give the gift :)


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