When I say “Talk amongst yourselves”, I’m not just channeling Linda Richman, I’m also warning you that I’m about to rant and though you might not agree with me you’re welcome to… talk amongst yourselves.
I’ve come to the conclusion that watching (or rather having on in the background as I work) morning TV news is bad for my health. How can this be, isn’t staying abreast of world news, politics and red carpet fashion supposed to make you a
know it all well rounded citizen of the world? Perhaps it’s in the topics and reporting… or maybe it is those who report. Please raise your hand if you find Nancy Grace grating and Dr. Drew a douche. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two.
What got my blood boiling today wasn’t the endless loop of the Newt and Callista freak show…
but rather something so “touching” that it should have lulled me into an abnormal state of warm and fuzzy. Now, before I begin, let me just state that I love the idea of children learning empathy and how to give to those in need. In fact I try to instill these virtues into my own hatch-lings. That said, when HLN ran a story (on endless loop, naturally) of the five year old girl who “said” she wanted to give money to charity rather than get gifts for her birthday, I got a bit revved up.
What five year old would say, “No mommy, I don’t want any presents for my birthday. I have everything I need. Let us give my gifts to others in need” ? So let’s pretend for a moment that she did do this, of her own accord, with no coaching whatsoever from adults. How many of you parents out there think that when the big day came, or even five minutes after she reportedly made this generous deceleration, she still meant it? And if she did stick to her adorable empathetic guns, wouldn’t she be taking the gifts her freinds gave her to present them to said children in need of gifts? Or do you think she would show up -decked out in her pretty party dress- to present a giant novelty check, filled out with the estimated amount of the cumulative retail value of the gifts she would have received, then present this monolithic check -in front of the news cameras- to the founder of her charity of choice? Wouldn’t it be a total hoot if that founder also happened to be her grandparent? Doh!
Are we all such mopes that we buy this crap? If you’d seen the look on this little sweetie’s face you wouldn’t buy this thinly veiled yarn. Mom also added something to the effect that this year was her first party with guests from outside the family and she really wanted to give something to those who didn’t have all the things she has. Sweet sentiment, but I’m not biting. I’ve raised four kids past their 5th birthday parties, and though they’d happily give a kid in need the coat off their back, when it comes to the birthday it’s all about them.
As. It. Should. Be.
If you feel like your kids have too much, maybe do what we do. Ahead of their birthday have them choose some of their old toys to donate. Or at the holidays have guests bring food, mittens, donations for your local shelter to your annual cookie party. There are a ton of great ways to teach your kids to give back. Using them to get your mug, or the charity your family runs, on national news might not be the best way to go about it.