Is christmas a good time to teach a teenager a lesson in appreciation?

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posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:06 PM
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To cut a long story short, my 16 year old daughter has not made Santa's 'Nice' list. I am considering buying her a goat/chickens/some kind of livestock for a family in Africa that will be truly grateful and appreciative of it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what I did get for her, no matter how much, or how little, thought/time/money I put into choosing a gift for her, it will not be appreciated in any way, shape or form, so what's the point? Let someone who truly needs something benefit from her lack of appreciation and let her feel what it's like to get nothing, except for someone elses thanks, for hopefully only once in her life.

When I mentioned my thoughts to a friend, she looked at me as though I had 10 heads and said, "but ... but .... but ... it's CHRISTMAS!! Maybe for her birthday but not ... omg ... not CHRISTMAS!!" Her birthday is only a few weeks after christmas.

She doesn't deserve a gift. She certainly doesn't NEED anything. There's a lot she wants but nothing she would appreciate. So what do you think ATS? Is christmas a good time to teach a lesson in appreciation?




posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:12 PM
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Yes. I stopped getting presents about that age anyway.
Teenagers shouldn't get showered in crap every Christmas. They smell bad enough as it is.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by HighMaintenance
 


I think it is a good idea and a good life lesson. Donate a gift to a very needy and worthy cause in her name; and give her a card stating what the gift is...and who it went to.

I think it should open up some much needed conversation about being grateful and how fortunate she already is.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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Maybe she's high maintenance, like her mom.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:16 PM
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i don't think the spirit of Christmas is to punish your daughter.

its a time of peace and forgiveness and family.

buying a chicken for a poor family in africa to teach her a lesson is also not in the spirit of Christmas.

to buy a chicken for a poor family in africa because you feel for their hardship and suffering is in the spirit of Christmas.

its seems both you and your daughter are suffering from the same thing.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by HighMaintenance
 


Christmas is a great time to teach a lesson on appreciation but not necessarily by not getting her anything.

You need to put her in an environment that shows her people that have nothing. Take her by the homeless shelter or somewhere they are giving gifts to poor children and let her watch the joy of what a small gift can bring to someone who has nothing.
She will have to see it with her own eyes. Television won't do.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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I'd say that Christmas is the perfect time to teach a lesson in appreciation. But I'd also say you're doomed to fail. At 16 years old it's a little late... well, a lot late. This lesson should have been life-long. And it's also taught by example. Otherwise, all you'd have to do is make her watch It's a Wonderful Life a couple of times.

You'd be surprised how much a kid learns living for 16 years with someone un-embarrassed to nickname themselves "High Maintenance." Just sayin....



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by TinkerHaus
 


More a goal than a screen name



Originally posted by randomname
i don't think the spirit of Christmas is to punish your daughter.

its a time of peace and forgiveness and family.

buying a chicken for a poor family in africa to teach her a lesson is also not in the spirit of Christmas.

to buy a chicken for a poor family in africa because you feel for their hardship and suffering is in the spirit of Christmas.

its seems both you and your daughter are suffering from the same thing.


Yes, this is my dilemma. Although we aren't religious, and we don't 'celebrate' christmas, I do agree with the 'spirit of christmas'. and you are right, I would be doing this to teach her a lesson but more than that would be to help a family in Africa, it's where I'm from and I've seen that suffering first hand, I do donate to charities such as the one I'm considering on a regular basis, and not just at christmas.


Originally posted by TheLieWeLive
reply to post by HighMaintenance
 


Christmas is a great time to teach a lesson on appreciation but not necessarily by not getting her anything.

You need to put her in an environment that shows her people that have nothing. Take her by the homeless shelter or somewhere they are giving gifts to poor children and let her watch the joy of what a small gift can bring to someone who has nothing.
She will have to see it with her own eyes. Television won't do.


A good idea, and something I will definitely look into. Perhaps a day of volunteering instead of roast goose.

This is more about teaching her to be appreciative of what she does have, to stop taking things for granted as much as she does and as Caladonea said, to make her realise just how fortunate she is.


Originally posted by Ex_CT2
I'd say that Christmas is the perfect time to teach a lesson in appreciation. But I'd also say you're doomed to fail. At 16 years old it's a little late... well, a lot late. This lesson should have been life-long. And it's also taught by example. Otherwise, all you'd have to do is make her watch It's a Wonderful Life a couple of times.

You'd be surprised how much a kid learns living for 16 years with someone un-embarrassed to nickname themselves "High Maintenance." Just sayin....


Believe me this battle has been raging for many years, I don't want to go into the ins and outs of her behaviours and my sanctions on those behaviours. I know there have been mistakes made in my parenting techniques, and once I realised them, quite a few years ago now, I rectified it. Her inability to reason, lack of appreciation and sense of entitlement astound me, because it's so far removed from my own way of thinking. I can honestly say 'I don't know where she gets it from?'
My eldest daughter who is nearly 21 is the complete opposite, she takes on board what I advise, whether she uses that advice or not, learns from what she sees, and for most of the time, is a pleasant, loving person. Her sister who grew up with the same mother, in the same house with the same rules, has been taught by example, she just refuses to learn the lesson.

The fed up part of me wants her punished, the loving mom, wants her to grow up to be a good person.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:08 PM
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At Christmas? No. It will only make things worse and ruin an otherwise lovely holiday. She is a teenager and I am sure she would appreciate a gift of clothing, make-up, music, jewelry, gift certificate for the movie theatre, or something. Why do you say she won't appreciate anything? If that is truly case then I like the idea someone mentioned about bringing her to a homeless shelter to let her see how others live so she can appreciate what she does have.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by HighMaintenance
To cut a long story short, my 16 year old daughter has not made Santa's 'Nice' list. I am considering buying her a goat/chickens/some kind of livestock for a family in Africa that will be truly grateful and appreciative of it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what I did get for her, no matter how much, or how little, thought/time/money I put into choosing a gift for her, it will not be appreciated in any way, shape or form, so what's the point? Let someone who truly needs something benefit from her lack of appreciation and let her feel what it's like to get nothing, except for someone elses thanks, for hopefully only once in her life.

When I mentioned my thoughts to a friend, she looked at me as though I had 10 heads and said, "but ... but .... but ... it's CHRISTMAS!! Maybe for her birthday but not ... omg ... not CHRISTMAS!!" Her birthday is only a few weeks after christmas.

She doesn't deserve a gift. She certainly doesn't NEED anything. There's a lot she wants but nothing she would appreciate. So what do you think ATS? Is christmas a good time to teach a lesson in appreciation?


DO IT!

You would be super mom if you did this! Seriously!

I can't STAND people like that! That's the best thing you could do for her. If she's not acting thankful, there's no reason to waste money on her christmas. The African families will surely thank you... totally! do it!




posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by HighMaintenance
 


Any day is the day for a lesson in the 7 deadly sins....why Christmas....take away her computer, cell phone, TV, car and make her understand this today.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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So let me get this straight, You have a spoiled rotten 16 year old that needs to learn appreciation for what she has. You are considering buying something, in her name, to give to the needy in order to teach her to be grateful for what she has. Is this about right?

Due to the fact that all the information I have on you, your daughter, your life etc. is right there I am forced to break it down as is. Please know this is not personal and based souly on the information I have at my disposal.

If your daughter is spoiled that is your fault and regardless of what you do it is going to cause conflict rather than teach her anything. You need to take the responsibility for what you taught her, either by example or not stepping up as a parent and recognizing the attitude when it began. You should have sat her down and explained it to her a long time ago. As soon as you saw this attitude beginning you should have done a Mother/Daughter volunteer at the local soup kitchen(or similar program and if one isn't in your area you could have created one) for the needy not waiting until now to do something for those in need to teach a lesson well overdue, but what you should have done does you no good now as that time has passed.

So what to do now? The lack of appreciation and gratitude for what she has is because she takes thing for granted. I would suggest you sit down and communicate with her. Tell her what the issue is and take responsibility for your action or lack there of and apologize for helping her along in this course. During this conversation inform her you are removing from her possession the things she values the most and limiting her time with friends and replacing it with community service. In return you should give her the choice of the same number of things you took from her that she can take from you(Obviously non detrimental to the family unit and its safety) and you should be doing the community service with her. This will show her that you are not above your responsibility and instead of beginning a festering conflict(above what may already be there) it will strengthen your connection with her. The things that were taken from each other then becomes your Christmas presents to each other. In other words use this time as an exercise in lenten practices rather than Christmas. By all means though when Christmas arrives celebrate Christmas, but I would make it a rule that your gifts to each other, above the returning of what you already had, be made by hand by yourselves for each other from things you already have in the house.

This is just my opinion as I am not facing this situation with my own. I'm not saying mine are better at all, mind you, we have our own conflicts and lessons they refuse to learn, so please don't think this is coming from a "Holier than thou" attitude I just learned long ago that I need to take responsibility for not teaching my children what they need sooner rather than later. I hope what ever you choose to do works out for you and your Daughter.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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Not at Christmas, any other time but not a Holiday, birthdays are good for it especially if she forgets other peoples birthdays.
Maybe she should have to start paying some of her own expenses.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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We did that with our teenagers when they were at that horribly unappreciative and obnoxiously entitled stage... To a point...

What we did was:

We went to the mall and as a (blended) family, we had our kids pick two of the "Christmas Angels" on the "Christmas Angel" (charity) Tree. We told them that we were going to help these kids have a wonderful Christmas this year, instead of getting family presents, that were "nice to have" stuff we didn't actually need. Our kids picked out a little boy and a preteen girl, not related, some additional details I won't share, not many, but but suffice it to say, these kids were very much in need of some TLC.

We also told our family gift exchange organizers the same thing - we were not going to participate because we were going to take care of some children in need, instead of participating in the family gift exchange.

Then we went shopping, with our teens, and let them pick out the stuff from the "Christmas Angels" lists, that we would purchase. We set a $250 limit, and told our teens they each had to stay within the limit. They each wanted to slightly exceed the limit, so we told them, if they did, it would come out of their own gifts, which were going to be minimal, already, because we had decided to do this, as a family. They chose to go ahead and add the extra items anyway, knowing they would not get any big or even medium sized ticket items, themselves.

We took all the goodies back to the "Christmas Angel" booth, and signed them in.

We sent cards to the family gift exchange, to let them know that we had taken care of 2 Christmas Angels, in the family's name.

We went to the board game store, in the mall, and bought a couple of small items for our own kids, wooden and metal puzzles, a "Chocolopoly" monopoly game, and some new PJ's. when Christmas day came, we stuffed the stockings with the little stuff, and put the PJ's and the board game under the tree. We spent Christmas day playing "Chocolopoly", eating popcorn, and drinking hot chocolate. We also talked about how we felt about helping those Christmas Angels, we knew their names, ages, genders, etc. We all agreed we felt pretty good about it.

We didn't make a big huge deal to our teens about how this was supposed to teach them a lesson, but they seemed to get the point. Subsequent holiday seasons were MUCH improved! We have continued the tradition to this day, of doing some kind of "Christmas Angel" or "Adopt-a-Family" each year.

Good luck with your teens! It is a tough time.

Regards,
Gwynnhwyfar
edit on 15-11201211-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: Clarifying the nature of reduction of "normal" gifting that year.
edit on 15-11201211-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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No offense but.
That sounds a little "mommy dearest".

Of course, I don't know what she did to get on Santa-s bag-of-coal list.

you could go a little half and half on this.
Get her something, but also give to another on her behalf.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
No offense but.
That sounds a little "mommy dearest".

Of course, I don't know what she did to get on Santa-s bag-of-coal list.

you could go a little half and half on this.
Get her something, but also give to another on her behalf.


Yeah, that's not a bad idea.

Whatever you were planning to spend on your daughter OP, tell her she can only have something of half that value, and the other half of the money goes to a family in need. That may be a little less traumatic than cutting her off cold turkey.

Sorry for coming off the way I did on my first post, but ungrateful people REALLY piss me off!




posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by HighMaintenance

Originally posted by XxNightAngelusxX

Originally posted by spacedoubt
No offense but.
That sounds a little "mommy dearest".

Of course, I don't know what she did to get on Santa-s bag-of-coal list.

you could go a little half and half on this.
Get her something, but also give to another on her behalf.


Yeah, that's not a bad idea.

Whatever you were planning to spend on your daughter OP, tell her she can only have something of half that value, and the other half of the money goes to a family in need. That may be a little less traumatic than cutting her off cold turkey.

Sorry for coming off the way I did on my first post, but ungrateful people REALLY piss me off!





I tend to agree with spacedoubt and XxNightAngelusxX.

After considering your response to my post, I was reminded of my boss. He has two daughters still at home (one starting college, kind-of still at home; and one just starting high school). The older one is, and has been as long as I've known her, the sweetest, kindest, and most thoughtful girl you ever met. The younger one is, and acts, shallow and spoiled--you might say "high-maintenance." (I only mention this to reinforce your assessment of your own situation.)

So I think spacedoubt's idea may be the way to get the most bang for your buck, given the situation. Worth a try....



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


I really like this. And this is why I posted in ATS, I knew I'd get flack for wanting to do this, but my motives were honourable even if my method left a bad taste, for me too. I also knew I'd get a great alternative like this. I should have mentioned that she is still going to get her stocking, it's not huge but it is enough to fill with a few make up bits, earrings, sweets, whatever, it's the big gift I feel she doesn't deserve. My problem is that I was looking at it from a place of anger, definitely not going to teach appreciation and gratitude when it's taught with spite. Thank you for the reminder.

Will definitely also look into taking her volunteering with me, most places will only take volunteers over 18, but I'm sure I'll find something suitable.






posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 12:59 AM
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Just my tuppence here, but If you are going to do it, even the 50/50 split, perhaps you could get her involved in choosing who gets all/part of here gift?

I can't help but feel by doing it on her behalf you are taking her choice away, you never know there might be some charitable organisation she does support and might want to help, if there isn't perhaps getting her to look to see where she would like the money spent might help her find one she does support.

But more importantly in my opinion is she would bare some of the responsibility of the choice, which could negate any bitterness she might feel towards you for this, as I can't help but feel the last thing you want Christmas morning is a very bitter and resentful child.

Wishing you well



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by HighMaintenance
 


She sounds like a normal teen. Dont worry, she will come around in a few years, and be ashamed of how she acted. But I think your idea is a bad one. Christmas is a time of love and giving, and coming together. The lesson in giving and appreciation is good, but not at her expense. Go ahead and teach the lesson, have her give to someone who is in need. But follow through by demonstrating your own unconditional love for her. She will outgrow this stage and be a lovely, decent appreciative young woman. But she will never forget if you deprive her of Christmas. Kids need Christmas. We all do.

All teens are required to at least appear to hate everything that relates to the parents. The real kid inside loves you and is taking note of all the things you do. It will come up again when she is in her 20s.

Tip from the mother of 3 for a perfect gift- a pre-paid Visa card. She will thank you for letting her pick out her own clothes.





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