How Do You Teach Kids Appreciation?

March 9, 2015
The original spoiled brat herself Veruka Salt. Also the name of a great Indy band!

The original spoiled brat herself Veruka Salt. Also the name of a great Indy band!

Yesterday my and my littlest dudes spent an awesome day in North Van visiting with some good friends. The sun was shining, and we sat out on my friends gorgeous front patio in their beautiful Lynn Valley neighborhood while the kids played in the creek and yard and we all laughed and talked and had a really really good day. We commented on how fortunate we are to live where we live and that we are healthy (though mildly injured) and that we have good friends and healthy parents and cool things to look forward to in our lives. I mean, yes sometimes I complain about the little things (like dirty dishes left on the table, or the milk left out etc) but really, I am appreciative of all I have.

And I like to think that I was appreciative of my life as a child as well, but maybe my parents would have to chime in on that.

Anyways….just before heading home we decided to take a short walk down to the End of Line Coffee Shop to get some ice cream with the kids which all went perfectly well until we actually got to the EOTL. And then there was a chorus of this (and not just from my kiddos)

“Mom, I want ice cream and I want two scoops, and I want this and that and that and this as well….”


“Whhhhyyyyyy can’t I have two scoops…whhhyyyyyyy???”


“Why can’t I have candy and a another treat, it’s not fair……”


“I don’t like these flavours…..whaaa….whaaaa”

You get my drift?!

Basically it was a collective chorus of whining and complaining over something that was a treat to begin with. GAH!

(and I know you are thinking why didn’t you just say NO you can’t have the ice cream if they are complaining? Well, partly because I didn’t want to deal with the long walk home and the ensuing mega meltdown that would have occurred so maybe I am shooting myself a bit in the foot here…..)

And then for the 100000000 time I reminded them to “Thank Mommy” for the ice cream after all was said and done. Thank you’s are non negotiable and I am flabbergasted that I still need to remind them so regularly.

So how do you teach your kids appreciation? Send them to Africa? Take away their stuff? Put shock collars around their necks? HELP!

We did implement allowances a few years back and we do allow the kids to earn money by helping with extra chores around the house to help them appreciate the VALUE of money. Things I used to buy for them (like new books or special treats) I now insist that they pay for themselves. It does make them question their decisions on whether to buy said item, but I still don’t know if they appreciate it?!



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  • Reply Michelle March 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve had this post open on my computer for days waiting for a free moment to respond. Yes, I agree. My children are so fortunate to grow up and live in such a fantastic area of the world (and our city). How do you teach appreciation, while at the same time not going crazy from withholding everything (in reference to you giving your kids ice cream). I don,t know – still haven’t figured that one out!

    • Reply Christine March 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Darn! I thought you would have some advice for me 🙂 At least we have wine……

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