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our gifts, of the sheer luxury of comfort in which we live every day. But how do we teach someone to feel gratitude? By definition, gratitude is simply a feeling of thankfulness. And my kids know how to say thank you. But there is a difference between good manners and truly appreciating the fact that we have clean water and safe streets, let alone the latest Lego set. They need gratitude.

Sarah Milligan Is There an App for This? So I try to nurture it, with various tactics, and with varying degrees of success and failure. Encouraging my kids to be grateful. Reminding them to be grateful. And, admittedly, some dodgier methods too: lecturing, first of all, the old “you really need to appreciate your things more because lots of kids in the world don’t have blah blah blah…” And the classic guilt trip “Children are starving in Third World countries and you are whining about not having a blah blah blah…” is always a good one. And finally, threats: “If you don’t start appreciating your blah blah blah I will have to send it to some kid who will appreciate blah blah blah…” And on it goes. In the end, all my words result in the same thing: kids who still have no idea how lucky they are, with a mother who nags them a lot. And somewhere along the way I begin to question the point of the entire mission. If I have resorted to lectures, guilt trips and threats, surely I am over-riding any potential benefits of a grateful attitude? And if I get this cranky trying to adjust my kids’ attitude, is there something wrong with mine? But beyond that, is it fair of me, in the first place, to expect my children to feel gratitude in the way I think they should? In fact, the gratitude I want them to feel is actually the gratitude I myself feel. Gratitude on their behalf. And that is really all about me. So I will concentrate on my own attitude and leave it at that, leading by example, speaking my gratitude every day. Hopefully, they’ll grow into theirs.

Something for everyone! 5 8 0 J O H N S O N S T. V I C T O R I A , B C . 2 5 0 - 3 8 8 - 7 0 2 2 . B A G G I N S S H O E S . C O M

Christmas Eve Family Services Dec. 24 (Saturday) 4:30 pm:

Early family celebration with carols, nativity story, drama and a real llama. Kids can dress up as an angel, shepherd or Magi! Don’t have your own costume? We’ll supply one for you.

First Met United Church 932 Balmoral Road (Quadra & Balmoral) 250-388-5188 ext 221

7:30 pm:

Carols in the Candlelight

11:00 pm:

Candlelight Service

Kids’ Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Special Services:

short wait list • intravenous sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is grateful to her children for the joy they inspire, not to mention the endless writing fodder.

206–1830 Oak Bay Ave

250-383-2133 December 2016  37

Island Parent December 2016  

Gift & Book Recommendations

Island Parent December 2016  

Gift & Book Recommendations