Help me help my kid
February 11, 2014 9:41 AM Subscribe
Kid BlahLaLa, an enormously charming, wonderful and sweet 10-year-old boy, is also greedy as all get-out. Help me find ways to open his eyes about his/our incredible good fortune so he can get his birthday present request list into proportion.
posted by BlahLaLa to Society & Culture (49 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
About our family: We're middle class, or even lower middle class. We struggle a bit when it comes to finances here and there. We definitely have to keep an eye on money all the time. We are not shy about telling Kid we don't have money for certain things. At the same time, because of some family connections and other good luck, we've been able to participate in some amazing experiences (vacations and the like) and receive amazing gifts (Kid received a MacBook Pro) that don't necessarily correlate to our actual financial status.
About the kid: Bright, intelligent, really a nice guy. He's just got his standards out of whack.
We already do charitable giving. We attend an urban public school, so we have friends with markedly less money than we do, and Kid knows lots of other kids who live in shabbier surroundings and get small birthday gifts. When we give to Kiva, Kid helps me pick out who the recipient will be, and he definitely knows that some people in the world live in poverty, are suffering, etc. But it's definitely something that is happening elsewhere, in his mind.
Now Kid's birthday is coming up, and his list of preferred gifts is an absurdity. There's nothing on it less than $200. He'd also like a particular party set-up that would cost a lot - but isn't interested in doing the fun party experience and skipping the presents. He wants it ALL. A couple of weeks of talking about it with him isn't cutting it - he isn't getting it.
How can I help him grow his understanding here, his empthy, his comprehension of the world and his place in it, and how this all applies to a birthday gift list? Do I take him to skid row? Do we volunteer at a soup kitchen? Is there a book we should be reading? Or a website to visit, a film to watch?
We're in Los Angeles, if there are any city-specific ideas you have.