The Pink Shoes Syndrome

It’s back to school time again. A lot of kids are actually in school that first day is over and they’re settling into the routine of learning. My oldest daughter goes to Kindergarten this year, she still hasn’t started school yet. The district apparently wanted to wait till the last possible moment to get kids going. It’s killing me! Seeing all the kids pictures on Facebook of their first day of school is just rubbing it in that we aren’t in yet.

All the back to school clothes commercials saying that no one cares about going back to school and learning they only care about what you’re wearing on that first day. This is our first year entering the public school system so my daughter doesn’t realize most kids get brand new clothes for school. I’ve purposefully kept her in the dark about it. I don’t feel like going in and spending a bunch of money on clothes, it’s really a combination of laziness and frugality. Which brings me to the meat of this post, what I now call the pink shoe syndrome. Here’s what it is:

When I was teaching Kindergarten I had a really neat student who came from a large family (6-8 kids). The parents were well educated, the dad worked for NASA and the mom was a certified teacher, who stayed home. You would never know they had any money though. They drove an older huge van and their clothes while nice were nothing extreme or fancy. Their house was their first house they ever bought. This family was frugal you could tell. This little boy came into school one day and was beaming! I should mention here that he was the youngest of the family. He had just received his sisters hand me down pink tennis shoes! He proudly showed them to his friends who gave them the admiration they deserved. I sat watching amazed that this little boy could be so excited for old pink shoes. I realized then I wanted to emulate whatever this family was doing. I wanted my kids to be excited for the hand me down, old, pink shoes.

How do I go about teaching my children about the pink shoe syndrome? That’s my dilemma. And it’s not just being excited about things that aren’t brand new that I’m looking for, I want them to be genuinely happy for the things they receive. I feel that if they are going to be happy in their life they have to be happy with what they have. Not to be envious about what the other girls around them are wearing.

How do you teach your children to be grateful?


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