Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Materialism starts early

I am blessed with 2 adorable children in my family, a niece who is 6 and a half going on 20, and a nephew who is content to be 3. They have the same parents and have grown up in the same environment, but they could not be more different!

My niece is very spirited, that's a nice term for her I guess! She is known for her wild hair, loud personality and very specific sense of style. She knows what she likes and what she wants and no one can persuade her otherwise. While this is a challenge for her parents, I know that it will serve her well when she is older. {I am told that she is a lot like I was at that age, and I am a very independent woman, even a little stubborn at times.}

My nephew on the other hand, is a calm and gentle sort of kid. He smiles all the time and has a very easy going personality. He definitely has his own personality, but he shows it in quieter, more subtle ways than his big sister. He also didn't start talking until recently. The way I see it is that he never really felt like he had to. His sister talks for him and gets him everything that he needs, so why exert the effort?

Christmas this year was yet another magnifying glass on their differences. When they got to grandma and grandpa's house in the afternoon my niece went immediately to the Christmas tree and started searching for the gifts with her name on them. My nephew on the other hand, he gave everyone hugs and kisses and would have rather climbed up into grandpa's lap in the big chair and watched TV.

When my niece couldn't be kept from tearing into her presents any longer we all gathered around the tree and started handing out presents, stockings first as always. She went the quickest route and simply dumped her stocking out on the floor to see what she got. He proceeded to pull one thing at a time from his Harley Davidson stocking and examine it, some he brought to me to open for him so he could play with it right then.

When my niece had examined the contents of her stocking she was ready for the other presents, getting visibly irritated when she was told she had to wait for her little brother to be done with his stocking. After he had looked everything over and was ready for the next step we handed each child a gift to open. She ripped the wrapping off and was ready for another present before my nephew even got all the paper off his gift. It didn't take too long before he got distracted by one of the presents in his stocking and was uninterested in opening any of his other presents. My niece however, opened present after present, not even fully comprehending what each one was and was done very quickly. Seeing that her brother still had unopened presents she asked if she could open his too. She was told no, but the idea was not dropped without a fight.

Because her little brother still had unopened presents under the tree, she was convinced that he had gotten more than her and she was instantly devastated.

It amazes me just how early materialism can rear its ugly head in an innocent child's life.

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