A Self-Centered Young Woman Adjusts Her Behavior After Her Mother Becomes Weary of Her Dramatics and Creates a Teaching Moment.

Hardworking waitress Ellen takes care of her daughter Kiara with love and dedication. Despite financial problems, Ellen tries to satisfy Kiara’s needs and wants. However, as Kiara approaches adolescence, her attitude begins to change and her demands become more extravagant.

Ellen and her husband Joe, an electrician, work hard to make ends meet, but Kiara’s rising expectations and lack of gratitude begin to strain their family dynamic. Ellen remembers the simpler times when Kiara was a joyful child and cherishes the moments of innocence and happiness they shared.

Waitress pouring for table | Source: Pexels

Kiara, Ellen’s child, is being cared for by her waitress mother, Ellen.

But Ellen reaches her breaking point when her ingratitude fuels her tantrums. In an attempt to teach her child a lesson on her birthday, she does.

I’m a waitress so I know what everyone’s standard orders are. I know what they like to eat, how they like to eat it, and what they would rather have instead of soggy tomatoes or fatty bacon.

But the one thing I don’t seem to know how to do is get my child to be more positive.

Person holding bedroom door handle | Source: Pexels

Kiara, my daughter, is almost fourteen years old. She was a cute little kid before puberty hit and the adolescent attitude hit her like a freight train. She finds it embarrassing that my husband Joe works as an electrician and I am a waitress.

She wants us to be the stylish, up-and-coming parents who will give her all her heart’s desires, including extravagant and ridiculous gifts, without having to struggle to make ends meet.

You see, Kiara is not exactly the most appreciative child when it comes to the gifts we give her for Christmas and birthdays. Tantrums are not uncommon; they are typically accompanied by threats and a charming “I don’t want to see you!” as she slams the door to her bedroom.

Child making cookies | Source: Unsplash

It was only natural that this behavior would hurt us because Joe and I were used to giving everything to Kiara. We have made every effort to accommodate her requests.

But the reality is that we missed a small child making us breakfast and sprinkling breadcrumbs or flour around the kitchen. It was the cutest thing for us.

She mumbled, “Sorry, Mom,” her bottom lip quivered as I discovered the mess.

I would give her a big hug, kiss her cheeks, and adore her just the way she is.

But when she grew up, everything was different.

One evening at dinner, a week before her birthday, Kiara made a shocking revelation.

Angry girl | Source: Unsplash

“Mom,” she said. “I’m dying to have a purse. The fancy one her parents gave Sophie for her birthday. Every girl begs her parents to get one. It’s going to be something we do.”

This girl meant a flashy handbag when she said that. I mean high-end goods that exceed both our monthly rent and most likely our groceries. Joe and I couldn’t afford it, I knew it.

When I made cookies for Joe a few days before her birthday, Kiara came to me.

“Mommy,” she said as she nudged the sultanas I was incorporating into the mix. “How’s the birthday present going? A purse, right?

You know we can’t afford it, baby. Simply put, we don’t have that much money on hand. Would you like something else instead?

Birthday cake | Source: Pexels

“No! As you said.” Kiara burst into tears. “You promised to make it easier for me to get along with schoolgirls. I don’t blame you for choosing this life for us! Ellen, hurry up.”

When Mom wanted to get mad at Joe and me, she had an annoying tendency to call us names.

“Kia,” I shouted. This is the result of life situations. You must be grateful for everything your father and I do because we do our best.”

She turned and left, giving me a challenging look. Her bedroom door slammed a moment later.

It was more than I could handle. Now the disrespect was getting to me. So I came up with a scheme. A lesson in appreciating what you already have.

Louis Vuitton backpack | Source: Unsplash

I organized Kia’s birthday cake and coffee table gift on her birthday. Joe had to go to work anyway, so I made up a story about another shift in the cafeteria. The fact is, I was curious to see Kiara’s response to her gifts when they were hidden.

Joe and I decided to do whatever it took to punish her. Although purchasing the bag significantly reduced our savings, we saw it as a learning opportunity.

I quickly put on my uniform and ran for the door when I heard her stumbling in her bedroom.

“Kiara, I have to go! I’ll see you later.” I yelled, closing the front door.

Then I went to the opposite side of the house.

Chicken and broccoli on plate | Source: Pexels

I wanted to stay there until he went to look at his presents because we had a bench under the living room window.

It wasn’t long before I heard her footsteps as a few minutes later I heard them heavy on the hardwood floorboards. Even though I knew I was as hidden as possible, I looked out the window.

Kiara’s eyes filled with excitement as she entered the living room. But her face fell and turned red when she read the note.

Kia, happy birthday. We’re sorry we can’t join you for the celebration; you have our undying love. We had to put in more overtime to pay for your birthday present. Hello mom and dad.

After that, I left her alone for the rest of the day and went to our neighbor’s house to have tea and explain my plans to Kiara.

Person washing dishes | Source: Pexels

When we met for dinner later that evening, I noticed a change in Kiara’s demeanor. She has achieved her goal, but at what cost? She spent her birthday alone.

As I handed her the plate, she smiled at me and remembered the childhood we shared.

She said, “Mommy,” as she began to eat her chicken.

“You can return the purse.”

“Why would we do that?” Joe asked, winking at me.

“Because, well, I like it a lot. I really do. But since you have to work to pay it off, there’s no point spending my birthday alone. I’m sorry, it’s not fair to you both.”

The lecture went even more smoothly than I expected.

We ended up talking about how expensive things were and how drastically different Kiara’s life was now from her childhood. We let her know that while we want to offer her everything, we have to be realistic and that there are just more fees.

She also helped me wash the dishes.

Joe told her to keep the purse and that we would honor our agreement by trying to pay it off, but she should remember that if she wanted the fancy items, she would have to save up.

Slice of chocolate cake | Source: Pexels

We are currently enjoying birthday cake as Kiara makes a list of possible jobs for the holidays. She’s learned to be grateful for what she has, that’s for sure.

In conclusion, Ellen’s creative approach to teaching her daughter Kiara a lesson in gratitude and appreciation had a significant impact. An incident on Kiara’s birthday served as a turning point that led her to reevaluate her expectations and understand the value of what she already had.

Ellen’s decision to simulate financial strain and sacrifice in order to afford an extravagant gift opens Kiara’s eyes to the reality of life and the effort required to fulfill desires. This made Kiara reflect on her behavior and realize the love and sacrifices her parents made.

Through this experience, Kiara learned the importance of gratitude, empathy, and responsibility. She realized that material possessions cost something, both financially and emotionally, and that true happiness comes from appreciating the love and efforts of those around her.

As they enjoyed their birthday cake together, Ellen, Joe, and Kiara embarked on a journey of mutual understanding and growth. Kiara’s newfound appreciation and willingness to contribute marked a positive shift in their family dynamic, emphasizing the power of lessons learned through thoughtful actions and experiences.

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