Yup, its that time of year again – Holiday Time! A time when every television commercial, radio station and magazine is flaunting all of the “BEST” toys and products for kids. During the holiday season, every time your children turn around they will see bright toys, the cutest dolls, latest technology, and the hottest clothing for kids… and all they want is to say is, “Mom can you get that for me?”“Grandma, did you see how cool that new game is?”“Dad, can I get a new basketball jersey?”How can we get our kids to feel that giving is just as good as (if not better than) receiving?
From an early age, it is so important to teach our kids the value of GIVING and how good it feels to think of others. The earlier they learn this, the better. It is easy to think of yourself and what you may want for a gift, but it takes thoughtfulness and time to think of a gift for someone else. It is this feeling that shapes your children into kind and generous people when they grow up.
Here are a few easy suggestions to help our kids learn The Gift of Giving:
- Taking the time to draw someone a picture, write a card with something meaningful, or make a picture collage. These projects are better than ANY store bought gift a child could buy.
- Going to the store with Mommy or Daddy to pick something out for a sibling or a parent gives a child the opportunity to look around and think of the person she loves.
- Sometimes a child can be jealous when shopping for a sibling. Bring him with you to get his “help” by suggesting things that his brother or sister would like can be really fun. You can explain that you will do the same for him and explain that his sibling will be helping you out too for his gift (that usually helps). It shows children that if you think about others, others will also think about doing something nice for you.
- School Holiday Boutiques can be a great and inexpensive way for kids to think of family, babysitters, teachers, etc. Yes, I know some of the items can be a bit junkie, but they are age-appropriate and it is a good way for kids to look around and take a moment to think, “What would my mommy like out of all of these things?” I always make a rule that my kids cannot buy something for themselves on that day. It turns the whole shopping experience into thinking of everyone else but themselves.
- A special tradition you can start in your home is picking one gift to donate to a child in need or pick a charity that your child can donate toward. As they get old enough, get them involved in the process as much as possible by researching the charities that they are interested in giving to. Teaching your kids to be philanthropic at a young age is the BEST gift you can give them.
- Teach your kids that it is not how much money you spend on a gift, but the time and thoughtfulness that goes into it. A beautiful card with a picture made by them is far more special than an expensive gift with no meaning.
Holiday time is a time in a children’s lives when they make special memories that they carry with them into adulthood. Teaching them to be kind and generous towards others is a gift that all children should be lucky to get this holiday season.
Wishing everyone a Happy Chanukah and a Merry Christmas filled with Lots of Love, Laughter, and Thoughtfulness.
Mental Health Consultant
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.