Sunday, December 05, 2010

Teaching Your Kids About Gift Giving

Guest Post by Lior

In today’s modern technology and fast-paced living, and when money is flowing freely, many kids have the expectation of receiving gifts that are very expensive. In fact, in many cases, there isn’t really much thought given to what the actual costs are at all. Of course, this certainly depends on the ages of the child getting the gift. For example, a two-year-old has no idea how much something costs, where a ten-year-old just doesn’t care.

This was something that had started to concern me when I noticed the nonchalant attitude my kids were displaying when receiving a gift. I realized then that parents can set the path of how children perceive receiving gifts by the way they are taught to give gifts. If children are taught to give gifts from the heart, then in future years they will have more of an appreciation of the meaning behind any gift they themselves receive on an occasion.

I decided that a great way to start this learning process would be around Christmas. Getting the children to think more about making their gifts, as opposed to buying them, put us off to a good start. Although this is a much cheaper way to do it, most often children rely on extra money from their parents for their Christmas shopping. By being encouraged instead to make their gifts, it not only cuts down on the added expenses, but gets the children to give some thought as to the meaning behind the gift.

There may be some reluctance in the beginning with the older children (there certainly was with mine) in adopting this type of gift giving, but most often once they start into actually making the gifts, they will actually receive a great deal of enjoyment from it. Over the years, I have discovered that there are many lessons that can be learned from this type of gift-giving exercise.

I started by having the kids make a list of those who are on their Christmas giving list, and then they determined what each individual on that list would enjoy receiving. Once this was done, then it was a matter of adapting the skills and craftsmanship of the children to make the applicable gift.

This is something that if the parents work along with the children, it will make it move along much more smoothly and also create a great bit of family time together. Children seem to take great delight out of watching those who are receiving the gifts open these handmade presents because of the time and effort that was put into them.

Surprisingly enough, the people in our family who received a handmade gift have far more appreciation for it, especially when it came from the kids, because they knew it was most difficult for the kids to devote the time to the type of activity that was required to make a homemade present.

Most of my friends who have adopted this type of gift-giving exercise find that it starts to become a regular routine, and many of the young people have actually carried the tradition forward with them throughout the years, and often pass it on to their children as well. One thing is for sure: it certainly is a great way of taking the commercialism out of Christmas.

This was a guest post by Lior who works for Milk Nursingwear that sells breastfeeding wear and specializes in nursing tops.

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