The holidays are an exciting time for kids (and adults!). Although there is a big focus on family, inevitably for kids the main attraction tends to be Santa Claus' delivery of new toys. As kids get older they wise up to being able to ask for exactly what they want... and more often than not, out of love, us parents do our best to make their wishes come true. There is nothing wrong with that! We have the right to spoil our kids, and after all, they are only young once, right?
So often we hear parents fretting over their kid's selfish tendencies and inability to deal with the issue of receiving and giving presents graciously. There's no need to worry or feel uneasy. Kids are not equipped with the same emotional skillset that we are as adults. They don't necessarily think to consider other's feelings. And that's ok, they are kids!
It's our job as parents to help educate our kids on how to be gracious when receiving gifts. More importantly, it is also our job to teach our little ones about the gift of giving. Kindness and generosity do not always come easily, therefore we need to take the time to educate them on these issues. From our many collective years of parenting, here are a few top tips for Teaching your Kids About the Gift of Giving:
1. Be a Role Model
We cannot expect our kids to behave in a certain way when we do not demonstrate that positive behavior ourselves. Simple things like showing your kids how carefully you consider the gifts that you choose for others, or talking with them about how good it makes you feel when you give presents to others. If all you can talk about is the diamond necklace that your spouse has promised you, then it's no wonder your kids also focus on receiving instead of giving.
2. Involve your Kids
For young children to understand the benefits of giving, you need to expose them to the process of giving. Why not get them to write a gift list for their nearest and dearest. Sit down with them and work together to decide on a gift for each family member. Discuss why it is the perfect gift and how it will make the recipient feel. With the constant pressure of time that we face as parents, it can be tempting to just get the Christmas shopping done solo. Trust us, your kids will love feeling like they are in charge of gift purchases and it will make them feel so much more involved.
3. Preach and Practice Being Humble
This can be a hard one for kids to understand! How often as a parent have you said something along the lines of 'you don't know how lucky you are,' or 'don't act so spoiled.' Once again we come back to the concept that kids are not equipped with the same emotional toolset that we are as adults. They have most likely not experienced poverty or true desire for basic needs therefore they cannot comprehend what that is like. To help them understand how some people are less fortunate, why not take them along to volunteer, get them involved in a charity event, or introduce them to donating their used toys at the local library.
4. Be Patient
This is an important tip! Try not to get frustrated when your kids appear to show no signs of considering others. As we mentioned, kids are very self-centered by natured. Just be patient and keep talking about giving, and how it makes others feel. Provide plenty of opportunities for them to experience how good it makes you feel to give to others. Over time they will naturally develop generosity and kindness, realizing that the holidays are about so much more than getting new toys.
We hope that you enjoy your holidays as a family, making the most of special moments and sharing in the generosity of the holiday spirit.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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