As Christmas quickly approaches, now is the best time of the year to ‘teach’ your child how to graciously give and receive gifts!
Most children are naturally “givers.” Some have to be prodded a bit more in the beginning, but overall children have a very giving attitude towards others. It’s important that we encourage them and allow them to give freely. If your child wants to give a toy to his/her friend on a whim, by all means, let it be given!
Christmas presents a wonderful time to encourage giving even more. Involve your children in the gift-giving process by asking them what they would like to give or make for some of the special people in their lives. Take them shopping and let them choose a gift. Be careful, however, to steer them to something that the recipient might actually like (rather than what the child likes, which is typical for preschoolers).
The gift ideas are sure to be interesting, but it will most likely be those gifts that are treasured the most! Your child took the time to think about what that special person wanted…that’s probably more than we can say for ourselves in our age of exchanging Christmas lists in addition to Christmas gifts.
With Christmas just over a week away, it’s time to have “the talk.” No, not that talk. The talk about how we show appreciation to others, especially those who give us gifts.
As a child, I was always encouraged to open one gift at a time and to show my appreciation for that gift (usually by giving a hug) before I moved on to the next gift. This may be difficult to do, especially if you have lots of children opening the gifts all at once. But try your hardest to slow down and encourage your child to show appreciation, if not by giving a hug, then by looking the person in the eye and saying, “Thank you for _______.”
Often times we forego ‘thank you’ cards at Christmastime because every one is exchanging gifts, but I think showing gratitude is always appreciated. You could use Picnik.com to add text to a picture of your child(ren) on Christmas Day. Either encourage your child to write a short thank you note on the back of the printed picture or dictate what they would like to say if your child is too young to write.
And remember…we are the example! We must also show the utmost appreciation when receiving a gift as little eyes are constantly watching!