Why is it that the sky is the limit for purchases made for our children on birthdays, holidays and other special occasions? The answer is simple, we love them and want them to have the best that we can afford to give them. Sometimes, as parents we lose sight of reality and max out credit cards and pile on the debt to make certain that junior has the latest advanced technology or gadget suggested by some educational think tank. We often convince ourselves that if it is close to our financial reach, we owe it to our kids to purchase it. Technology changes so rapidly and the latest gadget may end up tossed in a corner, like the rest of the items your kids desired. Why not give your kids something that does more than satisfy a temporary fancy? How about trying these:
- The Gift of interaction – An article in Scientific American written by Katherine Harmon sites several research studies that underscore the notion that engaging your child, promotes healthy psychological development. It has been shown that infants are happier and gain weight more when they are constantly touched. Ever notice how children enjoy it so much when they can hug you? This is most certainly not gender-related. Children who have experience with interacting with their parents respond whether the touch comes from Dad or Mom. An embrace, a kiss or even a mere pat on the head lets a child know that they are loved. Touch tells your kid that you are near and that they are safe.
- The Gift of praise – Children absorb praise like a sponge in a puddle of water. As often as you can, be a beacon of light to your children. Assist them in setting goals by highlighting that they can be the best at whatever they chose. Be the best motivator for your children as they try new things. They may not always win but your support will make a world of difference in how they feel about trying new things.
- The Gift of transparency – We may be adults, but we all fall short. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that we know everything. Sometimes we have more questions than answers. We must remain humble enough to admit when we commit a mistake. Remember that our children admire us and will imitate what we do. Our sincere humility will be remembered by our children;we must model what we expect. We should not ask our children to do what we say and ignore what we do.
- The Gift of Fun – Laughter is great medicine. Proverbs indicates that a cheerful heart makes for great medicine. Have you ever noticed how people react when they hear a young child laugh? It’s contagious – listeners realize that he is enjoying what he’s doing. No facades. No deception. No airs. Their enthusiasm is contagious! The sound of laughter can change your worldview. Laughter is like a cool breeze after a hot summer day or like the sunrise to start a new day. So laugh a little. Smiles are free. Find the time to do something fun and exciting that will bring laughter into the atmosphere for the enjoyment of you and your child.
Long after that new smart device is broken, these four gifts will last lifetime.