We have once again reached the time of consumer mayhem, and it is easy for our children to get the message that this time of the year is about buy buy buy and what’s in it for me. Now I’m all for children having wish lists and receiving gifts, but I’m also all for teaching the kind of gifts that last you a lifetime.
As with all things we’d like to teach our children the best form of teaching is being the best example. So why not start today? Teach your kids the joy of giving by taking a step back from the year-end madness and seeing what you can do for someone else…
A great and simple exercise for this is to offer a gift to everyone you meet today. This needn’t be expensive – a flower, a smile, a helping hand, or a silent blessing. There are so many little acts of kindness that we can offer, limited only to your imagination… write a letter to a stranger, visit an elderly person, bake cookies for someone, offer to babysit for a busy mom, sign up for projects like the Santa’s Shoebox…
You can also let go of things you’ve been hanging on to – clear out your cupboards, clean out your garage. By holding on to all these things for “just in case” we actually increase the likelihood of a “just in case” situation arising and in the process teach our children about a mentality of lack. Letting go teaches about abundance and sharing and the reward that you get is the pure joy of giving.
Even little children can help to clear out their old toys and books and take these to an orphanage or donate them to the library, but it does help for them to see you doing it yourself. Too often we clear out our children’s old clothes and toys and yet hang onto all our old stuff!
I explain this to my children by saying that we need to make space for new things to come into our lives. If we hang onto old toys and things that are no longer bringing us joy then we are depriving someone who would really love and appreciate that thing. We need to keep the flow moving!
Life is always finding it’s balance, and we can help it along by modeling for our children not only the joy of receiving, but also of giving.
Wishing you a joyful festive season!