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PARENTING: Teaching Kids to Appreciate What They Have during the Holidays -- AllBusiness.com
I'm writing a post about how the nature of Christmas has turned into "buy, buy, get, get." This is not a religious piece, but more about how we can teach our children to appreciate what they do get. As parents, we often feel our children will be upset if they don't get the newest, most expensive toy. How can we teach them to appreciate what they do get? How, as parents, can we give our children a holiday without the stress of feeling as though we need to break the bank?
The following was my reply:
I was forwarded an inquiry by you from a business associate concerning Christmas. Specifically, what can we do at Christmas so....
1. Kids feel appreciative for what they get.
2. We, as parents, don't feel as though we need to break the bank.
3. We, as parents, don't feel upset if our children don't get the latest greatest toy.
First, this is a situation mistaken as a Christmas problem. The truth is, for many of us, it is a year long problem. It is only in this nature that I can adequately answer the questions.
First, kids should be taught to show appreciation with the words "please and thank you" consistently. These are basic manners that should not be set aside at Christmas. As parents, we have to understand there is such promotion/excitement over this one day that kids are overloaded with emotion as it is. It is our responsibility to remind them of such basic courtesies.
Appreciation can not be instilled on this one day alone. Therefore, if a parent hasn't taught lessons on being appreciative all year; this would be a hard day to get the message across. Regardless, a parent should still try their best. The goal may be to start now in order for their children to gain a better appreciation towards Christmas next year.
As far as parents feeling as though we need to break the bank, this is only true if WE don't remember the meaning of Christmas. Granted, it's a season of giving- but not a season for going bankrupt or paying a Visa card interest bill until April 2011. We should give gifts within our means. If the child has been taught how to appreciate what they get and we remember the meaning of Christmas, there won't be a problem. If, as parents, we aren't happy with finances at Christmas and our ability to give, that is a separate money problem; not a Christmas problem.
Therefore, there's no need to feel upset if our children do not have the latest greatest toy. Not to be too religious; but there is a reason for Christmas. We celebrate in different ways around the world; but focusing on the reason for Christmas is the best anecdote for one's misgivings about not having a $300 Xbox with a $50 game.
All the best,
I've always said one of the basic tenants of this blog is to make parents merely think. Whether you agree/disagree with this blog is not too important to me. What is important though is once you think about the tenants of today's blog, you have an even better understanding of your own decisions concerning your family. When that happens, you would have to be considered (in my eyes at least) a better parent even if you think I am full of it. On that note, let's get to the contest. If you are not familiar with the contest, my previous blog explains everything.
I have some good news and a touch of bad news. Which do you want to hear first? I knew it! You want the bad news first so we can end the blog on a positive note. Great minds think alike!!!
The bad news is we didn't reach 200 hits. Trust me when I say I was pulling for you and I worked/promoted hard to help you. 200 hits would have been a big jump from my previous high admittedly. There is a saying that goes something like "sometimes when you reach for the stars, you may only hit the moon." We did achieve 159 hits (as of this writing) which was the most thus far for one blog. This represents over a 20% increase versus the previous high. Remember when I said my original goal was 100 hits in one month? We have far exceeded original expectations. Also, barely halfway into the month of December, this blog has been "hit" more than either of the previous two months. (The blog was started in October 2010)
On to the good news: The winner of the contest is (drum roll please) me. This means I am donating $50 to St. Joseph Children's Home in Louisville, KY. If you are not familiar with this organization, they take in children who have been removed from their natural families due to severe abuse/neglect. The job of the organization is to place the kids in position to be adopted or transition into foster care. This takes a lot of time/ work based on where the child is mentally and the emotional scarring involved. This is where I learned most of my skills with children. Subsequently working in a classroom for seven years, raising two great children, and writing this blog are easy because of the opportunity St. Joseph's gave to me.
One of my bucket list goals is to repay every dime St. Joseph's ever compensated me. The knowledge I received concerning how to work with kids was more than enough payment. I am not rich and I have a family to feed/college to pay for/ retirement/ etc... but the money they will receive based on this contest is a very small step towards the goal.
I want to thank everyone for reading this blog and participating in the contest. There will be lots more fun in the blogs ahead. Please pass this blog along to others you feel would enjoy the message and I will check in again Monday.