I work at a great children, family and community support agency in my small town. It is a privilege to be a part of an organization that helps so many in my community. Recently, I received an email from our community support manager asking if any of my clients in need would be interested in having their child participate in a shopping spree sponsored by a real estate company.
The criteria for the shopping spree was simple, one child per family, between 6 and 12 years of age, and available on Saturday. Each child was given $175.00 for their child to shop for their family, then paired with an agent to be their shopping buddy. Also, another agent would be shopping for the child, so they too would have special gifts under the tree. All of the gifts would be wrapped and given to the child to bring home.
Needless to say, I was all in. I was able to connect 8 of my current and past clients with this great event. So fun! When I thanked our community manager for giving this opportunity to me, she shared that she wished more people were as excited about the opportunity as I was. Apparently some complained about parents not being able to shop with their children with this money, but the fact is – our children need to give, not just receive.
Think of how you can involve your children in the gift giving. Just be sure they are involved in the whole process. As a result, your children will grow in their character; self-esteem, and have less of an attitude of entitlement. Here are some ideas:
- Put a list of jobs to earn money on the refrigerator, see what happens.
- Participate in a community gift activity. They are out there. Each item is usually less than a dollar.
- Set time aside to go shopping with your child. If you have more than one child, it is difficult. But remember you are teaching a great life skill, thinking of others. Be sure the child does more work than you in this activity. It is THEIR gift they are giving. The child needs to earn the money, budget, choose the gifts, wrap them and last but not least, watch their loved one open it.
- Teach your child how to make a craft item. Be sure it is age appropriate. Remember it is THEIR gift. I have a friend who has grandchildren. At the age of 5 she helps them make gifts for their family. This year, her 9 year old granddaughter sewed pillowcases for her whole family. She was so proud of her work and so excited to give.
Please share your ideas to help kids contribute.
Here is a good resource from Love and Logic® that outlines how to build character in your kids: