Since having children though, I have been shocked by how much I prefer my boys to be bought gifts than myself (I think this is one of the selfless things I just couldn’t wrap my head around until I had children of my own). It is wonderful to see the look of sheer joy when they rip open the wrapping paper and reveal the toy that they have been waiting for. 🙂
If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I am a mother to 2 beautiful boys, Isaac who is 5 and 3 year old Malachi. We live in Lancashire, North West England, but I am originally from the North East. I moved to Lancashire just over 9 years ago when I married my husband Adam. Because of this it means that we have a lot of visitors, which I love! At first, I used to struggle with being apart from my family but I have come to appreciate that even though I can’t see them on a daily basis, the time we do spend together is really special. We usually have a night or two together, we enjoy going out for day trips and staying up late chatting away. Plus the boys love having sleepovers with them all, especially their cousins. 🙂 Now you’re probably wondering why I am telling you my life story. It is because we get a lot of family visiting, the boys are brought a present with most visits. They absolutely love it, and so do my family. However, I started to notice that they were expecting gifts each time my family came over, so then I would try and explain why you shouldn’t expect gifts and that they might not bring one with them, although they usually did so it kind of undid the little chat we had had earlier. So what could I do? I want my children to have the enjoyment of being bought presents, but I also don’t want them to only think about themselves, I want them to grow up to think of others and what they can do for other people.
A few simple ideas for teaching children how to give happily
Now, I would never want to stop my boys from being given a present, and I wouldn’t want to take away the joy my family feel when they give them. So the only other way I thought I could tackle this is to teach my boys about the joy of giving instead. They obviously have given gifts over the years, but I want them to develop a love of giving gifts just to make people happy, not just when they are expecting it.
So here are a few things we have done recently:
- Making cards:
The first thing that they wanted to do was to make some cards for their friends. They spent ages drawing them, and writing their names on the envelopes, they were beaming when they handed them out and their friends really loved them.
- Giving away old toys:
We have also gone through their toys and decided which ones are a bit too young for them now and they have given these to the little brothers of some of their friends. Personally I think that this is a bit if a double whammy, the boys are enjoying giving things to their friends and their bedroom has had a good clear-out too, great!
- Buying presents in the sales:
Also finding cheap gifts is super easy at the minute with the January sales still being on. Isaac and Mali have been able to pick out their own presents for Nanni and Uncle Tom (who are coming to stay in a couple of weeks) and they have put some of their own money towards them. This was really easy for Mali, but Isaac is a natural saver, he doesn’t enjoy seeing the amount of pennies in his money box go down. So when he decided that he would rather spend some of his money on presents instead of not giving them a present at all, I was really proud.
It has only been a couple of weeks since we started teaching the boys how nice it feels to give things to others, especially when it’s a surprise, and we have already seen a big difference in their mentality. Just this morning for example Isaac asked me to bring a £1 from his money box when I pick him up from school today because he wants to treat Malachi to a toy from the £1 shop. What a cutie. 🙂
How about you, what ideas do you have on teaching your children how to give happily?