Are you a very busy person with limited time to spend with your children? Have you cautiously observed your behavior when it comes to buying gifts for your children? Are you giving too many gifts to your kid as you think that this will ensure happiness in their lives?

My Story:

I am in a full time job and I always try to be very cautious of the little time I get with my Children in evenings and on weekends.  As a very busy parent we have tendency to feel guilt and try to ensure that the children make best use of their time.  

I started buying a lot of toys and gifts believing that it will keep my child busy when I was away. Soon I realized that my son was never happy with the toys and gifts and always wanted more. He will tell me about the toys his friends have and ask me to buy the same things for him. I stopped buying things and stopped gifting in terms of material things. I started spending more time with him and started appreciating his efforts. I started playing more games and read story, riddle and puzzle books with my kids.

Lessons Learnt:  

  1. First most important lesson learnt is – when you give too many gifts to Children they do not value any of it.
  2. Showing love is not about giving gifts all the time. This sends a message to children that gifts are best way to show love and care.Too many gifts make Children ungrateful. The Children grow up thinking that only material things are way to express love.
  3. Your love and time should not be compensated for anything else.

Please also do not reward your children with gifts and toys all the time on achievement of success in academics and sports as well. The Children will grow up thinking that you can only reward good things with material gifts. Please show love and appreciation for the efforts made by kid and tell them that you really appreciate the fact that how much hard work and efforts they have put to achieve the success. Please raise the kids with thoughtfulness.

 Things I do teach my Children Gratitude:

  1. First thing you need to bring in your life is leading by example. Please do not accumulate 500 things for yourself if you want to restrict your kids. Children learn by observing and if you indulge yourself in material possessions all the time, whatever you do to teach your child Gratitude and Value, the child will not learn.
  2. Do not always buy a toy or gift your child demands. Explain the Children why it is not necessary to have everything available in stores or their friends have. When my Son demands something which other kids in his peer group have, I ask him “What will you do with it?” Do you really think that you need it? Sometimes he himself says that he is not sure what will he do with the particular toy or gift.
  3. I take a direct approach and tell the importance of Love and Care over Gifts and Toys. I try to educate him on importance love and care over material possessions.  I also try to explain the importance of gratitude. I share my Childhood experience that how we used to be very happy and content with limited things.
  4. I do not punish my kids by taking away their toys and gifts. This leaves an impression that toys and material objects are the most important things and if going away of them creates sadness.
  5. Encourage my kids to give their toys and gifts to kids in need.
  6. Share story books with other kids to learn sharing habit.
  7. Do not reward children by giving material gifts.

Be a thoughtful parent and save all the money which you spending on buying gifts. You can invest this money for their future e.g. higher education or can plan some fun activities with them where you can bond with your kids.

This is my way of creating gratefulness to my children.

I am not going to waste my hard earned money to gimmick or marketing companies that pursue and claim to make that their gadgets and toys makes kids smarter.

How do you inculcate Gratitude among your children? Are you compensating gifts for your time? Please share your thoughts with me in comment section.