A gift is something that we willingly give to another, without the expectation of payment. Society and religions have created or set aside special days where gift-giving is expected and, of course, enjoyed by all. Cindy Glass, Owner and Co-Founder of Step Up Education Centres says, “These gifts often involve the buying of toys, games and devices for our children. While, there is certainly joy to be had in the receiving of these gifts, so many parents have come to (unconsciously) rely on the buying of material gifts to let their children know that they love them while not fully understanding the negative implications of these well-meaning gestures.” She adds that joy in receiving material gifts and especially if the gifts are guilt-driven is most often short-lived and children are all too frequently left feeling confused, alone, miserable and frustrated and, in some cases, even a bit depressed. You see, it is not the receiving of many material gifts that they seek!
Imagine, for a moment, if you could give your children the best gifts on the planet, every single day, and it did not even cost a cent! Imagine if these gifts could increase both yours and your family’s happiness by 100% and imagine if these wonderful gifts were accessible to give now, in this moment and in every moment moving forward.
Well, Cindy believes that by trying the following gift-giving ideas, you will add happiness and peace to your life:
1. The gift of regular hugs: Hugs reduce stress and anxiety and they let your children know that you are there, physically and emotionally. It helps them feel secure and connected to you!
2. The gift of sincere words of affirmation: Your children need to know that you believe in them, you sincerely want what’s best for them and that you are proud of their efforts in navigating the world. Encouragement and praise mean: “I see you and I am here for you.”
3. The gift of your time: Spending quality time with your children does not mean that you have to set aside hours of your day away from what you need to get done. It means that important actions such as eye contact, listening to understand, avoiding distraction when in communication with your child and being present in those moments is what counts. “I see you. I hear you” are priceless gifts!
4. The gift of being an excellent role model: Your children are watching what you do, how you choose to act in challenging situations, how you treat others and how much you value honesty, integrity, kindness etc. Teach them how to navigate the world by modelling values that you wish to see in them.
5. The gift of space: Children need space to experience their emotions, use their imaginations and explore their world-safely. Most importantly, they need the space to be allowed to make mistakes in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Mistakes are important learning opportunities, finding solutions as a team builds trust and cements connection!
“Some gifts are of the material kind and that is all good and well. However, as parents, it is important to gift your children those gifts that are priceless as well,” Cindy concludes.