With the holidays around the corner, we dream of watching our children delight in receiving gifts, but what if this season of giving causes our kids to focus solely on what they’re getting? If your preschooler’s holiday excitement is bordering on entitlement, try teaching them to “G-I-V-E.”
Get them involved in serving. Have them color pictures that can be made into ornaments for the elderly in a retirement community or children in the hospital. After you work together to make the ornaments, take your child to the community or hospital and enjoy sharing the ornaments.
Invite your little one to help you make a holiday dinner box for a family who is hungry. The first afternoon of December, have them decorate a cardboard file box. The next day, ask them to help you pick a food to put in the box. Add another item each day until December 20. As they select a food item each day, ask them what happened in the last day that they’re grateful for.
Value their contribution to your family gifts. Buy brown butcher paper instead of decorative wrapping paper and ask your preschooler to decorate it uniquely for each person receiving a gift. Use each “custom-made” paper to wrap each present.
Encourage your child to cherish the person who gives them each present more than the gift itself. Say something like, “I know you love the teddy bear Grandmother gave you. Wasn’t it loving of her to get it for you? What do you like most about your Grandmother? Let’s write her a note together and tell her.”
These are just a few “G-I-V-E” ideas. Try brainstorming some of your own with your family. The key to a good “G-I-V-E” idea is any activity that changes your child’s focus from, “What am I getting?” to “What am I giving?”
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