What do children really want for Christmas? Quite simply, you!
Why your children need you more than anything else:
You are the most important person in their life/lives
That’s right. Believe it or not, you really, really matter to your children. They watch you when you are shaving, when you are preparing a meal with them, how you react when someone doesn’t signal and cuts you off on the road, when you cry when listening to a beautiful story or beautiful music, when you look in their eyes when you give them a big hug. They are your biggest fan(s). They need you to love them and to recognize them; to acknowledge and affirm their utmost importance.
‘Things’ do not last and they aren’t really important, but you do last and you are really important
It is difficult not to get caught up in the ‘things’ aspect of Christmas. There are huge pressures here. Much of this pressure here comes from advertising and your child’s friends and peers (peer pressure).
One thing you can do to help your children is limit the amount of advertising that they see. You can do this by removing cable from your home and/or by using a media streaming service such as Netflix (as these services have no advertising).
Demonstrating frugal living for your children can benefit them enormously by giving them the tools and perspectives that can have lasting benefits.
In any case, you are the important factor here. You set the home environment. You set the modelling that your children will observe and, at least partially, emulate.
You choose the ‘things’ that enter your home. You can choose to emphasize or de-emphasize their importance in your lives. You are the key driver and the decision-maker. You are the most important factor.
You frame happiness for your children to a large degree
What you gain happiness from is a huge factor in what your children also gain (or will gain) happiness from. Be it being with friends, playing the guitar, dancing, building a fort, playing card games, knitting, reading, painting, or whatever else, your children look to you for ideas that will bring them happiness. What you model in your life will be the most present and reinforced option for them.
This is not to say that these ideas or ‘realms’ of happiness are at all fixed, but they will be the most influential in the life/lives of your child/children. Of course, all children will hopefully be exposed to many ideas and avenues of happiness, but what you model will be the most important to them at many important stages of their growth and development.
How you frame giving and receiving impacts your children immensely
Christmas is not just about receiving gifts, it is also about giving. It may sound cliché, but giving can give as much pleasure as receiving. Take time to choose gifts for other carefully with your children. Even better, give them an allowance. Show your children the thought processes you go through when deciding upon the ‘right’ gift for someone or a given charity. Allow yourself to become excited when you come up with a great gift idea and explain the reasons why and how great it feels to find something that will make someone happy. The gift of giving is a great gift is best enjoyed by parents and their children.
In summary, you are the most important factor in your children’s lives this Christmas. You spend the time, you make the decisions, and you set the conditions that foster true happiness this Christmas season. Merry Christmas to you all!
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