Do you love to give your child gifts? I am sure the answer is “Yes”. Who doesn’t?
Gifts help us to say everything that we can’t say with our words or actions.
“I love you” is something that we must say to our children every day all the time. But who has the time? Time spent with children is usually spent instructing them to do something – or scolding them for not doing something.
And when you are overwhelmed with guilt about not having enough time and pushing too hard and expecting too much – what is the easiest thing you can do?
Yes – the answer is obvious – buy him a gift.
Gifts are an easy answer to almost every dilemma that presents itself to us with regard to our children. We just can’t do without gifts.
Indian parents – especially those who have jobs that keep them away from their children for long hours – but earn them lots of money – are often guilty of buying the most gifts
If you are a parent in India – you would identify with this.
What do you do when you want to show your child that you love him?
What do you do when you have been away from your child all day or you have come back from a business trip? What you do to compensate for the hours or days that you have been away?
Do you buy him a gift in all these situations? Yes, we all do.
What do we teach our children when we give them gifts?
When we give our children gifts to show them our love – our children interpret the message behind the gifts correctly. They recognize that we are trying to tell them that we love them by giving them that gift. They understand that gifts represent love.
Until this point they are learning or understanding what they should
Can we harm our children by giving them gifts?
The answer to that question unfortunately is “Yes”
As beautiful and loving as the gesture of giving your child a gift may be – it hides some dangerous messages that your child can take away.
What do children understand when we give them gifts?
When we give a child a gift – the child understands this –
- Those who love you show you their love by giving you gifts
- So everyone who gives you a gift – loves you.
Concluding that everyone who gives you a gift loves you – is an extremely dangerous for a child. Because anyone – just anyone – can give a gift.
What happens when we teach children to expect gifts?
When we teach children that love means getting a gift – it makes them an easy target for kidnappers and abusers.
Abusers and kidnappers use gifts to lure children away.
Why are they successful in luring children away?
Abusers and kidnappers are able to get children to trust them because they are able to give same gifts that we as parents give them to show them our love.
What should you do when you feel like buying your child the next gift?
The next time you feel like buying your child a gift do this instead
- Remind yourself that children don’t need our gifts and presents. They need us to be present in their life. Time spent choosing the gift takes away from time that you can spend with your child
- Remind yourself that when you walk into the house after a long gap and meet your child what your child needs is a hug from you – a kiss from you – some time spent sitting and playing in your lap and connecting with you through body mind and soul. A toy that is given at this point only widens the distance between you and your child
- Remember that anyone can give gifts – even kidnappers and abusers. But no one can love your child like you can. Even if you can’t be with your child all the time call up and blow her a kiss – tell her you love her – tell her how much you miss her and how valuable she is. Raise her self-esteem and show her that she is valuable so that she will not need to feel important by receiving a gift from a kidnapper or an abuser.
- Teach your child that true happiness lies in giving gifts and making others happy. The joy of receiving gifts lasts only a few minutes
It is dangerous to equate love with gifts. Always remember that when you think of giving your child a gift.