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So Christmas and the holidays are upon us and there is no denying corporations, businesses big and small alike, are all taking advantage of this time to sell their products to us, but most importantly using our kids as bait. So as any loving parent, I spent the last few months asking my kids what they wanted for Christmas because honestly, I don't want my kids to be the ones with nothing to tell or show their friends when they return to school.
So we are talked into this trap of wanting to impress our kids, but I discovered that much as these gifts will make our kids happy for a moment, we all know they will be craving some new item on the market before you open your eyes again!
For my case, I found out that my kids love electronics just like the next kid, except for my younger one who just likes food toys and has me fake eating all kinds of stuff all day long! But that's not it. Kids really want us to be there with them... As far as I am concerned, my kids have taught me how much my presence means to them. I have tested this a few times. When I bought them gifts, they were overjoyed but that didn't last long—they still longed for wrestling, running, playing with them, and just contact sports. Then another time I didn't buy anything because to be honest I was overspent taking care of bills and other responsibilities. What surprised me is that they didn't ask why I didn't buy them anything but I availed myself and played until we couldn't play anymore!
That was the most memorable time I had with my boys and they too repeatedly told me that they had a great time.
So parents please take time to spend quality fun time with your kids, you will feel good about it but they will be very happy and fulfilled when you do and they will let you know how they felt and those marks and memories will not be erased or replaced by the latest toy on the market!
I would also recommend doing a no-gadgets challenge where you put away the tablets, iPads, and phones away for a specific time, say an hour or even choose a day, say a Saturday or Friday night, where no electronic device is accessible to anyone in the house. You will be amazed at how much different time spent with your kids is. You can ditch the living room for the balcony or yard if you have one and just be creative. You can also play some competitive games where you can deliberately let the kids win. They will love seeing you lose at least for once, especially if you are the kind of parent who wants to win every argument!
I hope this helps and please share with us your ideas and experiences especially in this season of giving, receiving and exchanging gifts.
Speaking of exchanging gifts, I was watching a show and the ladies in the show they shared their story about how their family has shifted from the era of giving and exchanging gifts and they have now resorted to giving to charity. I think this is a good idea too because if you show and teach your children the meaning of giving especially in this time of giving gifts and celebrating holidays, you give them a sense of responsibility and of compassion and additionally a sense of knowing that it's not just about them. It's not just about your family! So I suggest that you as a family look into the mutual interests and causes that you care about, maybe the environment, animals shelters, the elderly, or children's education. Find the charity of your choice and contribute towards it. If your children receive an allowance every month, maybe you can take 10% of the allowance and all together as a family can write a check to a nonprofit that deals with the cause of your choice. Other good examples are homeless shelters or charities dealing with veterans needs.
I think meeting the needs of others will create a great sense of compassion and responsibility that will, in the long run, prepare them to be givers and not just receivers.