Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dec8_OrnamentsAh, December! The season of giving – making presents, writing cards, donating to charity and spreading the holiday cheer. To some of us all this giving comes easier than to others, especially to certain small others. Making one ornament present might be enjoyable, but the number of cards to be written, gifts to be made and parting with her money, books and toys to donate to charity doesn’t necessarily appeal to my 6 year old. She put it to me like Dec17_Cards1this, I know that Christmas is about giving, but it feels like working all the time, and I can’t help thinking about getting. I can’t help thinking about my Christmas presents and not about making stuff for others. At first I was upset at this outburst thinking that I am raising the most selfish child in the Universe, but then I tried to put myself in her shoes. As I am going through my Hep C treatment. Anna Dec17_Cards2got very clingy, which is sort of understandable. She wants a lot of cuddling and undivided attention. So we had a conversation about how giving actually leads to getting. Every day when she does something for others without prompting, the present is added to a Christmas tree. A lot of presents are coming her way anyway, considering that she is an only grandchild on both sides and an only child of an upper-middle class family, but once giving and getting got more linked in her brain, her attitude improved quite a bit, and I see a lot more thought and effort poured into work for others.

Does giving come naturally to yours? What do you do to teach them to give cheerfully to others. By the way, of course, we teach by example, but it doesn’t quite seem to register fully.

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10 comments:

Kim said...

This post http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/2012/12/but-i-want-toys/
at 1+1+1 made me feel a lot better about my little man's difficulty with giving. Sam has a tremendous amount of trouble sharing and giving - a lot of this is due to his Aspergers, which makes it hard to understand the needs of others.This year though, I'm seeing huge progress - he's seeing donation bins in stores and suggesting that we add something. One thing that has made a big impact on him was adopting a child from Compassion International. He chose our Compassion child, and now he has a face and a name to connect to. We get letters from the boy, and that's a big deal too. I wouldn't worry too much about Anna's reluctance to give right now. She's still very young, and as long as you continue to talk about it a live it, she will grow up to be a generous child. It just takes time.

Joyful Learner said...

Those are lovely homemade cards and what beautiful writing! I love children's honesty. I don't think giving comes naturally to most children. But the more they practice, the easier it becomes. K doesn't usually like to do something if we make her do it but she loves writing cards and making gifts for her friends. Her friends like to do the same. Most of the time, she ends up giving them one of her toys or something she makes. I figure it's the thought that counts.

Momand Kiddo said...

Giving does not come naturally to my son, either. We are constantly working at it. I notice, though, when they discuss it at school he is more interested than when we discuss it at home.

Phyllis said...

I think the appreciation for selfless giving comes gradually (some adults don't have it yet.)

Sarah said...

My children talk about wanting treats and presents constantly, so Anna sounds like a very sweet girl to me. I think it's wonderful she's learning about giving to others!

Debbie said...

I am with Phyllis. I know Selena had a really hard time parting with a book she chose for her brother. When all was said and done she did end up keeping the book and we chose another one. Was this teaching her to be selfish, I don't think so, it taught her to think through every decision she makes about giving.

Christy said...

My children have trouble with this too. When I told them to go get money from their jars for the Salvation Army kettle, they were shocked that I wasn't giving them my money to donate! My kids are the only grandchildren on both sides also and they get more than enough, so I always struggle with their selfishness. I wish I knew of a way to encourage more giving and charitable attitudes!

Ticia said...

Oddly enough my kids love to give. One thing that has helped is shopping for their family. They buy presents for everyone in the family each year, and the past several years we've adopted another family in the community that needs help for Christmas and bought Christmas presents for them.

Yelena said...

Just last year sharing was very difficult for my son. It's better now and he loves having friends over and sharing toys and snacks with them. He loves giving gifts too, as long as it's something that have never belonged to him (he'll even spend his pocket money to buy a gift for a friend). But parting with old toys - that's still a huge problem. I've tried to set up a toy exchange with a few friends, so that kids could borrow games and toys for a week or two, then return them, but my son is not ready for it yet.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Emma has struggled this year, maybe it is tied to the age? We have talked a lot about how excited she is when someone gives something to her, and how fun it is to recreate that feeling for someone else. And she does enjoy the giving more when she has more choice.

And somehow, I thought I had commented on all these posts but apparently only read them. Mommy brain issues here - still trying to figure out how to keep my mind and look after four children, apparently!