December’s Parenting Tip – Conscious Gift Giving

The holidays are right around the corner, and children everywhere are busy making their lists for Santa. However, did you know that human development studies have found that children get much more psychologically out of gift giving versus gift receiving?

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations on Milwaukee’s southside and in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and West Allis/Wauwatosa, “Gift giving covers many of the virtues we discuss regularly at our child care centers, and it should be considered a wonderful opportunity to help children learn and grow.”

Anderson points out that these virtues are all tied to conscious gift giving:

Whether you make or purchase a gift or card, when you give something to someone,  you are showing that they matter to you.

When you give a thoughtful gift, you are showing love and compassion (which are also virtues), and that you want to make life better for others.

To give a meaningful gift, really children need to place themselves in others’ shoes to see what it is they really need or what is truly important to them.

Anderson adds that gift giving can provide a family with the opportunity to talk about their values and what really matters to them.

“For instance, if your family isn’t into material things, you might decide that, instead of giving ‘things’ this year, you are going to give the gift of time to loved ones, so you can have shared experiences and make memories together.”

Anderson adds that gift giving can also teach compassion when you buy gifts for families in need; blankets and mittens for the homeless; or food for the hungry. You can also extend this concept with the gift of time by volunteering as a family at a shelter or visiting seniors at a nursing home.

“There are many ways to teach your children about the importance of conscious gift giving and showing that you care,” says Anderson.

“The important thing is that you start by involving them in the conversation. That way you get them to help you strategize what would be a good gift for someone and why.”

“The virtues you help them develop through this conscious gift giving process will have a lasting impact on how they treat others into their adulthood. It is definitely time well spent.”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in on Milwaukee’s southside and in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and West Allis/Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.