6 Ways to Help Your Kids Be More Like Cinderella (and Not an Evil Stepsister)
What really makes me sad is that the only thing my daughter can focus on during the holidays is toys and gifts; I want, I need, I have to get….
Now I am not perfect and neither are my kids. But if I’m being really honest, sometimes I think my girls are ungrateful and spoiled–sort of like the evil stepsisters, if you will. I thought that I was teaching them to be grateful for what they have but apparently what I have been doing isn't fully sinking in. So I need a plan; I know if I don’t have a plan that I will get swept away with the excitement of the holiday season and over-gift and spoil my children.
I started looking at articles and blogs from experts to real moms in search of advice to turn my situation around. I knew that is wasn't too late to turn my stepsisters into Cinderella and here is what I am going to do in order to make that happen during the holiday season…
6 Ways to Turn Your Kids into Cinderella during the Holiday Season:
1. Talk about gratitude everyday:
Weave appreciation into everyday conversations. Toddlers are by nature egocentric, so gently reminding them to be grateful for things outside of themselves on a regular basis gets to them start thinking beyond themselves. Saying things like “Aren't we lucky to have such a nice cat like Bootsie” or “You make me so happy when you help carry things in from the car.”
2. Acts of generosity:
Lead by example and allow your children to be generous with you. This doesn't have to be volunteering at a homeless shelter with your 4-year-old. Try doing things like bringing soup to a sick friend. Bring cookies to an elderly neighbor and just spend time with them. Go through your children’s closets and toys boxes together and donate clothes and toys to the less fortunate. Bring your children along when buying gifts for others, let them help you pick the gifts.
3. Thank your children for doing something kind or good:
Whatever it is they decide to do for someone else, show your gratitude. Not only do you want to give them positive reinforcement for doing good deeds, but it shows them that being kind to other impacts everyone around them in a positive way.
4. Get one, give one:
Make a rule that when your child gets a new toy, they need to pick one to donate to a child in need. This helps to teach children two things; that less is more and when we are fortunate we need to be thankful and return that good fortune onto others.
5. Take the emphasis off the gifts:
I’m sure many of you moms out there plan holiday parties. I know that at many of our parties, the only structured activity is gift opening. Instead of the gifts being the main event, create a new tradition! Maybe it’s singing Christmas carols together, playing a card game, reading a story, or maybe it’s playing a round of backyard touch football. This year, teach your children to be thankful for the time they spend with their family by taking the emphasis off of gift opening and onto something else that will bring you closer together as a family.
6. Only give your children one gift:
That’s right, one. If you are shaking you head and thinking “no way can I only buy one gift” then give one from Santa and one from Mom and Dad; but that’s it! If you set the expectation early that they will only get one or two gifts per child under their tree on Christmas morning, they will look forward to the one gift every year the same as if it were ten gifts. If you still need some convincing, think about all the toys your kids have that they don’t play with, I bet some of those are last year’s Christmas gifts.
I feel strongly about the one gift rule as this is something I already do with my own family. It’s the culmination of many of these tips. It takes emphasis off of gifts, it teaches that less is more; it’s a tradition that they get one gift from Santa and it is easier for them to truly show gratitude for one gift versus a pile of gifts. Another added benefit of this is that it takes some pressure off the parents to spend tons of money buying dozens of gifts. If you are still feeling guilty for not spending a lot of money on your kids at Christmas time, take the money you would have spent and put it in their savings account for college. I guarantee when they are 18 years old and have money for college, they will be grateful that you made that decision.
Written by Amelia Hobbins
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).
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