Prior to heading off for the Thanksgiving break, we had 163 families join us for the annual Thanksgiving luncheon. It was a great turn out, and although it may not have verbalized, the children were certainly grateful that their parents made the extra effort to spend time with them.
I relished the time that I was able to spend with my family and friends during the Thanksgiving break and hope you were able to do the same. I visited a holiday craft show and asked one of the vendors for his business card, which listed his business as Nice Matters. For an unknown reason, those two simple words struck a chord with me. How are we helping our children to recognize that although it is nice to be important, it is indeed more important to be nice?
Have your child give a gift of himself during the upcoming holiday season or anytime he wants to do something nice for someone else.
1. Talk to your child about gift giving. What does it mean to give something to someone else?
2. Instead of buying a gift, have your child make a gift. Does your child have a special talent? Maybe your child would like to sing or write a song for a relative? Is there a chore your child could do? Maybe wash the dishes for a week. Is there a special toy that could be loaned to a sister or brother for a week? Could they help an elderly neighbor?
3. Use materials from around the house so that little, if any, money is spent.
4. If the gift is an activity or chore, have your child make a card with a note on it, telling what the gift will be.
5. Find places in the community where you could volunteer – read to the elderly at a nursing home, visit the hospital and play board games with sick children, help to prepare meals at a local soup kitchen – do something nice for someone else.
Most young children do not have money to buy a gift for a friend or relative. You can teach your child that a gift that shows effort and attention can mean more than a gift from the store, for indeed, nice matters.