I often look back and remember my childhood and yes, I was very fortunate and had everything I wanted, but in this day and age I feel our children are VERY privileged, or even over privileged.
My girls just celebrated their 6th and 4th birthdays. Like all children they had the birthday parties they desired with their class friends and a few close social friends and family. When you add up the numbers I can safely say a birthday party for these ages counts for about 30 children attending. That’s 30+ presents to open all in one go. I’m not even counting the presents that contain more than 1 item… a book, a piece of clothing, a toy, a puzzle etc., etc. I find this overwhelming for an adult, I can’t imagine how excited the children must feel. This excitement however is of short duration and soon they will put the toys aside and days later they will want something else they’ve seen on TV or at a friend’s house on a play date. This is when I question myself, is this not just spoiling our kids? 30+ toys is way too much for our kids to value any each present at a time.
So here’s the 15min Mom house rule which I thought I’d share with you. I have certainly felt my children cherish their choices and presents far more than having them all in one go.
We sit down as a family and open all the presents together and make a list. They then get to choose 3 presents to keep immediately and this includes our presents, family presents… every present. It’s so satisfying for my girls to be able to make the choices and they cherish those 3 gifts like real treasure. All the other presents go in the wishing cupboard (a corner cupboard we have in their room). Throughout the whole year they get to earn those presents. They’ve done good work at school they get to go and pick a present from the wishing cupboard. They’ve lost a tooth, they’ve been kind, they’ve eaten they’re meal by themselves, they’ve tidied their room when asked… any reason I choose as valid and worthy of a prize!
It’s funny when I tell my friends about our rule their initial reaction is ‘but it’s their birthday and that’s so hard…’ Actually what it really means is that my girls get presents pretty much every month throughout the whole year rather than all in one go and on one day. This gives them time to cherish each present in their own time. There will even be presents that they themselves choose to re-gift to their friends which is fine by me if it’s their choice. It keeps my girls grounded and makes them appreciate what they have. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. What do you do to keep your children grounded? Would love to hear from you!
Parenting is not easy but it’s not so hard!
*cakes by Maja Dragovic – https://www.facebook.com/dessertshandmade