Holiday Giving and the 5 Love Languages
Do you feel like your children or students have a case of the “Christmas gimmies?”
Is “no” fast becoming your most used word during the holiday season?
Are you rushed and stressed already about shopping and hosting family events?
The holiday season is here and as usual there is a lot of discussion about gifts. One reason that I wrote Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Giving was out of my own experience as a mom of small children. It seemed everywhere we turned, we were inundated with messages about what to buy and what to get for Christmas. I believe that as parents and educators we can turn this around and instead, think about what we can give.
The Five Caring Languages
One way to plan gift giving is to recognize our children’s personality and temperament. As parents we connect best with our children when we recognize the five caring languages as identified by Gary D. Chapman and speak to our children in those languages. Here are the five love languages as well as some unique ideas for gift giving:
- Words of affirmation–Could you write your child a Christmas letter that expresses gratitude for all their unique qualities?
- Acts of service–Could you share a service project together? Visit a friend or relative that needs cheering up over the holidays?
- Receiving gifts–We all focus on this one at Christmas! One suggestion for managing this aspect of Christmas is to buy your child three gifts: one gift that the child wants, one that they need and one that is a surprise. I think this suggestion is fabulous and it covers all the possibilities. It has an element of fun, an element of practicality or educational value and it also gives the child a choice but forces some prioritizing of items.
- Quality time–Could your gift be spending some special time enjoying a particular activity together? It could be a day at home watching movies and making cocoa and cookies or a visit to a local museum.
- Physical touch–Hopefully this is a part of every day but a gift could focus on a relaxing back rub before bed or an evening of snuggling in front of a movie as a family.
Teaching our children to become other-focused rather than self-centered and me-focused is an important step in making sure that our children grow up to be caring compassionate adults. There are many ways to encourage this in our children, but the holiday season is especially rich in opportunities to bless our children.
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School Counselor Resources
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Giving
It’s almost Christmas and Wyatt the Wonder Dog is wondering how long he will have to wait until the big day and what gifts he will get. His mother however, has a more important question, “What will you give for Christmas?” Join Wyatt as he learns a valuable lesson about how anyone can be generous and giving at Christmas and all through the year.
With Wyatt the Wonder Dog as their guide, children learn the value of generosity and what it means to give from the heart. Lynne Watts deftly weaves this powerful lesson in a delightfully entertaining story sure to appeal to both children and parents.~ Martha Jane Orlando, author of Children in the Garden
Grab your copy here: Wyatt the Wonder Dog: Learns About Giving
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