Give Presence Not Presents

Give Presence Not Presents

“Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute presents for presence”
~ Anthony Witham

1.Parental involvement helps build a child’s self esteem: Getting involved in your child’s extracurricular activities and life in general will help your child gain confidence. How does your involvement foster your child’s self esteem? Making it a priority to attend your child’s assembly or football game or even simply making sure that his homework is done are gestures that bring feelings of security to your child and send a strong message that he is loved. This is important to a child’s mental health. When these feelings do not exist, then a child is more likely to feel insecure and have feelings of low self-worth.

2.A strong relationship helps build a child’s communication skills: When parents spend time with their children and give presence, they spend more time talking to a child. This is extremely important and also beneficial to build vocabulary, ensure proper grammar use and even teach simple socializing skills. Children are great imitators and what better language to imitate than yours?

3.Your presence teaches important life lessons: All those significant values and ideals that you want to pass on to your children happen organically in your presence. Your actions speak louder than your words and your children will learn how to behave from simply being in your company.

Having established that your presence will in fact not spoil your kids, let us look at what will. What would ensure that you are raising a future entitled adult? For starters, giving too many presents is definitely high on the list! Here are a few other examples:

1.Giving your kid everything he wants and not denying what will make him happy in the present moment.
2.Dressing your child in designer clothes, no matter the cost. Showing her that her outward appearance matters most of all.
3.Placing your child’s needs over those of your spouse. If she cries, you run to her immediately. If she interrupts, you give her your full attention.
4.Entertaining your child throughout the day. If she wants to play tea, then you put your plans aside. If she wants to watch her favourite movie for the hundredth time, you forget your idea of going for a walk and getting some sunshine.
5.You do not discipline your child when she acts up.
6.Her bullying or misbehavior with other children does not worry you or prompt you to take action.

The list can go on but you can see where all of this is going. Teaching our kids early on to work for whatever they want; to earn a toy that they have asked for and not to over value material possessions will help raise an adult who works hard, understands that the world does not owe her anything and ultimately be an adult you will be proud to call your own.

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