How much should you give your children?

Posted by Samantha on September 1, 2011 in Love, Materialism, Parenting Dilemmas, Stuff |

You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Kahlil Gibran

Busy making presents for Mama in the tree house

Until I had children, I had no idea just how much giving was involved in being a parent.

As a teenager, I can remember thinking “I never asked to be born” and other similarly defensive thoughts when my parents attempted to motivate me by pointing out how much they gave me.

I can smile now.  I don’t think any of us thought it was funny at the time.

We give our children a lot: from holidays to beautiful clothes, over-the-top birthday parties to more holiday activities than you could poke a stick at.  It’s expensive.  And unnecessary.

I recently watched Cherry Healey’s BBC 3 program Parenting Dilemmas.  One mother worked several jobs, including one as a lap dancer and stripper, to earn enough money to indulge her three children with the material stuff she thought would make them happy.  They were such clearly unhappy children it was quite painful to watch.

Because our children are so wise, they know that it’s “when you give of yourself that you truly give”.

If we’re not willing to give of ourselves to our children – enough as they need – then our children and our families suffer the consequences.

And just as parents feel the difference between a child who happily does what they are asked and one who carries out the task but who lacks a certain willingness, our children can tell when we’re happy to give.  Or not.

When we give of ourselves with a smile, then we’re really giving.

So what’s “giving enough”?  That’s the million dollar question.  And you can only answer it for yourself.

If things are more good than bad in your family, then you’re giving enough.  If you’d like things to improve, give more.

We just need to make sure it’s the right kind of giving.

Modelling the finished present!

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