Christmas is only two months away and already stores have decorations, signs and gifts out. The madness begins to see who can grab the best, brightest and most wanted gifts, especially for kids. More than 152 million dollars will be spent over Black Friday weekend alone. But the best gifts are free and our children will love them all year long, not growing tired and bored with them after only a few days. These precious gifts include:
- Discipline-This does not mean punishment but correction and structure. Both of these create a sense of love and security. Proper discipline is positive and always consistent. It allows a child to know guidelines for behavior and choices exists for everyone and by following them, consequences are happy. Dreams are built and come to fruition through the power of loving discipline.
- Integrity-Give your child the gift of total honesty. Never lie to a child, never beat around the bush and never deceive them in any way. Oh, I am not saying to give a child more information than he/she can handle. Usually a short yes or no will be sufficient and satisfy a child’s curiosity. There is no need to expound when giving an honest answer to your child. There is a great need for them to see your integrity and truthfulness. A child can trust truth and as he/she grows will absorb those same values, becoming an adult who is truthful and authentic.
- Affection-Children are pressured to grow up fast. They are away from home and in school at four years old. That is still a baby! They need hugs, kisses, touches, from us. Put your arm around her little shoulders when passing by, ruffle the hair as you place his plate on the table. There are many ways to show affection to our grandchildren. Physical affection is a sign of love and brings us closer emotionally to our little ones.
- Encourage Children-The Holy Bible tells us that words are very important and have power to create life or death (Proverbs 18:21). Give the gift of uplifting and encouraging words. One simple sentence can give a child the boost he needs after a difficult day at school or send him over the edge into discouragement and even despair.
- Questions-Allow a child to wonder and learn. The why, why, why that drives parents mad is a child’s way of learning and exploring the world and her imagination.
- Contentment-When is enough really enough? Americans are driven to buy and collect more and more stuff. Then we buy bigger houses and rent storage buildings to keep all that stuff. Teach children that contentment comes from knowing who we are and has nothing to do with what we have in the material sense. A job title, being on a sports team, top of the honor roll at school, does not bring a sense of well being. All those things are okay, just not the dream.
- More than anything children needs the awesome gift of love. It redeems, heals, nurtures and causes everyone, especially the tender heart of a child, to know we are worthwhile. Let your child have the gist of unconditional love. Hug her when she has just done the most awful thing, bite your tongue when he just broke great grandmother’s china plate and help clean up the pieces while telling a story about great grandmother and letting him know she would have loved him as much as you do. Love is the greatest gift of all. Jesus said so and He was love personified and the ultimate Christmas present to mankind.