Teaching Children the Gift of Giving

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Being the child of a blogger is no easy task. Ok, who am I kidding, it’s like winning the jackpot. Almost daily deliveries of something fun to play with have been arriving at our house ever since Whistler was born. So much so, that when the Fed Ex/UPS/Mail Man knocks on the door, Whistler runs to open it screaming “PRESENTS!!!” When every day is Christmas, it’s important for me to make sure my son understands the meaning of gifts and giving to others. We regularly donate our gently used toys as well as brand new toys we receive from birthdays and Christmases to children who are less fortunate. Whistler is actually incredibly good about receiving a box filled with 10 toys, but only picking 2 to keep and the rest to donate. He’s a great kid :)

So what about when it’s time to give gifts to others? He’s finally at an age where I am excited that he can decide and pick out what to buy as gifts for friends and family. I love having the discussion about trying to think of the person and what their likes and dislikes are. For instance, we were recently invited to a pirate birthday party for one of his schoolmates. While we always have an extra something lying around for boys to give as gifts, we rarely have something suitable for a girl. So this was the perfect opportunity to see if Whistler could choose an appropriate gift on his own. 

We headed off to the Hallmark store and he immediately went straight to the card section, because “Mom – all birthday presents need cards”.

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While we browsed the children’s birthday cards, I did my best to stay out of his decision making process. At first he kept going towards the cards he liked, but I would gently remind him who we were shopping for and ask questions like, “What is Madilyn’s favorite color?” and “Do you know what Madilyn likes?”. He immediately knew those answers and began looking for a “pink princess card”.

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We walked by the mega huge card section and he found a fantastic princess pop-up card he really liked. Now it was off to find a present. Once again, I gently reminded him the reason we were there (and that it wasn’t to play with the cars) and he took a minute to walk up and down the aisles.

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In the end he chose an itty bitty doll (Dorothy) because “it looks just like Madilyn – she’ll LOVE it!”. I suggested that we get the doll’s friends (Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion) and we were good to go.
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When we arrived at the party the joy of picking out the presents himself was evident when he gave Madilyn her bag and proudly said “I picked it out just for you!”. Ah, melt my heart the smiles and hugs that ensued!

This was our very first attempt at leaving the gift decision up to Whistler, but I’m excited to make it a regular occurrence. I can’t think of a better lesson to teach my child than the concept of “It’s better to give than to receive”. 

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This post is written on behalf of Hallmark by me. All opinions are 100% mine.

29 thoughts on “Teaching Children the Gift of Giving”

  1. You son in front of that wall of cards is too cute. It looks massive in front of him!

    Such an important lesson to teach our kids about giving.


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