Love the gifts kids give you
This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post asks you to think about how you receive the gifts your children give you. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.
It is better to give than receive. True or false? On the bangle and necklace stall at the school summer fair (between downpours) a little boy (possibly year 2) picked out a bangle, bought it for 5p, and handed it as a gift to his mum. “That’s so nice” she said giving him a kiss and putting it straight on to her arm where it clunked merrily beside considerably nicer bangles.
What a sweetie the pair were – he for picking it out, and she for loving it.
Just recently several dads have admitted in conversation to doing things that made me shudder for their dad-child bond. Of course they haven’t really done anything that bad, just not played fair or failed to like something their child choose for them.
Q: In the same situation, what would you hope to do?
GAMES: Say you taught your child to play chess (or tennis, or squash) and they love it. And they are good. Then they beat you (aged six, or some other equally precocious age). Would you have a tantrum? Or be happy to know you’d passed on a skill fabulously?
BOOKS: Say it’s Christmas and your teenager (who you’ve nagged all year to read more and study harder) has picked out a book for you. It’s one he’s read at school and, against the odds, really enjoyed. It’s also a classic (eg, War of the Worlds or 1984) and you just hate that type of oldie-worldie sci-fi genre. Would you read it? Or just stick it in a drawer and try to forget it?
I’m guilty of loving my kids’ presents -though perhaps not as instantly and uncritically as the mum at the fair. But I have had trouble with one particular gift my mum made me two Christmases ago. I know it took her hours of work adapting a cardi from a charity shop with braid and trendy buttons in a piece of creative upcycling. On paper I should adore this item. The problem is that the jumper is grey, a colour I never wear as I think it’s aging and depressing especially if you live in a city with grey skies, pavements and buildings. Since then I have worn the jumper, but not nearly as much as I would if it was just in a different colour. I can’t tell you how guilty I feel for this reluctance. (Nothing obviously a therapist couldn’t sort out, ha ha).
Clearly I’m in no position to judge anyone. But here’s a tip – if you can adore the gifts your children give you, it’s lovely for them. After all, most of us want our parents to be proud of us, whatever great age we reach. See this post for some foodie gift ideas that you are sure to always enjoy receiving.
Over to you
Have you ever made a mistake giving or receiving?