This Christmas, how about giving your child gifts to last a lifetime? If we take a moment to remember some of the meaningful gifts in life, we’d probably remember them with a backdrop of a peaceful family gathering or Daddy and Mummy with loving smiles.
The gifts are certainly valuable, but that precious backdrop, immeasurable in value.
This Christmas, give your child that cherished gift. In turn, he/she will have fond memories of the precious gift that only you can give:
1. Love – A Gesture
It is certainly true that some cultures are less expressive in their gestures of love to children. But if your child gets a loving gesture from you, he will be positively affirmed and loved, and these acts are remembered forever, between you and him.
Whether it’s a hug, holding his hand or a brush of his hair, a small gesture goes a long way.
2. Protect Your Child
Think of three things: a father, his daughter and a balloon while crossing the road. Dad is slightly flustered that his daughter is unwilling to cross the road because the balloon flies off. However, Dad succeeds and both get to safety.
By getting her to safety, Dad teaches his daughter about priorities and safety, lovingly reassuring her that he loves her. As for the balloon that flies off, there’s a brighter one at the store just round the corner.
Whenever your child faces these situations or some difficulties, like if she has fallen ill, take her to the doctor and ensure that she takes her medicine.
When you show concern and protect your child, your child will appreciate it, and she will learn the importance of taking care of her own well-being and health as well.
3. Love Your Child Enough to Discipline Him
There will always be moments of conflict, but the real deal does not lie in the conflict itself – what matters most is how we manage them. We can turn these situations around for the good of everyone. If your child has misbehaved and discipline needs to be meted out, carry it out firmly and positively.
Where the situation becomes hard to manoeuvre, like if you child decides to scream at you, here’s some advice from the experts. In the book Talking with the Sky, authors Brian Caswell and David Chiem share the following advice: “If you are very upset or angry about a behaviour or an incident, allow some ‘time out’ to calm yourself and regain control before ‘dealing’ with the incident.
“Emotional responses are never as effective as considered ones. Though you might feel the need to address the incident immediately, it is far better to deal with it effectively and with a positive resolution, than to take action that is fueled by unmanaged emotion.
“Send the child away on his/ her own, to think about what has occurred, and then to find a way to disperse the anger before discussing the incident. This will allow for better communication, and it will allow time for the child to reflect on his/her behaviour too”.
4. Have Peace at Home this Christmas
Christmas is all about peace, as you might remember the song Silent Night.
Make it a point to shower your child with peace this Christmas. Set your home in the right mood for peace with elements like the Christmas tree and a hearty spread that signify and contribute to domestic stability.
5. Focus on the Beauty in Others
By focusing on the beauty in others, you choose to see the positive sides of people. For some of us, this may require a change in perspective, but if we persevere, we will reap a bountiful harvest of positive thoughts, gifts for ourselves and the people around us.
Say your child is making her bed on her own for the first time, and forgets some small detail. Choose to see how she’s contributing to the chores for the first time. Teach her about the small detail, saying, “Thank you, you’re trying your best and Mummy loves it.” Your child can witness the act of positive thinking which leads to a positive outcome.
Incidentally, focusing on the beauty in others is a MindChamps value.
6. Share A Meal Together
As the saying goes, “A family that eats together stays together.” For a close-knit family that is grounded on understanding and support, sharing a meal is one of the best gifts in life. Need we say more?
7. Don’t Leave Anyone Out!
While bestowing gifts that last a lifetime to your child, ensure nobody is left out. A family member with whom you may not have much conversation or contact could turn out to have a great character you don’t know about, until you make the discovery.
If you impart values of not leaving people out to your child, it entails character-moulding and the use of effective communication and interpersonal skills.
This is possibly the best gift you can give to him.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Find out how your child can develop effective communication and interpersonal skills through MindChamps’ Thinking Cap programme.
This article was first published in the MindChamps blog.