Monday, December 17, 2012

The Spirit of Giving

I wonder if giving is something innate, or something we learn?

I think it's both, but with my own children, I think it's something that has had to be taught and learned.  What 2 or 3 yr old do you know that LOVES to share!?  I never knew one.  We've been trying to help the kids focus on giving to OTHERS, rather than focusing on their own Christmas wishes.  One small way we've tried to teach this, is with a little sibling gift exchange.  The kids each drew a name at the beginning of the month, and each has (or will get to) go out with Mom or Dad and get a gift for their person.  The money for the gift they earn over several Saturdays of doing extra chores.  They were also asked to look for ways to serve that sibling with kind acts over the month.

Boo's still learning to grasp the concept of money, and if given the choice of $10.00 or a bag of skittles, she'll take the bag of skittles every time!  She drew Diddles' name, and her immediate comment was, "I'll just keep my money and draw her a picture instead."  I think her thought was, 'then I don't have to do a bunch of extra chores!'  I told her a picture is REALLY nice, but that I'd also like her to give it in addition to a thoughtful gift paid for with money she earned.  I was happy when she finally came up with a container of bubble bath for Diddles, which she will love.  Off we went to the Dollar Store, and Boo got to choose a bubble bath container and then head to the counter to pay for it.  We double-wrapped it in bags, so no one could see, and she had a happy/proud look on her face heading out to the car.  Baby steps. I was also happy to see her sit down the other night with Diddles and read her the story Chicken Soup with Rice.  Sweet girls.

"Kicken Soup Wiff Wice!"

Friday night we were finishing our lists of extra chores, and Yaks got in trouble for talking rudely.  He was sent to his room for a time-out, and became really upset when I told him his behavior would be reported to Santa.  He went to his room and angrily threw all of his clothes and closet linens (which he had JUST put away as part of his chores) all over the floor (Santa saw that too, but I wasn't about to tell him that)!  I calmly explained that it was really sad that he chose to throw his clothes all over the floor, but that he would have to clean it all up before we could read our chapter book (The Fantastic Mr. Fox).  I volunteered to help him clean up his hanger clothes, and he got to work picking up the contents of his dresser.  Boo peeked her head in the door and with no coaxing from me, said, "Yaks, do you need some help?"  He was embarrassed, but she asked again. "I could help you if you want."  "sure."  And quick as a wink all was cleaned up, forgiven and forgotten.  I was so proud of her!  Yay, Boo!

Lost his 8th tooth on Saturday evening!

Saturday night we went to Walmart and Yaks chose a craft gift for Boo.  On the way into the store was one of the Salvation Army bell ringers.  Yaks asked, "Mom, why are those guys standing next to those red buckets?"  I told him they collect money to give to the poor.  Yaks had diligently saved about $5.00 for his present, and the one he chose cost a few dollars.  I asked him if he wanted to get Boo a candy treat with his change, and he said, "no, I have something else in mind." (so cute)  We passed the bell ringer on our way back to the car, and he said, "Mom, if I want, could I give my extra money to the poor?"  I told him it was his choice, if he wanted to do that.  "I want to give this money to the poor. "  So, back we went across the street so he could plunk his quarters, nickels and dimes into the bucket.

Wrapping his Christmas gift to Boo using staples instead of tape!

Hooray for Christmas and the spirit of giving.  

1 comment:

Marie' said...

That just warms my heart, Amy! What sweet kids you have. We love them so much!