Recently, I was at a friend’s house where it was pointed out to me by a child that his dad had gotten him a present. I loved hearing that the focus was on the giver of the gift, and not so much on the gift, itself.
Parents, I think it is such a wonderful thing to love on your kids with gifts. It can bring them such happiness and can be such a rewarding thing for us as parents, knowing we have brought this enjoyable feeling to someone else.
I just want to pass along today a warning. Maybe that’s a bit strong, but the point is to convey at least, something to be aware that carries a lurking danger. What I’m describing is falling into a trap of giving gifts to pursue earning someone else’s love. You’ll know if you are moving in that direction (or have gotten there) when you get into a conflict with your children (or spouse) and you bring up how much you’ve given them as a proof of your love.
Again, just to be clear, I think being generous in giving others gifts is a great thing and having evidences (good works) of your love is important, but I want to point out that the very best gift you can give your children, or even your spouse is yourself.
So, practically speaking, when you are really busy and your kids (or your spouse) ask you to do something for them (or with them), are you willing at that moment to lay down your workload for them? When you do, I believe more often than not, your kids, or even your spouse, they know you are busy, but they see first hand that their life is really more important to you than your work, etc.
I believe when those moments occur, you will be giving them something that no material possession can offer–that inner sense of knowing that their lives really matter and that they are loved.