Birthdays and Birthrights – Lessons for Parents
It was our elder daughter’s birthday and she was elated seeing her birthday gift. Not that it was a surprise to her. In fact, she gently expressed what she wanted as gift when we had asked her preference well ahead of time.
“Mama, my birthday is coming up next. What will be my birthday gift?” This was coming from my younger one. “Baby we still have eight months for that. We will see later” was my reply. She said “okaaay” in her usual style and went back to appreciate her sister’s gift.
It was Christmas; time for gifts again. We got my daughters their gifts and then it came again. “Mama it is less than four months for my birthday”. It soon became two months, then one month and two weeks. The countdown started. It was then she approached her Papa with her tab. She opened YouTube and showed her Papa what she wanted as her birthday gift. It was a toy!
Papa dutifully promised that he would buy her what she wanted. Moreover, within a week promptly reported that he visited the store at the City Center but unfortunately, the same kind of toy was not available. However, there are several others and she could pick her choice on her birthday.
The big day came and my daughter was all excited. We went to the outlet. A smart sales person was soon by our side. My daughter went straight to a particular display section, scanned the toys and pointed to the biggest box on the shelf. The sales man took it out and handed it to me. I got a shock when I saw the price. My life partner accepted that he had not checked the price.
I started convincing my daughter that for that price, we could get a branded watch or jewelry. I believed that spending so much on a toy is a sheer waste. (No offense to toy manufacturers) I told that we would buy her anything useful and long lasting. Her face withered. She argued that we got an expensive gift for her sister.
Long story short, Papa said it is her birthday and that he had promised her, so we got her what she liked.
However, I learned few lessons that day.
Lesson #1: Ask your children their preference for a gift. It saves your time in toying with your ideas or exploring gift trends. Furthermore, it satisfies the desires of your children. Ask them, but giving is your choice. You can always coax them for getting something useful.
Lesson #2: Be careful in making commitments or promises. Know the length and breadth of what you are getting yourself into and accordingly make promises. For example, if it is a toy or an electronic product, check the price, usefulness, difficulty level, aftersales, and maintenance and so on.
Lesson #3: Do not break your promises. Children look upon you as a role model and if you promise something and do not keep up, it disheartens children. Moreover, they remember it for a long time.
Lesson #4: Price tag supersedes children’s needs. So, when you are spending on gifts for one child, remember that you have to spend the same amount for the other child (ren) too. It is their birthright and children waste no time in claiming their birthright.
Lesson #5: Do not always think that buying toys for children as they grow up is a waste of money. It is sometimes better since it keeps children off mobiles and they spend quality time in playing with educational toys. It demands both intellectual and psychological attention from children.
Lesson #6: Do not always give in to your emotions or emotional parades by your children. If you are convinced that your child does not need a particular gift at that point of time, do not buy. They might be upset initially but they sure understand.
Lesson #7: It is a joy to see the smile lit up on your children’s face. Most times as parents, we make sacrifices for the sake of our children. We do many things to please them and make them happy. Always remember, no amount of sacrifice is too much for your children. They are your children and they need to enjoy their birthright.
Lesson #8: Do not always think that money and expensive gifts will make your children happy. The beautiful life we live and enjoy as a family gives them more happiness than gifts could buy. Live a life painted with values, spirituality and peace.
I would love to learn more lessons from you. Please share your views in the comments box below.