It is official, today is Black Friday, which triggers people buying presents for the holidays. Of course, your kids will likely receive some of these gifts.
Over the years I have been asked how to keep kids grounded when they receive gifts, whether it is the traditional holidays, random gifts, or extravagant purchases. The givers are usually family members like grandparents, aunts/uncles, or sometimes an estranged parent may purchase gifts to offset lost quality time.
Gift giving is a very nice gesture, but unless you help your kids understand the big picture, they may begin to feel entitled or unappreciative. To help prevent this, make it a MoneyBags Moment, let your kids know that lots of events happened before that gift came to them. First, let them know that the gift is really a token of love and appreciation from the giver. The giver decided that your child was so special that they spent their hard-earned money and time on them. Explain to your kids that the giver worked to earn the money that purchased their present. Next, the giver took time to think about and locate the gift. Moreover, if it is wrapped and/or shipped this took additional time and cost.
By taking steps to educate your children about what is really behind the gift, it will help them appreciate it and the giver more. The goal is to teach them the importance of earning the money and choosing how to spend it. To drive this message home, I believe having your kids write formal Thank You cards is the answer.
This “old fashion” gesture, not only teaches your kids good manners, but it teaches them basic skills that they aren’t being taught in school. This is your opportunity to teach them how to write a Thank You note and address an envelope. As highlighted in Brian Tracy’s book “No Excuses” the act of writing actually “forces you to think and concentrate.”
Furthermore, in this day of technology and instant gratification, to receive a formal Thank You card in the mail makes this kind gesture stand out. Your kids will begin to realize that the gifts they are receiving are not typical and good manners dictate a formal acknowledgment.
So, teach your kids this valuable habit and have them sit down and formally thank the giver.
Here is to filling your MoneyBags!
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