Tag Archives: love

Meaningful Gift Giving

12 Dec

Yesterday we blogged about some great gifts kids can make for friends and family. Today, Dr. Keith Kanner, shares his blog with us about the true meaning of gift giving.

Background:With the holidays just around the corner, children and adults alike are struggling to find that “right” gift for a loved one and become concerned with issues such as quantity, quality, degree of personal appreciation, and amount of money available for gift buying in an economy that is tight for many. The giving of a gift for most however, is, intended to be an expression of love, affection, and appreciation of others, while the receiver is commonly touched by the thought and investment of the other’s time and thought about the choice of the token.
The “right” or most meaningful gift however is typically based upon on how well the giver knows the needs, interests, and personality of the recipient. When this type of information is obtained, issues of quantity are replaced with the more important aspect of quality, and the outcome is a benefit for all. The recipient feels as though the giver took the time to find out what he or she was really in need of or interested in, while the giver then feels gratified that their choice was well accepted and appreciated. So, how does one go about obtaining this type of information? If one plans ahead, asking the recipient what they are interested in before the holiday season allows one to gain important and direct information. However, most people do not plan far in advance and then asking such questions too close to the season eliminates the surprise. In most cases, most people then rely on other people who know the interests of the person and t! his then helps narrow down possible gifts.

Once this type of information is obtained, the concern of finance then becomes an important consideration and the giving person must be realistic in what they are able to afford given other gift commitments for their entire lists. Here, perhaps having a number of possible “meaningful” gifts for the recipient is important for some will be more expensive than others and one may fit more into the budget than another.

For children giving gifts, they will typically need the assistance of their parents to both choose and purchase gifts for others. For many parents however, they often enjoy their child making them a gift, rather than buying one, and this is often more meaningful than any sort of purchased item. Here, again, the quality of the gift outweighs the amount of money spent of number of presents.

It is very important that parents teach their children early about the goals of gift giving – that gifts are tokens of love, appreciation, and an investment in trying to bring some joy to another person. Here is where the uniqueness of a gift becomes important as it relates to a person’s needs and desires and that they have more to do with the meaning of the gift rather than the price or amount of presents given or received.

After all, when all is said and done, most individuals, adults and children alike, seem to be most invested in gifts which fit their needs and interests, rather than numbers of gifts which end up being stored in a closet and never enjoyed.

Key Points:

1. The “right” or most meaningful gift however is typically based upon on how well the giver knows the needs, interests, and personality of the recipient. Quality is much more important than quantity.

2. The concern of finance then becomes an important consideration and the giving person must be realistic in what they are able to afford given other gift commitments for their entire lists.

3. For children giving gifts, they will typically need the assistance of their parents to both choose and purchase gifts for others.

4. It is very important that parents teach their children early about the goals of gift giving – that gifts are tokens of love, appreciation, and an investment in trying to bring some joy to another person. It is not the price of the gift, amount of gifts, but the thought and meaning behind the gift that is the most important.

Find more from Dr. Kanner, author of Your Family Matters, at kanner.tv


Laura Crawford
Social Media/Web Content Manager
Dr. Keith Kanner
Web: www.kanner.tv
Facebook: Dr.KeithKanner
@DrKeithKanner

To All You Mean Moms (and Dads)

16 Nov

Do your kids push your buttons? Be strong and stand firm.

A mean mom shared this with me and I proudly hang it on my refrigerator. I was raised by a mean mom and I hope my kids grow up to be mean moms and dads. Don’t forget to share this with other mean parents.

To all you Mean Moms (and Dads)

Someday when my children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will
tell them, as my Mean Mom told me: I loved you
enough to ask where you were going, with whom,
and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you
discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to make you go pay for the
bubble gum you had taken and tell the clerk, “I
stole this yesterday and want to pay for it.”

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours
while you cleaned your room, a job that should have
taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger,
disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must
learn that their parents aren’t perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the
responsibility for your actions even when the
penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say
NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I’m
glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates parents, you
will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the
meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids
ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal,
eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a
Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you
can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was
different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all
times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She
had to know who our friends were, and what we were
doing with them. She insisted that if we said we
would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an
hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve
to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We
had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to
cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash
and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie
awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time
we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had
eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really
tough!

Mother wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn
when they drove up. They had to come up to the door
so she could meet them. While everyone else could
date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until
we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of
things other kids experienced. None of us have ever
been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s
property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all
her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated,
honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean
parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what’s wrong with the world today.
It just doesn’t have enough mean moms!

Ideas for teaching good behavior skills.

Download our Monthly Activity Calendar.

King for a Day

4 Nov

Have you considered making your husband king for a day? I don’t mean in a silly way, I mean really doing some special things just for him.

Remember when you were dating and you did special things for your husband? You know what I mean; little notes, call just to say hi, picking up his favorite food. Why not do some of those things today and let him know you’re thinking of him. Who knows, he may surprise you and make you queen for a day.

Download our November Activity Calendar for kids.

Music to My Ears

11 Oct

Hopefully I’m not dating myself but I’m guessing you’ve heard the song, It’s My Party. I’d sing it for you but, trust me, you’d rather click here and listen to it than have me sing for you.

Today is, It’s My Party Day, and what’s a party without music. We sing song’s like Happy Birthday, For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, and Auld Lang Syne, to celebrate events and achievements. But music is around us every day even when it’s not a holiday.

Research has told us that music is important for a child’s brain development, but music provides so much more. Music provides a closeness between parent and child; when you sing your newborn to sleep or dance together at your child’s wedding. Music teaches us history; wartime struggles, social changes, joyful experiences. We Didn’t Start the Fire, by Billy Joel packs 40 years of historical events into less than five minutes. And, introducing your child to music you love teaches them about your history.

Music encourages creativity; The Blue Man Group and The Voca People have uniquely creative musical styles.  Music helps define emotions. What teenage girl hasn’t found a song to help her through her latest heartache? Music builds reading and math skills, helps with concentration, coordination and relaxation. What more could you want?

Exposing your child to music doesn’t have to be formal. Listen to a bird’s song, the rustling of the leaves in the wind or the bang on some pots and pans. Listen for it. Music isn’t just for celebrations, it’s for every day.

For simple music you can make from foil, visit our site, Smart Mom University.

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