What will YOU give your child for Christmas? #ThrowbackThursday

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It’s not the presents that matter, it’s your presence.

Kids… they can pretty much always have a list a mile long, of things that they would like for Christmas.

Take, for example, my kids.

Lil Princess, at 7, seems to add things that she desperately NEEDS on a daily basis. (Not that she will get it all!)

Lil Man is a little older and wiser, it seems, at 10. He has requested 2 things, and is not bothered about getting anything else… they would just be bonuses.

But still, when you add it all together, we are looking at £3-400 worth of stuff, if we got it all. And if we did get it all, would that make us the best parents in the world?

No.

It would make us one of a growing number of parents who, having been working to support our family, feel the need to give our children everything they asked for, to make up for not being there all the time.

I’m seeing this on a daily basis now, working in Nursery. And unfortunately this trend of giving all, and giving in, is not helping our younger generations to develop at a normal rate at all.

Parents giving kids as young as 1, tablets or phones to play with, to keep them quiet, while they get things done.  What they are doing, is robbing their children of precious time they could be spending together, talking, developing their children’s speech, and personal skills. Instead, we get children who have no idea how to communicate, as they are stuck with the  electronic version of a dummy to mute them.

Or those parents who have a mere hour with their children daily, as they are at work. It is much easier to let them do what they want, give them what they are moaning for, it saves your ear drums, and, makes that short time with your child much more pleasant. No tantrums.

Then those who have the time, but can’t take the initiative to introduce their children to society.  Play groups, play dates, activity clubs.  All these places give a child a chance to socialise, and bond with their peers, and realise that the world doesn’t always revolve around them.

We have so many children in our nursery who are only children. They don’t even have another small person at home to bounce off of, and to create relationships with. So when they come to us, and are faced with 19 other little people, vying for the adult’s attention, and having to learn that they can’t get everything when they want, it can be frustrating.

But going back to the children and their electronic dummies… This issue probably worries me the most.  Constant use of things like the TV, Phones and Tablets to keep the kids busy, meant that they may be hearing words being spoken, but they are not being spoken to, and there is no encouragement for them to talk.  Hence the amount of kids operating at maybe a year, if not more, younger than expectations.

It’s not just the speech that is an issue.  Constant use of these devices, mean that children are not given pencils, pens and paper.  Therefore they struggle to even hold a pencil or pen at school, their fine motor skills are grossly lacking.

All this holds them back, seriously.

So when I say don’t lay such an emphasis on presents, but try to be there for your child, give them your presence, I mean you will be giving the biggest present anyway.

Talking to your little one, you can give them a rich vocabulary, reading to them, you can teach them so much.  Getting those colouring books out, or pens and paper, scissors, glue and glitter, may be messy, but it will help to give your child skills that they can’t do without as they grow up. Play some games with them, encourage turn taking, and show them they may not win every time, but that it is the taking part that counts.

I hope I don’t sound like I am preaching, but I feel so strongly about this issue, and it is heartbreaking to see how many kids will be labelled as ‘failing’ expectations, because we, as parents, think we are doing the best thing, when in fact hearing ‘no’ isn’t a bad thing, heck, screaming strengthens their lungs! (Just invest in ear plugs!)

Peace out Peeps! Carry on enjoying your festive season!

115 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evelyn Rogers
    Dec 19, 2017 @ 18:30:18

    I found this on facebook…something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. I haven’t gotten this much joy out of Christmas shopping since I was buying Ninja Turtles.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jennie
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 12:21:23

    Hear hear, Ritu!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Rohvannyn
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 02:03:20

    Great article! It makes me glad I had the childhood I did. I can use the net like a real netizen, but at the same time I haven’t forgotten how to read and write with analog materials. Then again, I didn’t use computers much till I was a teen. And I’m finally being dragged kicking and screaming into smartphones. I like my flip phone! It’s indestructible, can hold a charge for a week, and is easy to carry around.

    Anyway, I appreciate what you say here. As for what I’m getting my kids for Chrsitmas? Catnip, possibly a new scratching post, and their favorite flavor of Gooshy Food.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Dec 15, 2017 @ 07:00:45

      Now those are the kinda kids you can be sure won’t get addicted to media!!! Even though mine tends to feature on mine, he doesn’t really care for a screen!!!
      Thanks for reading, commenting and appreciating! Happy Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  4. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 01:57:19

    Hey, you are a real caretaker. Thank you for this very informative posting. Have a good weekend. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 01:56:11

    Reply

  6. drallisonbrown
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 22:32:24

    You are so right! It’s about presence, not presents. As an educator, I see the results of abdicating your parental responsibility. Even “good” parents don’t want to take the time to teach their children – it takes too much time. Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  7. Ritu
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 17:08:23

    I truly hope so too Irene 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  8. Teagan R. Geneviene
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 13:39:29

    Well said, Ritu. Have a thriving Thursday!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  9. Radhika Acharya
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 10:38:39

    Loved your blog as always!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Osyth
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 08:17:58

    You preach as loud as you want to …. I cannot express more strongly how much I agree with every single word. As a Mother now beginning to wake up to the fact that being a Granny won’t be so far down the line if fortune and the fates are kind to my girls, I worry. On so many levels, I worry. And the number of times I have said to friends and family that I consider I was the lucky one being a single mother with no child-support forthcoming on a relatively low income because it meant I couldn’t pander and give into electronic babysitters (in those days it was TV and PlayStations) I had no choice. And I am glad. Because I don’t flatter myself that I would always have been strong enough to resist if my pockets had been deeper. I would like to share this excellent piece with my FaceBook crowd if you are happy for me to do so 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  11. IreneDesign2011
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 05:39:29

    Wow Ritu, great post and I can only agree with you 🙂
    It is years back yes, but I remember a fight to allow my daughter to get a used PC for her 10 years of birthday. She got it, but I did fight against this for a while.
    I had restrictions for TV too, no news or bad movies, only child TV in max. 1 hour a day. Many thought, that I was too restrictive, but I wished to let my kids be kids as long as possible.
    We did instead be creative together and today, where they are adults, they are both great to be creative and to think creative, so I do feel, I did the right back then.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  12. JazzWood
    Dec 15, 2015 @ 21:31:04

    My son want a Lego School bag, he is starting school this coming spring. We are not giving the kids anything electronic for christmas!
    They do get a lot of Lego, but i guess they have to use the brain a bit to build it…? right?
    I am so glad we are done with all the gift buying now, so the rest of christmas to bake cookies, make some christmas decoration and just be with each other as a “growing’ family” i just had to say it again aunty 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  13. itsgoodtobecrazysometimes
    Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:29:52

    I realised how much time I was spending with technology and implimented a non technology hour when my son is at pre school and when he is on holiday, we spend the time he would of been at pre school with everything off. Apart from the radio I need a back ground noise.

    Having said that I have brought him a cheap tablet, so that he can play games rather than use my phone, but again that will be limited. (he is 3)

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  14. Underdaddy
    Dec 12, 2015 @ 15:09:35

    Bicycles for everyone this year, even parents. We are going to ride our lazy asses off this next year.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  15. Rareity
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 23:47:02

    Xavier become a “give me your top five choices, because you’ll get one or two and be happy with that.” Kind of parent. It’s not about the gifts, it is about the moral, and as you said “presence is key, Will always be.”

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  16. astridswords
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 23:16:11

    Great words! My daughter and I agreed that we wanted smiles and laughter with family for Christmas =)

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  17. wafflemethis
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 20:11:33

    Here here sis, ☺

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  18. Michelle
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 19:29:12

    AMEN!!! We always tell them no no matter what most of the time then get it or allow them to do whatever it was they wanted to do later. That way, it’s a lot more appreciated when they get it or get too and if for some reason something comes up we aren’t turning taking our yes away from them. Also, it can be fun. Lol

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  19. Ann GrubbsnCritters
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 17:20:43

    I’m in complete agreement, Ritu! No need for expensive gadgets – those are only for the parents when the kids are not around.The same for chocolates and marshmallows…Hee..heee! 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  20. charlypriest
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 14:00:54

    What a spoil generation we have now, I was more than happy with a second rate soccer ball. And now the best and most treasured memories is being with my mother, I don´t remember the presents but I do remember her.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  21. mstoywhisperer
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 13:44:42

    Time is the most precious gift.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  22. lbeth1950
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 13:42:26

    I loved giving, but my kids knew they got one big thing and four small ones.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  23. amaya911
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 13:02:26

    This is all so true. I’m sometimes guilty of spoiling my son too much because he’s my only child. I think I also feel bad because I always have to work so I give in to what he wants. I don’t always say yes but there’s times when I do. He gets upset when I don’t give in but oh well he gets over it. I reward him a lot when he does well at school or does chores. He loves the tablet and TV. He wanted a phone and I said no. He didn’t take it that hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  24. TanGental
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 12:51:25

    How very true. The idea if quality time pervading our world when the kids were younger. But the kids didn’t get this hour or whatever was meant to be their peak performance. Such baloney. Give them time. Lots of it. Oh and pencils.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  25. susieshy45
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 08:25:47

    Ritu, great post. Thank God there are people like you who think contrary to the popular opinion of getting iPads to keep children out of one’s hair. My children are electronics savvy but not because of me, because of their schools. In their school, iPads are given to children so they can read more. I am personally against even Kindle for reading- preferring the solid good old book instead, tree cutting not withstanding. There is nothing better than time spent with a child and being there for them.
    As to gifts, I don’t have much money to spend on Xmas gifts, so that is a no-no- also my children are big now so I guess they don’t expect more. Moreover all through the year, I give them gifts whenever they ask for stuff.
    Susie

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Dec 11, 2015 @ 08:40:55

      Thanks for reading Susie. It is such a hard one, but many parents seem to not have the time to spend with their children, so they want that small window of togetherness to be fun filled… So they get the presents out all the time! Then there are those who are at home with young kids and they crave peace, so the electronic dummy is the easiest solution!
      But there are definitely parents out there who get it right too… I don’t want to forget them!
      I remember, when my two were little, going to a wedding function, and the back wall of the hall, where the party was, was a collection point for older kids and young teens all on their Nintendo DS hand helps… There was no conversation, and they were possibly even communication through these devices, not by talking…
      I refused then and there to get the kids something like that at a young age… We got them kindle fires for Christmas this year, as there was a great offer, but it will be controlled usage, and a way for them to learn responsibility too.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  26. elementhealing
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 06:21:09

    You are absolutely right. It is so much easier for some parents to give things instead of time. Then that child has children and being taught that things mean love does the same thing. And on and on. Both parents and children have no ides what they are missing out on. I cherish the ttime spent with my son, reading and playing and doing crafts. Time is way more important than toys.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  27. New Journey
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 05:08:10

    love your post

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  28. dray0308
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 03:58:37

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:

    This is one of the blogs I follow…But I Smile Anyway!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  29. Donna
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 01:38:42

    Wow glad my grandbabies get family time more than toys. Both give up a present to charity and for birthdays they request donations to a charity instead of gifts. I like those ideas. I always make presents for them all as I have always thought it meant more at least it does to me. I always ask for one thibg from them which is a picture…..of c oursem

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Dec 11, 2015 @ 07:58:23

      That is such a noble thing for your grandkids to do! We have also discussed this with ours. My girl wants a rather expensive reborn baby doll… So the deal is she donates some of her unused dolls to charity first… And my son is pretty compassionate like that anyway!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

  30. vanbytheriver
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 23:23:36

    Wise words, Ritu. We are all seeing the results of those electronic babysitters. It’s heartbreaking. I’m sorry to say that we’ll all pay the price some day. Presence…is so very important !

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Dec 11, 2015 @ 07:55:45

      Absolutely Van! I’m definitely not innocent… We ha e used this’d babysitters too, but there is balance. We have a lot of family time as well, so I hope we have got it relatively ok!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  31. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 23:10:18

    Such a thoughtful and important post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  32. Michelle
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:41:10

    I always enjoy reading your post!! I believe that there can definitely be an overuse of Technology/devices for anyone, especially younger children. You are right it takes away from the child growing their communication skills and connecting with people. However I am one of those parents that has a iPad for my daughter. She is just over 14 months. We use it for fun educational activities. (I say “we”, because I participate with her to make sure she stays on task.) I believe parents just have to find a balance; arts & crafts, writing, drawing are all essential to learning and growth, but the technology can also be very beneficial, when not being abused.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:50:57

      Oh absolutely! Nowadays a balance is required, but there are many parents guilty of using these things as babysitters… It works, keeps kids quiet, but they don’t realise that it is being used to the detriment of their child’s overall development.
      My kids are a little older, but they were aware of how to use these things. But I always kept paper and pens with me if i needed to occupy them, and I talk way too much, so having kids as a captive audience… I’d never give that a miss!
      Well done for you getting a balance right! ☺

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

  33. Erika Kind
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:31:29

    No, sis, you don’t sound like preaching. I totally go with you. My kids got their first phone when they left elementary school with 11/12 years and their first laptop with 16. But of course they have their PlayStation and XBox… I was very strict for long with my daughter. But once the first child gets somthing the younger ones benefit from it. The gifts for our kids are limited to a certain amount per child. We have to calculate too. So they all know in which range their wishes can be… not in the PlayStation range unless they pay a part. But you know what? When I asked them what they wish for Christmas, they didn’t even know… 😖

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  34. incahootswithmuddyboots
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:24:16

    Wise words! When our kids were younger, we slowed down their “consumerism” by telling them that they would have to save up their allowance, and we would pay for the sales tax (it is added onto the sale price at the register). This way, we didn’t
    say no, and they quickly figured out if they really “needed” something by learning the value of money. There also was no TV in the house, until they were about 9 and 10 years old. It’s much more tedious to not have an electronic babysitter, but the early years are so important in a child’s development.
    This post is one of my very favorite ones this year! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  35. edwinasepisodes
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:15:40

    How sad that some children hardly get spoken to and hardly know how to communicate,

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  36. Marquessa
    Dec 10, 2015 @ 22:15:25

    Excellent post and so on point! Though I am childfree, teaching about just being together is so important!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

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