Filling the Void: Giving Without Buying
For any of us who have done foster parenting, it is so easy to buy for kids: we see them as coming from impoverished homes so we try to buy and buy and buy to fill them up. And the more we buy, the less they appreciate. Which then causes us, the adults, to feel resentful, because aren’t we doing a good thing?
Children often need to be filled up on the inside, not with “things” but with time, energy, patience, love, an ear to listen to their stories. And we have become such a materialistic society that we go out and buy a trinket, a video game, a stuffed animal, or a new toy to give instead.
So what should we be giving as gifts? Well, every child needs the gift of time with a caring adult. And depending on the age, that can be a walk to the park and an hour swinging, a hike in a grove of trees, a trip to the lake to fish, an hour spent at the skateboard park watching the new “moves”, or extra time in the evening reading aloud. It can be an hour spent making a new craft, drawing in a sketch pad, or just sitting in a swing with your child. Nothing speaks of our commitment to a child like the actual commitment of time. We have become so entrenched in the material things that we often don’t even consider the non-material, which is really how the void fills ………from the inside.
Think about the favorite times spent with your mom or dad, your grandma or grandpa, your favorite uncle or aunt? Were those times about the things that came in boxes or were they about learning to tie your fish hook on, camping in the early spring, or riding on a trail ride?
As we enter the season of gift-giving, try to eliminate some of the conflict by giving the gift of time—your time as a parent to be with your child. It will be a gift to both of you, as the time spent will gratify you in new ways and help solidify the relationship and connection with your child.
Tags: filling the inside with out material goods
, gifts of connection
, gifts without buying
, giving time