Today while I was standing in my little alley kitchen washing dishes and making sweet tea. It was dark and pretty gloomy looking out over the Appalachian Big Hill area. I was thinking about Christmas and feeling inadequate at buying what children of my family would want. I was doing it again comparing myself to my sister and her fabulous ability to find and buy the perfect gift.
I then began to think about children in classrooms that I had taught in throughout the years. I began to look at my big hill I was facing with a better perspective. I am not my sister. I do not have the ability to pick out the latest in fashion or the highest tech items, but what I do know is children. I know that through raising my own and being in classrooms what they want. It isn’t the latest in fashion. (unless they have been taught that makes them who they are) It isn’t the highest going tech item. What they do want is our attention.
Just as we as individual adults want to be treated like we count or we seek validation, so do they. They need our reassurance, a confidence builder, a positive speaker with the ability to speak life over them, an encourager. I found here in the Appalachian classrooms children, if given a choice of to watch a movie or me reading to them almost ever child chose me reading. They would be a few that would rather watch a movie. Usually, these were children who did not have a TV in their home or was only allowed limited time watching it.
Should a child be permitted to watch as much TV as they choose? I personally think it is overused, because parents in today’s society feel pressured to buying everything their child’s friend has or what is advertised on TV. They are working for a house they cannot afford, because of social status. They are paying for a house that they nor their child lives in. They are doing good if they sleep in it 6-8 hours a night, because they work so many hours they are too tired to interact with their own children and they use TV to pacify them.
Why do we buy into it? Why do we choose social status above raising our own children? Is it benefiting them or us? Have we been successful if we allow our children to be raised in daycare? Shouldn’t they supersede all other thoughts of what is acceptable in society? Family Matters! Balance does as well. I realize many of us have had no other choice, but to work and leave our children. If you are blessed and do not have to leave them and can make it on one income I would encourage each of you to do it. I speak from the point of once being a single mother who worked, went to school and cried as I dropped my daughter at daycare.
As I had a big hill in my life not knowing what to buy and thinking back what children liked most in classrooms. It was someone who cared enough to take the time to read them a story, or make one up as they went along. The second item that younger ones loved was play-dough. Children like to feel as they are, our top priority. I did go buy toys that my niece and nephews would like. I bought tech toys, Octonaut launching toys, educational toys, but I decided to buy what I know which is books. I realized I didn’t have to compete with anyone when I purchased a gift and I didn’t want them to believe that I did. I wanted them to know I cared and loved them. I am hoping this helps someone facing the same big hill that I did this afternoon. We need to teach time is important. More important than expensive gifts that will be thrown in a mount in a closet or in a yard-sale come spring. Frugal is our responsibility! Time -we will give an account of how we spend it. Spend it well!
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.~Romans14:12
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,~Ephesians 5:15
Do not Conform to the things of the world!
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.~Romans 12-2
Here is a play-dough recipe I found, as we say here in on the big hill it kills to birds with one stone. You get to spend time with your children and they get a fun gift too. They will cherish the memory more than the play-dough. It may be a tradition they carry on into parenthood.
I also recommend this book as a great way to spend time with your kids this Christmas.
I also recommend this as it is one of the gifts I purchased for my niece.