Mindful Gift Giving in Families

December 07, 2019

Quote of the Week

"When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed." -- Maya Angelou

Mindful Gift Giving In Families Shapes Values

"Gift giving is a traditional practice in most families. On special occasions throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season, children are faced with gift-giving decisions that will shape their lifelong values about giving. If we look beyond the external act of giving gifts, research in child development tells us something important about what happens in children’s internal worlds when they give to others. [...]

Understanding the importance of gift giving is the first step to mindful giving. Children associate their birthdays and the holiday season with being receivers of gifts. But according to studies in human development, it is gift giving that reaps the biggest psychological rewards. Why?

* Gift giving builds empathy. To give meaningful gifts, children must put themselves in others’ shoes to imagine “what would be meaningful to someone else?”
* Gift giving shows others you care. Positive relationships are built upon caring and respect. Even a simple card or electronic message with a note of encouragement is viewed as a gift by the recipient.
* Gift giving is an act of kindness. Being kind to others improves a family’s and a community’s quality of life.
* Gift giving increases well-being. Devoting personal resources on behalf of others has been found to be one of the most important predictors of satisfaction and well-being.

What are you doing to help your children and teens find meaning through their gift-giving experiences? How does gift giving support your family values?" [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: Finding Kindness
By: Deborah Underwood
Ages: 3-8

Why?  "Friends, neighbors, and family members in a variously diverse neighborhood are seen engaging in quiet acts of kindness. A child appears at her window, releasing a ladybug using the cup-and-card trick: “Kindness is sometimes/ a cup and a card.” On the next page, a firefighter rescues a cat from a tree: “or a ladder,/ a truck,/ and a tree.” A boy rakes leaves for an elderly woman, and his kindness is repaid with a cookie. Elsewhere, a woman is seen giving up her train seat to another passenger with a baby; a child leaves a tip for a bear performing on a unicycle; and two children plant trees in a park. [...] One act of kindness begets another, Underwood gently conveys, including acts of self-care and forgiveness." -- Publishers Weekly

Be the Change

Dive into this colourful kindness activity kit designed by the author of this week's featured book, Finding Kindness, to plant seeds of empathy, compassion and kindness together as a family.