Reason for the Season,Giving or Receiving?
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – Counselor’s Corner
If you want a child to learn the importance of giving, charity and helpfulness, the adults must model it for them
I am a marriage and family therapist. I’ve always found it unusual that a few clients I’ve had who are atheists celebrate Christmas. Instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, they celebrate Santa Clause. I try to be open minded and they are, of course, welcome to do so. I think perhaps it ties in with the subject of this column—peer group pressure. These people are very nice and I like them a lot. I think they want their child to “fit in” so, in order to do so, they buy them presents to put under the Christmas tree.
I’m concerned, however, that their child is just learning to receive. Yet the holiday to me is about giving. If you want a child to learn the importance of giving, charity and helpfulness, the adults must model it for them. Rather than just write a check to a charity, there are so many “active” ways to teach children to share their abundance.
Perhaps your community has an Angel Tree or fire fighters are collecting toys for children in need. Maybe you and your child could be drivers for Meals on Wheels. Your child might consider using their own money to buy some toys, blankets or food for your local animal shelter. If your child is old enough, the two of you might decide to become dog walkers at the Humane Society. An even simpler gesture is sweeping an elderly neighbor’s driveway. Ideas are many!
Enjoy teaching your child the JOY of GIVING! And happy holidays to you!
P.S. Please see my other column “Please… No More Video Games.”
Copyright © 2012, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.