Gift Giving – Questions a Montessori Parent should ask
For this blog, I would like to share an interesting article, published by psychotherapist and parenting coach Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC, titled ‘Anger, Guilt and Spending on Kids: 8 Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything’.
You can read the article in full by visiting the web link below.
One very important point to consider for this gift-giving season is to discuss your child’s wish list with him/her before the big day. This allows your child to understand how his/her wishes fit into your family and your family values.
Have you ever experienced temper tantrums, angry moods and anti-social behavior by your child when he/she does not get that gift your child really wanted? How does it make you feel? What do you do when your child expresses his/her dislike? Do you take it personally?
As adults and parents, we may feel angry, deflated or disappointed when our children openly do not show appreciation for the gifts we spent so much time preparing, just for them, and there may be times when we ask ourselves why we did all of this to receive this unfavorable response, just because one specific present was not given.
So, how do we avoid such a situation for the holidays? Here are the 8 questions Debbie Pincus recommends that you ask yourself, so that you can decide on purchases you will feel good about.
The 8 important questions to consider
- Consider your family budget and ask yourself, ‘What can we afford for gifts?’
- Consider the gift your child is requesting and ask yourself, ‘Is this gift appropriate for his/her age?’
- Consider your child’s readiness for the gift he/she requested and ask yourself, ‘Has my child shown me that he/she is ready to consistently act in a responsible manner if the gift is given?’
- Ask yourself if you are ready to monitor your child’s use of the requested gift.
- Consider the repercussions of your child playing with the gift and ask yourself, ‘Am I in favor of those things?’
- One very important question to ask is, ‘Will my child benefit from owning this gift or not?’ Remember that in the Montessori world of education, the activity should have a purpose for your child’s learning.
- What is the reason you are buying this gift? Is it because you don’t want your child to be upset with you? And if so, is this a good reason to buy this gift?
- We all know that peer pressure can be very challenging. Ask yourself if you are buying this gift because you don’t want your child to be alienated by his/her friends? Is this a good reason?
Whether you decide to buy or not to buy a particular gift for your child, it is critically important for you to communicate your reasons for your decisions with your children.
In today’s world, video games are of great importance to many children, and you might decide to move forward to get a game for your child. However, you should still do your research and only purchase the most child friendly game. In this case, you may make a compromise! While your child may get the gift of a video game, you make the decision on an appropriate game, and you are maintaining your family values.
Being a Montessori parent is not always easy. It takes a firm conviction in what you value and the willingness to openly communicate those values with your entire family.