Intriguing right? The idea that we can get people to buy what we want them to?
I know the struggle. I feel it every year. Our family has our own values and often others don't support it, don't understand or just don't care! We want our kids to receive gifts that support these values so that we are sending the messages we want. We want gifts that have meaning and value to us. It's obvious to us and it should be obvious to others. Except it isn't.
I have the discussion almost daily this time of year with new parents. How can we get our family and friends to buy gifts for our children that we want? We want one thing and they give another. We know what we want so how do we get our family and friends to follow suit?
The honest truth is that we cannot control what others do, how they act, or how they GIVE! We can choose gratitude. That's it. Choose to be grateful and offer appreciation.
End of article. Well not quite. Here are a few suggestions, thoughts and ideas for influencing or offering an alternative for your friends and family members.
* How about sending a friendly reminder about development toys that are appropriate for your child? Something like this:
"Dear Friends and Family, We are very excited to see you this holiday season and to share another holiday together. We know that the season can get busy and that it can be difficult to find gifts that are developmentally appropriate for children (there are so many to choose from in today's world). Here is a list of a few items that would be appropriate for Kohen as he enters his 8th year!" Then list the items that you would like.
* Offer suggestions of shops that you frequent and that you know will have gifts that your family and children will appreciate. This works especially well for families that live out of town. Take the work away from others and send them a list of cool shops to find gifts that are in THEIR city! This can be done with a short text message similar to: “Hey mom, I found this awesome shop in Ottawa. Have you been there yet? Looks like it has tons of cool stuff for kids. I bet Scarlett would love some of those toys”.
* Be considerate of price ranges for family and friends when sending lists. Handmade, local and high quality items can be pricey! Send along a list with products in a variety of price ranges and include items that can be found at second hand stores.
* Suggest experiences to family members and friends. For instance, your child may really want to take swim lessons this winter. If your family member/friend lives in town perhaps they can take part in the activity with your child (art classes are especially great in this scenario). They can also include a small gift related to the activity (goggles for swimming, paint set for art classes, etc).
In the end, we want to show our gratitude and appreciation to our family and friends for sharing their time with us and for loving our children. No one gives gifts without thought and everyone wants to see your child happy! Try to keep that in mind when you receive gifts that don't reflect your own values. Choose gratitude. Over and over again, choose gratitude.