Gifts that Last a Lifetime
What are the best gifts for children that truly last a lifetime? You will not find them in a box with a bow. They lack wires and screens. You will not find them on sale. These are the myths that we have been taught to believe. In our season of giving I encourage you to remember that the greatest gift we give our children is our presence not presents and values instead of valuables. Our meaningful childhood experiences are made memorable by the people, not the objects, of our lives.
“Offerings from the heart are intangible, immeasurable, and priceless. Gifts of time, acceptance, positivity, purpose, and creativity are investments that last a lifetime.”
-Dr. Arielle Schwartz
5 Gifts to Help your Child Soar
- The Gift of Acceptance: All human beings need to feel that they are accepted and unconditionally loved for who they are. According to Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, when children feel loved they are more likely to be considerate of another’s feelings, express their love towards others, and show gratitude. This gift provides the foundation for all our future relationships in the world. In the words of Maria Montessori, “Of all things, love is the most potent.”
- The Gift of Time: We can all get trapped by the glorification of busyness that tells us the more we do the better we are. However, the fast pace of our modern world is overwhelming and unsustainable; especially for children. Work, household demands, school, after-school activities, and homework all can interfere with the time it takes to connect. The antidote to the hectic life is to prioritize time together. In offering your undivided attention you communicate to children that their value is not determined by what they do but by who they are.
- The Gift of Positivity: Having a positive attitude is one of the traits associated with resilience and happiness. This doesn’t mean that we ignore or deny difficult feelings. A positive attitude upholds that we can learn and grow even from difficult or challenging life experiences. In fact, taking the time to help a child express complex feelings, reflect on a painful life event, or talk through a problem they are having with friends enhances the ability to learn from their challenges in life. With each success our children build confidence that they can handle whatever the future will bring.
- The Gift of Purpose: Having a purpose in life is another trait associated with resilience and happiness. We find meaning through activities that we are good at, that we enjoy, and that are valued by others. All of this applies to children when we look for and foster the activities and events that motivate them and allow then to feel they contribute to the wellbeing of others. An article in Time magazine discusses the value of helping kids give back to their communities through volunteering and using their own money to donate to charity. Kids can receive the lifelong gift of purpose when they are guided to think of others and not just of themselves.
- The Gift of Creativity: When given the space and time, children are creative. In today’s world, children are under pressure to grow up too quickly. We give children the gift of creativity when we provide unstructured time to use their imaginations. Suddenly the dining room table is a fort, the chairs a train, and you have been asked to be a passenger. Children feel cared for and valued through shared play experiences that emphasize connection. This gift of creativity also enhances problem solving and lifelong happiness.
Offerings from the heart are intangible, immeasurable, and priceless. Gifts of time, acceptance, positivity, purpose, and creativity are investments that last a lifetime.
- Raising Resilient Children
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- Transgenerational Stories Helps Raise Strong Kids
About Dr. Arielle Schwartz
Dr. Arielle Schwartz is a licensed clinical psychologist, wife, and mother in Boulder, CO. She offers trainings for therapists, maintains a private practice, and has passions for the outdoors, yoga, and writing. Dr. Schwartz is the author of The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole. She is the developer of Resilience-Informed Therapy which applies research on trauma recovery to form a strength-based, trauma treatment model that includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), somatic (body-centered) psychology and time-tested relational psychotherapy. Like Dr. Arielle Schwartz on Facebook, follow her on Linkedin and sign up for email updates to stay up to date with all her posts.