Hurrying into the store, the mom hushed her young child. “Stop whining!” Her son didn’t seem to hear her. “I wanna go home.” Dad jumped in. “Stop it, now!” With a yank, they pulled him so he’d walk faster and in step with them.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the child had been at school all day and was exhausted. I wondered if he’d gone to bed late or gone to bed listening to his parents shouting at one another.
Sure, we’ve all had to go to the store when our kids are tired and we are tired. Our patience can wear thin, but isn’t it understandable that their patience can also wear thin?
Holidays that are supposed to be filled with smiles and all good things are often the most tense times of the year. Grocery lists, guest lists, and gift lists often add pressure to our already full days.
What can we do to ease the pressure on our children and ourselves? Give them the following top 4 gifts.
Gift 1: Your Smile
Your smile is something your child can’t get unless you give it to them. In other words, you are the only one who can shape your lips into a smile. Making a smile and giving it away to your child is of great value to your child. Three hundred sixty-five days of smiles is one of the wisest investments we can make in our child’s emotional well being and in our relationship with them.
Gift 2: Your Hug
A hug is like a smile in that your child can’t make your arms and hands stop paying the bills, folding laundry, or cooking dinner. Only you, mom, can choose to take your arms and hands and fold them around your child. When you do, you’re giving your child a piece of yourself. The warmth and tenderness of your body drawing them close to you extends beyond the momentary embrace. It extends into their day and life. Seventeen years of hugs before they go to college or enter the work force is one of the best gifts we can give our children.
Gift 3: Your Attentiveness
Have you ever noted whether or not you have eye to eye contact with your child during the day? You may answer, “Of course I do.” Stop and think about it for a minute. It’s easy to talk to our child and even ask questions while we’re multi-tasking, getting in the car, driving, or eating a meal. Stopping what we are doing, asking our child to stop what they are doing, and looking deeply into our child’s eyes creates a powerful soul connection. Rather than focus on the grandest toy to buy your child that they’ll eventually outgrow, focus on the grandest soul connection you can give your child that will grow their sense of value.
Gift 4: Your Words of Love and Affirmation
As you have no doubt noted, all the gifts listed are owned by you and impossible for your child to obtain apart from you. That is what makes them so valuable. Your children need these gifts from you. No one but you can give them a mother’s smile, hug, attentiveness, and words of love and affirmation. This last gift is the icing on the cake. When you smile at your child, draw them close to you, look them in the eye, and say, “I love you,” you are gifting your child in the grandest of ways.
Will you make this Christmas one in which your children are not left empty handed and empty hearted of the gifts only you can give them?