Why not giving your kids everything is a good idea

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A few days ago we were all enjoying an afternoon outside in our yard. Jon was mowing the grass, I was sitting on a blanket with Alina trying to keep her from eating leaves and Emma was just happily riding around on her pink car. The car has a back piece that sticks up so you could also push it around if you wanted. So she starts imitating her dad who is mowing the grass by pushing her little car all around, “mowing” her grass. Just as happy and content as could be. I watched her for only a few seconds before my mind jumped to ” Oh she would LOVE a play push mower for Christmas!”  I pulled out my phone to add it to her Christmas list I keep on there but I stopped for just a second longer and watched her…

Why was my first instinct to try to give her something else? Watching her I knew she would be just as happy pushing that toy car around as she would be pushing a plastic mower around. She would never know the difference. Pushing the car around she was using her imagination and being allowed to play make-believe much like I used to growing up. I  snapped a picture and put my phone back down. I didn’t add it to the list.

This is something I struggle with. I LOVE to give my kids things. I LOVE to shop. One of the ways I express love is through gift giving. I only have to take a look up from this computer to see the toys scattered here and there to know that is true. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I know there isn’t . It’s how God created me. Where the problems lies is when I try to fill our life with so many “things” and fulfill every single want that there isn’t room to breathe. No room to be creative. No room to enjoy the simple things like pretending to mow the grass with your toy car. I want to be so careful that I don’t squelch their uniqueness and little inquisitive minds by buying them one of everything and leaving them no room to run free with their minds.

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Don’t get me wrong. There will be gift buying this year, there will be wrapped presents under the tree. Probably a few too many. I can’t help it, I love to see their faces when they get something they love. What I want to take away from this is an awareness. I want to be thoughtful in what I buy them. I want there to be gifts that encourage them to be playful and creative. Something they will love and can use in many ways. I don’t want 100 different toys littering the play area and whiny children that are bored because they have everything they could ever want and don’t know how to actually play.

So this is why not giving your kids everything is a good idea. Let them be. Let them play. Let them grow and learn.

What about you? How do you stay focused and streamline your gift giving amid all the Holiday bustle? What are some of your favorite thoughtful gifts for kids or adults?

Linking up here

  • I think you’ve brought up a wonderful point! At least stopping to consider the value of the gift and how it will impact your child is something a lot of parents don’t do! My goal this year is to buy intentionally — and for the most part — gifts that have a deeper meaning and give back in some way. I did a series this year called “Frugal Gifts that Give Back” so I’ll probably go back through and see what could work well for my family! <3

  • themommyglow

    Exactly Andrea! Thank you for reading. I’m excited to check out your series.

  • Absolutely!! Love this post and your perspective!! This is exactly how I feel with Scarlett, I try not to buy her too many toys, we just don’t have the room for them all, but I do find that I buy her a lot of things… somewhere along the way I noticed that she kind of almost expects that she can have whatever she wants and I had to take a step back and start saying no more. I want her to grow up learning how to work for the things she wants, I want her to know the difference between wanting something and needing something. I know she’s too young for these concepts yet, but It doesn’t mean I need to get her everything she wants. It’s hard though, because like you I LOVE giving .

  • themommyglow

    Yes! I have to continually keep myself in check about this. It helps that my husband is better than me. He will always say “no, they don’t need so and so because they already have xyz” and that helps lol

  • Ashley

    this is SO good!! stopping by from the link up!! I love getting my daughter things but I agree that we need to nurture their creative and make believe side!!! this is so so so so good!! THANK YOU

  • Thank you Ashley! So happy you stopped by!

  • I love this… I’m the same way– gift giving is my love language but then even though I limit it, we have so much stuff!! ANd then they play with paper and my jewelry. Go figure!

    XO sarita it’s my girls’ world

  • My girls play with my jewelry too…and my tupperware…haha. Thanks for stopping by, so glad you like it.