We remind our children numerous times a day to share and as adults we share often without thinking about. Even with that being true, we like to have things that are just ours. Items that have a special place in our heart because they belong solely to us. Our children are no different! Although we want them to grow into adults capable of sharing, we also want them to know that it’s ok to have items that belong solely to you.
Our children deserve the opportunity to own something that is just theirs. They deserve to know they are worthy of the responsibility of taking care of it and they are capable of taking care of it. When our children are young, this can look like a special doll, toy or book. As they age, this turns into more expensive items such as cell phones, various electronics and even a vehicle.
In the world of foster care and adoption, we often see children enter our homes with little more than the clothes on their back. When this happens to a three-month old, it is not as devastating because they simply can’t understand the concept of “mine”, but when it is a three-year old or thirteen year old, they are incredibly aware they have nothing with them. They are aware that the toys in this house are not theirs and their favorite blanket, doll or toy is nowhere to be found.
We can bond with our children by helping them embrace something that is strictly theirs. We can encourage them in loving, taking care of and responsibility. By buying our children something that is solely theirs, we are telling them we believe in them.
I am not a proponent of buying children everything they want. Children need to know they don’t get every toy they want and they have to work toward goals. However, I am a fan of surprising them with a gift as an expression of love. It doesn’t need to be something extravagant either! Buying your daughter her first diary and talking with her about how and when you write in your own journal will leave a far more lasting impression than candy every time you’re in the checkout line.
Bond with your children by surprising them with a special gift, spending time with them to appreciate and respect what it is.