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Alternative Gifts for Your Children

Consider giving "gifts of encouragement" or gifts that come from the "inside out".  Advertising pressures make us feel like we have no control over the trends in toy land.  Highly promoted toys often have no connection to who our children are or where their true interests lie.  These toys are pushed on them from the "outside"....and our children easily get caught up in the hype.  Sometimes we forget that we do have the power and even the responsibility to make thoughtful choices about what we want for our children.  We can look inside our children and offer them gifts that reflect their unique qualities.  This involves taking the time to really get to know our children and have a deep sense of where their interests and talents lie. This also involves reflecting on our own values and what kind of activities we want to promote for our children.  Here are some suggestions (just to get you thinking!) of alternative gifts that encourage  a sense of belonging and worth in the world, that respect and reflect the unique qualities of your child, and that promote responsibility.

0.56kbGifts that reflect a sense of your child's unique capabilities:

musical instruments (recorders, penny whistles, harmonica, percussion...)  lessons, tools, crafts supplies, personalized stationary, journal, sports equipment, costumes.

0.54kbGifts that encourage responsibility, influence and participation in the world:

membership in an altruistic club (like the "Y"), adopt a foster child, adopt an acre of rain forest, plant-a-tree kit, open a bank account in your child's name, membership with the SPCA, a magazine subscription.
0.56kbGifts that foster a sense of belonging and place within the family:
a special family heirloom, tickets to a family event, a personal photo album or scrap book, season passes (museum, pool, sports event...) homemade or second hand things, board games.

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