Can you buy your children’s affection with gifts?
I have been guilty of buying my children gifts when I have been consumed by guilt that I was ill or not spending enough time with them when I was a full time working mothers. But can you buy your children’s affection with gifts?
You may have read the letter I wrote to my children to apologise for missing two years of their life due to mental illness and during this time I lavished gifts upon them, I suppose as some form of compensation for me being unwell.
You cannot buy a child’s affection and I understand that my children were never neglected or unloved during that time in my life, yet I felt guilty. I made myself feel less guilty by buying presents for them.
I do admit that my children do not overly appreciate the value of items and my 9 year old son is a prime example. He has every child’s Xbox game made, yet if you were to look none would be in the correct cases, perhaps under his bed not even in cases. There has been a good amount of time passed since I was ill and now I am in a much better place, I have witnessed what damage I did.
They do not beg for things, it’s not to that degree but when I do now buy them gifts there is a simple thank you and never any excitement.
I have changed
My children now have to earn rewards and by doing age appropriate tasks around the home can build up their pocket money each week. This has proved to be a great way for them to start to learn the cost of items and they do look after the items they have earned. Rather than being given everything on a plate, they not have to work for them as such.
The challenge will be at Christmas time, I want to at least half the amount of gifts they receive, I will no longer feel guilty wondering if we have bought them enough, they each have ten presents to date already and I have spent well over a good amount. Yes I will buy more but within the set limit we have agreed as a couple.
You should never have to buy your children’s affection with gifts as it is you that makes the perfect gift to them, yet at that time when I was struggling, I did not see that.
Can you buy your children’s affection with gifts? What do you think ….