Allow me to juxtapose two parenting positions here.
There is parenting from a sense of lack.
Parenting from a sense of lack would be to hang on to and maybe even hoard clothing or toys your child doesn’t use.
To over-indulge children with the newest and latest “things.” Make them believe they can feed their “wanter” and feed their “wanter” and someday, somehow, if they can just have “anything they want” and never go without anything their hearts’ desire – then, finally, they will be “happy.”
There is parenting from a sense of abundance.
Parenting from a sense of abundance discards the theory that things will make you happy. It acknowledges the fact that even “poor” children in America have more than most people in the entire 3rd world. It celebrates the notion, “I have everything I need. I have more than enough to give.”
Parenting from these two positions is a mind-set. It has almost nothing to do with tax brackets and income levels.
Many, many wealthy people still haven’t figured out that “giving more” will make them happier than “buying more.”
Many poor people will give you the shirt off their backs, because they know the “high” generosity will bring their soul is worth far more than the shirt.
Opportunities like Operation Christmas Child present themselves around this time of year where we can stress this position to our children in a very tangible and physical way.
What can you give to a child less fortunate than yourself?
My children feel such a feeling of abundance and blessing that we were able to fill a shoebox with never- or hardly-ever-been-used items that they felt would bless a poor child’s life. Zack gave some Hot Wheels and a baseball. Ainsley gave a doll, a shirt, some hair accessories and we found stuff around the house like toothbrushes, crayons, papers and pens and some soap. We threw in some Halloween candy.
This is my Meaningfully Frugal Christmas Tip #4 – involve your children in GIVING. Our Christmas boxes expenses amounted to less than $20, but our kids FEEL we have an abundant life.