It’s amazing how a bulk of who we are is formed by the opinions we gather from people or situations around us. We develop a style of thinking or a way of doing things by observation of what seems acceptable around us. Even though, everyone is born with his or her own unique traits, society has a way of influencing how that trait is expressed.
A typical example is that you notice that children when they start school develop traits that were not associated with them before. They usually get more expressive because they are among their peers, but in some cases, they pick up not so nice traits. I remember my daughter was loved and respected because she used to help out other children and share her toys with them, but one week, her teacher complained that she had not been nice to the younger kids and was even snatching their kids. I could easily trace that she had picked up these traits from a group of friends she had spent time with. The issue was immediately addressed and she went back to being the sweet girl that she is.
In the lives of children, birthdays are a big deal especially if they are under 10. One aspect of birthdays that the society has introduced is “party packs”. I’m sure parents know how seemingly important these party packs are. You can’t have a birthday party without one and even if you do, there are different grades of party packs. If a child goes to a party and doesn’t get one, all hell breaks loose. So when a child gets excited about a party, a lot of that excitement has to do with the part pack they’ll get.
I have no idea why things are consistently being done upside down. Birthdays are a time to celebrate the gift of another
year. As a way of appreciating this person, people are to bring gifts. Why is it then that after you have given the celebrant a gift, he or she must also give one in return? It would have been alright if it was how it was done in the past where most of the party packs shared at birthdays were goody packs, but that’s not the case. The gifts have gotten bigger and once again the society has mounted more pressure on everyone.
For me, the question I ask myself is; what am I really teaching my children? Giving should be done without expecting anything in return. Most times when we have a party to go to, I still have to give a lecture on how the gift they were taking isn’t for them but for the celebrant and even if they didn’t get a party pack, it was okay. They always agree with me, but all my lectures fly off when they get to the party and they don’t get a pack. They wail all the way home. While I understand they are children, I still want to pass across the right values. I’ve seen adults struggle for souvenirs at weddings and end up really disappointed when they don’t get any.
What I’m simply saying is that children should be exposed to the art of giving without receiving in return. Children should be brought up to enjoy the company of friends and having fun and not the gifts they would receive. Children should realize the importance of genuine friendship not based on what you can get and what you can give. Parties should be enjoyed without pressure on what party packs will be shared or not.
I believe in doing this. We will raise children with a wholesome attitude and a genuine appreciation of the quality of an individual and not the quality of their gifts.