Your child is the center of your universe and rightly so. You are always thinking about your child, how you can make them happy and give them everything their heart desires. That’s the beautiful feeling about being a parent. But there is another role you must play equally for the benefit of your child and that is exposing them to different kinds of people and situations that will help them develop a broad view of the world. This children’s day, cut the cake, present a nice gift and do all the fun activities you have planned but do try to include one meaningful action to help them grow as sensitive and responsible human beings. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
1. Invite those less fortunate
If you have a maid, driver or family helper who has children around your child’s age, invite them to your children’s day party too. When your child sees how you treat those kids just like you would treat any other child, without any bias or distinction, they will automatically learn that all human beings, irrespective of who they are, where they live or what they do, are equal. Children follow by example more than by being told what to do. When you let all kids play, dance and eat together, they will learn this valuable lesson without being told a word.
2. Donate toys and books
You may have selected the perfect children’s day gift for your little prince or princess, but consider this. After every birthday party or occasion, comes a deluge of toys for your kids. Some of those toys are loved while others are played with only once or twice before being stuffed inside a cupboard for years. Use the wonderful occasion of children’s day to teach your child how to organize and declutter. Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori approach was a big believer in this philosophy and she was confident that children as young as three have the ability to clean up and follow basic sorting instructions. So instead of piling on more toys, give your child a bag to decide what toys he or she would be comfortable sharing with other kids. They may not agree at first but children have pure and compassionate hearts and when you tell them it is for the less privileged, they might surprise you by their eagerness to help. By donating old toys and books, you would have killed two birds with one stone – organizing your home and helped your child bring a smile into another child’s home.
3. Write thank you letters
English, maths, science, karate, painting, dance are all important to learn but there is another important lesson that isn’t taught in schools and activity centers- gratitude. To learn to appreciate what you have and be grateful to those who have gifted you is a skill, that once mastered makes you a better individual for life. Give your child this gift early by teaching them to say ‘thank you’ and letting them know how fortunate they are. One of the fun ways to do this is to introduce the concept of letter writing. Teach them to write a few lines or words or let them just scribble a drawing to express their feelings. Let them stick a stamp and ask them to post it in the post box. You can bet your little one will love the whole exercise and learn a lot about being grateful along the way.
4. Put on a performance
A lot of times, you as a parent may succumb to peer pressure and take your kids to expensive shows and experiences just because you want to entertain them. Here’s news for you – kids do not measure good entertainment by the price of the ticket! All they need is some fun characters, goofy voices and lots of slapstick comedy. We know someone who is perfect to come up with just the plot- you! On children’s day, gather your children and their friends. Make a makeshift stage with a bedsheet hung up at the back, grab some stuffed toys or puppets and perform your way to glory. The efforts you put into the performance will leave a deep impact on your kids, strengthening your bond.