By : Melissa Stevens
Surely you can remember the time when you were just a kid and looked forward to little things in life: going out to get pizza with your parents, watching your favourite cartoons and getting presents from nearly everyone. While it is parents’ task to educate children and learn them manners, nearly everyone else’s task is to spoil them and pamper them. Nevertheless, you can help your children raise their own by subtly affecting your grandchildren’s lives. Here are a few useful ideas when you’re off to buy a gift for your grandchildren.
Don’t blindly follow the trends
What if your girls would really like a train set or a space ship? Or what if your boy would like a tea set? If a toy is popular, does that mean that your grandchildren will automatically love it? Do not ignore their wishes and listen carefully when they talk to you. Toys shouldn’t be connected to your grandchild’s gender, and try not to support that popular opinion. They will be honest and tell you what they like to do and which toys are their favourite, so you can go out on a hunt and find just what they always wanted. Grandparents are often more patient than the parents and they give the best gifts.
Buying mechanical toys, action figures and dolls is so common that children often know in advance when they will get something. Surprise them with something unusual, like 3D puzzles, musical or wooden toys instead. These things are so unusual and exotic for them, that it will be the best possible surprise. Portable doll houses, little music workshops, wooden fruit and vegetables, books, rocket ships and kitchens… Pay attention to what they are talking about and carefully pick the gift you think will be the best.
Help them start a collection
You never know what little spark will start the fire of knowledge in someone’s mind. Help your grandchild start their own collection. It can be pretty much anything, strange rocks, stickers, baseball cards, stamps or coins. Most valuable one would be book collection. They don’t have to be some rare expensive books, just ones that your grandchild will be keen on reading. Start by buying them an album or a box to keep the items in and slowly add new pieces to their collection. You can even go on a ‘hunt’ together: Saturday morning and the two of you at the market, looking for the best stamps, book or walking in the countryside, trying to find an interesting rock.
Emphasize the importance of ‘thank you’ notes
It often happens that grandparent send gifts to grandchildren and then all communication stops. Did they get it? Did they like it? So, in order not to have to call them up after each gift, hint to their parents that you would like a ‘thank you’ note, just so you know that the gifts were well-received and liked. This is also a good way to teach them to be express their gratitude later on in life.
Be careful when buying gifts for your grandchildren, though. You don’t want to overwhelm them and ‘buy’ their love, leading them to connect you and your visits with new gifts and nothing else. Be thoughtful and careful, your time and love are more valuable than any gift could possibly be.