It is perfectly natural to want to lavish your grandchildren with toys as much as affection. After all, you don’t get to see them every day like their parents so it brings you a lot of joy to see them excited and happy.
There is a line, though, that when crossed can lead to spoiled children and end up causing problems for their parents, you and for the kids themselves if it goes too far. Of course there is nothing wrong with giving them gifts, but it goes beyond that.
You could be inadvertently creating a monster and that should be avoided at all costs. Creating a strong bond with your grandchildren doesn’t rely on how many gifts you give them.
In this article, I will go over some of the ways that you can be giving without spoiling your grandchildren.
1 - Get the right gifts
Remember that quality is better than quantity. When you overload them with gifts just to give them the excitement of receiving, then this is not nearly as good as getting the right gift. With more thought and understanding of what makes your grandchild tick, you can get the best toys perfect for almost any boy or girl this season at Christmas or for a birthday.
A toy or other gift that lasts a long time that will be played with consistently is much better than a toy that gets played with over a weekend and then gets lost in the back of a closet. Speaking of closets, consider giving clothes. Parents will appreciate this and you can find great prices by shopping at a wholesale childrens clothing site. Buy a size or two up so your grandchild can grow into the items.
Knowing your grandchild is key to getting them the right gift. Consider their personalities and interests. Find fun and unique gifts such as cowboy toys for kids or maybe a princess tea party set. Give it a little thought before you make a selection.
2 - Make them earn
Now, you want to spend quality time with them and not have them work for their gifts. That’s understandable. But, having them pay for things with their own money will go a long way towards them having an understanding of money and becoming responsible.
One of the worst things for a kid is to always expect to get exactly what they want. It creates problems later in life with regards to work ethic and how to budget.
If your grandkids are staying the night when they come over then there is the opportunity to give them little chores. The chore does matter, however. It shouldn’t be that they get paid for cleaning up their toys as those are things that they should do. But, maybe if they help you in the garden, or help to clean up after dinner. You can give them some money or even tokens as a reward.
If they are not there long enough to do any chores, then good behavior can earn them a token, credit or something similar. For example, maybe they do something nice for a neighbor. They can get a token for that.
Then, they can cash in the reward or the actual cash that you give them and they can buy their own toy at the store. The whole thing can be a binding experience while also teaching some valuable life lessons.
3 - Focus on activities
Try to break the feeling that they want to go to the grandparents because they know they are going to get a treat like a gift. Instead, they should look forward to it because they like spending time with you.
Which means doing things together. Make slime activities based on your abilities that they can do with you. Maybe take them to a zoo, or do some arts and crafts projects. If you are more active then a hike in a forest or a bike ride around some country lanes will be exciting.
These are the things that they will remember when they are older and reflect back on their time with you. When they do remember the toys that you gave them it will be because they remember you playing with it with them. Putting together the Lego set or the Barbie doll house is a great way to spend time together as it brings you down to their level.
Board games are also a great way to have fun with them that they will remember fondly, as well.
4 - Don’t gift at every visit
Even if you do keep it simple with gifts, it’s the expectation that they will get one when they come over that does them in. Make sure there are times when a gift or new toy is not part of the visit and they will be more excited to get one when they do. You’ll find yourself having to outdo yourself when they have this expectation, too. Which sets up disappointment when they don’t get what they want or perceive to be enough.