The coolest present you can give your child is time spent at your side.
By Carolyn Buchanan | December , 2010
What does Owen want for Christmas? That question begins arriving in my e-mail inbox every year right around this time from well-meaning relatives and friends. They’re looking for a suggestion of what to give my son to make their holiday shopping list more manageable. But they also want to find something he’ll get a kick out of. (The same sort of question pops up around his birthday, too.) This year, I’m trying a new answer: “Owen doesn’t need any more things. How about if you give him the gift of . . . you?
I’m suggesting to friends and family that they spend an afternoon with my son, sharing a hobby, an interest, or a talent of theirs that will make the day memorable and unique. “The gift of time is always the most important thing you can give to a child,” says Mark Bowers, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Ann Arbor (MI) Center for Development & Behavioral Pediatrics. “When children look back on their childhoods, they’re much more likely to remember events than objects.” In this article is a guide to offer to relatives and friends that they can use for connecting with your child. (You can also use it yourself with your nephews, nieces, or other children.) All of the suggestions we offer are budget-friendly! As always, it’s important to coordinate any plans with the gift-receiver’s parent in advance.
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