Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Parent to Parent: Holiday Meaning
Santa and his elves may be working hard this holiday season. But with so much focus on toys and buying, how does a parent teach their child the true meaning of the holidays? Dr. Valerie has some holiday help in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Cash registers ringing in sales and kids asking for their favorite toys.
"I want an iPod for Christmas."
"I think about the holidays, spending time with my family and getting presents."
Eight-year-old Emily Weiner is no exception.
Emily Weiner: "I have to admit, I look forward to the presents a lot of times."
But mom, Karen is also trying to teach her children what the holidays are really all about.
Karen Weiner: "I try to always explain to my kids to be appreciative for what they have, and that there are children out there that don't have presents this time of year."
So Emily and her friends at Temple Beth Chai in Coral Springs are practicing that giving spirit by collecting toys for needy kids.
Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan: "I feel that we're pretty fortunate, and I feel that sometimes people take for granted what they have and especially the children."
So, this holiday, whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, 7 Parenting Expert, Dr. Valerie Goode says. It's a good time to be charitable.
Start by teaching your children to focus on what they're grateful for instead of on gifts.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "How many presents can your child get before they start to cry and get cranky because they're just opening up all these presents. It's losing its meaning for them, too."
You can do that by having your children do things without expecting anything in return.
During the holidays, while your children are writing a list to Santa, have them write another list of ways they'll be giving during the holidays.
Dr. Valerie: "It doesn't have to be expensive, we can talk about a list of things you're going to do around the house for everybody, so maybe you'll wash dad's car as a gift."
Have your kids use their allowance to buy someone in need a toy or have them give up one of their used toys instead.
Just make sure if they're giving, it's meaningful.
Dr. Valerie: "If they give up one of their toys, and it's new and they really like this toy, but they know it's going to cause some happiness for someone else, they're going to feel that."
If you are religious, sit down and explain the significance of the holiday to your child.
Then ask them these three questions: What have I received from others? What have I given to others? What have I done to others that wasn't nice?
That open dialogue will make your kids think twice this holiday season.
Dr. Valerie: "The gifts are the cherry on top, but it certainly isn't the whole of the holidays."
Emily and her friends are learning a good lesson in the true meaning of the holidays.
Emily Weiner: "I thought it was really cool that we're doing this for some kids we don't know."
Parents, giving is great over the holidays, but Dr. Valerie says doing something year round is even better.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Temple Beth Chai Hannukah Donations
5874 NW 123rd Avenue
Coral Springs, FL 33076
Used toy donations being collected by Florida International University students
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH, E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode
7711 SW 62 Ave.
Miami, FL 33143