Educational Insights 12.14.15
Educational Insights 12.14.15
Posted on 12/14/2015
  1. The gift of self-confidence

If a child learns early in life that he is capable, they’re less likely to struggle with insecurity and self-doubt as they gets older. If a child doesn’t have a clear sense of self, they may struggle with identity issues later in life, especially in the teen years. Praise efforts versus results.

  1. The gift of empathy 

Compassion and empathy are closely tied. If a child learns to really understand someone else’s point of view, they are more likely to feel compassion toward that person. By showing your child that you are interested in what they are doing, they will be more likely to take the same care to understand others, as well.

  1. The gift of creativity

Instead of throwing out what may look to others like trash (like used toiler paper rolls), encourage your child to make something and praise their creative zeal!

  1. The gift of perseverance

Instill in them a belief that they can always come out on top. Even if there’s something difficult, help them know they can get through it. This can-do attitude will carry over into their adult lives and provide a sense of hope, to help them overcome their problems.

  1. A gift of discovery

Parents cultivate the love of learning. Children should recognize they don’t have to understand it all now, but parents should ask questions of what they see around them. Look. Observe. Teach them to embrace the wonderful world around them and explore it.

  1. The gift of forgiveness

Not just of other people, but of oneself. We learn from our mistakes. Explain, “It’s OK if it didn’t work this time, try again.” Beating yourself up about it won’t help.

  1. The gift of silliness

Life can be scary and often is perceived as too serious. Laughter and play are integral to becoming capable and fulfilled adults

  1. The gift of teamwork

Through joining neighborhood sports teams, even playing a pick-up basketball game together in your driveway, children learn the importance of teamwork. Working with a team teaches determination, cooperation and responsibility.

  1. The gift of limits

Without rules, children become confused and even frustrated. Having limits gives children a sense of balance, it teaches them how far they can go. Without limits, they become anxious, because they don’t have a clear sense of boundaries.

  1. The gift of individuality

Encourage your children to develop their own interests and abilities, not just follow those of their parents. It can also help teach tolerance of other people’s differences.

  1. The gift of time

Of all the gifts parents can give their children, the greatest gift is time: uninterrupted, focused, one-on-one time with mom or dad, or both.

Take time to think about all the gifts that you can give your children that don’t come in neatly wrapped packages. The kind of gifts only parents can give and the kind that kids are the most happy to receive. If you’re still debating about whether to buy your child a pricey gift, save yourself some money and spend more time with your kids instead this holiday season. That will be their favorite gift of all!

Adapted from

-Dr. Paula Sissel

Garden County Schools

Superintendent/Elementary Principal