I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately about parents asking people to stop giving their kids toys and I can’t tell you how excited that makes me! I am ALL over this trend and this is why…
You are enough.
I know and wholeheartedly appreciate that your gift giving comes from a place a love and kindness but please know that it is unnecessary. You really are enough. My kids get excited about hosting parties. They’ll spend all morning singing about the people who are coming, cleaning up their toys, and picking out pretty outfits to wear. They have no idea that presents are coming and they couldn’t care less.
I had a cousin come over recently and she called ahead of time asking me if there was anything in particular she could get the girls. I told her “no.” “seriously.” I said. “This is not me being polite. PLEASE don’t get them anything” but she rarely gets to see my kids and really wanted to come with something for them to be excited about. I absolutely love that. I love that my family and friends want to bond with my kids but the better way to do that, as I told her, is to actually take a little time to bond with them. Toys are a distraction from you anyway. If you walk in with a toy the kids open it and disappear for a while. Instead, bring something to do with them. I asked my cousin to bring some nail polish. Sit down with them and paint their nails and they’ll remember that time with you so much more than if you walk in and give them a bag. They’ll love presents, I’m sure! Who doesn’t? But there is so much more value in spending time with them. Just sit down and ask them about their activities. Talk to them about their favorite colors. Ask them about their artwork- and really be engaged in this little conversation. If you’ve gone on a trip lately bring some pictures and talk to them about it. Push them on the swings out back or play a game of tag. Literally anything that requires 5 minutes of your full attention and time is what makes them happy and creates a long lasting impression.
Even on birthdays- You are enough. We throw parties at places that entertain the children. We get them pizza and ice cream- ALL of their favorite things have been covered. All they want is to play with their friends and have all the attention on them for the day. You can choose to contribute to their college or travel funds, purchase a fun membership for them, or donate in their name- all are acceptable and appreciated options but still not necessary. Your time is precious and we are happy to have had you and your time for a short while. If you have been invited then you have a place in our lives and we appreciate you. We want to see you and are grateful for your company.
I’m really not a mean mom. Sameer isn’t a mean dad. We don’t want our kids to be disappointed but that’s the whole point- they WON’T be! At the end of the day they never talk about the toys. They talk about the fun they’ve had. They immediately start planning their next birthday party. Those are the things that matter to them. Those are the things that I want to matter to them. I want them to grow up appreciating people not things. It is important to me that they value relationships and experiences. I want them to be able to see beyond the sparkly things and see the people behind them. I want them to know the difference between someone who loves them and someone who buys them the best things. I don’t want them to just accumulate things that have little value to them. I believe everything in our lives should either give us joy or add value to our lives (a little something I learned from The Minimalists) and toys just don’t do that. So, thank you for wanting to be kind to my kids (or, at the very least, trying to be polite) but please know, without a doubt, that you are enough for this family. Next time you make your way out to hang with the Khans- come empty handed. We prefer you that way.