We have always struggled with how to handle Christmas gifts with our children. As parents, we want them to inherently have everything we did not have as children. We know that this logic has caused many children to grow up with a sense of entitlement, selfishness, and in plain terms: being spoiled. We have really tried hard to fight our own urges to give in to their every whim. Instead, we have tried to focus on giving them experiences that we did not have as children, instead of the material things. We attempt to spend more time and money on those experiences throughout the year, than to shower them with gifts one time per year. We have not always been successful in our efforts, but we have become more mindful about the purchases we do make for Christmases now.
We did, however, want to share one gift in particular. It was not a gift that we placed any real significance on when we bought it, it was just something that the girls had asked for and we obliged. It is funny sometimes how we realize things after the fact and connect the dots looking back.
We hope to teach our children a multitude of lifelong skills, including lessons on finances, faith, relationships, entrepreneurship, and so much more. Things that we unfortunately have had to learn and/or are learning on our own. One of the things the girls asked for, were fitness tracker watches. So, we looked on Amazon, found one with good reviews that was not terribly expensive, and ordered them: one in teal, the other in plum. Christmas morning came, and the girls obviously were very excited to charge and wear them, a predictable response, right? Here is what we did not see happening as a result: the girls have been very motivated to hit their goal of 10,000 steps daily. They also have been much more cognizant of their time.
We have been able to talk to them, on their level obviously, about two of the most important lessons we have learned in life. Two that we still struggle with. They now are starting to understand goal setting and more importantly setting SMART goals. Now they may not be asking themselves is it specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, or timely. However they understand that they have no clue if they hit their goal without tracking it, that they have a deadline of today, and it is measurable. We can also have some great conversations about fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
They may not completely understand that time is our most valuable resource, heck we still struggle with that at times. They do, however, know what time it is, how much time they have left before dinner or bed, and they know how much time they have to hit their daily step goal.
To be able to give them something that they wanted and also be able to teach them about goals, fitness, and time management, is a gift that cannot be beat. Will they look back and remember these watches as the greatest gift ever? Eh, probably not. I hope that the lessons they have learned will stick with them though, even if they do not remember how they learned them.
Here is the fitness tracker we purchased for them if anyone is interested.
-Richard & Kaitlin