Why are Emotional Presents Useful for Children?

19 September, 2020
Emotional presents are a useful formula one can easily adopt in order to reward children and make them feel loved and properly valued. It's about simple gestures and reinforcing personal power.

Today’s article contains a short story that’ll illustrate the importance of emotional presents. A parent comes home after a day of work with a little something for their child. It could be a toy car, a doll, a drawing… anything along those lines. When said parent experiences the joy expressed by their child, they decide to do the same thing the next day. Thus, once again, they arrive with a toy or a treat.

Then, this parent decides to bring presents more often after they realize how happy the child gets. Thus, they bring them a little something every day. What do you think will happen in the short and long term?

The child may get used to the presents and stop valuing them because what was previously a surprise becomes a habit. Once established, the child will be disappointed the day the parent gets home empty-handed. It doesn’t sound logical. Can a parents’ pocket support this kind of spending rate? Is there even room for all these presents in their house?

“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

A girl receiving a present.

The negative side of too many presents

In reference to this question, pedagogue Andrés París confirms how beautiful the smile, surprise, gratitude, and illusion on a child’s face is when they receive a gift. The best part is that you don’t have to spend any money. However, material gifts prevail these days. In many cases, parents give these gifts to compensate for the absence of attention and affection. So what’s going on? In París’ opinion, the child ends up losing the aforementioned illusion.

Is there a way to change this outcome? Indeed, París recommends emotional presents. Why? Because children already receive all sorts of gifts on birthdays and other holidays. For instance, they get a prize when they lose a tooth and go on school field trips or holidays with their families when they get good grades.

Children receive too many gifts and this is why they stop valuing themas they become the norm.

Thus, the true value of a toy goes away and the children enter a competitive and absurd spiral in which adults try to impress them with bigger, more expensive, and more technologically advanced gifts.

A man teaching a child to bike.

Emotional presents

So what are emotional gifts? According to Andrés París’ theory, they’re related to the ability to last in the memory and consciousness of the person who gives them and the person who receives them. These kinds of presents unleash pleasant feelings of affection, tenderness, love, etc.

In this regard, the pedagogue recommends giving following emotional gifts to your children:

  • Quality time. Oddly enough, this can be one of the most difficult gifts to give a child. This is because people are always busy and stressed trying to optimize their productivity. But what about the time they should dedicate to their family? And what about the time they should dedicate to their own well-being? That being said, if you really want to give your children a nice gift, then spend time with them enjoying, learning from each other, and getting to know each other. It’ll be an unforgettable gift for everyone.
  • A smile. Sometimes, all you have to do is look at your child and smile. According to París, this is a fantastic contagious gift. This is because your little will also enjoy their own smile and laughter.
  • A hug. This is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt emotional presents. It contains skin-to-skin contact and, as Andrés París himself says, it’s a union of hearts that allows you to show your little ones that you’ll always be there to protect them, love them, and make them feel safe.
  • Written notes. Although this is a dying habit, you might want to leave a little note in a place where your child can easily find it. It’s a wonderful detail, a surprise, and a gift that’ll surely fill them with joy.
  • Applause. Children need to know they’re valued. Thus, applauding their achievements is a wonderful emotional present.

Final notes about emotional presents

If you really want to enjoy a child’s sincere smile, keep in mind that emotional gifts can be a wonderful option to make them happy.

Don’t you think that people should laugh more and spend less money on things they don’t really need and won’t make them feel as good as a hug or a kiss?

París, A., De Miguel, D. (2019). Entrenando a madres y padres: 44 propuestas prácticas que te ayudarán a mejorar la educación de tus hijos. Independently Published: Madrid.