MM : Not Cost A Penny

 This was written for Christmas, but I think it’s good to read throughout the year too.

Linda Sharp, involved in her child’s school, once asked primary-aged children: “Name one thing you would like your Mum or Dad to give you this Christmas that would not cost a penny.”

You could have heard that penny hit the floor as silence enveloped them, and their young minds went to work. This what children REALLY want this year.

And no, a Play Station or X-Box is nowhere on the lists of their hearts.

Listen To Me Please: At the top of their lists is for we parents to stop being so busy all the time and just listen to them talk. We need to stop, look them in the eye, and listen. If we don’t, they will simply stop trying.

Teach Me To Cook: Children know every button on the microwave, but have no idea how to simmer, bake or boil. Yes, there is great messiness in allowing your youngsters to cook with you, but some happy memories are in the kitchen with Mum, dusted with flour and smudged with love.

Please Stop Smoking: One child spoke this wish and it was quickly echoed by many others. This concern went further than parents’ health and their own. Linda Sharp writes, “One young girl pulled me aside and whispered her reason in my ear, “The other kids say I always smell bad.” I hugged her close and bent to kiss her head and she was right. Her hair did not smell of Johnson & Johnson’s, but of Benson & Hedges. Not her choice and certainly not fair.”

Stop Being So Busy All The Time: How often do we use the phrase, “Just a minute . . .” or “Hold on . . .”? How many times do we look up after “just a minute” to find the child has given up waiting and is gone?

Read TO Me: We tend to think that once a child can read, our job is done. Actually, these children expressed a desire to have Mum or Dad read a chapter book TO them each night. And while they would really enjoy the reading, it leads to a deeper desire . . .

Hug Me More: Cling tight. Give more than enough hugs and snuggling and attention. Hug not once, not twice, but as much and as long as your children need.

So while you are running around doing that last minute shopping, add some of these items to your own child’s list. Rich or poor, they are all things that don’t cost a cent and we all have in endless supply.

We just have to stop and open our arms and hearts a little wider.

May you share Christmas love all year ’round,