If your child makes a gift for someone, I am quite confident that it will be the gift that they are most proud of. The one that they are most excited to give.

If you have been out recently it is not hard to see that we are in the Christmas “season”. The decorations all over Penang, the music in the malls, etc, etc. For those who observe Christmas, part of the season is the giving of gifts to friends and family. Last week we looked at how parents could be intentional in giving gifts that would develop resilience in their kids. This week, I am going to flip it to the other side and talk briefly about how parents can be involved in the gifts your kids give.

If your children are getting gifts for friends and family, this is another opportunity to be intentional about resilience. Most of the gifts we give are ones that we buy from a store. These can be wonderful gifts with a lot of thought and emotion put into them. However, maybe this year you can have your kids give at least one gift that they made and did not buy. Making a gift can teach them a lot and be a win-win scenario.

There are so many ways that this can happen and you might already have some thoughts. But if not, one idea is to sit down with them, challenge them with the idea, and then help them figure out how to do it. The making of the gift can be as simple as a couple hours in the kitchen to something that involves many hours in the garage working on a big project.

The making of a gift, no matter what it is, gives kids an opportunity to develop resilience. Gifts that are made often do not go as planned. They can be difficult, take time, perseverance, involve setbacks, even possibly some failure. That said, if your child makes a gift for someone, I am quite confident that it will be the gift that they are most proud of – the one that they are most excited to give.

So, think about this idea and whether or not it could work for your family. Who knows, if it goes well you might be starting a family tradition that carries on into the future for many years.


Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
Ms. Shawna Wood is dedicated to mentoring and discipling the next generation. Shawna has a Master of Education and has been at Dalat since 2012, first as Middle School principal and now as Deputy Head of school.
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