Gift Giving Between Siblings

I don’t want to add one more thing on your to-do list this year…but I have a great reason to…I promise!

Encourage your children to choose, make, buy, create or otherwise invent a gift to give to their sibling this holiday season. There is no better way to experience the gift-giving aspect of the holidays than to have your child get in the spirit by considering their siblings likes and desires and by taking the time to find/create a gift.

This doesn’t have to be another add-on to the tortured lives of siblings. Make it a fun experience, find time to ‘brainstorm’ ideas with each of your children. What does your brother like to do? What are some of his favorite things? What makes your sister smile? Here are a few to consider:

If you have more than two children, I’d suggest pulling names from a basket so you don’t get overwhelmed by serious gift-swapping. Give the time, materials or help they need to make it happen and try to create some fanfare around the exchange so each child’s contribution/efforts are rewarded with just the right amount of praise and thanks!

If your children earn an allowance, consider budgeting for sibling gifts. If you’re going to be forking over some dough, set a reasonable amount. For instance, each child gets $5 or $10 to “shop” with.

Some sibling gift ideas could include:

A themed basket – Does a sibling love arts and crafts? Head to the dollar store and stock up on paper, crayons, glue and glitter to make a basket of goodies for under $10.

A baked goodie – Does a sibling love chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Head to the grocery store to get ingredients and bake up a batch. Decorate a shoe box with some of her favorite things and put the cookies in there.

A free loaner card – Does a sibling just ADORE one of your leapster games? Make a “free loaner” card on your computer for 30-minutes of free play with your game. Small print could read: Must return to owner after 30 minutes!

An IOU card – Do you and your sibling do chores around the house? Maybe you could offer a “free chore” card by offering to take on her table setting night.

The benefits of such exchanges can be far-reaching. Your children learn the act of generosity, of considering another person’s likes and dislike, the enjoyment of gift-giving and when a habit of gift-giving has been established between siblings, parents will face less conflict and jealousy between children during future gift-giving times such as holidays and birthdays.

– Heather

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