The results of all this buying can be quite formidable; kids
who whine and are demanding when you take them shopping; kids
who feel they have to have all the new toys that come out on the
market; who see others by what they own rather than by their
character; who don't know gratitude or the joy of giving; and
who grow up to be teens or adults who try to fill their internal
emptiness with food, alcohol, drugs or shopping.
Jean Liedloff writes about this unmet need in her book the
Continuum Concept. She writes that all human beings have an
incredible need as infants to be held - continually. This fills
them with a sense of love, self-worth, trust, security and
Many parents were children who were not held as much as they
needed to be held, so they don't know how to nurture and hold
their children. This difficulty of parents to nurture, coupled
with the stresses of today makes it very easy to fall into the
We need to be aware of the number of things and activities we
give our children. We also need to remember that our kids learn
by watching us. Are we materialistic? Do we always want the
latest product on the market? If so, we can be pretty sure our
kids will follow in our footsteps.
At the same time we limit the number of things we buy for our
children, it is imperative that we increase the amount of time
we spend with them. Dorothy Corkille Briggs says in Your Child's
Self-Esteem "How frequently we give presents rather than
presence," How true it is!
Deep down inside, kids simply want their parents' focused
attention. This is love. Dolls are nice, but undivided attention
is love. Instead of just handing her a new doll, get down on the
floor and play with her!
When we cherish our children, they learn to feel valued and
worthy because of who they are and not because of what they