Goods for newborns
What to give to grandchildren? Helpful Tips
There are many books and magazines whose authors give various advice to future and young parents. But you rarely see tips for grandparents.
Elena Babieva Psychologist, Moscow
But they too are not easy to master the new role. We hope that this rubric will become a reliable friend and wise adviser for the older generation.
Soon your grandson or granddaughter will be born. This is a great event in the life of your family, and everyone prepares for it as they can: make repairs, rebuild relationships, go to courses for pregnant women, buy a dowry for a future child. Sometimes, however, purchases from superstitions are postponed to "after birth," but lists are usually drawn up in advance. Surely you also want to participate in these pleasant troubles and you are already looking for what to buy and give to the long-awaited grandson. That these efforts remain pleasant, and your purchases and gifts were helpful, you need to approach this matter responsibly.
What do you need?
The future person, despite its modest size, will need a lot of everything to live, grow and develop. How can one not get lost at the current huge range of children's goods? How not to get trapped and not buy for the baby what is already bought by someone else?
We ask parents
To begin with, when buying gifts, you need to coordinate your actions with the child's parents. Learn from them in advance what they have already bought and want to buy by themselves. It will be extremely ridiculous if you come to them with a full set of what's already in their chest of drawers.
Find out if they have any preferences regarding gifts and if so, which ones. Ask them as much as possible about what they would like, especially if what you decide to buy for them is of a large size and will be used every day, such as a crib or stroller. If they are uncomfortable or, in the opinion of young parents, ugly, the effect will be extremely negative and exactly the opposite of what you want. Imagine that a young mother will always look at the crib, which she does not like. What do you think she will feel? Most likely, the growing annoyance and resentment against you every day for not asking her what she wants, or did not take into account her opinion.
Do not argue with your children if they necessarily want to buy what you decided to give them. It may be extremely important for young parents to do something themselves, even if it is difficult and expensive. Remember yourself when you were in their place: for you, too, were some important moments, completely incomprehensible to others, for example, personal purchase of such small things as a spoon, breastplates or a hat.
Sometimes a good solution to the issue may be a joint trip to the store or to the children's goods fair. A young mother herself will choose what she likes, and you pay for her purchases or divide the expenses in half. It is important to decide in advance how much you can and want to spend! on purchases for the baby, and check with her parents. It is necessary to do this, that neither side would then be disappointed in their expectations.
Sometimes children expect more from their parents than they can give them, and sometimes the parental gift seems to them excessively generous, and the gratitude for it is unbearable. This happens when young parents are not yet very confident in their independence, feel dependent on their parents and are trying in every possible way to prove to them (and in fact to themselves) that they are adults and can solve all their problems themselves. Then expensive gifts will remind them that they are not as independent as they would like, and can cause, as it may sound strange, irritation and resentment instead of gratitude.
If the expectations of children are greater than your opportunities or intentions - do not be afraid to say "no", while explaining the reasons for your refusal. This, again, will help children feel more mature and responsible, reminding them that it is their child and they will have to take care of it first of all to themselves, and not to grandmothers and grandfathers.
Sometimes children prefer to simply get some money from their parents for purchases, and make them themselves. Do not take offense at them for this - maybe for them it is an excuse, again, to feel their independence, the desire to be sure that they will buy exactly what they need. Give them this opportunity: you can always then agree that at least something you will give them to yourself.
If the child's parents are well-off, they bought everything themselves or if you do not want to make banal gifts, you can come up with something more original, for example, in advance to pay for the child a massage course, a one-year service in a medical center, open insurance for his account - target educational or age - or to do something else like that.
Perhaps you want to make a child some very symbolic gift for you, the price of which will not be measured by money, but by the meaning embedded in it. For example, it will be a silver spoon, which was given to your parents for your birth and from which you were fed as a child. Or your first toy, which you have been lovingly storing all these years. Or even family jewelry, passed on tradition from generation to generation, from grandparents to grandchildren, or something else, dear To you as a memory and expressing all your love for the child. It is very important to understand that the baby will not be able to appreciate it exactly, but how his parents will appreciate it and will totally depend on you. Such a gift should be accompanied by words explaining all its value and its deep meaning, explaining how important it is for you to tell the whole story: if the young parents understand and appreciate it, they will then deliver it to the child.
What should I say?
The way you will give your gifts and what to say, it is important in any case. It is necessary to think what to say in order not to devalue your efforts, not to offend young parents, to bring joy to them, and to yourself. Words can be different, depending on what is done in your family, but the main thing is, on the one hand, do not get upset ("I here accidentally picked up one nonsense"), and on the other - do not exaggerate yourself and your own buying, devaluing young parents (for example, "no one has such a generous grandmother" or "you yourself without us would do anything, you are our grief"). Think about what words you can express your feelings for the child and his parents. You can compose funny or touching verses and attach them to a gift on a beautiful postcard, you can come up with some accompanying surprises or jokes, it is important one thing - in this gift your love is expressed, and it must be transferred and heard by your children.