Grandchildren-Do They Really Need Another Toy?
Christmas is a thing of the past and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Before you purchase your grandchild a teddy bear and a box of chocolates, take a moment to think about what you give your grandchildren on holidays and through-out the year. Recently I found myself wondering if my grandchildren really needed another toy. This is what happened….
The Toy Box is Full
My grandchildren are blessed with lots of family who love them and who love giving them gifts. Our oldest granddaughter is 9 years old and has two sets of grandparents and two sets of great-grandparents. She also has step-grandparents and a whole host of aunts and uncles who adore her. This Christmas, besides clothes and other gifts, she got an i-pod and two i-pads.
Our daughter’s children also have two sets of grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles. The week after Christmas I went over for a visit and it looked like Toys-R-Us had set up a display in their living room. Seriously, there was hardly room to walk! My granddaughter is 2 and my grandson is 6 months old. At the rate they are going my daughter will have to build an extra room on the house just to hold all the toys.
My son’s two children are almost 2 and 3 and they also have more toys than they know what to do with. I dropped by the other day and I counted 3 baby dolls that were still in their boxes.
I am NOT criticizing the way my children give my grandchildren gifts because they are doing exactly what I did, working hard to create a magical Christmas. I understand, I really do. It’s fun to watch their little faces light up with excitement when they get gifts, but I have come to the conclusion that my grandchildren really don’t need another toy, at least not from me. Their parents are doing a wonderful job of making sure they have more than enough. So why do I keep giving them toys? Because I want to get in on the magic. I love the feedback of the hugs and smiles and especially the “Oh, wows!”
Children are only little once I am not going to turn into a scrooge, but I’ve decided it’s time to rethink what I give my grandchildren for holidays and their birthdays. Instead of searching for weeks for some special item they have to have, I’m going to leave that up to their parents and buy them something they need like clothes or a pair of shoes.
Another thing I am considering is instead of gifts, giving them each a day of their own. As they get older (and there are more of them!) it will be harder to spend time with each of them. One of my friends designates one day to each of her grands. They do some fun activity together and spend the day with each other, no one else allowed!
But most importantly, I’m going to start a college fund for each of them and on their birthdays and holidays instead of giving them another toy, I’ll donate some money towards their future. Unless I win the lottery it will be a small contribution, but hopefully over the years it will add up and help them and their parents out when they graduate from high school.
Other Ways to Give
When my parents were young the way to save for college was with savings bonds, but things have changed. When I started reading about the options I realized there were lots of different methods of contributing to my grandchild’s future. I also realize that all children are different and that all or none of my grandchildren may go to college or technical school, but I want to help them have that option and there is no better time to start than now, while they are all still young.
If your grandchildren’s toy box is full and overflowing and you want to start helping save for their future, here are a few great sites that give financial advice on how to do so.