WHAT DOES A ONE YEAR OLD REALLY NEED?
From my experience as a parent of 3 young kids, one year olds don’t need a lot of materialistic ‘stuff’; simply lots of love and interaction! They do not need all the bells and whistles nor do they really care! They are happy with the box the fancy toy came in or ripping the paper it was wrapped in!
Our son, Louis turned 1 recently. He is a curious, happy little person who really brightens everyone’s day. He is on the move and is loving the independence of exploring and finding all kinds of things around the house; from tissue boxes, Tupperware cupboards (certainly can’t find the lids now!), toilet paper rolls with paper that amazingly goes on and on and on (we have had to lock this away) and when he finds himself discovering his brothers’ room he is just in heaven!
Louis is a third child, the last of three boys and obviously he is not wanting for much…but does he need all that we give him? The big basket of toys we have for him to play with rarely gets used, the toy car he rides around in, is a nice ‘thing’ but not completely necessary. What he really needs at this age is lots of love, affection and time – our time. He just wants us to play, to chat, to interact and model to him how to be a ‘good’ person.
We may feel our children need all this fancy ‘stuff’ but they don’t really need any of it…just us as parents and role models to guide them to become independent and capable individuals. Toys can be great, but do we really need to give them everything?
For Louis’ first birthday, we had a small party for him, celebrating his first year of life – has been such a blur (Nooooo! My last baby all grown up!) In lieu of presents, we asked guests to make a small donation to The Reading Seed on Louis’ behalf. Thank you to all our friends and family who did contribute! The Pacnik Family; The Trieu Family; The Hunt Family; The Greenwood Family; The Caldow Family, The Charles Family; The Hewick Family; The Bales Family as well as Joy and Robert. These lovely donations will help a lot of children learn to read or attend school on the path to changing their lives.
We have previously done the same for Louis’ older brother’s first birthdays and in years to come we, would like to reflect with our children on how they have helped to change other less fortunate children’s lives through this simple but kind act that did not see Louis missing out on anything that will hinder his development!
We are parents that try to put emphasis on ‘the bigger picture’ and reinforce this at any time our children are behaving in a way that some could call ‘spoilt’. For instance we all contribute to our family by carrying out jobs, not for pocket money, simply because it is the right thing to do. We always reflect on what we have and take for granted (safety, security, beds, carpet, grass!) and what other children may never have and really how lucky we are. We would love our boys to want to help others when they are older, simply because it is the right thing to do. In the meantime we can only be there for them and act like the kind of adults we would like them to become.
Happy birthday Louis! Again, thank you to all those who contributed to The Reading Seed and at the same time helped reinforce a life ‘lesson’ to our own children!