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How to raise a well behaved child – The Gift Closet

What parent doesn’t want to know how to raise a well behaved child?

When your children are obedient there is happiness and peace in the home. Unfortunately, in many homes today, there is anxiety and stress instead.

I would like to share a story about a curious family tradition and some lessons that were learned from it. In fact, the lessons learned will offer insights on how to raise a well behaved child.

Growing up, we had a mysterious closet in our home. It was known by us kids as the “gift closet” or the “present closet”. It was always locked and only opened on special unannounced occasions. What we didn’t understand at the time was that mom and dad were teaching us some valuable lessons that would help us in life later on.

After the holidays are over, stores like Target and Walmart will often discount toys, games, action figures, dolls and stuffed animals up to 70% off. Unbeknownst to us, this was when mom and dad would go shopping to fill the “Gift Closet”.

How to raise a well behaved child – Lessons learned from the “gift closet”.

The rules were simple in our home. Other kids in the neighborhood got gifts come the holidays whether they were good or not. In fact they EXPECTED them. Not our house.  Gifts were random and spontaneous and were tied to our good behavior.

For example, if we had a week where all the kids got along with no fussing, mom and dad would surprise us all with wrapped presents. Another example might be when we got good report cards at school. This would come as a shock to us in the middle of February or July. What an exciting time we had and enjoyed then! I remember the expressions of joy on my parents faces as they watched our excitement. This happened often throughout the year.

Here are 7 lessons that I learned as a young person that helped mold me as an adult

  1. You don’t have to wait for certain times of the year to give gifts.
  2. The best gifts are spontaneous when others don’t expect them.
  3. Be grateful for everything you receive in life.
  4. We learned patience.
  5. There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.
  6. Tell the people in your life that you love them. And tell them often while you still have them.
  7. We learned that there was a direct connection between how we got along and the number of presents we got each year. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out to be nice, get along with others and be kind. You will have a much happier life.
  8. Of course the best gift a parent can give their kids is their time.

I wonder if you might have a closet in your home that might make an excellent “Gift closet”?

Think about it carefully, especially if you are interested in how to raise well behaved kids.

Your children, and their children will thank you for many years to come.