by Julie Jaggernath
By their own choice, my kids don’t spend a lot of time watching TV. However when they do, the ads are often as engaging for them as the shows. This past weekend was no exception; no matter where they turned, there were ads about what they “should” buy their Dad for Father’s Day. The ads were filled with slogans and images which strongly indicated that the way to show their Dad that they love him is to buy him something.
My son, who is almost a tween, was the first to pipe up with his thoughts. Earlier that day he’d been on a hunt to find a large, flat stone. He scoured every corner of the green belt by our house, and the wooded area of the park, to find just the right one. He needed it for school for their Father’s Day painting project. After seeing the ads, he was now questioning if his artistic creation would actually be a good enough gift to give his Dad on Father’s Day.
My daughter, who definitely is a tween, then offered that her class hadn’t started talking about Father’s Day yet, so she assumed that they wouldn’t be doing anything. As she wandered out of the room, she mentioned something about having enough money saved up and that she’d just buy something.
Deciding What to Spend – Time or Money?
Buying gifts to show we love and care about someone, have their place, however, most parents I know, my husband and I included, prefer gifts from the heart over store-bought “stuff.” Maybe the gifts our kids make leave us with a mess to clean up. (I can vividly recall a special “breakfast” my daughter tried to make a few years ago…) Maybe they’re not as practical as something they could buy. They might not even be that pretty. But that’s really not the point.
The whole turn of events reminded me of the expression that ‘money doesn’t buy happiness.’ If you’re not sure if you believe this or not, think back to the last time you attended someone’s memorial service. The sentiments and memories people shared likely revolved around the time they spent with the person who had passed away, not how much money they did or didn’t spend.
There’s no reason to spend a lot of money to honour the special dads and men in your life this weekend. My daughter wisely decided that even if they weren’t doing anything for Father’s Day at school, she’d still have time to make something at home. Helping kids learn the true value of spending time rather than money to show their love is a legacy no amount of cash can ever buy.