12/20/10

Appreciation Jars For Kids

Every parent struggles at some point in life with feeling unappreciated.  You've bathed, clothed, fed, and lost sleep over the little wonders you've brought into this world.  Doesn't anyone notice how much you've sacrificed?  It seems hard to imagine those kiddies may feel like you don't appreciate them enough.  But, kids struggle with the same internal angst that we model for them.  So, today is your day to model appreciation.
It won't take a playstation, electric guitar, or keys to the car to show your love.  Instead, one of life's most valuable lessons can be taught with a tiny, inexpensive jar.  Now, this will take a little work, but it is worth it.
You'll see.  First, identify a milestone in your relationship.  It could be a 15th birthday, college graduation (17 years of school), or your 20-year-old is finally taking the leap and completely moving out of your nest.  Tell your babes 15, 17, or 20 reasons you love them and package the message up in a bottle.
Here's what you will need:
1-A tiny (yes tiny) glass jar from the dollar store, with a lid.
2-A few pieces of colorful paper.
3-A fine tipped black marker/pen.
4-A piece of ribbon
5-A piece of cardstock to make a small card.
6-Hole punch
7-Glass beads optional
Fold your cardstock into the shape of a small card.  Punch a hold in the corner and slip your ribbon through it.  Then, write a message to daughter or son.  Need an idea?
To my beautiful child,
     You have enriched my life beyond words.  Each day I am more grateful for the time we've shared.  Now, as you prepare to move into your own home...I want to celebrate each year of your life by sharing 20 reasons that I love you.
Now you need to come up with those 20 reasons.  The thought can be as simple as "I love your beautiful eyes", "I love that you call your grandma everyday",  or "I love your artistic side".  Just make sure the words will fit on the paper square you're about to cut out.  You can also offer 20 reasons you are proud of your child instead, depending on the occasion.  If you need a higher number...tell them how they've made each of your 40 years in this world worth it.  Don't get complicated.  Just sit back and let yourself think about all the ways you love your child.
After you cut several squares out of the multi-colored paper, write each of the things you are thankful for on the paper.  You can also buy a heart-shaped punch if you prefer that instead of squares.  Fold the pieces once or twice, just to give the paper some volume in the jar.  My jar is rather large (too large really), so I padded the bottom with glass beads, which I got from the Dollar Store.  Tie the ribbon attached to your card around the top of the jar and throw on the lid. 
Carve out alone time for this special gift.  Pull out each piece of paper one by one to read to your loved one.  You will knock their socks off.  It will only cost a few dollars to make, but the results are priceless.  Your child will say it was the best gift they've ever gotten, and if they don't...you'll know it is the best gift you've ever given.  You'll feel wonderful all night having the peace of mind that you didn't keep those feelings bottled up for a lifetime...you opened that jar and made sure your kids know just how much you love and appreciate them.
P.S.  I'd love to hear all about your give-giving experience.  Connect to the original post on my blog and share your story in the comments section by clicking here.

Written By Guest Author Tammy Palmer (Crafty Cat) from the super creative blog Crafty Life And Style.
Tammy & Jodee are super creative ladies. Be sure to check out one of their recent blog posts.
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"Your unconsciousness isn't your children's to inherit: it is yours to excavate. Being a conscious parent means you are increasingly aware of the force and prevalence of your unconsciousness as it arises in everyday situations." Shefali Tsabary, PhD
The Conscious Parent ~ Transforming ourselves empowering our children.
The Conscious Parent (book) by Shefali Tsabary

3 comments:

LRmom said...

Love this idea and we can add this to our tradition to each girl on their birthday as a way to celebrate their lives we also list why they are named who they are along with 1 card/year about why we love them. This makes such a treasure along with one-one time with a special parent!

Betsy at Zen-Mama said...

I love this idea! If I can find the time, I'm doing it for everyone in the family.

Grace said...

Wonderful idea and I love that it is so attractive. I love to make memories and this would do that.