Little things, Big values

When you visit a friend having a kid, its usual to carry a chocolate for the little one… But its disappointing to hear some parents remark rudely at that very instance of gifting (sometimes as early as when you have just hinted that there’s a chocolate for the kid in your bag or pocket or hand) – “hum chocolate NAHI khaate (we don’t eat chocolates)… /we DON’T like chocolates… /arreyyy, aapne KYUU laya ye sab, already itna problems chal raha hai uske dnaath ko leke (WHY have you bought all these, we are already troubled with the kid’s tooth)” !

Well, we (guests) are aware that the child may not ultimately have it owing to tooth or some digestion issues. But the host (parents of the child) needs to know and also teach the child why and how to refrain from the gift temporarily or whatsoever, and never to disregard the guest’s affection.

Some may suggest getting dry-fruits, cookies, fruits, etc. Well, if chocos can dent the teeth, so will cookies & dry-fruits ! Moreover, plain chocos will melt away and not sit in the tooth-cavities; dry-fruits will doubly harm by way of grinding and sitting in the cavities. 🙂  A kid may not realize to clean it or clean it at the earliest ! As for fruits – kids will simply throw it away for obvious reasons, and parents would not have a role to play here- good or bad. Because the kid itself is in denial mode. We are talking of a situation in which the kid is in acceptance mode and the parents are in a denial mode on the same stuff. Afterwards, some people may also comment “bachche ke liye kuch bhi nahi laye, wo kya fruits khaate hain (the guests didn’t get anything for our kids; do kids like fruits) ?” 🙂  Moreover, many people can’t afford fruits nowadays- this, as I am considering all classes in our society. The option of fruits is a healthy suggestion though. But without chocolates, there can be no melting mazaa (fun) ! 🙂

A similar situation happens when you present sweets and discover someone is diabetic or extremely calorie-conscious !! Guests usually arrive with something namkeen (salty snacks) in addition, if they know beforehand about the diabetic condition. Irrespective of the namkeen, the sweets can always be refrigerated to be eaten moderately or tasted and offered to other visitors. How does it matter as long as the generosity of guests serves the purpose of the host for whom they have after all cared this way !!

However, such giving away of “presented” gifts, whether or not to refrain from it, should not be immediate or outright. I remember that I had once been to a friend’s kid’s birthday party. Since I had a busy day and could not go to any mall to buy anything special, I opted for a big multi-variety chocolate product of a leading brand that I luckily found in a bakery on my way. I was already late for the party and on reaching, I found that there were several games going on. For one of these, three prizes were enthusiastically declared by the gorgeous hostess. When it was over, I was surprised to observe, unintended though, that the first prize given was nonchalantly drawn from the heap of gifts by her. And unfortunately it was ‘my chocolate gift’, which now appeared as if it was a mere trash among the other items that were rather big and colourfully wrapped in sparkling papers. I thought to myself, what a meaningless Namaste welcomed us !! Such parties always have games and a good hostess must not overlook the arrangement of prizes or return-gifts. Some time back, I and another friend happened to discuss a similar topic. He was of the opinion that some hosts do it that way not because they are indifferent to the guests or gifts but because that’s an economical way of hosting the party to the fullest extent ! 😦

The other callous ways of some hosts are when the item becomes sort of a flying-disc or football or lies simply unattended even after you have left the place. If you have been very sincere and keen about the gift while purchasing or if its an expensive one, then while leaving the doorstep of the host, even a faint glimpse of it will literally bleed your heart… “hai Ram, bekaar mein uthaake layee main (Oh God, got this for no reason)… /kyuu laya main isko idhar (why did I get it here at all)… ?!?”  Too late, boss… 🙂

Whether it is chocolates, cookies, dry-fruits, fruits, sweets, namkeen, a dress or colour pencils- the point is on knowing and also teaching the child how to say a polite ‘no’ and never to hurt the guest’s sentiments; it is immaterial what the guest presents as long as it suits the occasion ! As parents, we should not be over-protective or egoistic; rather we should educate children to respect the society as a whole. Such aspects, in the long run, will definitely help the budding generation to understand the older ones and to care for them, no matter what their rank or status is.

So folks, isn’t it better and decent on part of all parents to teach the child with a smile rather something like “say- thank you Aunty /Uncle b-u-t… we will relish it later… /I will have it when I grow up a bit… /I would be able to enjoy it after I am through my tooth or digestion issues…” ? And then actually show the kid to store it in a refrigerator to be either eaten later or offered to someone else. If the gift is a non-edible type, then also a similar step can be taught. For example, a dress whose colour you don’t like or which is under-size for the kid, can be either exchanged at the shop with approval of the guest or in case that is not possible, donated to someone needy. Till then, it should be properly kept in the wardrobe. That way, the kid also learns how not to waste things or how to bring under-utilized stuff to better usage.

It may seem trivial to us, the so-called grown-ups. But these things can have a big implication on the EQ of children as they gradually learn life’s ways and then mature into adults one fine day ! Why expect their sense and sensibilities to bloom over-night ?!!? Let’s nurture it right from now on, whether it is a small or a big thing…..

What do you suggest, aamjunta… ?

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23 Responses

  1. Yes you’re absolutely right as we know a child replicate what they see or hear,so it is on our part to make teach them good things..

  2. i go by you totally ! Respecting people , their gifts and showing thankful gestures has to be taught since childhood .. question is who will teach those parents … who themselves … make the guests uncomfortable with their gesture or a blunt No for gifts or if they do not like something .. ?

  3. This is so funny..I laughed so much while reading this..have been in all the situations you mentioned..
    Its so much tough now to buy anything for kids ‘coz they already have too much of everything..too many toys, too much choc..I wish I was born in this generation.. 🙂
    Parents on top of it assume that guests will know and consider every health and family problem, and all the rules and regulations of their house, before buying a gift.. Seriously!

  4. With you entirely.

  5. I used to enthusiastically buy presents for people but I gave up two years back when one of my friends accidentally regifted my present to me. Nowadays, I stick to gift certificates. It is a little impersonal but it gives people the chance to choose their own gifts 🙂

  6. This is really funny, hats off to you AJ 🙂

  7. Sometimes the gift given is returned to the giver as a birthday gift :)… and most parents do it !! I have stopped attending Birthday parties and even if I do, I just hand out a gift voucher of a toy or book shop leaving no room for me to get hurt. Adults do it too. I had once given something to a close friend only to watch in horror that he had given it away as a gift to his brother in law !! Best give gift vouchers and detach yourself from the end result!!

  8. Nice…funny 🙂

  9. I agree that it is bad manners and lacks sensitivity to blatantly re-gift a gift. As for parents teaching kids to say they’ll enjoy eating your gift later, I’m not sure I like it. Kids should remain spontaneous as long as possible – that’s the fun of life. They’ll have to become adults soon enough. I guess we’ll just have to become more imaginative with gifts – perhaps they have some good ideas online.

  10. Thanks all, dear readers… Yes, re-gifting the same item to the same person also does happen… very bad taste ! 🙂

    @ Khushboo, Sangeeta, Kayemofnmy:

    It should be immaterial what gift you present- the point is in the parents awareness and teaching the child how to politely refrain from it without hurting the guest’s affection. Moreover, we don’t need to get a gift voucher /certificate or something special from online sources when we just drop-in over the weekend or just happen to meet friends in a mall ! In such situations, we would gift a chocolate or sweets or buy the kid an ice-cream at the most. The child may not relish it spontaneously owing to health issues but the parents still need to do their part, that is- educate their kid on mannerisms.

  11. Agree to a large extent. These days I think we have lost the sense of politeness, forget about hospitality. Every body is busy and guests are unwelcome. We only socialize in Facebook or in Twitter not in actual socail life.

  12. funny & serious too… if you take fruits, they may say “why did you get fruits, are we ill ?” …”why did you get oranges, we have throat infection now ?” :-)……..
    Ignore; just take what you like “as long as it suits the occasion”. Even if gifts get repeated on same occasion, it should not bother the guests but the host has to decide later what to do with the repeated ones !! The guests must be treated well, that’s it.

  13. Very Nice. . .

  14. One should appreciate the sentiment and accept the gift. To eat or not to eat comes later.

  15. Refreshing to read an issue which is down to the welfare of a family 🙂 Most of the parents assume that children behave in xyz fashion when a gift is presented to them. But if the parents are aware that the children are also as intelligent beings as us, then slightly nurturing them will bring heaps of changes in the way the children behave. It is necessary to nurture the children from home itself, which otherwise difficult in these chaotic situations outside.

  16. An interesting topic of everyday life. You are right- be it parties or wedding gifts. It is not the value of the gift that matters but the person who bought it. Since today’s Junta values only monetary things, they do hurt the feelings of the buyer. A gift is a gift and children should be taught to be thankful and appreciative to the giver.

  17. Totally agree !! Plus the gifts should reflect the occasion! But whatever be the gift…it should be accepted whole-heartedly.

  18. Well said aamjunta. These days people have forgotten Aatithi devo Bhava and the way they react to guests and their gifts, it is like, why did you come? A lot need to be understood.

  19. Rightly said – gift is some thing special. Another point which I think people missed here is price tag of the gift. Some people are crazy about the price tag. In my opinion, the love and affection behind the gift should be given maximum value, not the price tag. Some times without price tag also we can understand the cost of the gift. So it is better to enjoy the gift than evaluating the price. In personal relationship, it better not to be commercial, at least to my understanding.

  20. Nice blog. It is the parents and not the kids who need to be first educated for good upbringing of the kids.

  21. In Odia there is a say – dia ku dia, na dia ku duara dia. These days most of the parents just follow this in words, not in spirit. I think the parents should learn the basic courtesy – sistachaar. Good Post Dost.

  22. The title says everything – little gifts but have a big value and message to everyone. It is high time for the parents to learn many important things of life. Do not know where is the Indian Sikshya and culture?

  23. These days the people are only crazy about facebook and all. No social. If they have some festival, then mostly they just wanted to show off. Either they have no time or they do not want to talk to the guests. Good story and analysi.

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