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Giving the Gift of Responsibility this Christmas Part 2 by Gregory Bland

Dec 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Parenting, [None]

gift“That’s a lot of money daddy, I think we better look at the price of making greeting cards!” Hannah said softly, as the expense associated with creating calendars sunk in.

“We can do that honey, greeting cards I am certain will be less expensive for you to make.”

This experience began with Hannah facing a dilemma, “I don’t have enough money to buy the gifts I want to give this year, so I need to make some more money.  And Christmas is only 85 days away.” (see Giving the Gift of Responsibility this Christmas Part 1) As a parent coach I chose to embrace this as a growing opportunity for Hannah and began coaching her through this dilemma.  Employing the ‘could do, want to, will do’ model of decision making  allowed Hannah to generate options for earning money and helped her to choose which option she most wanted to pursue.  At the conclusion of our last article Hannah had just requested to use our date day to price out the materials needed for producing calendars and greeting cards for her to sell.    As we prepared for our date, Hannah charted our course; first, we go to the supply stores where we would check prices for calendar production; then greeting cards; make the decision and purchase the needed materials; and lastly, we would go to the mall to grab a drink and just chat.  Sounded like a great plan to me!

Slipping her arm into mine we walked together into the craft center where Hannah’s enthusiasm was re-ignited.    Hannah’s eyes widened with excitement, “This is a better price for sure!  What do you think Daddy?”

I looked at her smiling face, “Definitely! We can make greeting cards and keep the sale price low for your customers.  Is this what you want to do?”

“Yes, it is!”

“I think you’ll do great with this, Hannah!”  With a sense of victory, we loaded the cardstock and envelopes into the shopping cart and headed to the mall for a beverage.

Lynn and I assisted Hannah with the production of the cards and boxed them nicely in preparation for


The Big Day:

After setting up and anxiously waiting for customers, people began filtering into the mall shortly before noon.  There were a lot of ‘browsers’ and Hannah’s shyness was evident with each compliment she received.   By the end of the day Hannah had sold 42 cards earning her enough to cover the production cost with a small portion left over for purchasing gifts.   It was not enough to purchase all she desired to give this year, but was a great start, affirming Hannah Lynn and I encouraged: “There is still time before Christmas Day arrives, you can earn more money!”

In discussing her options further we decided to post the greeting cards on Facebook® to give Hannah greater exposure and possibly generate more sales.  Over the next two weeks, Hannah sold an additional 85 cards.  This generated enough income for her to give to the local church (which is something she loves to do), purchase all the gifts she wanted to give this year, and continue saving toward a ‘special gift’ that her heart has been set upon.

November 28th, as I sat in my office hammering out some thoughts for the book on my keyboard,   I heard the main-level door to the house open and quickly slam shut.  That familiar sound of running footsteps through the main floor and up the stairs toward my office alerted me that I would soon be greeted by someone with news.  There was a brief fumbling with the door knob then my office door quickly swung open as Hannah entered and exclaimed, “Daddy, Daddy, I am all done my Christmas shopping!”

My heart leapt with excitement at the ‘win’ Hannah just experienced. I looked at her with a wide smile and said, “That’s awesome Hannah! I am excited for you. Think about it, while everyone else is stressing out over what they will be purchasing on Christmas Eve, you will be able to sit back and relax.    I am proud of you young lady, now can you lend me some money so I can finish my shopping!?”
“Ohh daddy,” she said in that cute soft voice as she walked closer.

Hannah was glowing, she radiated enthusiasm as we celebrated this ‘win’ together with a high five and our happy dance.  Afterward she snuggled in close to my side, wrapped her arms around me and said, “Daddy, I love you.” “I love to you too, sweet cheeks!”  Looking into her eyes, I continued, “I am so proud of you, your generous heart continues to grow, and your ability to accomplish what you did this Christmas is remarkable.  I’m glad that God allowed me to be your daddy!”

Children, even younger children are more capable of decision making and taking responsibility than we have often given them credit for.   Taking this opportunity as a coachable moment and giving Hannah the gift of responsibility in this way:
– communicated value to her as a person.
– respected and allowed her to express her individuality.
– allowed her to grow in her unique gift set.
– provided her with the opportunity to ‘earn’ money and learn some valuable stewardship principles.
– encouraged her ability to generate options and make decisions.
– promoted her entrepreneurial spirit.
– fostered growth in her personal responsibility.
– strengthened our family relationship.

What other ways do you see giving responsibility to Hannah in this way building her character?
What benefits do you see it potentially giving us in our relationship as a family?

Putting it into Practice:

Thinking about your unique family structure, in what ways can you give the gift of responsibility to your children?
What benefits do you see this approach having for you within your own family context?
In what ways could you begin experimenting with the ‘could do, want to, will do,’ process of decision making?
What can you think of that would help you make the first steps toward giving responsibility?
What are you willing to commit to?
When will you begin?

Giving the gift of responsibility is one of the most powerful gifts we can give to our children.  This Christmas season and into the New Year, let’s be generous in our giving!

Until next time,
Your friend and Pro-ActiveParentCoach
Greg Bland

Please feel free to comment, interact with and offer your insights in relation to Giving the Gift of Responsibility to our children.

*Gregory and Lynn Bland currently reside in Nova Scotia, Canada and are actively coaching, writing and developing a course to train parents in Pro-ActiveParentCoaching.  Additionally they are providing interim pastoring for the Maritime District of the PAOC.  For more information check out Pro-ActiveParentCoaching or write to

Copyright 2009 Gregory Bland | Pro-ActiveParentCoaching | Nova Scotia | Canada |


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