So here’s a question I’ve been contemplating: Do you differentiate between educational needs versus wants as it pertains to gift giving?
A huge part of parenting is looking out for the child’s education. Since I was a teacher and (God willing) plan on homeschooling, I am already “teaching” Caroline. I think of it as part of my responsibility to her as her parent to provide her with a variety of interesting and challenging educational items (puzzles, books, art supplies, and other developmentally appropriate items such as beads to string or manipulatives to play with and sort by color or shape, etc.).
So I have a hard time thinking of giving her educational items as gifts.
I mentioned that we are giving her a Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel with all the trimmings in the Melissa & Doug Easel Accessory Set(paper, paints, dry erase markers, chalk, etc.) for her “big” Christmas gift. A part of me thinks that is something we should just buy her as part of her education. But she’s too young to know the difference at this point. Maybe as she gets older she’ll start to look at gifts differently.
Today we went to the mall and I bought her several books and puzzles. I could give them as gifts, but I feel like those are things I should provide to her as her teacher.
My inclination is just to give them to her over the next several days like she already has the Goodnight Moon puzzle we bought this afternoon. (And has put together three or four times already! She is exceptionally good at puzzles!)
How do other people handle this situation?