When you have kids, the holidays are filled with a lot of “I wants” and “Can I please haves?” that can be hard to say no to. Stay strong mom and dad! You don’t need to give in to every desire, nor should you. Depending on the age of your child, explaining the difference between wants and needs may be difficult. If your child is too young to understand the difference, there are things you can do to make sure they understand the true meaning of the season so they don’t end up being on Santa’s spoiled list.
Give experiences over traditional gifts. Let’s face it, this season’s “it” toy is going to end up in the back of the closet by the time spring rolls around. So why spoil your kids with gifts they’re just going to play with and forget? Instead, treat them to an experience you know they’d enjoy.
Whether it’s a day at a painting class, or a day trip to an animated show or a fun activity, giving them experiences over gifts not only eliminates the chance that they’ll end up spoiled, but they also make great family memories that certainly won’t end up in the back of the closet.
Don’t give into the whole wish list. If you’re still going to go the gift route and your child gives you a wish list, nicely explain that not all of the wishes are going to be granted, so it’s best to choose the gift that’s most wanted.
This way there’s a better chance they can actually receive it.
Teach them to give to those in need. Even if your child is young, you can start to teach him that it’s important to give back during the holidays. Pick out at least one toy and donate it to a local toy drive. While it may be difficult to pry it from their hands, it will be a lesson that’s well worth teaching and worth the temper tantrum that may follow!
Think before you buy. While we all want to make our kids happy, it can be easy to buy on impulse this time of year.
Try to really think what your child will gain from whatever you’re thinking of buying. Will it provide instant gratification? Most likely. Will it get big screams and smiles? Definitely. Will it change their life for the worse if they don’t receive it? Absolutely not. This is not to say you can’t buy gifts, but maybe it’s a case of “everything in moderation” and not “the sky’s the limit”.
If you can teach your child at a young age that there’s more to life than materialistic items, they’ll be better for it as they get older. Although they may not love it in the moment, they will appreciate the lesson and you as they get older.