Most parents love to shower their children with love, affection, and lot’s of gifts and toys! While it’s normal to desire to give abundantly to your child, there are reasons to be concerned when excessive gifts further unhealthy motivations, beliefs, and attitudes, or compromise safety.
According to the American Psychological Association Task Force on Advertising and Children, $12 billion per year is spent to reach children. It further states that children view more than 40,000 commercials each year. Children are constantly hearing messages that say, “You need this item to feel or look better. Your life will be better if you had this item. Your friends will like you if you buy this.” Parents are constantly pressured by their children for the latest electronic device, clothing item, etc. Many busy parents are pressured by feelings of not having enough money to buy expensive items for their children. Others try to compensate time away by making sure that their children have all the latest “stuff.”
When children are surrounded by non-stop gifts, it becomes easy for a young child to feel that getting “things” is the most important pursuit in life. The child’s personal values can begin to rely on excessive gifts as a measure of self-worth and happiness. While this is a problem that any parent can face, there are solutions. Here are a few suggestions that can help your child avoid some of the false beliefs and appreciate the gifts that you give.
- Encourage your child to value family and good friends. Teach him that relationships with people are far more lasting and important than any gift. Love should never be equated with things.
- When you purchase several gifts at once, like during the holidays, encourage your child to purge some of her gently used toys, electronics, athletic gear and clothes, and give them to charity.
- Adopt a family in need during the holidays. As a family, work with a non-profit organization or someone you know to offer gifts and food for a disadvantaged family.
- Practice saying thank you and giving compliments to each other.
- Have a family dinner and allow each family member to express 3 reasons why they are grateful.
Pay attention to your child’s behavior and maturity as you consider purchasing gifts. Try to express that receiving gifts is a privilege for which we should all be grateful. Let your child know that your love for him goes far beyond material things. Also, help your child to see the many other advantages that he has. Remind him of good friends, family and other privileges like quality education, and other acts of love and adoration.
Kids ‘R’ Kids believes that happy, loved, connected children are destined for success in every facet of their lives. Our most cherished principle, “Hug First, Then Teach,” defines every aspect of our educational process.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Waterside located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.