Tips on approaching the gift-giving season with your children.
By Jennifer Gibson, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
As the largest gift-giving season of the year approaches, it can be difficult to balance receiving and giving when it comes to our children. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as parents when navigating the gift-giving season.
- Define what celebrating means to your family. Communicate this regularly with your children and be mindful of balancing receiving and giving in your home and with others. Let your children know that gifts from the heart are invaluable. Making crafts can be quite special for loved ones, as well as baking cookies or other treats that can be shared with friends and family. As the focus shifts to what children can do and give, children tend to focus less on what they are receiving from others.
- Enjoy the holiday festivities with your family. Activities such as decorating, watching holiday movies, playing board games, ice-skating, sledding, and visiting family and friends can be great fun, taking the focus off of gift-giving for the holidays. These memories also last a lifetime.
- Downsize your holiday by setting a limit on spending and requests. By having your children only make a certain number of gift requests, your children learn to prioritize what is most important to them. As you are discussing gift requests with your children, incorporate discussion about donating old toys as well. Have your children choose old toys and a way to donate them to other children who may benefit from them as they once did. This process further develops a focus on others and the importance of giving during the holidays.