Christmas is on the horizon and it is my opinion that children, in the main, get far too much at Christmas. I’ve worked with families who spend £300 on their three children and then get into debt because they are living on the breadline. I have seen parents who can afford to splurge go way over the top spending up to £600 and above, what is it that prompts parents to do this?
A few years ago, when my children were teenagers, I had had some unexpected outgoings and I just couldn’t afford my usual amount; which by the way is about £100 but ends up being more like £120! So I sat my children down and explained the situation to them; and their response was to say “Mum don’t get us anything”. I was immensely proud of their reaction, they did get presents but some were things like; I promise to give you 3 lifts a week etc.
I think one of the pressures, ironically, is other parents; when a child is saying Billy got this and Amie got that; we begin to question our own budgets and it somehow becomes a competition on how much you spend, proves how much you love your child. Children are growing up believing that they can get everything they want, as opposed to getting everything that they need; they don’t realise the sacrifices which parents have to endure in order that they get everything.
My other concern is this, more than once I have been aware of children kicking off big style, smashing up their homes and hitting out at parents; just because they didn’t get the latest trainers or Xbox game. This can then become a bigger battle of wills and lead to huge issues within the family. So my plea to you is this; give your children what they need, not what they want, make them appreciate what they have and how fortunate they are, keep them grounded and inline. Then once in awhile like Christmas, treat them and they will appreciate it a lot more.