As an adult I always take great pride in buying my little niece gifts, but the one thing I never expected to happen was for her to say “no thank you, I’ll open it later”. This is a very adult response, but was not created by her desire to show self control and be grown up; she had simply had too many presents already. When a young child is presented with gifts each time she sees someone it is understandable that they would eventually begin to lose all meaning, so are we giving too much?
It stands to reason that we should want the best for our children and our family as a whole; good schools, fine clothes and all the opportunities we can possibly create, but does giving them too much limit them in any way? If we are too generous will they begin to take it all for granted and stop striving? We have all heard the stories of those who have come from very deprived backgrounds and this has pushed them to become amazingly successful, but that doesn’t mean we should deprive our children to give them more ambition.
Consider how Christmas has changed over the centuries, with children and presents becoming the main focus and families finding themselves in debt each year. Is this simply too much, or are there children out there who can still appreciate everything that is given to them, no matter how much they get? It is very difficult to resist the urge to buy beautiful gifts for the babies and children in our lives, but it does make sense that a child who receives these presents on a regular basis would not understand the true meaning of gifts. It is a very difficult path for the parents to steer and is certainly one to judge on an individual basis.
So, should we reconsider before we buy our young relatives presents, just in case they end up spoilt? Or should we carry on as normal, making the most of our chance to spoil them while they are still young? It is difficult knowing what the right thing to do as a parent is, especially with so much conflicting advice available, but at the end of the day it is all down to what feels right and what is instinctive. It is considered rude to say to your loved ones that you don’t want any gifts and it would be a shame to deprive your child of these gifts, so it all comes down to teaching the child to appreciate a heartfelt present and recognise that they shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Would you agree? What's your experience?
Susie and Toto Ltd
10 Childers Street, SE8 5PT, London
Tel: +44 (0) 203 239 1185 // email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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