HELP! I Think I’m Spoiling My Kids Too Much

Tis’ the season of gift giving, gift asking and gift receiving. Tis’ the season for your kids to be ramped up on sugar highs, late nights and serious anticipation for the day their wish lists become reality! When it comes to all things gifts, how do you really know if your kids, and you, are losing sight of what the holidays are really about?

Let’s be honest, the holiday season wouldn’t feel complete without the traditions that circle around ripping open paper, bows and boxes. The pure and utter joy that spreads across your child’s face as the magic appears before their eyes. 

But..do you ever feel like your kids have too much? Family members constantly buy and you don’t know what to do? Your kids are beginning to want all the time? It’s almost as if gifts have become an expected part of their day and not just around the holidays? 

To help you avoid mass consumption, spoiling your kids and entitlement, I’m going to share with you a simple 3 step process to help pull the reins back on your sleigh. Let’s work to create a holiday where your kids are thankful for what they receive, learn to give and be grateful for what’s truly important. 

First, I want you to stop and think about which gifts are a must and which made the list simply because it was seen on a commercial and looked cool or you happened to see something while perusing Costco, so you threw it in the cart. 

To prepare for this holiday season follow these 3 simple steps to avoid overdoing the gift giving and teach real life lessons about the meaning of the holidays. 

  1. Spend time making lists with your kids. I want you to make one for yourself as well, because role modeling is one of the most impactful ways to parent. Sit down together and create rough draft wish lists. Have your kids add everything to the list and continue to add as the season moves on. Then choose a time to stop adding and prepare for a final list audit. Work with your kids to help them think about their top items. You will decide before the audit how many gifts seem fair. You can also ask your kids for input, “do you think we should choose our top 3 or top 4? What do you think?” Give them a choice to help them feel in control. The more you involve your kids, the more invested they will be in the process! Remember, the goal here is to pare down, less is more! 
  2. Give your kids adequate time to switch out and swap their top choices. They will need time to think about this as it’s a big decision. You don’t want to rush them and increase pressure. This will only create power struggles and push back. As you audit your lists over the weeks leading up to the final list creation it’s important to take time to talk to your kids about what’s really important in life. Health, family, safety, love…Children’s books are a great way to help teach age appropriate life lessons and open the doors to meaningful conversations with your kids. Visit my Children’s Book Corner for tons of recommendations! 
  3. Have your kids number their top gift items on their wish list. Number one being their top choice and so on, this way you know where to start as you work to keep your finances and budget in mind. As they number their list I want you to express how proud you are of them for really thinking about what’s important to them. For taking time to choose items they truly want. You will do the same to your list as well! NOTE: remind them that this is still a ‘wish list’ and doesn’t mean they will receive every numbered item. 

For those of you who have younger kids, little babes and toddlers, remember that you are setting the precedent now. If you want to avoid the holiday gift giving craze refrain from buying unnecessary items. Follow the same 3 step process from above for your little ones and make sure you purchase gifts you really feel they need to have! 

This holiday season let’s all take it down a notch or nine! Let’s commit to consuming less and loving more. I dare you to take my 3 step holiday challenge! Happy Holidays! 


Guest Post today by Tia Slightham – Parenting Coach. To learn more about positive parenting and how to build a mutual respect relationship free of anger, yelling and guilt, book your free 30 minute breakthrough call to learn more how I can help.