Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends – we’re all guilty of it. We absolutely love to give presents to kids during the holidays. Of course we do! Giving is fun and it’s heartwarming to see little ones light up when they receive something they truly adore.
Unfortunately, this glut of excitement can be overwhelming to kids and going overboard with gifts can turn little cherubs into ungrateful monsters who are never satisfied and always want more.
Does this mean that you should stop giving your kids gifts over the holidays? Of course not! However, if you want to make sure your incredible little boy or girl stays as amazing as you know they are, even at this time of year, it’s a good idea to help them to stay down to earth.
The following are some helpful strategies you can add to the holiday experience for your kids to help to make sure that gift giving remains fun, but they don’t end up with unwanted outcomes.
- Teach the joy of giving – The holiday season isn’t just about receiving. It’s also about giving. Give kids the chance to feel good from altruistic activities. Encourage them to be happy helpers. Teach them about the importance of sharing. Set an example by making them a part of donations and volunteer work you do and explain why it’s important. Helping those in need is, after all, the true spirit of the holiday, and the earlier a child is exposed to it, the more it will mean to them throughout their lives.
- Focus on esteem-building activities – Instead of focusing exclusively on the gift giving, concentrate on esteem-building activities that will help to turn the holiday season into a more complete experience. Holiday themed crafts are perfect for this, allowing kids to discover new skills, feel proud of what they’ve made and contribute to the decorating in your home. Crafts can also make wonderful gifts for grandparents, aunts and uncles, letting them share in the fun of giving. We recently posted a Snow Covered Pine Cone DIY on our blog and it has been a hit!
- Stick to schedules – The holiday season is a special time of year but sticking to schedules such as set eating times, bedtimes, and waking times, it can make it easier for kids to cope with the excitement and remain in control of what they’re feeling. Maintaining a bedtime routine is especially important because a good night of sleep can prevent all sorts of unpleasantness the next day. If you want to make bedtime festive, consider a holiday themed toddler pillowcase (we happen to love reindeer) and bedtime story.
By showing kids that the holiday season has a lot more to it beyond receiving gifts, it can become much more enjoyable to the entire family, while it offers the family the opportunity to create traditions you’ll always cherish.