It’s that time of year when kids all across the country are drafting up their holiday gift lists, with some more lengthy than others. For parents, the demand for stuff can get a little out of hand.
Viewers Robin and Adam say they’re unsure how many gifts to get their children in addition to the gifts they’ll be getting from other family members. They’re worried that their kids won’t be able to appreciate all of their presents because there will be too many.
Q: We can’t agree on how many gifts to get our kids for Hanukkah this year. We get them eight every year, but when you add in grandparents’, aunts and uncles gifts, eight nights turns into 12 nights. How much is too much?
- Robin and Adam, viewers
A: Relationship expert Dr. Drew Pinsky suggests teaching your children that the holidays are also about service. Instead of meeting their desire for material things, he says it’s important to encourage giving to others.
“At least one of the nights, give a gift. Go out and be of service to somebody,” Dr. Drew says. “It is very compelling, kids actually feel a sense of purpose and well-being. It’s not all about get, get, get.”
Additionally, Dr. Drew says he’s seen the direct outcomes of withholding (or not withholding) material things from children. As they get older, kids learn how to deal with not always getting what they want.
“The tough job of parenting is actually not about showing how much you love your kids, it’s about holding the line and helping them deal with frustration,” he says. “Service and frustration help them become more full, capable adults.”