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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Kids and Christmas – How Do You Keep the “Gimmes!” Away?

Christmas is a fun time to be a kid. You get to ask all kinds of people for things you want, and there’s a chance you might get them. It’s all pretty amazing. It also encourages kids to get really demanding about wanting more and more stuff. Is there any way to control this?

No way is perfect, of course, but you can cut things down some. Kids will be kids, and that means that even if you limit exposure to television commercials, there will be friends talking about the latest and greatest whatevers. Still, cutting down on media exposure is one of the best ways to limit how much stuff children ask for. Here are some more ideas.

Talk to Them Honestly

Discuss with your kids why they can’t have everything they want. You can cover financial reasons (who can afford all that?), environmental reasons (the waste, oh, the waste!) and even that sometimes it’s hard to buy something because too many people want it.

Go with whatever works for you. Children, especially as they get older, understand more than many adults think.

Remind Them of What’s Important to Your Family

We all want things, but there are values beyond things. Whether it’s the meaning of the holiday, thinking of those less fortunate or something else, remind your kids what lies beyond wishing for presents.

Discuss the Value of Patience

This one really helps if what your child wants is something you’re willing to get, but can’t do so yet. It doesn’t matter if it’s for financial reasons or because all the stores are sold out. Patience is something children need to learn.

Encourage Them to Give

Whether it’s the gifts they give to family or something your children give to charity, help them to remember that giving is as much a part of Christmas as receiving. Help your children start thinking of others, even if it’s just family members.

This can also include giving toys to a Toys for Tots drive or finding a place that gives you information about what a child or a family would like for Christmas. Another choice would be to look at international charities that provide live animals to poor families or otherwise do things to help communities in need. There are many opportunities to give both locally and around the world.

Sort Out Old Toys

Christmas is one of my favorite times to sort out old toys to give to charity. Kids know that new ones are coming, and there’s always some that just don’t get used anymore or maybe never really caught your child’s attention.

If your child is reluctant, you can do the sort yourself. I still suggest keeping your child involved in the process. One way is to divide the toys into two more or less equal piles. Let your child pick one to keep. Allow trades for truly wanted items, but you can put rules on it such as having to give up two items to get one back. Make sure you keep sets together.

Take the unwanted toys to a favorite charity together. You and your child can talk about what the charity will do with the toys and who will benefit.

If you really want to work the lesson more, you can encourage your child to give up some current favorite toys. Children can be amazingly generous given the chance. They may wince and whine, but they also may do it.

Black Friday Lines – and People Complain About Occupy Protesters

ShareI’ve been hearing quite a bit about Black Friday lately. You can’t help it if you pay attention to just about any news source around here. People lined up days in advance, skipping their family’s Thanksgiving dinner just to get deals on whatever they’re after. All I can think is about how much people complain… Continue Reading

7 Ways to Have a More Eco Friendly Black Friday

ShareHere comes one of the biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday. It’s a time when many people go wild with their Christmas shopping, determined to get the best bargains, even if that means shopping all night at one of the many stores that plans to be open all night that night. If… Continue Reading

Ever Get Comments About Your Child’s School Lunches?

ShareMy kids bring lunch to school pretty much every day. I’m good at making their lunches on a small budget, and it allows me to include fresh vegetable and healthier ingredients in their lunches. What amazes me are that the kids get comments on their lunches, not too much from the other kids, but from… Continue Reading

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