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What to do with children that are never happy with what you get them

My step son is never happy with the gifts we/santa gets him. He wants all expensive stuff like iPods and ps4. We can not afford to spend that much on one child when we have 3 together. I would love to be able to but not possible! How can we get him to understand it is not always about the gifts! I love him so much and it crushes me when he opens a gift and returns to bed disappointed. He still believes also in Santa maybe once he knows the truth he will understand. Not sure!

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Asked by jem102675 at 12:59 PM on Dec. 7, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 17 (3,345 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • You straight up tell him the truth about everything. My daughter had to explain to the granddaughters about Santa NOT being real because of all the stuff they were wanting. You tell him about what you can afford and why.... Always be honest with children about money....

    Answer by m-avi at 1:02 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • His birth mom would not be happy she is trying to keep him young as long as possible! I know by his age most do not believe any more. 12 years old. If he was my son he would have had a talking to already! Trust me!

    Comment by jem102675 (original poster) at 1:05 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • Maybe you should take him to an orphanage, or to a house less fortunate than his.......point out what is important.

    Answer by older at 1:08 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • 12
    and he stills believes?
    he should learn to be grateful, maybe do some volunteering at a local homeless shelter, or food pantry etc
    make him watch the news and see how others try to live in conditions that are terrible

    i would be heart broken that he was ungrateful at 12

    Answer by fiatpax at 1:12 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • Santa does not give very expensive gifts because he has so many children to visit each year. He brings a gift out of love and hopes the child really likes his gift of love.
    We also told our children that we do not always get what we want, either from Santa or from us. Sometimes the gift is not appropriate (good ) for the child and sometimes it is just a matter of money. But the gifts are given with love and hope that he loves them too.

    Things like Play Stations were never given to one child, but were a family gift and that might be an option for you. As the kids got older we also instituted and special year for each of us. So more or more special gifts were given by everyone to the one child on that year and the next year it rotated to another child.

    Does your child make or save and buy gifts for others in his family? oes he help to make Christmas better for anyone else? Baking cookies and taking them somewhere?

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:15 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • Don't get him anything. Spoiled brat.

    Answer by anestheticsex at 1:16 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • Children are products of environment .... Talk to your SO

    Answer by rachel216 at 2:03 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • Ask his mom what he is getting and maybe supplement it. Like if she gets him a ps4 then get him a game.

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:09 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • We used to take our kids to a "Giving Tree every year" Each boy would choose the name of a boy their own age, look at their wish list and pick something they could afford out of their own allowance. Then we would be another item from the child's wish list to go with it. Our boys learned quickly that there were kids asking for shoes for Christmas, or a calculator or backpack for school. They also learned to sacrifice some of what they earned from doing chores for someone else.

    On the other side of it, we asked them to give us their wish list and to give us items they wanted from just a few dollars to more expensive. We told them what our limit was, and that was what we spent on each child that year. We have 3 boys.

    I'd also bet he does know about Santa, all of the other kids know by that age, he's just not telling.

    Answer by ohwrite at 2:12 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

  • I think it is healthy to make space for family members to feel & express disappointment & dissatisfaction. I have felt what you are describing (I was pretty upset when my daughter was disappointed about not getting a particular, expensive doll one Christmas) and those feelings make sense, but when OUR feelings interfere with being present to our kids & their authentic experience (which can reasonably include disappointment or dissatisfaction!) it really can take things in a negative direction.
    What if there was nothing wrong with him being disappointed, or with him wanting something he can't have/won't get? What if his feelings of wanting didn't create feelings of stress or strain in you? (Or, what if you managed those feelings so his wanting "too much" wasn't a problem for you?) Then he'd just want the moon, not get it, be disappointed or upset, express it, and that would be that. All in the context of caring & acceptance.

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:50 PM on Dec. 7, 2013

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