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Smarter Mom: Handling the “I-want-itis”

Posted by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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1 mom liked this

We DVR a lot of Kiddo's shows...I like it for many reasons, the main one being I can fast-forward through the commercials. But this time of year, with the onslaught of gifts and goodies, it's tough to reign in those feelings, what I call "I-Want-itis."

Fluffychoochoo writes: I love almost everything about the holidays...except how greedy my kids get. It's tough, I know, when almost everyone they see gives them gifts, they start to want more and more. Even if I could afford everything they want, I don't want to give them everything under the sun. They don't need it. Any hints on tackling this without totally coming off like Grinch-Mommy?

We started Hanukkah Saturday night...and have six more evenings of gift-giving. Then Kiddo will celebrate Christmas, with another pile of presents and a stocking chock full of goodies...with all of it around, it is hard to have our kids remember the amount of presents isn't what this season is all about. But there are a few ways to make it a little easier to navigate and hopefully stave off a mega case of the "I-Want-itis."

-- Talk about it ahead of time. Before the stocking are hung by the chimney with care, tell them the "house rules" of the season. Explain they will get a certain amount of gifts, but not everything they will see or want. Maybe even have certain code words like "you are entering coal territory!" to make reminding them a little more fun.

-- Focus on having holiday fun rather than getting gifs. Planning many outings for hot cocoa or ice-skating when there is no talk or focus on gifts whatsoever.

-- Talk with other family members. If Grandma and Grandpa tend to go overboard or give into the pleas of those suffering from "I-Want-Itis," explain to them what you are trying to teach your kids about...and encourage them to give their time rather than gifts -- bake cookies with the kids or play Crazy 8s or ask them to teach them Angry Birds on the iPad. That gift of making memories is priceless.

-- Encourage giving. Plan a family tradition of shopping for and wrapping toys for charities like Toys for Tots or the toy drive at the local shelter. Have everyone use some of their money from the piggy banks to give to others (you can help supplement the funding), which can really bring home the element of graditude rather than greed.

-- Use the Power of The Elf. If you have the Elf on the Shelf, remind the kiddos that Murray the Elf will be filling Santa in every night on their behavior. Those "I-Want-Itis" kids often end up on the Naughty List. 

Share what you do when your kids get a case of the "I-Want-Itis"!

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by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:06 AM
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DD loves this time of year since she can give the bell ringers money.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:14 AM
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I have a strict rule that if you say "I want" "Ooooooh" "Oh I love this" or similar (touching it for instance). The answer is no. Even if I planned on buying whatever it is, it's not happening now.

So my kids are pretty good about not doing that crap.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:51 AM

my ds wants an xbox game.. only thing he is asking for.. (besides money to buy more games with) so yes he will get that game.. waiting on some money.. that game is almost 60 dollar

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:42 AM
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I think the importance is carrying that out all year. If you don't get your kids everything they want throughout the year then they know they aren't getting everything they want around the holidays.

The problem I've created is that my kids won't even create a want list lol. It makes it a lot harder on me!
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by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:44 AM

My kids understand we dont have the money this year

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:48 AM
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I agree that it needs to be all year long, not just during the holidays. Whenever my son starts in with "I want", I have him tell me something he already has for which he is thankful.
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by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM
My kids are not the i-want-it type of kids thank goodness!
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by June on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

My daughter is doing the I want that thing this year, but she's only done that for the last month.  She doesn't do it all year.  I think she's doing it because I've asked her what she wants.  When she tells me "I want that", I say "We'll see."

My son doesn't tell me anything he wants.  He's very hard to shop for.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM
My Dd is 16 months and doesn't know anything about Christmas yet. Bump :)
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by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM
My kids ask for very little.
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