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

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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
Replies (91-96):
by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

my kids don't have the i wants it, they have the i wish it. they know they aren't going to get everything they see on tv or in the toy store. they will point it out if we pass it in the store but that's it. i make them shop for eachother every year so they are also pointing things out their sisters. they know they probably won't get it and that's alright with them. they are 10, 8, and 6 and know we live on a very small budget.

by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 2:26 PM
Does anybody here have the Shelf Elf?

Maybe give him a try if you have younger kids say under 10, his presence here makes a difference.

The shelf elf you can get him at hallmark stores though I've found one at the thrift store before. He's been around for ages.. His design changes more modern but story book is the same.

You set him on the shelf and he's literally looks like he can watch the whole room.. You can read his story to the kids which basically tells them he watches for naughty and nice deeds and reports them to Santa ( you can of course change the story to parents or Jesus etc..) the kids can talk to him and whisper in his ear what they really would like. Also I ask mine to make a wish for somebody else it could be a sibling a friend the world anything they wish to make things better for somebody else.

The kids know least by 7 santas just not real even if they fake it for mom lol but traditions are important if you do something constant it will keep things consistant so if you condition behaviour early on you will set the tone for years to come.

It's never to late to learn better habits, if you learn something new so can your kids an when we show are kids even we can improve I believe it sets a great example.
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by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:11 AM

my kids are not the "I-want-it" type. They have a few gifts that they want but do not go over board. we concentrate more on having fun around the holidays than the gift giving. This year we are learning about Christmas in other countries and celebrate some of the the traditions that our ansestors did.

by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM

We make a special effort to volunteer more this time of year. We also do the Christmas Angel which is similiar to elf on the shelf but she gives dd a good deed she supposed to do everyday. 

by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I don't promise.

by on Dec. 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM
We have the same "problem" I asked them to write their lists and they told me they didn't know what they wanted and they would be happy with whatever they get. Makes it hard to shop but also nice since they aren't expecting a lot of stuff or expensive items. We have 5 kids and the money just isn't there this year since my dh just lost his job. But I was able finagle some cool gifts without spending a fortune.

Quoting MamaJane:

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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