Image Credit: Fabian Blank
Are we all in danger of becoming a nation of parents driven by the latest ‘must have’ materialistic trend?
As Christmas fast approaches, the high street shops have removed half of their stock in favour of the six foot cardboard Santa’s and the latest over priced gadgets and gizmos. Each and every one of us is greatly influenced by the media, it hits us from all angles.
Not least TV with their onslaught of jovial, yuletide messages, just adult enough to appeal to the child in all of us but youthful enough to have our children tugging at our sleeves every time we set foot inside a shop. Advertising particularly sets out to instill in us impossible expectations and dreams.
As adults we have the option whether to ‘buy’ into this image or not, but what effect does this have on our children? Whose need does the urge to spend satisfy?
If you are amongst the majority who are inclined to go over the top during the festive season, this year why not do something different and ask yourself what is your motive for buying the latest games, DVD’s and other paraphernalia?FREE LEGO Life Magazine Perfect for kids aged 5-9, this printed magazine is sent directly to your home four times a year - completely free of charge. Sign up NOW!
Does over indulgence really make for a Happy Christmas or leave you with the stress and worry of how you are going to pay for it all in the New Year?
So how can you create a Christmas to remember without the necessity to spend, spend, spend?
Take a moment to think about what Christmas means and what messages do you want to send out to your child? What do you want them to understands about Christmas?
How do you want them to view the festive season? As well as the religious context, Christmas is a time for family fun but if you aren’t careful it can leave your stress levels soaring.
Plan ahead – work out a budget and stick to it. Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend, and do you really need to buy presents for every one?
We all know that children are usually more impressed with the packaging than the content and too many toys equals over-excited children.
If your children are asking for everything ensure they understand that their list to Santa is a wish list not a list of ‘must haves’, explain that Santa always does his best but doesn’t always manage to bring everything that’s asked for.
Set yourself boundaries and don’t succumb to the ‘I wants’.
Focus on enjoying the festivities and plan in advance how you are going to spend your time. The best gift you can ever give your children is time, time to share just being rather than constantly doing.
Share a film, read a book, play some games, go for a walk or encourage them to put on a show. Capture some of your child’s delight and join in the fun.
And if it’s all too late for this year, the past doesn’t have to equal the future so start planning for next Christmas in January.
Put away a regular amount each month which will help ease the financial pressure.
This is a guest article by Allison Marlowe, founder of Allison Marlowe Ltd. She coaches, inspires and challenges women in business to achieve new levels of success.
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