This time of year, my wife and I face the same dilemma: what should we get our boys for Christmas? It was much easier when they were much younger. We’d just go to Toys “R” Us or Wal-Mart, go up and down the aisles, and toss toys into the shopping cart. An hour later, we’re done. Easy. Now that they’re teenagers (one is 20), it’s much harder and more expensive. As parents, we don’t want to make any mistakes, not only wasting our money, but wasting a good opportunity to teach them an important lesson .
So a recent article on MSN Money‘s website caught my attention. It doesn’t give advice on what to give kids for Christmas, but what gifts NOT to give them. And why. Here are a few of them:
- Your child may be bugging you to buy them a cell phone for Christmas. Don’t give in. Why? Your child is probably willing to do almost anything for one, including work for it. Buy them a phone, and you’ve blown what could have been a great teaching tool.
- Pets are also a bad gift, especially one that can live for a long time. When they go off to college, guess who’s going to have to take care of it?
- Anything collectible that you may think will be worth a lot of money someday. Chances are it won’t, unless it’s rare and expensive to begin with.
- Don’t buy a replacement gift. If your child broke or lost something expensive, don’t rush out to replace it. That won’t teach them to be responsible.
Okay, I’ll admit I haven’t always followed that advice. But it’s something parents can strive for at least. The bottom line is, you want to buy a gift that your child wants, but you don’t want to give them something that teaches them the wrong lesson.
My wife and I still don’t know what to get our kids for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go back to Toys “R” Us and fill up a basket. Think they’ll mind? Just a thought.
Click here for all “Eight Gifts You Shouldn’t Buy Your Kid”.