Please No More Video Games – Find Better Gifts
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – Smile Notes
Christmas and other religious holidays are upon us and no doubt you are thinking about gifts for your children.
I have two recommendations based on what your child wants (and needs!). Since I don’t know your child, I am sure you’re wondering how I know what your child wants. But I really do! They want you! They want you to look at them, praise them, talk to them and PLAY with them.
More and more video games that they “must” have are not the answer to family closeness. Recently in my private counseling practice, I asked a 4th grader what he wanted most from his parents. He said “We have a board game called Life™ and I want mom and dad to play it with me.” Such a simple request. The following session I asked him if they played that game. His eyes lit up and he told me all about it. So as you walk the aisles of the store, I suggest that you look for games, books (Editor’s Note: Sharon’s books are wonderful!), playing cards and other activities that you can interact and enjoy playing with your child. And before the holidays, you can bake cookies, decorate the house, go caroling and visit friends.
Playing with your child generates closeness, laughter, learning to take turns and follow rules, and FUN! It’s also healthful for you and can reduce your stress.
My second recommendation? Avoid overspending! If you spend the time I suggest with your children with the items you buy them, there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty that you didn’t get them everything they wanted. In fact, giving children everything they want can (and does) lead to a feeling of entitlement. And if you’ve never seen an entitled teen, trust me, you don’t want it to be yours!
Happy holidays from my house to yours!
P.S. Please see my other column “The Counselor’s Corner.”
Copyright © 2018, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from the author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.