Sutton says that periodic overindulgence is not necessarily harmful to children, but it is never too late to reevaluate.
When it comes to the holidays, she says that parents should "take a moment and walk around their child's bedroom and notice the toys around the room." Parents should then consider how many of the toys are played with, how many are broken or are no longer age-appropriate. This will give parents an idea of whether they have reached the point of too much of a good thing.
Sutton adds, "Ask your child to do this assessment with you. Take some of the unused toys and donate them to a children's hospital or charity. Encourage the notion with your child that 'it's better to give, than to receive.'"
Sutton states, "Families who focus more on traditions and the deeper meanings of the holidays often report that their children appreciate the gifts they receive more. " She suggests that parents engage their children in an event that gives back to the community. For example, help out a local food kitchen, donate a toy for an underprivileged child or help distribute food baskets. Not only will this teach your children to appreciate how fortunate they are, it will also be a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together.
"Creating memories lasts far longer than another toy or video game," says Sutton.
If a parent is trying to curb overindulgence that lasts throughout the year, a good learning tool for children is to be assigned household chores. Sutton says, "Earning an allowance for a job well done is the opposite of indulgence. These concepts teach a child the value of things, such as contributing to the good of the family. It shows them that positive consequences are a result of positive behaviors." Children will learn that rewards are earned, not just given for no reason. This results in clear expectation for the children and the parents.
How can underprivileged children be supported >>