How many gifts are there under the Christmas tree? Or how to stop your kids from getting too many gifts
A whole year spent teaching children that they cannot have all the toys they want and then Christmas comes along and ruins everything!
I am sure that this is something that goes through a parent’s mind at least once! At Christmas if you have young children it’s so hard to limit the number of presents under the Christmas tree.
Besides the ones that Father Christmas brings, there will also be Christmas presents from Grandparents, Uncles and Friends! With the result that there will be a hoard of toys and gadgets under the tree.
How can we get across to family and friends that it is best not to exaggerate with their gifts?
Psychologists and educators all agree that it is important to limit the number of gifts. Is there a specific number though? There are different opinions on this but generally, there should be from 2-3 gifts but no more than 5. Obviously depending on the value (5 “small” gifts, or 1 big gift and 2 small gifts, and so on).
The first (and most useful) suggestion is that parents should give friends and family a Christmas list, so as to avoid getting doubles or the "wrong" presents.
But if getting and giving makes kids and parents happy, why is it better not to let them have more than 5 presents to unwrap? According to experts too many gifts may be confusing for very small children. A child under 4 years does not appreciate either quantity or quality: one or two specially chosen toys will make him or her just as happy.
Giving a child of two or three years ten presents is like not giving him anything at all: if he has too many stimuli the child will "freeze", and will not understand what he is seeing and, most of the time, will find himself playing with the boxes rather than the gifts.
So if your child receives lots of presents from family and friends, hide some of them in a closet and give them to him one at a time at different times of the year; in this way your child will appreciate and enjoy the gifts.
From the age of 4 years you can let you child have more gifts. As time passes, you can also put clothing under the tree together with other gifts, telling you child that it was Mummy or an aunt who asked Father Christmas for those gifts.
Don’t forget that getting too many toys (at the same time, and all the time) may make your child think that getting a toy a day is quite normal and this could lead to tantrums when you go out for a walk or shopping!
Having lots of toys will make him tire of them easily and, above all, he will constantly switch from one game to another, without completing any of them.
Telling your friends and family not to give you children gifts is difficult: but it’s something that must be done! Start early and, if it doesn’t work make sure that there are not too many toys lying around; make it a habit to put toys away leaving out only your child’s favourite toys and games.
Even with fewer gifts to unwrap, Christmas will not lose any of its magic for your child!