Spoilt-brat buster tips for a cheerier Xmas

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - EX­CLU­SIVE SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

THE Bare­foot In­vestor is urg­ing par­ents to give their kids ex­pe­ri­ences rather than stuff and said hand­ing over cash is a no-no for young­sters — declar­ing it a cop out.

Scott Pape said par­ents should put thought into what presents they hand over and not fo­cus on the amount spent.

New re­search from a News Corp sur­vey found while some par­ents shell out hun­dreds of dol­lars to win their chil­dren’s af­fec­tion, more than half of par­ents (52 per cent) say their kids won’t even re­mem­ber what they re­ceive at Christ­mas.

Pape said fo­cus­ing on giv­ing time and mem­o­ries al­ways won out over ex­pen­sive presents or cash.

“It should be about ex­pe­ri­ences and not stuff and money,’’ he said.

“Giv­ing cash feels like an eco­nomic trans­ac­tion if it’s just cold-hard cash.

“It is kind of like a gift card and when you can’t be both­ered go­ing into a store and pick­ing some­thing out.”

Christ­mas is just two weeks away and many par­ents will be rush­ing to fill their Santa stock­ings but this can re­sult in over­spend­ing and heavy re­liance on credit.

A new News Corp sur­vey of 2600 par­ents found about three in four par­ents be­lieve kids of to­day have much higher ex­pec­ta­tions than they did when they were grow­ing up.

Pape said it was too easy to be sucked in by mar­ket­ing and throw money down the drain this silly sea­son.

“Kids are the most mar­keted to gen­er­a­tion in his­tory,” he said.

“They are not only com­par­ing them­selves to kids down the street and kids at school, they are com­par­ing them­selves to kids on In­sta­gram and what they get, there’s height­ened ex­pec­ta­tions.”

As for tak­ing the easy route and just hand­ing kids cash as a gift, 76 per cent of par­ents be­lieve that it’s a bad idea.

As for how much cash to shell out, the re­sults found there was a mixed bag on what par­ents would spend.

About 12 per cent of par­ents said they would go over­board and spend more than $500 on each child at Christ­mas. But on the flip side about 13 per cent said they would keep spend­ing to a min­i­mum and would splash less than $50 per child.

Child psy­chol­o­gist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said par­ents of­ten spent too much money on their kids to “over­com­pen­sate” and en­cour­aged them in­stead to give ex­pe­ri­ences not pos­ses­sions.

“There’s a ten­dency for par­ents to feel very guilty about their par­ent­ing and they over­com­pen­sate by giv­ing their kids way too much stuff,” he said.

“My pref­er­ence is to give them an ex­pe­ri­ence or buy them one thing they want, one thing they need and one thing to read.”

He said kids wanted to form an iden­tity and ex­pe­ri­ences helped do this whether they are “good, bad or in­dif­fer­ent”.

Pape urged par­ents to take the time this fes­tive sea­son to talk to their kids about what Christ­mas means and not just fo­cus on what presents they rush to un­wrap.

“Talk to your kids that not ev­ery­one is as lucky as they may be,” he said.

“It is a time for giv­ing but the idea for kids is it’s about what they are get­ting not giv­ing.”

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