How to Manage Your Child’s Holiday Expectations

Now that Thanksgiving has past, we have shifted our focus to the holiday gift-giving season. 

Odds are, you are being bombarded with marketing materials focused on “the perfect gifts” for your children.  With so many products to choose from, children are likely to create “I Need That” lists that are always growing and may exceed your budget.

As a parent, you may want to fulfill all your children’s wants’ however; doing so may greatly affect your finances.  The last thing you want to do is put yourself in debt as a result of buying above your holiday means.  It can be challenging to maintain your financial health while filling your children’s stocking with the gifts they’ve longed for. 

According to , the first step to managing your children’s gift expectations is to set a realistic budget.  Let children know the precise dollar amount there is to spend; even if Santa is part of your holiday celebration, you can have the same conversation, by telling your child that Santa also has a budget.  This can provide structure and guidelines for making their lists.

Setting a budget can be beneficial, as children can:

  • Learning to prioritize
  • Have a sense of control over purchases
  • Learn to make responsible decisions when striving to stay within the budget
  • Learn the difference between what is needed and what is wanted.

After establishing the budget, you can work with your children to show them financially responsible ways of obtaining items on their lists by using coupon codes or waiting for sale days. All of this can help your child to be a more responsible gift getter.

Financial lessons are important for children to learn, but it is equally as important that they are taught the most important lesson of the season – the value of gathering together with the ones you love to make priceless memories.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.