One of the greatest components of the holiday season is giving gifts, but for many families, times are tough. What do you do with kids who might expect too much and get disappointed with the reality of a tight budget?
Author of "The Family Coach Method," Dr. Lynne Kenney, says even if your child's Christmas list is a mile long or filled with things like iPads -- there is a way for parents to help manage their expectations.
She says one thing is to explain relationship between money and hard work. Don't mock your kids but talk openly about what they want, how many man hours it would take to earn that gift and what is a reasonable expectation given your work and home life responsibilities. Ask them their plans to give to others and explore how and when they will earn the money to do such a thing.
Another option, Kenney says, is to talk to your kids about sharing the cost of expensive items. She says say something like, "I can afford to give you half of the cost for an iPad, if you earn the rest of the money, but your other gifts will be small -- will that disappoint you?"
She said to remember many families live on credit so if your child sees people living large, explain to them that living large isn't living happily. The happiness is in your relationships, activities and the journey together.
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