There is an implicit tendency at the social level to show love through gifts. But how does this focus translate into the child’s mental health?
According to a recent study, USA spends the most on Christmas gifts. European countries spend an average of € 268 on gifts. Most of this budget goes to children.
We understand by syndrome of the hyper-gifted child to the set of negative psychological effects that we observe in minors, due to the excess of gifts , especially, on specific dates such as Christmas. The child opens and opens gifts without processing what they suppose and, therefore, without valuing them . He only focuses on opening the next one and loses interest in the one he just received.
Some of the causes of children receiving excessive gifts have to do with:
- Compensate with gifts for the time that we cannot share with them. Sometimes the best intentions produce the worst effects.
- By comparison , if at school all the classmates have X gifts, he cannot be less.
- Advertising and the consumer society.
What consequences can it have?
This makes the child believe that he will have everything he wants just by wanting it. And that’s a problem, because in the long run, when these children grow up , they may develop some of these characteristics:
- Low tolerance for frustration.
- Lack of effort, attention and concentration.
- More consumerist and materialistic (they value things for what they are worth financially, not emotionally)
- Undervaluation and lack of enthusiasm for what they have.
- Impoverished imagination.
What is the recommended gift limit?
According to some experts, more than 8 gifts can be counterproductive . In the event that the number cannot be reduced, because many people give away, it is important to regulate their use at different times to focus attention and thus enhance healthy play. As for adults, there are four things to keep in mind when giving gifts to children :
- Something to read and promote their culture (picture books, novels, comics, cutouts …)
- Something to wear like clothes, footwear, bedding …
- Something you need , like accessories for school or for your hobbies.
- Something that you want and that makes you very excited
But the most important thing is to give away time, not only the time that will be spent playing with the toys later, but also the time that we can share with them playing.
How can we control the number of gifts?
First of all, you have to set limits for the children and explain in advance what they can ask for to avoid disappointment later. One way to do this is by assessing the pros and cons of each gift, thus reinforcing your reasoning and teaching you to set priorities and make decisions.
On specific dates, such as Christmas, the child can be helped to write the letter of the May Kings. Moments like this can be perfect to take advantage of and take stock of the year, the road or what you want for the next. This will also strengthen emotional ties.
Explain that having more gifts does not equal more happiness. According to a recent study, children with fewer toys are more creative and more focused.
Change the chip
- Teach your child to value what he has .
- Educate him to learn to give, not just receive .
- Encourage you to donate toys you don’t use
- Control the fashion toys , they can increase unnecessary consumption.
- Try to give non-sexist toys and talk openly about stereotypes between boys and girls.
- Teach him to share with other children and thus reinforce his social skills
- Give away experiences and toys that make her think , board games, movie tickets, summer camp, theme parks, museums, etc.
It is human and natural that we try to give children as much as possible, but if you see your child reflected in the characteristics of the hyper-gifted child syndrome, you are always in time to modify things or ask for the help of a specialist.
What you should know…
- This syndrome is characterized by the set of negative psychological effects in minors, due to excess gifts.
- Gifts should serve four functions: something to wear (clothes, shoes…), something you need, something you can read, and something you want.
- Teach him to value what he has and that less is more.