Stop Buying Stuff for Kids

November 19, 2012 in Useful

One of the biggest questions I get when I tell people I am not going to buy anything during the month of November is: What about stuff for kids? With the holidays coming up, presents are on many people’s minds. Last year I suggested some ideas for having a new-stuff-free holiday, but extending that idea to presents for children seems to cause some heartburn for some people.

Well, as it turns out, kids are not actually all that well served by buying them stuff. The most important thing in a child’s life is to be loved. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Although it may seem that one way of showing a child love is by buying them presents, that is actually not all that effective. It is far, far better to spend quality time with children. Rather than making the holidays about getting the newest and best toys, make the holidays about spending time with family and friends.

I was raised in a (monetarily) poor home, so we never focused very much on presents. Instead, my parents focused on having a good time together, eating good food, and enjoying company. My parents always said that if we needed something they would get it for us, no matter what the date was, and that the holidays were more about spending time together. One thing that they did as far as presents go was to get all of us one big thing each year…but it was never actually a thing. Every year we would get year passes to our local amusement park, or a big family vacation, or something like that. An intangible gift that was more about having a fun experience than about getting a thing. And I think I turned out great!

Here are a couple of articles… food for thought, let’s say:

-Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

-Ten Tips for Raising Kids Who Care

-The Most Important Thing to Teach Children

-The Real Cost of Raising Children