children and Christmas gifts: like every year, for the little ones, the long-awaited moment of writing a letter to Santa Claus. A ritual should be loaded with magic which, however, often runs the risk of turning into a toy list and wishes to come true.
Breast satisfy all requests of children and shower them with gifts, is that really the right way to make them happy?
Apparently not. And indeed, although with the best of intentions, parents run the risk of getting the opposite effector undermining the self-esteem of the little ones, making them less confident, and sending them the wrong message.
How to reverse the course? We asked Dr. Evelina Molinari, a psychologist and psychotherapist at Humanitas Medical Care.
Children and Christmas presents: the letter to write together
Caught up in the busy life, we often forget that even the rite of the fine print can have great value from an educational and emotional point of view.
«Sitting next to the children to write the letter with them can be an important occasion for parents – explains Dr. Molinari – in fact, it allows, depending on the age of the children, to share not only the moment but also thoughts and emotions that the child lives Then it might be the chance welcome and share with the little ones even what are your fantasies. The magic of Christmas is closely linked to the magical dimension of childhood, a dimension that has a very important evolutionary significance. During the Christmas period, rituals such as writing the letter, decorating the tree, and recreating the festive atmosphere, allow the child fully experience this fantastic dimension which is often helpful and necessary as well to help you cope with the more taxing aspects of your age.”
Help children train gratitude
Not only that, helping children to write the letter can also be the right opportunity to accustom them to practice increasingly important today.
“The letter can also be a time to teach children to express their gratitude – underlines the psychotherapist – It is a fundamental concept, especially in this social and historical moment: before asking, learn to thank and feel grateful for recognizing what you have. Whether it’s a little or a lot: it’s good to explain to children that there are always those who will have more, but there are also those who have less.
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The letter is not a task.
«Also be careful not to live the letter as a task – recommends Dr. Molinari – Oggi great importance is attached to performance however we must remember that children experience the fantastic dimension of Christmas and through this dimension, they can bring out their emotions. It goes without saying that when emotions surface we are less precise mistakes can be made: it is important that the father understands the message of the letter and not so much the precision”.
Children and Christmas gifts: how to manage requests
Today’s great theme is also that of the excessive abundance of gifts. In fact, children are often flooded with toys at Christmas and consider it normal to receive everything they ask for in the letter. How can you avoid this trend?
“with the little ones you can think of setting up a series of gifts – answers the expert – while with the older ones you can start to talk about value for money. Depending on the age, in short, I parents can train the ability to choose in children which also implies knowing how to give up and can Teach to value things as much as money.».
Not only that, there is also an important topic that parents are invited to reflect on and towards which, today more than ever, children are very sensitive: and it is attention to the planet. “That’s why it’s good to help children to understand what the consequences may be to receive too many gifts – explains the psychotherapist – in terms of products to be thrown away and more sustainable options”.
The supporting role of parents
“Trying to curb the abundance of gifts is good to make time for the kids, helping them to focus on what they really want, what can really be the right gifts – continues the expert – always teaching the joy of giving. Ultimately, the father must have a role of containment».
Too many gifts to appease the guilt
Parents often tend to give children a lot of gifts as well. ease your guilt. To try to put a patch on those who live with their defects. But ended up making a double mistake.
“We have to remember that Today more than ever the greatest gift we can give our children is time. – emphasizes Dr. Molinari – That it is not the one that marks the clock but it is a mental and physical time, selected. In which you really share space and interest with children. And this is for a reason that is also attested at the clinical level: the gifts are forgotten, while the emotional sharing and sharing with parents create memories that will never go away precisely because emotionally they are much more significant.
Children and Christmas presents: why avoid binge eating
Before satisfying all the requests of the children then, it is better to try to reflect on which ones may be indicated. Far from the positive effects of these Christmas festivities…
«There are specific investigations that have revealed the negative consequences of giving too many gifts to children – explains Dr. Molinari – me in fact, gifts are gestures and as such carry a teaching. Whether at Christmas or any other occasion, giving a child gifts message what you are likely to give is that what fills the relationship, time and space are just objects. This inevitably affects the psyche: the child will be led to seek those emotions that the object provokes in him, emotions that, no matter how soon they fade, will leave the need to switch to another object and generate a vicious circle. At the moment it is true that before so many gifts there is an explosion of happiness but then all that is missing is satiety».
Many gifts but less self-esteem
Not only that, it seems there is one too. correlation between self-esteem/happiness and material possessions.
“Very often it is one inverse relationship. – specifies the expert – Children who have fewer material possessions but who can count on meaningful relationships with family and peers, very often have a higher level of self-esteem, and are more sensitive, disinterested, and prone to share. They also seem less jealous and less possessive. This is because they do not show selective binding to objects. Some people then demonstrate a greater ability to recognize the value of giving and greater empathy. If, on the contrary, you do not experience significant relationships and you remain tied to a single object finds it more difficult to relate to your own emotions most significant and with others. Especially in a delicate phase such as the one in which personal identity is structured.
Children and Christmas gifts: how to explain that you cannot receive everything
where to start then teach children that, at Christmas but not only, you can’t always get everything That do you want?
«The father, even at this time of year, has a fundamental role, that of being one guide and educate – explains Dr. Molinari – Leading to growth at the level, not only intellectual and moral but also emotional. A topic that is very dear to us today to respond to one of the greatest needs of our community: knowing how to recognize and be with our emotions and our emotional states. Often, the educational difficulty that parents experience is related to fear of not knowing how to manage the frustration and emotional states of children. So we must remember that the father should serve as a role model that offers moments and not objects».
«To favor the Christmas period as much as possible i moments of sharing – concludes the psychotherapist – cooking with the children, making decorations, preparing the tree… So then no words will be needed, but by doing so, you can show children what really matters».