During the holiday season where gift-giving is highly valued, it a good time to ask how healthy it is for children to receive so many gifts.
This is certainly not an issue that is exclusive to the holidays, however. It is a time that can be conducive to reformulating the type of upbringing that we are giving to children and the effect that it may have on their development.
There has been a recent trend experts have referred to as the overindulged child syndrome. This happens when children receive so many toys that they end up not appreciating what they have; often become impulsive, selfish and increasingly more demanding. The worst outcome of this problem is that they stop showing interest in many activities, they no longer see their potential to be creative and become more easily frustrated.
This is not about refraining from giving gifts to children, especially not during this season. It is about being thoughtful of what they truly need, of what can contribute to their development and growth, and what they can value over time so as not to just continue overstimulating them.
How to choose toys that challenge children
Try to think of toys that encourage children to share and interact with others. Board games or group games can be a great option.
Toys that develop their cognitive or motor skills and that serve to challenge them are also helpful. For example, if the child is not very skilled in games that require physical activities and movements, you may consider a soccer kit, roller-skates, balls or other items that can be used outdoors.
Do not purchase games that simply serves as a momentary thrill, as this stimulates the child’s consumer behaviors. It is likely that after receiving the gift, the child will end up ignoring it as soon as other gifts appear.
Remember, having too many toys inhibits the development of children’s imaginations and leads them to feeling bored.