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Parenting

3 Signs Your Child Has Too Many Gifts

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time that should be an opportunity to cultivate values and traditions. Uphold those family customs our ancestors have established. Honor our festive spirit. However, we are living a heavyhearted reality: the time of children who are receiving too many gifts.   

Understanding why

I've always been drawn to the topic of intergenerational issues. The way specific generations interact with each other, and the socio-emotional component of generations. The largest group that has children at school-age are those who belong to Generation X. GenXers are the sons and daughters of Baby Boomers, the first generational cohort that explored what it was like to have women leave the house to pursue a profession. Several experts argue that this historical change forced GenXers to grow up fairly quickly. They had to become independent from a very young age. Staying home alone for long periods of time, taking care of their siblings, watching the house, among other responsibilities. Knowing this sociocultural background, we can understand how these GenXers –now parents– would want to give their children a different reality. Because of this, in a way to heal their own emotional needs, these parents might feel inclined to give more material gifts to their children. A way to heal through others. This isn't intended to be a generalization or a collective diagnosis, just a mere social hypothesis as a way to understand the social phenomenon that is the "overly-gifted child."

Who is this child?

According to an article published by the Spanish newspaper El País, "the child who suffers from it is [the one who] receives an avalanche of toys and gifts within the same day." Usually, it's more present on important dates like birthdays, Christmas, Hannukah, or any other special holiday festivity. The same article cited before explains "in some case, especially in those children who spend less time with their parents, this 'syndrome' can become a regular occurrence, when you try to replace the lack of attention with physical gifts, and the need to be constantly rewarding them, and to do so, you rely on gifting them physical objects repeatedly." Sending this unconscious message of consumerism has important consequences for the emotional health of children. We are teaching them to value physical gifts so much more than sentimental ones. We are limiting their imagination. Overwhelming them with a sensory overload which has a direct relationship with anxiety. We are teaching them to measure affection in gifts.

What are some of the signs?

Here are three signs that your child might be receiving too many physical gifts:  


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