Monday, November 28, 2016

The Challenge of Finding Gifts for the Instant Gratification Generation

Remember when your kids ran to the tree on Christmas morning, looking at the carefully wrapped presents with wide-eyed merriment? There is nothing like seeing those boxes as evidence that it is Christmas morning and the festivities begin. While there is so much more to the celebration of Christmas than gifts, there is no denying the jubilation seen on children's faces or anticipation parents feel at that moment.

Parents try very hard to continue those nostalgic moments. However, finding gifts that inspire that much excitement is becoming more difficult. The challenge of raising kids in the Instant Gratification Generation is that they receive so much gratification from what their devices offer. Board games don’t get the same wide-eyed excitement as an iTunes gift card to be used for a new game on their phone or tablet.  Whether it is time texting, Facetiming, or Snapchatting with their friends, watching YouTube videos, or playing games, many parents find their kids aren't looking for much outside their devices. That leaves fewer options for those carefully wrapped boxes and parents who seek any option to fill that void.

Avoid Buying "Filler" Gifts

Here are some ideas to avoid falling in the trap of buying "filler" gifts your kids won't use or spending too much money on electronics.

1. Give family gifts. Kids love gifts that the whole family can enjoy! Our family favorites are activities, such as tickets to the fancy movie theater to see the new Marvel movie or a concert. Family outings like a trip to an amusement park or weekend adventure are also great! If you have a family trip coming up, maybe there is an extra excursion the family would enjoy. Last year our family gift was a river rafting trip the next summer. They can include activities that can happen any time in the year. Family gifts can also include things such as a new T.V. or computer.

2. Make gift cards fun. Let's face it, kids love gift cards. If you are going to give gift cards, make them fun and wrap them in stacking boxes. Many kids ask for gift cards for a specific purchase. You can print pictures of those items or include a catalog for the place the cards are for, such as Game Stop or Target.

3.  Emphasize giving to others. Remind your kids that gifts for Christmas are to show your appreciation for others. Kids have just as much fun giving gifts as receiving them if they are included in the process. Even giving them free-range to wrap the gifts in silly and fun ways gets them excited about giving. Whether it is giving gifts to friends and family or charity, include your kids and invite their ideas. Share your enthusiasm, they will learn from you.

For more parent tips about raising kids in the Instant Gratification Generation.

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