Squelching the Holiday Gimmees

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by Ann Douglas

Spoiled during holidays"My child wants everything advertised on TV at this time of year. How can I tame this case of the gimmees?" We can relate!

From the time kids are old enough to chew on the TV remote control, they're subjected to a dizzying number of advertising messages. And because the frequency and intensity of these messages tends to get cranked up at this time of year, it only makes sense that your child is feeling the heat to have the hottest items being marketed this season.

The best way to deal with this particular problem is to talk to your child about how the marketing game works. Then give your child permission to add anything he wants to his holiday wish list. Or, better yet, spin that "wish list" as a "cool items list" so there's less of an expectation of ending up with all -- or even any -- of the items on that list.

And while your kid is in list-making mode, help him to make a list of gifts to make or buy for other people: the bookends he's decorating for his grandparents, the book he's purchasing for his little brother, and the canned goods he's collecting for the food drive at his school. This will help to switch the emphasis from getting to giving and will help to remind your child just how much he already has.

Happy holidays!

Have a tip that helped focus focus your child's attention on giving? Please share it in the comments.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site, having-a-baby.com.

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org.