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Old 03-09-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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In my opinion, the way that we give gifts through our children’s childhood is completely wasteful. I read that by the time a child is 18, they have received anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 in gifts through birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc

I mean why do we put so much emphasis on little toys, trinkets or gift certificates when we could actually be making significant contributions to our children’s future? (Saving for college, first car, etc)
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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I think a little toy or a book is far more valuable than saving for a first car (not sure how that matters to a child's future)! Some gifts are wasteful, some aren't. And play is an essential part of a child's development (and is just plain fun!). That said, gifts don't have to be expensive, and there are some really over-priced and junky items out there being foisted off on families. I'd go for quality over quantity, with quality not being defined just by dollars.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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Why? Because a 5 yr old's face lights up a whole lot more with a few "unimportant" trinkets to play with than a check for $50 toward his/her college education.

Not to say you can't do a bit of each but to say that anything that is not put away for the future is not intelligent or is wasteful is a bit extreme and takes some of the fun out of life.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Denver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMomma123 View Post
I read that by the time a child is 18, they have received anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 in gifts through birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc
Where in the world did you read that? That certainly hasn't remotely happened in this household.

The gifts we've given our son through the years has changed as he's gotten older. A toddler could care less about a "check" but a teen is all over that.

I never found the gifts we gave our son to be wasteful. We were never ones to over do anything but enjoyed giving him toys, books, etc.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:02 AM
 
9,604 posts, read 7,655,421 times
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Originally Posted by jkcoop View Post
Where in the world did you read that? That certainly hasn't remotely happened in this household.

The gifts we've given our son through the years has changed as he's gotten older. A toddler could care less about a "check" but a teen is all over that.

I never found the gifts we gave our son to be wasteful. We were never ones to over do anything but enjoyed giving him toys, books, etc.
That's a good question. At the low end, 15000 gifts by 18 is 833 gifts a year, 69 gifts a month. That's pretty extreme. I'd really doubt most kids get that amount of any type of gift.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:20 AM
 
32,525 posts, read 32,944,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Why? Because a 5 yr old's face lights up a whole lot more with a few "unimportant" trinkets to play with than a check for $50 toward his/her college education.

Not to say you can't do a bit of each but to say that anything that is not put away for the future is not intelligent or is wasteful is a bit extreme and takes some of the fun out of life.
Another good post, maciesmom.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,718,365 times
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With our first set of kids, I found myself too much focused on number of gifts under the tree or around the birthday cake. I also felt like each kid had to have the same number of gifts to open. this was encouraged by a son who counted everything and kept track to make sure it was all "fair".

It didn't take me too long to figure out I could not continue with that. At about 2nd grade when they were learning about money, I taught them about value and how one $12 hard back book would be worth much more than 12 $1 trinkets. I'm happy to say they caught on but it wasn't always easy.

Now with this second set of kids I knew not to start off with a bunch of silly trinkets.Case in point...silly bands. Remember those? Do you even hear about them anymore? We bought 1 packet each for our girls and encouraged them to share with each other and friends. That seemed to be enough for them but their friends got so many packs of silly bands I know some had $25-$50 worth.

So I started asking them :"which do you want - a family day trip to the zoo or a boat load of plastic toys " of course they wanted the zoo.

That is not to say they didn't have or don't have a bunch of cheap plastic toys. We get them at garage sales, swap with neighbors, etc.
Christmas stockings are filled with new underwear, pencils, markers, glue sticks, scissors, hair clips-things they need and enjoy anyway.
Only 4 or 5 "real" gifts like electronic equipment, games, bikes, books, etc.

Easter basket: little candy, Wii games, books, outdoor chalk, bubbles, garden tools

Birthday- home made cake to take to school, nice family day trip.

We don't skimp on surprises but it is usually art supplies, reading material and family activities

Also I'm proud to say I saved most of the good toys from the first kids so now the second ones have endless tinker toys, leggos, wooden building blocks, cars and action figures. We give them out a bit at a time.
I think this recession has forced many parents to really think about what they get for their kids entertainment. We don't have to buy a bunch of cheap trinkets. A pack of origami paper and a library book about origami projects will give so much more enjoyment than 25 plastic farm animals.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:42 AM
 
1,302 posts, read 1,653,122 times
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Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
That's a good question. At the low end, 15000 gifts by 18 is 833 gifts a year, 69 gifts a month. That's pretty extreme. I'd really doubt most kids get that amount of any type of gift.
I think her child may be the Prince of Zamunda.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,214 posts, read 8,481,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
That's a good question. At the low end, 15000 gifts by 18 is 833 gifts a year, 69 gifts a month. That's pretty extreme. I'd really doubt most kids get that amount of any type of gift.
I think the OP was talking dollars, not individual items.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
I think the OP was talking dollars, not individual items.
Ohhh. Ok. That makes more sense.
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