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Unspoil Your Child

STEP 7: Indulge in nonmaterial joys. continued...

Get Grandma on Your Team
Your children know that all they have to do is bat their eyes at your mom and that talking Elmo doll is theirs. How to get your parents with the program:

SET LIMITS
One mother of two in Minneapolis told REDBOOK she had present overload after the holidays last year. "We donated the extra toys to charity, but this year I'm asking the grandparents to buy just three gifts per child: one outfit, one toy, and one book."

GET COLLEGIATE
"Ask your parents to be moderate in their gifts. If they would like to make additional contributions, ask them to consider starting a fund or a trust for your child," says Ehrensaft.

REQUEST THE GIFT OF TIME
Encourage your parents to spend the day with the kids at the botanical garden or baking cookies together, instead of buying them a giant dollhouse or stuffed animal. "Love is spelled T-I-M-E," says Samalin. "Remind your parents that your children love them, and not just things they give them."

 

Originally published on October 9, 2008

 

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