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Parenting coach offers tips on managing kids' Christmas gift expectations

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 05, 2019

Kids can set their expectations pretty high when it comes to Christmas presents.

One father says his 10-year-old daughter’s wish list included an iPhone 11, AirPods, MacBook Air, and $4,000 cash.

To avoid going broke or disappointing your kids, parenting experts say it’s important to manage children’s expectations before the holidays roll around.

“If you have an entire list of big-ticket items, it might be clues that it’s time to have a conversation about budgeting and about the value of money right and maybe start implementing some chores,” said certified parenting coach Carrington Cunnington.

Cunnington says gift lists are a great tool especially for distant relatives, but children can be encouraged to think about more than just what they want.

“I suggest my kids think about how could this exchange bring you and the person who you're exchanging with, how could it bring you closer together,” said Cunnington.

Cunnington says it's also good to encourage your child to be a gift giver from an early age. Also, get them thinking about incorporating experiences instead of just items.

“More people will remember special experiences than they will remember what was under the tree when they were 6 or 8 or 10 years old,” said Cunnington.

Another approach suggested by a parenting support group is Want-Need-Wear-Read. Each kid gets one thing they want, one thing they need, something to wear and something to read.