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Parents Spend More This Christmas

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Americans are spending more on Christmas gifts this year, but does that mean children are more spoiled?

With big electronics like the X-box One and the Playstation 4 on the market, some parents are spending big bucks on their children. But child psychologists say there is a way to make sure your children can get the gifts they want without turning into brats.

For many children, Christmas is all about presents.

"We see in our families that kids are being spoiled more and more," says Valerie Meyers, child psychologist.

And this year, parents might be spending even more. A survey from Discover Financial Services says half of Americans are planning to spend at least $500 on gifts.

"It's good to actually give them a happy holiday, a Merry Christmas, so if you're buying them an iPad and a laptop that's kind of pushing it," say shopper Matt Mcgregor.

But even if you're planning on getting your kids that big or expensive gift, experts say it's all about making sure they appreciate it.

"Most of us families, we do want to buy our family members presents because it is about giving, and it can be difficult when it's a child that has many things and maybe doesn't seem appreciative of them," Meyers says.

Most people think of "spoiled" kids as having a lot of possessions, but Meyers says it's actually about the children's attitudes when receiving gifts.

"They have this spoiled attitude, usually those kids they sometimes have a lower self-esteem because they really think of life as more objects," she says.

And what can make those attitudes worse are when parents don't monitor electronics.

"What happens is that when a child is on electronics, say video games, television or what not, it actually is constantly feeding entertainment into the brain, so then the other side of the brain that we use for attention and focus actually weakens," she says.

But Meyers says kids don't get that spoiled attitude just from getting a lot of gifts, so parents should remind them about the spirit of giving during the holiday season.

"It depends on the person. Some kids might be spoiled this time of year, but this time of year is more or less for them anyways," says Meyers.

Meyers says doing charity work like donating to Toys for Tots or food drives can help get children out of the spoiled mindset.

She also says focusing on your religion, family or some other aspect of the holiday season instead of the gift exchange can help children understand what the holidays are all about.


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