Good and Bad Gifts to Give Your Child

We love to give our kids something special every now and then—to see that excitement in their eyes! But before you rush out and buy the next major gift for a birthday or holiday, think it through. Some of our most popular go-to gifts for kids, tweens, and teens come with pitfalls you might not expect.

Not all gifts are created equal, and some of the most popular gifts for kids come with major drawbacks. Here are some things to look out for, and some good alternatives for bad gifts for kids.

The Bad Gifts

Good Alternatives

A Bedroom TV:Research tells us that this gift almost ensures that your child’s hours of viewing will skyrocket, and that he or she will watch shows that you probably wouldn’t approve…if you only knew, which you don’t, because you’re not in the room. Upgrade the Family Viewing Experience:Instead of making TV and movie time a solitary activity, upgrade the equipment and options available in the family room. Add a password-protected subscription to a digital movie service that allows you to select great titles for family movie night with minimal hassle. Make family viewing an event!
An Unfiltered, Unmonitored Smartphone: Today’s smartphones are just pocket-sized computers. If you wouldn’t allow your child on the internet without some protections and guidelines on the family PC, why would you hand them a computer they can use in private to access all the same stuff? A Smarter Smartphone: Fortunately, there are solutions out there to help you manage your child’s phone use and keep some boundaries in place. And don’t forget to use iMOM’s Cell Phone Contract to make sure your child understands the boundaries.
Yet Another Gadget: With the rapid introduction of newer, fancier technology, it’s no wonder that gaming consoles, tablets, computers, and other digital toys top our kids’ wish lists year after year. But when is enough…enough? Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean they need it. An Unforgettable Experience: How about giving your child an awesome memory for the next big occasion? Tickets to the playoff game, a traveling performance of a hit Broadway show, or a trip to a favorite amusement park lets the whole family share in the fun and build relationships, too.
Designer Duds and Accessories: This applies more to girls, who seem to be developing a younger and younger fascination with designer labels and expensive clothing and accessories. Even if your family can afford these gifts, what is the message that you’re sending your child? Great fashion without the status labels: Help your daughter learn to put together a polished appearance without being a slave to labels. Take her shopping for some awesome pieces that makeher look like a million bucks, rather than making her yet another clone in the adolescent, designer-obsessed world.

Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.