Can you Buy your Childrens Affection with Expensive Gifts – No

I know that the answer is a resounding no! However, I’m having a problem responding to a question that begs to be taken seriously as though there were a legitimate opposing view. Let me assure you, children are bigger con artists than their parents ever dreamed.

Are you a parent that indulges your child and buys just about every gift they ask for? And do you sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy glow of love for having done it? If so, you are in for the most rude awakening you have ever experienced. You are setting yourself up, perhaps by a toddler, to be held hostage by the time they are preteen.

As difficult as it is to believe, some parents actually feel guilty about refusing to buy things for their kids. These same parents feel guilty about disciplining their kids, too. And the kids feed off of the guilt and use it to their advantage. Thus, the process begins of buying gifts that are not necessary, nor are they deserved, and the parent gets nothing in return.

What you interpret as affection is actually the joy the child experiences because it is perceived by the child as getting his/her way. While you are patting yourself on the back for being such a wonderful parent, the child is planning a list of ‘I wants’ that will become a way of life. Soon, you will not be basking in the glow of all that love and affection, you will be trying to bribe good behavior, bargain for chores, coerce to do homework, and just about any other responsibility the child is suppose to embrace.

What follows as a result of trying to buy a child’s affection is not a pretty picture. By the time they become teenagers they will have become self-centered, over-indulged, rude, disrespectful and foul mouthed individuals who will demand your time and your money, and will not take kindly to “no” for an answer. But, by that time, it will be too late to change. The damage will have been done.

Buying expensive gifts is certainly acceptable when it is the child’s birthday, or Christmas, or whatever holiday is being celebrated. But these are special occasions. Children look forward to something special at these particular times. But, most kids enjoy little surprises for no reason such as an outfit for their Barbie doll, or a little action figure, or costume jewelery for a teenager. And these ought to be given only to the kids that really deserve surprises because they keep their room cleaned up, or help with the dishes, or take out the trash regularly.

The true meaning of affection comes from the heart of a child and it is free. It is shown in the child who sits and talks to you while you fold clothes, or while you prepare a meal. It’s there when they offer to cut the grass for you. You will know you have their deep affection when they ask for your advice, or offer to help you with something, or when they just want to hang out at home with you. These are the children who don’t need the expensive gifts because they have their parent(s) to love.