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How to Keep Greed Under Control

by Lori Sciame | December 13th, 2016 | Elementary
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boy with santa (400x400)The holidays are a time of joy and giving, a time for love and family.  Unfortunately, however, for elementary age children, the holidays can also be a time of greed.  If parents are not careful, children this age can succumb to the mantra, “I want more!”  We’ve all seen it before.  There’s the child who opens gifts so fast that he or she doesn’t even know what’s inside the package.  All that’s important…another gift!  As the pile of torn wrapping paper and bows grows, so does the need for just one more present.

Don’t let this happen to your elementary age child.  Take a few simple steps to keep greed under control.  If you do, your child will be happier in the long run.

First, don’t make the gift opening time the absolute center of a holiday celebration.  There are many traditions that can be highlighted, including worship services, the singing of songs, holiday baking, and tree decorating.  I will concede that present opening will be one of a child’s favorite times, but don’t make it the ultimate goal of a  celebration.

Next, limit the amount of presents your child receives.  It seems to follow that if you love your child, you will buy him as many presents as you can possibly afford; however, this argument is false.  Remember, each gift’s specialness will be diluted if a child becomes too overwhelmed with piles of presents.  This goes for grandma and grandpa as well!

Finally, be sure to teach a child that the saying, “it is better to give than receive” still rings true.  Make it a point to give gifts to those who are less fortunate.  You can donate gifts to the local domestic violence shelter, a soup kitchen, a community center, or even a homeless shelter.  Have your child help you to pick out the gifts, help wrap the gifts, and help deliver the gifts.  Children who have been exposed to this type of activity will certainly appreciate their own presents much more.

In essence, a greedy child is one who will have trouble adjusting to the realities of life.  I’ve known many spoiled children who have had a terrible shock when they reached their 20’s.  Many even went into states of depression when they learned that what they want has a price tag – hard work.  Help your own child make this transition easier by keeping greed under control each holiday season.

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