8 gifts you shouldn’t buy your kid

Date Thu, December 2 2010

MSN Money has an interesting article up about the eight gifts that you should not buy your child for the holidays and, for the most part, I agree. The list started with a cell phone and I wholeheartedly agree. Liz Pulliam Weston, the author, explains that just giving them something for which they’d be likely to work is silly. Along the same lines, she warns parents again buying replacement gifts to teach children a lesson. I can dig that.

The list also includes a lot of intangible things that children will not likely appreciate–such as a savings bond or naming a star after them. There’s nothing like opening your presents on Christmas morning and not being able to do anything with your new gift. The author goes as far to include gift cards and, while I think this is a poor gift for younger children, teenagers might enjoy it–especially if they are difficult to shop for as I was.

The article describes why collectibles are a bad idea and I would tend to agree. I come from a cluttered home. My mom kept a lot of junk for no good reason and Wendy even does some of the same. I never will. If it doesn’t server a purpose or make me smile, it’s gone!

The only item on the list with which I do not fully agree is a pet that will outlive your kid’s life at home. Pets, especially aquarium pets, are something that many children take with them, even to college. And any family who does not view a pet as a family investment is not a family that should have kids. Period.

Is there anything else you’d add to this list?

5 Responses

  1. Dez December 2 2010 @ 7:02 am

    Assuming this is for kids (16 and under) here is my list of what I think they don’t need.

    – TV sets
    – Cellphones
    – Big ticket items
    – Computers (their own)
    – Bath body sets geared toward teens/adults.

  2. Jenn December 2 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with this list! My fifteen year old brother wants a cell phone — I told him to work for it. He wants an iPod or a Zune to replace the TWO that he broke — I told him no fucking way, haha.

    I’m big on gifts for kids that force them to use their imaginations to play. The occasional video game (we’re giving Alyssa Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Ryan a Nintendo DSi) is okay, but overall I love gifts that promote imaginative play, as well as books.

  3. Cori December 5 2010 @ 5:09 pm

    I agree with Dez. My siblings and I grew up with a television and our own computers in our rooms as well as a laptops and cell phones. We never had to have jobs. I got a car for my 16th birthday and my parents replaced it when I was 20. I’ve never said no to the things my parents by me, but I won’t be raising Claire like that.

    One friend told me parents should stick to this rule when gift buying during the holidays: Something to wear, something to read, something to play with. Of course that’s coming from the parents/Santa. They’d get other things from family. But I seriously could not imagine only getting three things from my parents on Christmas, not even now. I’ve already gone way, way past that with Claire this year, but I do hope to reign it in from now on. Our society of excess is definitely producing spoiled children.

  4. Cole December 9 2010 @ 1:37 am

    Thanks for weighing in guys. I tend to agree with all your suggestions. However, I think that a gift of a fixer-upper car or a pre-paid cell phone can be functional and teach a lesson. In fact, I even once received an old Nokia Trakfone for Christmas once year. It sucked so bad that I never used it. d=

  5. Cole December 9 2010 @ 1:39 am

    @Cori: I just wanted to leave a few thoughts. I’d never heard of the wear/read/play guidelines but I like it. Most of the time, I only got wearable clothes from my grandparents. I think that is mostly due to the fact that we were quite poor so I never got toys during the rest of the year. Even in terms of gifts that I’d work for, my paychecks as a cashier when I was a teen went to clothes and you wouldn’t believe how excited I was to get new clothes. LOL

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