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Parents Hope To Provide Everything On Kids' Wish Lists During Holiday Season

Posted December 21, 1999

— It would probably cost a fortune to get everything kids put on their Christmas list. Parents dish out the money, and the credit card companies love every minute of it.

The answer is not necessarily saying no, but helping your children understand the difference between wants and needs.

Santa Claus will have plenty of wishes to fulfill Christmas morning.

The lists could be long, which can easily overwhelm parents like Mary Ann Turner.

"There's so much on the market that entices your children like Pokemon," Turner said. "It makes it difficult."

Brenda Patterson, another parent, tries to get her kids the essential items for Christmas.

"I just get them the things they need and a few toys if they've been good," Patterson said.

Even Santa Claus tries to set limits.

"I say to them one thing they picked out may have to wait until next year," Claus said. "They can't get everything at one time."

Children will always have wants. Experts say that it is in their nature and developmentally appropriate.

It is up to parents to teach limit-setting, not just around the holidays but all year long.

Psychologist Kathy Frazier says it is important for parents to also talk with their children about the meaning of the holiday, and that Christmas is not just about Santa's list for under the tree.

"If they emphasize that this is a wish list and to say you can put as many items as you want on the wish list, they'll know they may not get everything they want," Frazier said.

Setting limits can also teach children the value of money. As children talk about their wants, parents can tell them how much they have to spend.


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