MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to an online survey, the average parent spends $271 per kid and 1 in 10 parents spend $500 per child for the holidays.

While some parents think $271 per child is too much to spend, others freely admit to the splurge. One mother, Laurie Delalley, admitted to spending around $300 on her son.

When asked what she would say to those who say $300 is a lot, she said, “I only have one son!”

WCCO-TV talked with a family psychologist who gave some advice on how to scale down and have your kids be OK with it.

Twin Cities family and relationships psychologist Dr. Brenda Schaeffer said while showering kids with gifts may be well-intentioned, you may be sending them the wrong message.

“What it’s saying is that getting is more important than giving, and this is the season of giving, and I think that children need to be brought into that,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer added there are many ways to shift the focus back to giving.

“To make things, to save their allowance, and buy things for people that are important to them,” she said.

One of the reasons the amount you’re dishing out per kid has gone up so much is because kids are more tech savvy. At the top of their Christmas list are expensive electronics. As most parents have heard, several of those tech goodies, your neighbors already have.

Schaeffer said a good rebuttal is to give your kids several options, some of them less expensive. Bottom line, she said, is that it’s OK to say no.

Another tip is to go back to the way many people were raised. Kids shouldn’t always know what they’re getting, so it may even put the mystery back in Christmas.

Schaeffer added to check in with extended family members to see what they are giving. That will help keep the total amount down to avoid over indulgence.

Comments (2)
  1. em0886 says:

    I completely agree with this!! Otherwise I end up with so much stuff I don’t know where to put it and he doesn’t get the use out of it that he should. I bought three gifts from me this year and three will come from Santa. My parents then got him six things in addition to my sister and the rest of the family!! I make a budget and stick to it; this makes me hunt for better deals and does avoid buying too much!

  2. Kathy says:

    If a parent spends less than fifty percent of the above estimate on gifts, I would still be surprised about the expense.

    The food shelf line in Central Minnesota isn’t about the face of greatest poverty anymore, and one visit will tell you that most of the products bear a brand name you’ll never see, or they can’t be sold in the grocery store due, and a few others are tax deductions.

    Olive Garden Restaurant supports the food shelf very generously, and in the spirit of giving. Walmart is another.

    This season should bring us to our knees in prayer. Politics are not as usual. Leadership is confused at a time when intelligence must be in the forefront.

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