Some children look forward to Christmas with a fervor that goes beyond pretty much everything else in their lives. But can you really blame them? Think back to what Christmas meant to you at that age. We’ll bet that you had a certain toy in mind, and stayed up as long as you could to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus delivering it.
Alas, it was not to be. The cool thing you wanted (and was sure could be found in that big box under the Christmas tree) turned out to be something practical that was no fun at all. That no doubt left you sad and maybe even a little mad. How could this happen? Why couldn’t I just get the thing I wanted, like all of the other kids?!
Years later, you can see how irrational and immature that sounded, but kids don’t understand views like that, especially in the moment.
We want the best for our kids, but sometimes it is not possible (or desirable) to get them what they ask for. So, how do you talk to the child you know you will disappoint this Christmas because you didn’t buy the iPhone X they wanted?
Be Careful About Expectations
If your child expresses a longing for something you either can’t or don’t want to buy, don’t lead them on by saying things like, “Maybe if you’re good.” If a gift is not a possibility, let them know in advance.
Be Mindful of Their Feelings
Remember how you felt in their shoes. It seems trivial and silly to you as an adult, but this type of let down is a big deal for them. Once the furor has died down, try to impart to your child that you can’t have everything in life and it is good to know how to deal with disappointment.
Kids Have Short Memories
It may be tears and complaints now, but let’s face it: kids have short memories. They will eventually start thinking of other things (and other potential gifts) and everyone will be able to move on.