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How to Politely Ask Relatives to Not Spoil Your Kids


“She earned it,” I said to my husband as I glanced through the catalog of plastic crap feeling the weight of my inability to gracefully tell my mom know that I can’t let her buy too much this holiday season.  How do you tell your mom not to spoil your kids?

How many presents should a kid get for Christmas?

“I’m never going to deny her the experience of spoiling her grandkids,” he nodded not necessarily in agreement but he understood.

Should we spoil kids? 

21st-century kids come with scary words (at least to parents) like entitlement and instant gratification. At the same time trends such as decluttering and simple living bombard our newsfeeds.

If kids get too many gifts, is is possible to “unspoil” them

How Not to Spoil Your Kids

Montessori & Too Much Stuff

Montessori emphasized high quality and beauty of materials. Anything a child touched should be lovely, clean, neat, and orderly.

Plastic in a Montessori setting? Not so much. It just doesn’t have a place. It’s cheap and teaches a hold nothing about beauty and care.

With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us are dreading the influx of Amazon boxes arriving at our doorsteps and under the tree. We’re dreading the onslaught but also the struggles with our parents and our kids.

I don’t know the average number of gifts a child gets at Christmas, but, I am sure, that more often than not, the “3 Gift Rule for a Child” is violated by parents and especially by grandparents.

Is there any way around the onslaught of holiday gift giving to our kids that often involves cheap plastic crap?

I’m fortunate because my mother has an open mind. I can speak with her honestly about what we want and need for my kids.

How to Politely Ask Relatives to Not Spoil Your Kids this Holiday Season

How do you deal with the situation if there is no mutual understanding and give and taken when it comes to the nuances of parenting?

Dealing with the influx of toys and stuff during the holidays is a challenging situation. There is no question about it.

Related Read: I’m Spoiling My Kids this Year & Here is How I am Doing It

Here’s a little tough love and why you should let your relatives spoil your kids:

On a scale from 1 to world peace, where does this ‘issue’ truly fall?

We’re talking toys once or twice a year. Hopefully, if we’re doing our job the other 360 or so days of the year, we’all all recover. Perspective, right?

My point is to remember where you came from, who your parents are, and why giving them the chance to spoil the heck out of your kids might be worth the extra trip to goodwill.

Instilling values such as appreciating and valuing people and experiences over stuff is paramount and doable when bringing together.

10 Point Approach to Dealing with the Influx of Stuff from Relatives During the Holidays

#1 – Mindset is everything. Think about your approach, be proactive and come up with ground rules for toys. Prepare your mind and your responses to various scenarios. Anticipate what to expect so as to avoid drama during the festivities.

#2 – Give your parents the liberty to spoil their grandchildren. Yes, grant them permission to lay it on your kids and to truly enjoy the moments.

#3 – Prep your kids about then holidays. Be honest with them about gift expectations and remind them of the fortune in their lives.

#4 – Consider alternatives to toys such as experiences and find gentle ways to suggest this approach. Maybe even come up with an idea where you chip in for the cost.

#5 – Consider hiding away a majority of the gifts for later opportunities. I know this one sounds a little sneaky but it works with my kids.

#6 – Goodwill is a phenomenal option. Allowing your kids and their grandparents the joy of opening gifts together might be a good option for your family. After a short while, donating items with or without your child’s involvement is a reasonable option.

#7 – Offering your kids a trade as a ‘one out one in rule’ might be an effective way to get them to accept the trade off.

#8 – Regardless of the quality and quantity of toys given to your children during the holidays, you can always use the gift giving as an opportunity to teach gratitude. Write thank you notes together and encourage gratefulness in the moment.

#9 – Come up with a holiday theme for the next year.

#10 – Put a dollar amount on the spending.

How do you deal with excess gift giving during the holidays and birthday seasons? Or should you throw in the towel and spoil your kids?


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