independent

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Children have come to expect too much

Published 24/12/2013 | 05:38

Given that children these days are so accustomed to getting the latest toys, computers, phones and games week in week out, Christmas has a lot to live up to.
Given that children these days are so accustomed to getting the latest toys, computers, phones and games week in week out, Christmas has a lot to live up to.

SOMEONE asked me this week what Christmas present I remember most from my childhood and to be honest I didn't have to think twice.

It was a little plastic tea set, light brown in colour, which not only had the customary tea pot, cups and saucers, but also came with its own casserole dish, dinner plates and matching cutlery.

God, I absolutely loved it and got so much enjoyment from it and I'll honestly never forget the excitement I felt when I unwrapped it on Christmas morning all those years ago.

The absolute innocence of it all got me thinking about how much things have changed and how a child today might react to a few plastic knives, forks and plates.

Obviously times have moved on in the 30 years since that tea set found its way under my tree, but I wonder if we've absolutely lost the run of ourselves where presents are concerned.

I can't help thinking that children today have come to expect way too much, and maybe we as parents are to blame a little bit.

Gone are the days when a child's Santa list consisted of one specific present and that famous 'surprise'. Now the poor man is inundated with requests for this, that and the other, with kids running out of fingers and toes to count the items they've asked for.

Don't get me wrong, Christmas is a fabulous time for children and if you can't spoil them at Christmas, then when can you? But how do you strike a balance between spoiling them and going completely over the top?

A woman asked me lately if I thought €250 was too much for Santa to spend on each of her three children. I said 'absolutely'- and she was horrified. So was I.

I thought she was crazy, until the lady with her agreed that that was about average. Maybe I'm completely naïve but I was genuinely shocked.

By virtue of the fact that children these days are so accustomed to getting the latest toys, computers, phones and games week in week out, Christmas has to be even bigger and better - thus the lengthy lists.

It seems to me that the more they have the less they appreciate - and that's quite sad.

Waking up on Christmas morning to find that dream present under the tree should be the most special time of the year for children. Let's hope we never lose that!

New Ross Standard

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