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Discussion Starter #1
this is how the conversation started with my 7yr old son last night after he saw how much "crap" (my word) his buddy Nathan got for Easter.

My son was in tears because "Nathan always gets more". I tried the "more isn't always better", Nathan has a bigger family to help, etc but he heard none of it. I was so close to coming out and saying the Easter Bunny isn't real.

I walked out of Target $77 dollars lighter and my son is in tears! His father probably spent as much. When did Easter become Christmas?

My son asked me for a "big" Lego's. the Lego I got him was just around $50 with tax. The remaining $ was spent on a few small items to put in his basket - small legos, a ball, a chocolate bunny, taffy and some gum (which came from the Easter bunny). His dad got him a new DS game from him and a few candy items from the Easter Bunny.

My son was perfectly happy, excited actually with what he did get until he saw what his friend got. I was thinking about this and even if money wasn't tight for me I still don't think I would have gotten him anything more. I might have gotten him the $100 lego instead of the $50 but I would not have spent money on more crap.

and yes, Nathan is completely spoiled, throws tantrums and can't entertain himself for more than 5 minutes without looking for something else to do. How can I explain this to my 7 yr old?

so so frustrating!
 

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Wow, I never gave gifts to my kids at Easter, just some candy and maybe a stuffed bunny when they were young. I do the samexwith the grand now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
when I was kid we got gifts but nothing big and not alot. A typical Easter basket had bubbles, sidewalk chalk, candy, a sand pail and shovel and maybe a jump rope or a kite.

My exhusband and I are trying very hard to raise our son to not be materialistic. To work for his things and to be responsible with his things. Nathan is my sitters son and although I love her to pieces and would be lost without her, raises her children with the more is better mindset. She feels she didn't have a great childhood and didn't have alot of things so is spoiling her children rotten. And she comes out and admits it.

Both of her children, age 6 and 4, had two large buckets full of candy and small toys and then there were too large Target bags full of toys. There is no way I can or want to compete with that but how do I explain that to my son.

I'm totally confident in what I'm doing with my son is right for our family but its just so hard to explain and have him understand it and it just makes me sad.
 

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I hope I'm not going to offend anyone with this answer, but I quit with the mythical holiday characters with my son, for this very reason. Every year, we pick an angel off the local angel tree to give a gift to, and my son asked me one year when he was four why Santa just didn't give these kids gifts too?

So I told him that Santa is a game parents play at Christmas time, but not to tell his classmates that and spoil it for them. just couldn't come up with another answer that wasn't a lie.
 
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I think it's really hard to explain that to young children. I don't really have any advice, but wanted to send a hug your way.
 

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I think you need to tell your son there is no easter bunny. I didn't buy an easter basket for DD when she was little. now i get her a few items in a basket like side walk chalk, bubbles, jump rope and an egg sucker. she knows its from me and her dad. i spend maybe 10 bucks on everything.

that's just my 2 cents. good luck to you.
 

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I told my guys that we (DH and I) told the Easter Bunny/Santa what he could bring. My guys got an basket full of small toys and a handful of candy. They also always got a cool toothbrush and cool bandaids (Mom only bought the boring plain toothbrushes and boring plain bandaids, Santa and the Easter Bunny brought the patterned/fancy ones). Sometimes, they got cool toothpaste too (depends on what I could find on clearance/sale throughout the year).

I also asked them if they needed that toy or wanted that toy. If they wanted it, I would put it on a list on my phone. When they saved up enough money, then they could purchase the toy. The list also served as a list to tell my sister and grandmother what to get the guys for their birthdays and for xmas. I was always willing to add toys onto the list. Once a year or so (before xmasish), we would go through the list and clean off the toys that they really didn't want.

Another thing I would stress with my guys was that kids like Nathan don't seem happy. They can't entertain themselves. They want more and more and are never happy with what they have. I told my guys that I would rather them have a few toys that they really loved that 5 zillion toys that they didn't really care about. I would also point out that I felt it was important for them to be able to entertain themselves without some sort of electronic something.

Another thing that I would point out to my guys was that we have a tiny house and all those toys would fill it up really fast. We just didn't have room for a ton of toys. I told them that would could buy a bigger house, but that would mean that there would be less money for doing fun things. They always chose the smaller house and the fun things.
 

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It's definitely a hard concept for younger children to understand, but it's an important one and not one to be given up on. I'm not only a parent, but also a teacher, and I see this over and over again at many age levels. The kids who have less toys (ESPECIALLY big things like TVs and computers) are 9 out of 10 times the ones with few behavioral issues and perform better academically. They also tend to be less detached to their fellow student and can empathize easier with each other.

Honestly I couldn't tell you what presents I got at Easter, Christmas, or my birthday, or any other time. But I can tell you all about my family's traditions and crack you up with hilarious holiday stories. When your son is grown, that's what he'll remember too. Just keep plugging away and it'll pay off :)
 

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It's definitely a hard concept for younger children to understand, but it's an important one and not one to be given up on. I'm not only a parent, but also a teacher, and I see this over and over again at many age levels. The kids who have less toys (ESPECIALLY big things like TVs and computers) are 9 out of 10 times the ones with few behavioral issues and perform better academically. They also tend to be less detached to their fellow student and can empathize easier with each other.

Honestly I couldn't tell you what presents I got at Easter, Christmas, or my birthday, or any other time. But I can tell you all about my family's traditions and crack you up with hilarious holiday stories. When your son is grown, that's what he'll remember too. Just keep plugging away and it'll pay off :)
THIS is the best answer and helpful advice to your problem. Although on a smaller level than archer658, I've seen these things in spoiled children myself. The bottom line is that your friend is missing the point of just what a "happy and full" childhood is about, and it has nothing to do with getting a ton of stuff! It sadly happens to alot of parents though. And ~especially~ from working moms who want to fill in the gap of not being able to stay home.

Hang in there! One day you'll see the "fruits" of your hard work pay off!

Theresa :)
 

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This is why I'm glad my children don't believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc., anymore. My DD got upset several times at Christmas when she was younger because she saw someone else getting "more" than her, but finally I got tired of the competition and told her the truth, and of course, she let DS in on the secret when he was still very young. Wish I had done it sooner!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all very much for your kind words and advice.

this is something that I struggle with all year long. I'm very grateful for my friend, my sitter, but we definitely raise our children differently.
 

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We never bought in to the Santa/Easter bunny/tooth fairy stories either. It never made sense to us to lie to the kids. As parents, we're supposed to set the example about telling the truth about things.
 

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I don't believe it is "lying" to let your child believe in Santa /Easter Bunny etc. There is a magical time in a childs' life that contributes to their happiness and creativity. When my children were older and told me "there is no Santa"- I told them that I still believed in the spirit of what Santa represented. When my oldest was in 1st or 2nd grade two classmates were discussing Santa, one said there was no Santa and that parents bought the gifts. The other boy looked at my daughter and said " There has to be a Santa,my parents would never buy me all that stuff". (Santa gives parents-even frugal ones the opportunity to "spoil" their kids just a little without really "spoiling" them).
Your son will appreciate you and all you have done when he gets older.
 

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My son is 2. He knows who Santa and the Easter Bunny are by sight, but we have chosen not to push the whole "they bring you presents and candy and stuff" surrounding them. I feel that is okay to teach him the story without having the high expectation that these characters will be bring him everything he desires.
 

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Well,I got my kids lots of stuff for the holidays and they remember very little of it. I know it doesn't help answer at the moment but.. He won't be scarred,.
 

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I think it has to do with that 'mommy' guilt we all feel at some point.
We're not 'doing' enough..'buying' enough..'saying' enough...

Your son is young yet~you still have quite a bit of 'guilt' to go through~LOL!
 

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Thank you all very much for your kind words and advice.

this is something that I struggle with all year long. I'm very grateful for my friend, my sitter, but we definitely raise our children differently.
Hugs

It is okay to raise your kids differently. We always told our children that Santa and the Easter bunny always followed each family's traditions situations and values. They bring differently not because they love one more but because they love everyone for the unique person they are.
 

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hugs.. it is hard when children friends get something and u here that question.... no advice but don't take the magic away from the child.......hug cry sob....
 

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I questioned my child who remembers absolutely everything on what he remembers getting in his stockings and easter baskets. He remembers the candy (chocolate balls/eggs/bunny), a few random small toys (he called them trinkets), arrowheads (that they all promptly lost out in the yard), and he remembers Spiderman non-skid slippers from when he was like two. He talked about waking up and seeing the Easter baskets and unwrapping presents. He said that he remembers the "giddiness" feeling of finding the stocking or the basket more than the "stuff" that was in them.
 
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