Parents are reviewing the “nice” lists of their children even if they might be on the naughty list. New toys that might lead to parents complaining they spend too much time on those items or some parents may be buying gifts with the idea that it can be something new they can use as punishment. “That new phone will be something I can take away if he is bad.” Not exactly the holiday spirit…
While you spend time searching for the best price or quickest delivery, you should also spend some time planning on the rules that will accompany these new toys. Phone, video games and tablets seem to create the biggest issues. When can they use them? For how long? Do they earn time or is it a free for all?
I suggest that you talk to your spouse and even your ex to plan how the toy will be handled. Phones can be an issue if one parent agrees and the other doesn’t. This is especially problematic when it is your ex. Know that the discussion will happen and it is better to be proactive than reactive.
For any items can consume your child’s, what are the rules?
• Set time limits.
• Set bedtime rules.
• Set up a recharging station OUTSIDE OF THEIR BEDROOM.
• Go over safety concerns.
• How will their school handle issues.
• For video games, is it tied to grades, chores, attitude?
I believe that while it might be my child’s gift, from me or anyone else, I still govern its use. We discuss it up front so they know the expectations. I don’t want them to be surprised when it is not allowed because they haven’t earned it.
That said, talk to the adults before hand and maybe even write things down. Writing it down makes it concrete, clear and you don’t have to waste brain power remembering all the details.
But make sure you give the kids a day or two to enjoy the game/phone. Let them enjoy the magic. You can wait a few days before you bring them back to reality.