WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2015-2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/596643

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Page 165 of 211

Less is More Many kids have so much more today than we ever did so it's hard to keep them grounded. "Parents really struggle around the holidays with gift giving," explains Lisa Goodman, Wellesley's Hardy Elementary School psychologist and a mother of two. "The bar is set really high for a lot of these kids and it's hard to balance expectations with realism. Parents need to feel good about saying 'no' and helping kids recognize that limits are a good thing." When it comes to small children, opening lots of presents can be overwhelming. One mother of a four-year-old witnessed what she called "present fatigue" in her son last year. "He got so focused on get- ting and opening more presents that after each one, he forgot about it almost immediately and wanted a new one to open. It was as if he was eating a whole Easter basket of candy without tasting any of it! And just like the after-effect of that would have been, when it was all done, he had a huge crash," she says. Since then, this mom has asked family members to limit their giving or to pool resources so they can give him one gift that is more meaningful, such as a bike or a museum membership. Writer Ceri Marsh of Parents magazine, identifies other concerns about gift overload. "At a minimum, showering kids with presents sets up their expectations that excess equals happiness. More is better." And that's not a message any of us want our kids to be left with. "Teaching kids about the value of a dollar and helping them understand that money isn't endless has to be a year-round conversa- tion, not just something you talk about during the holidays with your kids," adds Goodman. It's important to help them understand that they need to make choices, and that even Santa doesn't have an end- less supply of toys. 164 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 family matters "balance expectations with realism" P H O T O S B Y D A R R E N B O V I E

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