SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 22, 2013

Column: Communication and planning can make for a great holiday season

(Continued)

If you have a limited budget, set expectations ahead of time. Make sure that your children understand that not every family is identical when it comes to income and how much they can spend on the holidays.

Regardless of what kids communicate, remember that their main priority is being connected to their family. Parents don’t have to worry that their children are going to be slighted by fewer gifts if they have a strong connection and bond with parents and family members.

Although they often cannot express it, children do appreciate sacrifices parents make in order to provide for their children at the holidays. Children may also demonstrate disappointment if they don’t receive all the gifts they expected. Recognize that this is fleeting and accept that you did the best you could. A child’s disappointment can easily turn to joy after some quality one-on-one time with a loving parent.

Parents can think about big-ticket items that are especially a bargain on shopping holidays like Black Friday. These can serve as one big family present, and they can get individual, smaller presents for the children. This is one way to stay within the budget and unite the family around one main family toy.

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Dr. Kate Roberts is a psychologist and parent coach on the North Shore. Questions can be directed to www.drkateroberts.com www.twitter.com/DrKateParenting, www.facebook.com/Dr.KateRoberts or www.pinterest.com/DrKateParenting.

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