Gary Hermansson: Is it okay to spoil your kids at Christmas?

Episode of: The Mike Hosking Breakfast

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Dec 19, 20182m
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Gary Hermansson: Is it okay to spoil your kids at Christmas?
Dec 19 '182m
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Is it okay to spoil your kids at Christmas?  The question has been raised after an Australian mother came under fire for buying her three children 300 presents.  So where do you draw the line?  Psychologist Gary Hermansson told Mike Yardley it's okay to spoil your kids as long as you don't go overboard. "I think there's a proportion to keep with that otherwise the kids just lose the meaning and the value and it just becomes something which they continue with that sense of expectation and I think that distorts the whole thing of them as they grow." He said children can become entitled if they are continual spoiled. "There's a sense of that [entitlement] then you continue to feel that way and you then struggle and sometimes even from a psychological view, when you become a parent, you either give in the same way or alternatively you get a bit more miserly, so it's like a pendulum and swings from generation to generation."  Hermansson said there are two main things to think about when buying tour kids gifts. "There are two layers. One is there's a sense of obligation and duty - obviously, you want to get your children something special in that way but what gets lost in all that...is the issue of being able to give and receive and feel grateful [that] is what the whole process is about." "I think what happens too often is the obligation overrides the other and then people give through obligation and feel resentful. To feel good about the experience is to be able to feel a sense of gratitude and a sense of giving and also the delight of receiving."

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