The Pros and Cons of Letting Kids Choose Their Gifts


Gift-giving is usually an integral part of any birthday celebration. According to science, giving gifts is healthy for both the giver and the receiver. But whether letting kids choose their gifts is good or not is an interesting debate. Let’s consider it more closely.

The Benefits of Letting Kids Choose
Their Gifts

In many cases, letting kids choose their gifts can have a positive psychological effect on them and save you some stress. There are other benefits too.

You can avoid gift waste

It can be
disappointing to see an expensive gift gather dust because your kid just isn’t
into it. Yet it happens more often than most parents would like to admit. When
kids make their own choices, there are usually less mismatched gifts to worry
about.

You can make them really,
really happy

Kids like
to be surprised. But they love to receive exactly the gifts they want. Letting
them choose shows your confidence in them and affirms their choice. They will
love you for it.

You get to spend fun time
together

Shopping
around for gifts with your kid can be more enjoyable than running from shop to
shop on your own, wondering what to buy.

You minimize decision fatigue

Choosing
the right gift can be stressful. If you don’t have time or just aren’t into
shopping, comparing different gifts and trying to decide between won’t be fun.
Wouldn’t it be better to let kids choose and just relax?

You encourage them to assume
responsibility for their choices

Gift cards
or vouchers can be great birthday gift ideas for kids who are old enough to
understand the value of money. It puts them in a position to choose, and this
can make them more aware of the value of toys.

The Drawbacks of Letting Kids Choose
Their Gifts

We’ve
looked at the key benefits—now let’s zoom in on the potential drawbacks. There
are a few.

You lose that beautiful sense
of surprise

Holding in
your hands a beautifully wrapped package containing a gift that could be just
about anything is a wonderful feeling for a kid. Planning gifts ahead with your
kids means some of that surprise will be lost.

You may end up overspending

It can be
hard to say no to your child, especially when his or her birthday is just
around the corner. If you’re not careful, you can easily end up spending more
money on gifts than planned. A lot more money.

You have to live with their
choices

If they
want a loud toy tank that makes angry war noises instead of a quiet,
educational toy, well, you won’t have much of a say in it. Same if they choose
toys made from unsustainable or potentially unhealthy materials.

You can spoil them

Giving
kids free rein over choosing their birthday gifts could make them feel entitled,
and that’s not always good.

The Bottom Line

So, should
you leave gift-choosing up to your kids? Or should you keep all the birthday
gift ideas for kids you have to yourself and choose for them? The answer isn’t
a simple one.

If you can
steer your kids’ decisions in the right direction, letting them choose their
gifts can be a positive experience for them. It can make them happy. And it can
make them feel that they are really growing up.

A birthday
gifts registry for kids can prove useful. It can help you involve your kid in
the gift choosing process in a way that still creates suspense.

The
registry also makes it easier to add gift cards to the list, which kids may
love. At the same time, it gives you an overview of all shortlisted gifts. This
means that if you feel that some gifts your kid has chosen aren’t appropriate,
you can remove them and explain to your kid why.

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