Dezembro  2010 / 6 1 Comment


Article based on an interview with me in 2008. Published on:

Agência Lusa, Jornal de Negócios, Jornal 24 Horas, Jornal da Madeira, Jornal O Ribatejo.

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By Vasco Catarino Soares:Psychotherapist Playtherapy .

At Christmas time, we must add the caution to be normal in the management of purchases resulting from the demands of our children, a good dose of courage and honesty. Let me explain: At the height of the Christmas festivities is a great consumer appeal.This appeal, which focuses on encouraging the purchase of toys and all accessories required for electronic gadgets. Faced with an entire culture deeply rooted in society that “screams” no one can be forgotten and everyone has to be gifted, who has the courage not to meet with the premise?

Despite what actually happens (fill children with stuff who just watch half a dozen times and then forget the rest of the year), the ideal would be that children received as a Christmas present two or three gifts of is own interest. I know. The reader will say that gifts in the interest of my son are dozens. It’s true. Children are already accustomed to the avalanche of gifts at Christmas. But if ever they had been acculturated into the habit of receiving 2 or 3 gifts that would cease to be a problem at present. So it is necessary that parents and families understand that the best for their children, their happiness does not depend on receiving a multitude of gifts (and may even be harmful, because this makes the child less resistant to situations of frustration).Even in the short term is that what may seem to us all, because we anticipate tantrums and cries. If you notice well, the mountain that each child receives at home just two or three toys come in the usual range. In other cases, what is observed with children are rooms full of toys where the child takes all but not play with any. Repeats activity unconnected, often destructive, and without taking any pleasure from the game.

To show we love our children can do it by choosing something that is very important to them (focus on quality to choose knowing the gifted), and discourage them from buying in quantity, to believe that only thus more likable. In this effort to be more balanced we should not make the mistake (which happens too often) to provide one gift for two brothers. Never, ever choose this route. It’s easy, it’s cheaper but gives only disappointments. I garantee that. I’ve heard in my office undred complaints of such situations and psychological damage they cause. Complaints about who plays more; why I do not deserve a single toy for me?; it was nothing that I wanted. The wars that are generated between brothers, crying, parents headaches. Much negative. Forget the idea. It’s awful.

The sure bet is, good and personalized gifts. Putting this much attention, understanding, caring and acceptance. And even now the parents can also play with the children and the few good gifts offered to them, instead of staying hours looking at the television screens.

It is relevant to the family to organize a more balanced distribution of Christmas gifts. It also helps that everyone is inside. Parents offer that special toy and the other family members offer useful things (do not enter the scheme of “my gift has to be the best”). But careful attention to the boycotts. There are many people who will persist in the old scheme to flood the other with gifts. Perhaps because they can not show their love for others in another way.


1 – Two or Three Gifts.

Buy a few gifts, but apply yourselves to choose the ones that are meaningful to your children. Do not buy anything just because it’s fashionable (unless that is important for your child) or because it is expensive. for children it hardly matters.

2 – Forget Ideas: A Gift for Two Brothers? No way.

Do not buy a gift for two brothers (just because they like the toy). Will cause many fraternal wars and headaches for everyone. And unhopefully some psychological trauma.

3 – Explain to Children Why They Should Have Few Gifts.

Explain to more old children (who already know that Santa Claus does not exist) that it costs “hard to gain” money and that money is important to buy important things for living (food, clothing) and only after that you can buy gifts, but only some. To younger children say that Santa Claus has to give presents to all children of the world so it can not give a lot to each child. And stay up here. You dont have to explain mora than that (because the child will not understand).

4 – Set an example.

The money does not fall from heaven, and as such, must demonstrate to your children that much effort is required to earn it. If children perceive that parents are spending, are unlikely to learn to save. If parents are wasteful, consumerist but then tell their children that they can not have more gifts because they have no money, the message stuck out. Because what the children will follow is the parents’ behavior. And not wath parents say.

5 – Playing. Playing. Playing.

Enjoy these days of celebration and play with your kids, you will see you will give them sutch a joy that no additional lots of toys can. Children like to feel loved and will feel it when parents play with them. “Get in” in the fantasy of your child. Forget reality (just in playng time). Children know the reality bu they like fantasy (they live here. Remember?). Parents always say “but look the cars do not fly”. Well I say in the playing activity they may very well fly. And much more …

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Este é o site Oficial de Vasco Catarino Soares. Psicólogo, Neuropsicólogo e Psicoterapeuta. O Dr. Vasco Catarino Soares é colaborador e entrevistado frequente em diversos meios de Comunicação Social e irá partilhar com todos os interessados essas suas colaborações. A sua experiência como psicoterapeuta facultou-lhe um seguro conhecimento dos mecanismos emocionais e comportamentais do ser humano. É esse conhecimento que vai aqui partilhar consigo.

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