November 25, 2020
Ever wonder if there is a "perfect" number of gifts to give our kids at Christmas?
Here are a few of the reasons we’ve settled on the 5 Gift Rule for our family:
Research suggests that there is a tipping point where more toys actually makes kids overwhelmed and less happy.
In a recent study at the University of Toledo, Ohio, researchers found that when given only a few toys to play with, toddlers “played with each for twice as long, thinking up more uses for each toy and lengthening and expanding their games, allowing for better focus to explore and play more creatively—qualities that benefit children in the long term.”
The research also shows that children who have fewer material possessions, but positive relationships with parents and peers, score higher on self-esteem assessment tests. They also have fewer behavior problems and demonstrate more resilience in the face of obstacles than kids with overindulging parents.
Research from the University of Missouri has shown that “children who expect many and expensive gifts can suffer negative social and emotional ramifications that extend well beyond their childhood,” predisposing them to addictive behaviours like gambling and compulsive shopping.
The research also suggests that giving your child too many toys can lower their self-esteem if they define themselves by what they have, and not who they are.
Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, recently reported that a new study published in The Journal of Infant Behavior and Development shows that, “young children who play in environments with fewer toys tend to display sustained levels of attention, increased imagination, perception, cognition, and motor coordination.” and that, “fewer toys may allow for deeper, sophisticated play, because of the opportunity to become creative with each object in the environment.”
Becker notes other benefits to kids having fewer toys:
Thinking about adopting a new 5 Gift tradition at your house this Christmas? Download the free PDF 5 Gift Wish List!