Too Many Presents for Children Could Lead to Materialistic Attitudes in Adulthood

Too Many Presents for Children Could Lead to Materialistic Attitudes in Adulthood

Research from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that parents who pamper their children with too many gifts could be molding them into materialistic adults with behavioral issues.  Children who were raised with significant material incentives are more prone to marital problems, financial debt, gambling and decreased well-being as adults.

The study consisted of a survey of more than 700 adults who were asked about their childhood circumstances, the incentives they received during three crucial stages of childhood, and their relationship with their parents.  The results indicate that those children who received substantial material rewards from their parents continue to reward themselves in this fashion as adults.

According to the findings, children raised with a material rewards system tend to define their lives (and others’) by the quality and quantity of the material goods they own.  They are inclined to think that they are more or less attractive and successful by their possessions, leading them to believe that the only way to enhance themselves is through the procurement of goods.

However, materialistic adults not only spawn from overly doting parents, but they are also products of perceived parental rejection.  Those who felt that their parents were disengaged, did not have time for them or were disappointed in them were more inclined to be materialistic.

Although the desire to buy presents for one’s beloved children is completely understandable, it is equally important to encourage them to be thankful for the people and things they already have in their lives.  Instead of putting the focus on material goods, parents should stress gratitude and, by extension, generosity.  In doing so, children become less materialistic and more aware of how fortunate they are.

This post was the summary of the article , Bad news for kids: Too many Christmas presents can lead to gambling debts, marital problems and unhappiness in later life, researchers warn.