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Counter the Holiday Buying Mania

Girl hugging stuffed animal

​​​Having fun together is a huge factor in healthy family relationships. Take some time this holiday season to forget about what you have to do and what your children want you to buy them. If you fear your children are succumbing to the advertising blitz that tells them they really do want all that "stuff," then it's time to try some marketing maneuvers of your own.

There's a little kid in all of us, but some adults have trouble letting that little kid out to play. Playing ​is serious business; it teaches valuable lessons about life. Sharing, respecting others, taking responsibility, following rules, accepting defeat, and being gracious in victory all are serious lessons that can be taught in a fun environment. The child who has not learned how to play is missing out on one of life's greatest treasures.

It is important to set aside some time each day for a sport, a board or word game, or some other fun activity. Let's look at some ways to have fun with younger children. Here are a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless: 

  • Play catch.
  • Give piggyback rides.
  • Have races.
  • Draw designs in the snow.
  • Play Charades
  • Make up your own game as a family - the sillier, the better.

It is important to remember that family fun doesn't have to cost anything; in fact, you should teach kids that they don't have to go to an amusement park, movie, video arcade or fun center to play and have fun. Parents who feel they have to entertain their kids with expensive toys or activities are missing the point. The fun should center around enjoying one another's company, regardless of what you're doing.

Don't underestimate the value of having fun together. The family that plays together stays together. Record your child's favorite memories in the I Lik​e Holidays! ​book from the Boys Town Press.​​