Christmas is the time for giving, and as parents make preparations to fulfill the wishes of their children…. have you stopped long enough to think about the impact of your gift?

What are you giving and how will it either help or hinder your child?

Here are the 5 worst gifts you can give your child:

1. Smart phone…smartphone over use has been firmly linked to social anxiety and is easily abused to accommodate text and online bullying.

2. Smart Pad …same as above

3. Fortnight (VR “interactive” Game)…leads to social isolation, high gaming addiction danger, inhibits learning real life social skills

4. Any video game which includes violent content and encourages virtual acts of cruelty or crime which in the real world would cause pain, suffering and criminal offence…argue the point if you like but the science is there to support that this type of exposure and interaction in the virtual world during formative years leads to distortion of human values and statistics firmly show a close relationship to mental health problems and even deviant behaviour in later life. Keep in mind we are not born with a healthy sense of wrong and right, this is learned during formative years

5. Mind or Mood altering substances….this may at first sound shocking. However the overuse of the above devices are now recognised by the medical establishment to lead to the same clinical picture as any addiction. Distorting the dopamine cycle and leading to ever greater dependence….Think about it

Ok now for 5 excellent alternatives you might like to consider:
At the heart of it are those vital ingredients needed to nourish your child and support your teenagers to develop a strong positive foundation for life.

1. A family trip or day out with a little magic, this one captures all age groups check out Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. Build those family bonds as well as having a great night out
https://dublinzoo.ie/wildlights/

2. Skills classes….Swimming classes, riding lessons and such like are a great gift option as they give your child a skill for life and promote personal feelings of success and achievement.

3. A family trip to an adventure Park …..succeeding together is great for building confidence and strengthening your bonds..you may be surprised how brave your child can be….it could be you needing their encouragement and support. Very empowering, gets those feelings of achievement and self-worth to take off like a rocket.

4. Concert Tickets …..Attending a live Gig is often one of the most memorable events for both children and teenagers…sound them out now about their favourites and pick one that is coming on tour soon……..under 18’s usually need to be accompanied by an adult. HOT TIP: Buy the tickets before you mention the star, as some events can sell out in seconds.

5. Good old fashioned Board Games.
Get the games and make games night a family event. Playing together on a regular basis strengthens bonds, builds good interpersonal skills, builds team spirit, and can help to keep channels of communication open between you and your children. There are many more benefits, to numerous to mention all but we are sure you get the general sense of spending time together. “A game is for life, not just for Christmas”

Bottom line is…think carefully about the gifts you give your young children and teenagers this Christmas.

I can’t remember who said it but it went something like this:
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Maybe in future your children will thank you for unfulfilled wishes.