In 1983, otherwise sane adults pushed and shoved each other to snag their child a Cabbage Patch doll. Many years later, we all heard a lot of Tickle Me Elmo, Elmo TMX.  Children had to have this little, laughing, red fur ball.  Last year, many moms and dads slept out in the rain to get the coveted $600 PlayStation3, which, by the way, has since had a major price cut.

From Elmos to iPods, every year there are hot new must-haves.

And every year there are plenty of parents raiding the stores at 5 a.m. on Black Friday to get them, and everything else on their children’s long wish lists.

"It’s all spelled out, exactly what I’m supposed to buy," said Barb Roy.

She loves her children. They’re going to love what mom got them for Christmas.

"Oh this is it. When this list is fulfilled, we’re done," Roy said.

She wants to get everything on the list. However, many parents know that if you let them make a list, they keep on listing and listing. And many parents keep on buying and buying.

Who doesn’t like to thrill their children though, right?

"Before I go in the store, I think I’m only going to buy three things. And when I’m in the store, I think my son would love this and he would love this, and it’s hard not to buy the gifts," said shopper and mother Janelle Fulton.

"I think it’s not worth it," said Dr. Ellie Brown, a psychology professor at West Chester University.

She said the problem isn’t necessarily spoiled children.

It’s the parents who kind of feed into the idea they have to get them tons of material things each year.

"Our society sends parents the message, if you don’t give your child a particular thing, you’re not a good parent.

You are a good parent. You don’t need to buy your child a particular toy to be a good parent," Brown said.

"We kind of see what they need and what they want and, you know, take it from there, but certainly don’t go crazy," said Bruce Bassett, of Berwyn.

So here are some suggestions for you:

-Set a budget and stick to it.
-Buy children gift cards so they can see just how far their money gets them.
-Maybe get your children tickets to an event that the whole family can enjoy together.
-Explain to the children that you or Santa can’t get them everything.

And then there’s this great suggestion Fulton gave us: Instead of a long open-ended list, she has her son pick three things out of his favorite toy catalog.

Even her 5-year-old understands prioritizing.

"He’ll look through the catalog and say, ‘I want this. I want this. I want this.’ And he wants everything, so it gets him to really look at the items and decide which three he likes better than all the rest," Fulton said.

Above all, Brown says don’t overlook the gifts you don’t need to buy.

"Children need their parents’ attention. They need their parents’ support and love, to know their parents are behind them. They don’t actually need all the material things," Brown said.

Via: Local News