questionswhat's a normal amount to spend on a child's…

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vote-for7vote-against

It depends. I spent roughly $200 on my child. I look at his gift list and between Santa, me and the missus, and grandparents, and he should be pleased at punch on Christmas morning.

I don't know that there's a dollar amount that is best; I just went with what felt right as a parent, and some of the more expensive gifts are secretly co-gifts for him to enjoy with me or with the missus specifically anyway. He may have a bit too much. But he's an only child and the only grandchild so far, so he gets a bit of a boost from all of that.

vote-for7vote-against

In terms of the tablet, I think there's worry about the kids getting into the much-bemoaned "digital divide" if they're not started on computing systems early these days. Back in my (our, probably, given the legos reference) it was rare to have access to real technology as a child. Now it's common enough that not providing it is perceived as putting them at a disadvantage.

But, ask yourself this, what skills do they really learn from what's essentially more expensive picturebooks and fingerpaint? Seriously, I'm curious what people think on that. It's not like most people would want to let them have unfettered web access at that age. I suppose the one real strength would be things like languages where coupling multiple media types would help with uptake.

vote-for6vote-against

I splurged on the digital gifts this year and it is a little sickening. My wife keeps telling me we have to do it, but I just don't quite get it.

I didn't have my first video game system until I was 7 (Atari 7800 - still got it) even though they had been out for a long while. I had to buy my NES with my own money when I was about 11.

I just don't see the constant deluge of video streams and games being of any value to my kids in the long run. They'll figure it out in due time. They are clever like that.

So anyway, $150 each for the 3DS with Mario Something 3D preloaded, and some Hotwheels tracks (some princess stuff for my girl) and Hex Bug stuff...about $250 each?

What do I know? (whadda wine-o)

vote-for7vote-against

My observations:
1) Parents are increasingly focusing their resources on child-rearing. There's a sense that "investing" in a young child (technology, lessons/activities, education) is necessary from a young age in order to produce a child who will get into a top college. In addition, there appears to a cultural shift towards measuring the merit of an adult based on their child-rearing rather than the adult's own accomplishments, which increases the pressure on parents.
2) Friends tell me that despite attempts to keep their child from technology, the choices become: avoid having any smartphone/tablet/laptop in the house, sacrifice one's own device, or have a device for little ones. This seems worse with toddlers than kids, which makes sense developmentally.
3) A one-time cost of $135 on an expandable device that grows with a child doesn't seem outlandish to me if a family has food, shelter, etc. Future gifts of new programs won't be as expensive as the initial cost.

vote-for6vote-against

$20 when I was a kid in the 70's is like $100+ today.

As for amount per kid/gift, it depends on how much the parents make... if the family income for a family of 4 is $30,000, that's a totally different situation for a family of 4 that brings home $100K... most of the time that second family will spend more per kid.

Some young kids are ready for a tablet, some aren't.

vote-for7vote-against

It really does depend on the parent's means, but there is a lot of emphasis on "edutaining" our youth these days, to which I don't subscribe (e.g. no TV, regulated Internet, etc. Go outside and play, ya mooks!)

When I was but a mere yoot, I didn't get too much for Christmas, because my parents didn't have the means. I had relatives who were showered, however. Six-million dollar man, Alien doll (yes, it was awesome), then the video games started; Atari 2600, Intellivision, Vectrex, Colecovision, Atari 5200, etc....
I saved my money and bought a computer instead. (TI-994A, baby!)

j5 j5
vote-for6vote-against

FWIW, my son shares in my iPad. He operates it well and I want him to be technology-literate in a world increasingly reliant on such devices. There was a period where we first got it and he wanted to play with it all the time, but as he is introduced to new things, it has moved to the background. I predict he will play with his Star Wars LEGOs far more than his video games this Christmas.

vote-for2vote-against

I don't have kids but I spend about $50-$60 on each of my nephews (ages 12 and 9 this year). Their parents spend probably around $100-$150 each/$200-$300 combined. The higher end years the family (mostly the kids) got a Wii. Some years the kids get electronics (digital camera, iPod, etc). They both got Kindle Fire's for their birthdays this year. Some years it's big Lego sets. Mostly, between their parents, me, my parents and their dad's family, they make out like bandits. They were the only kids/grand kids until about three years ago and they're still the only boys. So, yeah, they're spoiled. But it's fun to spend the rest of my Christmas vacation playing with all their new toys, "helping" them build their Lego sets, etc.

vote-for6vote-against

I spend about $100 each of my two kids. And their spouses. They're in their 30s. I spend about $75 on each grandchild (aged 9 through 23). But I can do that now. When my kids were young, the absolutely biggest splurge ever was a Commodore 64 for the two of them. And they always got clothes and books. They got more than some of their friends and less than some of their friends. It all depends on what you can afford.

vote-for4vote-against

I think $100 per kid is about right. If there are big purchases in store, they should be shared. Families should play games together (board games and electronic), and watch tv/movies together, not each one have their own personal screen. I'm not against technology, but hate to see it take away from family time. Nothing worse that going into a home and seeing mom, dad and 3 kids all playing games or watching movies on their own devices and not interacting with each other at all. Sad!!

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I think that a few well-chosen $20 gifts are better than one $100 gift.

vote-for4vote-against

I think giving children tablets for educational purpose is good.
But if they want the gadgets to just show off, then forget about it.
My 10 years old cousin asked my mom for a new iphone.
Mom was about to fulfill the request but I told her not to.
It's obviously not necessity.
Seriously, I think kids these days are just too spoiled.
(i'm in my 20's)

vote-for6vote-against

Its not about throwing a specific amount of money at your child. Be a good parent, make your children happy in the best ways that you know and can. I don't remember 95% of the gifts I got growing up but I do remember all of the great moments. Have a happy and safe holiday!