Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
3 minute read
18 Dec 2019
9:00 am

Avoid emotional meltdowns while shopping this Christmas

Karabo Mokoena

Christmas shopping does not have to be a painful experience.

Kristina Watts went viral after she shared an amazing shopping hack on her Facebook page.

Watts has a 10-year-old daughter, Emerson. She took her to do her annual Christmas shopping recently and this Washington mom, like a lot of parents, had dozens of demands from her daughter.

She wanted every gift in the store.

Watts had to think on her feet and came up with a genius idea.

Telling her daughter to put the gifts back down would only aggravate the tantrum. So, she thought of something else. Watts took her phone and started taking photos of every gift her daughter wanted.

Her daughter would pose in front of the camera while mom took these pictures. The idea behind these pictures was beyond adorable.

Watts told her daughter that she would send all these pictures to Santa. This way, Santa would know exactly what she wanted this Christmas as a gift.

Her Facebook post was shared 54,000 times with over 32,000 comments. Parents across the world tried this, and a lot reported back to say the idea worked like a charm. Watts called it “magical” how Emmerson smiled for the camera and forgot about the gift a few minutes after.

Children have an amazing imagination, so why not use that imagination for good?

Her post had mixed feedback. Some thought it is a genius idea, whilst some parents thought it could be detrimental to the child. They were worried about the psychology of the kid. That amount of deception is not great. Particularly with regards to building trust between the child and parent. Does the parent ever see their promise through? Does the child ever get any of the gifts?

According to psychologist Benedict Mhlongo, Watts is teaching her child a valuable lesson. This is a lesson of delayed gratification. According to Mhlongo, “demonstrating positive parental skills is essential in rearing children that are within their inquisitive stages of development”.

“As per the case, the mother is implementing behavioural modification that exercises some level of delayed gratification. Having the child take pictures of her desired gifts to send to Santa delays the instant gratification that infers purchasing immediately at the store.”

The child’s imagination allows her to believe that Santa is real. Her trust in her mother allows her to smile for the camera and pose. There is no way mommy wouldn’t send these pictures to Santa. Watts spoke about how Emerson forgot about the toys she posed with 10 minutes prior. How many times have you purchased gifts your child threw a tantrum for, for them to get home and never use it?

When executed well, this could build a good character based on self-control. Children will also learn how to manage their expectations, Mhlongo said. They learn that in life, you do not get what you want at the very moment you want it.

It is also a nice way to save a couple of bucks every now and again.

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