Parents under pressure
For many parents, Christmas is anything but a contemplative feast. In terms of children’s wishes, Christmas means for them to go beyond the limits of what is financially feasible. After all, 30 percent of all interviewed parents admitted in the survey that they are overburdening their household budgets in order to meet the expectations of the children.
In the age group of 18- to 34-year-olds the result was even more devastating. In this age group, there are 52 percent, who fall under the social pressure downright in a debt risk. Do not spill, paddle, it says in many homes. The children can not understand that everything is not always possible and are ultimately the victims, if in their social environment evidently “all the more” found gifts under the Christmas tree.
Of the parents who were under this social pressure, ultimately 82 percent have given in to avoid the disappointment of their offspring. After all, 25 percent of this group had to borrow money for it, or take the credit line. Especially in residential areas with a relatively high income, it becomes critical for children from less well-to-do families. The parents’ fear of being labeled or exposing the child to forms of bullying favors the yielding.
Brand clothing is still high on the list of gifts at 31 percent, which threatens to break the budget. In second place are video games and game consoles with 26 percent. Products from this segment, or more generally from the digital sector, come first with parents when it comes to getting the money “out of the bag”. At least, many parents admitted that.
Third place with 25 percent share brand shoes and travel. Computer ranked fourth with 24 percent and mobile phones, more status symbol than telephone, nevertheless gained 23 percent.
Apart from digital toys, little has changed in the last 30 years. Anyone who does not get any branded clothing during the year hopes for Christmas before they can keep up with their clothes.
Social networks are not entirely innocent
Unfortunately, the study did not follow up on whether parents are shopping for gifts to the same extent, or whether the statement that the children’s wishes are very expensive is only a protective claim.
It is also undisputed that pressure is also being built up with and through social media. Of the respondents, 24 percent said they were seduced by social media to consume more than was necessary or even possible.
However, this fact does not only affect the pre-Christmas period, but is valid throughout the year. In this context, the survey brought to light another circumstance that also makes the clients of the survey think. In 2017, 41 percent of Germans interviewed considered it normal to buy a TV or a car on credit. In 2016 it was still 35 percent and in 2015 even only 20 percent. Doubling the number of people for whom a loan is something completely natural carries risks.
The variety of payment options seduces to buy even low-priced things on credit, which may end up in over-indebtedness. Even though borrowing is an engine for our economic growth, the dangers can not be eliminated.
How to deal with the overly expensive wishes of children?
If four out of five friends want and get the latest toys, but it’s not affordable, it’s hard to explain it to an eight-year-old kid.
One approach is for children to learn over the year to fulfill their wishes about pocket money. The realization that they can only spend the money that they have, then can also be transferred to the wish list. The sentence “everyone else has that too” with the statement “if everyone jumps from the roof, do you jump then?” Is not very effective.
It is also important to explain to teenagers in particular that so-called influencers, who subtly offer products on Youtube and Twitter, do not do so out of good nature. The desire to arouse the onlookers, the followers, the need to buy the advertised product, so that one feels as good as the influencer, are based on hard-hitting financial interests. This realization is to convey to the young people.