A Grandma Explains Why Giving Too Many Gifts May Harm Your Kids
Meet DeeDee, a TikTok-savvy grandma out to help new grandparents find their way. In one video that got people talking, she breaks down some studies to explain why going overboard with gifts and toys for our grandkids might not always be the way to go. This sparked a pretty heated debate in the comments, with parents and grandparents taking sides.
Her goal is to “teach” new grandparents to embark on this journey.
Becoming grandparents is an extraordinary and transformative journey, filled with a unique blend of joy, nostalgia, and newfound responsibilities. It’s an exciting shift from the role of parents to that of experienced, guiding figures. As grandparents, you get to relive the magic of childhood through the eyes of your grandchildren, creating priceless memories and lasting bonds.
DeeDee, a grown-up with a TikTok account named “MoreThanGrand,” has made it her goal to help new grandparents ease into their roles. She shares content aimed at helping grandparents support and connect with parents while they raise their cherished grandchildren. However, a specific piece of her content didn’t sit right with many, as they felt she was taking things too seriously and pushing the boundaries a bit.
She explained how giving kids too many gifts could actually be detrimental to them.
Deedee chooses to not always bring gifts for her grandchildren when she visits them, despite residing in a different area and only seeing them a few times a year. She made this decision early in her role as a grandmother for several reasons. Firstly, she understood that her grandkids were already surrounded by a surplus of belongings, and she wanted to respect their parents’ desire to maintain a clutter-free home.
However, the primary driving force behind her choice was her desire for her grandkids to appreciate her visits for who she was, rather than what material things she brought along. Deedee hoped for her grandchildren to eagerly look forward to her arrival, offering warm smiles and affectionate embraces, instead of hurrying to inquire about the contents of her suitcase.
In her video, Deedee, widely explains the reasons, supported by studies, why too many gifts are not always the right choice for grandkids. “Studies have shown that kids who have fewer toys have more creative play and more sustained play. Getting too many gifts has been shown to increase self-destructive behavior,” she says, adding, “Your gifts make your grandchild happy, but while each of those gifts creates a temporary burst of happiness, they also create a hunger for more when they grow up.”
She continues, “Kids who have been continually showered with gifts are more prone to credit card debt, and compulsive shopping.” But she also clarifies, “Let me make it clear, that is all about too many gifts, no one is suggesting you don’t give your grandkids presents, I certainly give them to mine on special occasions, and to mark an important event, but gifts on every visit or multiple gifts on every occasion has the potential to do more harm than good.”
The woman received a divided response.
The woman clarified she didn’t always show up empty-handed when visiting her grandkids. Sometimes, she’d bring a book to read together during video chats or a board game to enjoy. Her focus was on giving attention and affection, and that’s what made her feel fulfilled.
Her grandkids running to greet her at the door, expressing how much they missed her, meant more to her than any gifts. This sparked a debate online about loving grandkids without relying on presents.
Opinions varied on her approach. Some praised her simplicity, but others felt she was going too far. Some users believed that giving gifts is a genuine way to express love, with one commenter sharing, “I had a grandma like you describe to be, I thought of her as miserly,” arguing that small bites of appreciation can be meaningful, especially after a long absence. They emphasized, “After all, it’s the thought that counts.”
Many believed it didn’t have to be an either-or situation. “I live across the street and still take him something”, another user said. They pointed out, “It’s okay to be both present in your grandchildren’s lives while occasionally showering them with simple gifts,” or, “My granddaughter has tons of toys, she still is so creative and makes fishing poles out of sticks. It’s how you play and interact.”
Despite the various approaches to this journey, grandparents would do whatever it takes to make their grandchildren happy.