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Old 02-18-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
BensWife
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Anyone have tips on how to limit souvenirs?

I love to get souvenirs, and when it comes to my kids, I am a total softy when they want to get something. We have only taken a couple vacations since having kids, and usually I get them most of what they ask for. However, we just did our taxes and are not getting back as much as we were hoping. That means we need to be on more of a budget when it comes to souvenirs. So, how do I keep my kids from wanting everything and me from caving? If they were older, I would give them a gift card and say, "This is what you get. Spend it wisely." However, my kids will be 6 and 3 when we go. My 6 year old might get it, but he is still learning math in kindergarten and isn't able to really budget. He can understand that some things are cheaper than others, but my 3 year old. Forget it! He'll want everything! They do pretty well when we go shopping like at Target, but they always ask about getting toys. Sometimes our 3 year old will start crying if he doesn't get something, but never a full blown temper tantrum. We will occasionally get them something, but not usually. Grandparents - on the other hand - will get them almost everything they ask for. (But, that is another story for another day.) I guess we can try to avoid shops, but at the same time, I want them to have something. Do you have any tricks to help curb little ones wanting everything they see on vacation?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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We went with a 4.5 year old, a 2.5 year old, a 2 year old and a 16 month old. At the beginning of the trip we told our kiddos that we would only be buying 1 souvenir and we would only be doing that on the last day we were in the parks. They didn't ask for anything because we reminded them frequently and we also let them do the penny presses whenever we found one. My husband ended up buying them little things here and there (for all the kids - our three and our nephew as well) that they didn't even ask for.

We're going again next month and we're not going to be buying one big souvenir. We'll probably still pick up a few things here and there, but no big purchases. I've been buying a gift card at Target (5% off with my Red Card) every pay day so we'll have those to use. If it's gone, it's gone. (And that's for my husband, not the kids!)
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Not to sound harsh, but, just say no.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by butterfly71076 View Post
Not to sound harsh, but, just say no.
I guess that is what Daddy is for, right?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WDSearcher View Post

Another option is to buy a bunch of inexpensive Disney toys at the dollar store or one of the outlets.
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Not to sound harsh, but, just say no.
Agree with both of the above. You're not there to be their friend, you're there to be their parent Kids have to learn that life isn't fair.

Could you start now at home with both of them? Do they do chores that are linked to any sort of allowance? This is a great way for your older child to start learning more about budgeting and cost. Instead of linking it to a dollar amount, could you make some sort of "family buck" that you could then have them "Trade in" for a number of purchases based on the value of whatever they want to buy. You could do it for chores, grades, good behavior, etc. Whatever fits in your family values system.

Example

$25-$40 purchase= $8 family bucks
$10-$25 purchase- $4 family bucks
$0-$10 purchase- $2 family bucks

Then you can work with your older child on numbers, logical reasoning (if this toy is $30 at Disney, how many family bucks would you need to buy it). It also helps with showing the relationship between currencies.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by butterfly71076 View Post
Not to sound harsh, but, just say no.
2nd

tell them ahead of time what they are allowed to spend. We go to DTD the 1st night of our trip to unwind from travel. i give them $60 cash for example and tell them to use it wisely.

Then throughout the trip, I may splurge like the excellent father i am with surprises. but they know not to count on it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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I'm very much like you when it comes to Disney souvenirs and merchandise. Just have a hard time saying no to DD6 and DS3 mainly because I want the souvenirs for myself too! So for our trip last month, I instituted a "One souvenir a day at the end of the day rule". And it worked out very well for all of us. DD and DS would have all day getting chances to look at different things and usually by the mid-afternoon, they know exactly what they want. We would stop by a kiosk or gift shop as we near the end of our park day and get it for them. If they happen to find something else they want after the purchase, we would tell them that they should save it for tomorrow's souvenir.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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You are getting good suggestions here of allowing one thing at the end of the day. We found the 6YO could understand that too big and too expensive was out of the question and the 4YO went for relatively inexpensive things anyway.

I know people scoff at the idea of bringing dollar toy stuff, but for the kids, it's usually a good distraction. It's something new. It's not about a souvenier or remembrance of the trip for them. It's just a new toy.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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We'll be going for 10 days so I'm thinking of letting him get one souvenir every other day? LOL. If my 14 yr old wants ANYTHING, we'll get it for him. He's in the "cool" stage, says he doesn't want any disney clothing, etc..... so we might just end up giving him $$ when we get back.

I'm more trying to curb myself and DH. We want ornaments, antenna toppers, magnets, he wants a mickey band to replace the one he lost, I need scrapbook stuff, would love to get some kitchen accesories, and OH! We each get a really nice hoodie.... Don't forget the hats. Have to have mouse ears!!! .... and we have to have the night time light up spinner thingys .... and some treats to take home, would love a new disneyworld bag....

See? It's the adults in the family that go crazy overboard. But... we do have $750 disney gift cards saved up.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #10
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My kids never want to shop or beg for toys, but we usually tell them they'll get a toy on our last day.

Although there are the occasional occurrences of waiting in lines with horribly misbehaving children who are reeking havoc (climbing over railings, cutting through the lines chasing each other, going through multiple bars to see the Potato Head at TSM, trying to get our kids to join them, etc) and we have rewarded our kids for being so well-behaved and calmly standing and waiting to get to the front of the line - but those weren't promised rewards for good behavior, just surprises for them for being such good kids - they had no idea their manners would get them anything, so they loved it.

If we make it to DTD, they are allowed to pick out one thing there - but only one - and that can be from the Disney Store or Lego Store or wherever they want.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly71076 View Post
Not to sound harsh, but, just say no.
True.

You are the parents, they are the kids. Simple.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dan Murphy View Post
You are the parents, they are the kids. Simple.
Although that is the way I raised my own children, I no longer think that just pulling rank is the best way to handle things. I agree 100% that parents should set the rules and limits and stick to those.

However, I like the way today's parents are involving their children more and letting things be a learning experience. My children learned "respect your parents or else" and didn't question things.

As I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, I can see that letting kids in on why you have made certain decisions can be a good thing. Setting a pre-determined spending amount and talking to the kids about it is a long way from letting your kids walk all over you.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:38 PM   #13
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When our daughter (4yrs) sees something that she wants, she is allowed to 'put it on the list'.

1. She'll see some random $2 item and ask for it, and we simply say "ok, we'll put it on the (birthday/Chirstmas/etc) list!" She may walk down a toy aisle and point out a dozen things.

2. If it's something really special that we think she might actually remember, we'll get a cellphone picture of her standing next to it.

So we never really end up buying her anything while we're at the store, and we end up with a picture of the exact toy/trinket she is asking for her birthday... helps with Mommy/Daddy's bad memory.

This works really well for gifts. Not sure how well it will work w/ souvenirs.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by FortForever

Although that is the way I raised my own children, I no longer think that just pulling rank is the best way to handle things. I agree 100% that parents should set the rules and limits and stick to those.

However, I like the way today's parents are involving their children more and letting things be a learning experience. My children learned "respect your parents or else" and didn't question things.

As I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, I can see that letting kids in on why you have made certain decisions can be a good thing. Setting a pre-determined spending amount and talking to the kids about it is a long way from letting your kids walk all over you.
I don't think anyone's saying to just pull rank. Just that as parents you need to be parents, not their friend. It is one thing to involve kids in decisions. Giving them an option of 2 things instead of an open ended question. That always work well for us. But parents want to be cool and fun and think it will make their kids love them more. Then they complain their kids are bratty, ask for everything, are out of control and somehow think it is not their fault. Kids aren't born that way.

Some of the comments/suggestions are great. I don't think anyone goes to Disney with a "I will say no because I am the parent!!" every time. A plan is great for older kids but OP has a 3yr old and giving them a set amount gift card will NOT appease them. It is just delaying the temper tantrum until the card runs out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dan Murphy
You are the parents, they are the kids. Simple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
Although that is the way I raised my own children, I no longer think that just pulling rank is the best way to handle things. I agree 100% that parents should set the rules and limits and stick to those.

However, I like the way today's parents are involving their children more and letting things be a learning experience. My children learned "respect your parents or else" and didn't question things.

As I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, I can see that letting kids in on why you have made certain decisions can be a good thing. Setting a pre-determined spending amount and talking to the kids about it is a long way from letting your kids walk all over you.
I agree with this also, FF. I think things like this are great for learning experiences. I did it with my two, and doing it now with my 4 grandkids.

My thought was mostly addressing the OP's thoughts that she seemed at the end of her ropes with not being able to say "no" to her kids, or possibly, more importantly, not being able to say "no" to herself.
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