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What Your Child Really Wants For The Holidays

Parenting During the Holidays

The Holidays are here! Ahhhhhhh! (That was a scream of desperation, LOL). Like any other parent, you are probably wondering how you are going to get everything done for these holidays, and what to get your child, and how many gifts is enough, fair, or appropriate.

You might be looking at the catalogs in the mail, checking websites to see what they recommend and even get your kids to write a letter to Santa to figure out what to get for your child.

What if I tell you that there is one gift you can give your child that is free and that they would prefer over any other gifts, even if it is an Xbox, PS4 or any other amazing toy out there?

Are you ready for this?



As a family counselor and a mom, I see time after time, that attention is the one thing children want and even demand the most from their parents.

From the moment our child is born, he wants our attention. Initially, attention is about survival: not being able to eat or protect them from really anything. As our children get older and more independent, attention becomes less about survival and more about obtaining emotional safety. Children understand the world through the filter we create as parents, so they eagerly want to learn how to live in this world through our guidance. A key component of guidance is face-to-face time because the best way children learn is through mimicking our behavior and then through structure and discipline.

So here are some good ideas to gift your child your “attention” during these holidays:

  • Give them an envelope filled with “passes” to hang out with you. Describe in each pass for how long the “hang out” will be, as well as other criteria such as when it can happen (weekends only, Thursday night, etc.) and other stipulations such as money that can be spent, among other.

  • “Hire” your child to create a new family tradition for the upcoming year, such as movie night, arts and crafts, board game night, dinners as a family, or a family getaway. Create a contract and stuff it in an envelope.

  • Write a Holiday Card to your child telling him or her how much it means for you to spend time with him and how you appreciate every moment you had with him through the year. Mention how you would like to have more time together. These words will mean the world to your child!Buy toys that can be played as a family and write a note on the toy indicating that you will play with them throughout the year.

  • Above all, whatever promises you make to your child about spending more time together, make sure you promise something you can keep up with. If there are any changes due to unforeseen situations, make sure to address them with your child and try to make it up somehow. Children hold promises, especially those from their parents, to a very high standard.

Check out this video that IKEA put together. They present in a very enlightening way how children honestly want more dinners with their parents, play time, and outings.

Marriage and Family Therapist

To the Success of Your Family!

Happy Holidays,

Your Therapy Friend,


This article was featured on, a destination website to get the South Florida scoop.

Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships, in her private practice, located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: and follow her on Facebook at:

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