What you shouldn't buy your kids for Christmas


This is a special feature from my mother, Beth Wechsler, LICSW.

Even when it's not the holidays, we're awash in consumer goods both practical and frivolous. It's hard enough to decide on a thoughtful and useful gift for someone, much less your children. Here are four toys now on the market that you don't have to think twice about skipping:

  • An electric bicycle for your 6-year-old. Just what American children need, one more activity they can do without moving.

  • Bratz dolls -- buy one get one free this week at K-Mart. Unless your daughter is in training to be a hooker, one Bratz doll is too many.

  • Mattel's I Can Play Guitar System. Playing an instrument isn't an instant event. Why reinforce our immediate gratification culture?

  • My personal favorite, The Polly Rocket Race to the Mall (I kid you not) playset. You pay $29.99 plus tax so that your children can be reminded on Christmas morning to hurry back to the mall.