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.