NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the holiday season underway there are a lot of kids out there who are expecting a lot of presents. There are also a lot of parents who are wondering how they can avoid drama when their children don’t get everything that they want.

“They are not going to get everything that they want. They put it on the list and what they get is what they get,” parenting expert, Denise Albert of, told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu on Wednesday.

Albert suggests making it clear that the list is good all year round, so if they don’t get something for the holidays it may pop-up on their birthday.

Experts told CBS 2 that parents should not be afraid to say “no” to their children.

“Children will put everything out there, float it out there and see what they can eventually get. Kids can actually take no for an answer,” said Psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Gardere.

Parents are always teaching life lessons, according to Gardere, and giving them too much could spoil them.

“So many of our kids are so spoiled because we give them everything or we try to. They think that’s what the world is going to be about,” he explained.

Some parents told CBS 2 that a hardline approach is the best answer.

“I would just say I don’t want to hear it. Go over there until you get over it, and then they’d come back and say ‘I’m sorry’, and that’s it,” said Mary Svitak, mother of five and grandmother of 12.

Other parents make sure that their children earn their gifts.

“We go through their toys and they choose three things that they feel they’ve either outgrown or that they don’t really use as often, and we donate it,” Heather Trait said.

The lesson has sunk in with Trait’s son, Duncan.

“It doesn’t matter if you get presents because it’s only about sharing and being nice to other people,” Duncan explained.

Parenting experts said that the best approach is to teach children to be gracious and grateful during the holidays.

What are you doing to manage your child’s expectations? Let us know in our comments section below…


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