22/11/2012 09:43 GMT | Updated 21/01/2013 05:12 GMT

With Christmas Approaching Do We Spoil or Educate Our Children?

Are our kids too spoiled? Or are we doing the right thing?

Christmas is coming, that joyful time of year where we all groan at our diminishing bank balance. Those with children will know all too well how expensive this time of year can be, in fact any time of year when there are kids involved! SurveySeat recently did a survey in the UK to find out if we really spoil our children, or if we are doing them some good!

Too much spent on toys?

SurveySeat undertook a survey of 1,000 people for Annabelle's Toy shop to find out exactly how much people were willing to spend on their children, or other people's children! Factors were taken into account such as the age of the person's child, or if they had any other children in their life they bought toys for. Those with kids said they spent between £100 and £1,000 on toys every year! Those without were still spending up to £100 on nieces, nephews and even their friend's children. Even though we are currently facing an economic crisis in the UK, it seems as though the kids are alright! The truth is, many people see toys as a necessity. Without them, there is no way you would be able to get the dinner done in peace. Never mind trying to do the laundry!

So, kids are spoilt?

Nearly all of the SurveySeat survey participants agreed that children were spoilt nowadays, with many of the older generations saying that it was not like that in their day. The fact is, children get what they want in order for us adults to have an easier life. Many parents said they felt they spoilt their children because it was too hard to say no! A lot of them also blamed marketing companies, TV adverts and even toy companies themselves making toys far too 'needed'. The 'collect them all' phase started when many young parents were entering adulthood, so it is something that really passed a lot of us by. Now, children want the latest, the greatest and the whole collection, no matter what!

Could we be doing the right thing though?

A really interesting twist on the survey was when participants were asked if they thought the toys they bought their children actually helped with their child's development. Most of the people asked, whether they had kids or not, said they thought toys were a good way to help children learn. With all of the latest gadgets that can teach kids how to read, write and do sums, we could actually be doing the right thing. Of course, showering your children with the latest 'Moshi Monster' cards is not necessarily going to make a difference, but buying the right toys can. There are plenty of toys that will actually help a child's development, whether they be a toddler or starting secondary school.

The fact is, our children are much more spoilt than we were, or our parents and grandparents were too. The good thing is though, instead of being spoiled with toys that are useless (anyone remember ball in a cup?) these more modern toys can actually improve our children's development. We may not need to cut down on what we spend, but actually look at what we are buying. Next time you go shopping for gifts have a proper look around the shops and see whether you can spoil your child whilst teaching them at the same time. They'll never know the difference!