It’s no secret that gift-giving holidays and birthdays are big events on the kid calendar. The excitement of ripping into packages to find a much-desired toy or hobby item can move children into paroxysms of joy, just as opening a gift that they didn’t want can lead to complaining. These are just a sampling of the things that kids commonly say about the gifts they receive, and the typical reasons behind those comments.
- “I Already Have This!” – Children, especially small ones, may have difficulty understanding the nuances of certain social situations. Taught to always tell the truth, they don’t realize that it’s best to keep some things to themselves. Rather than expressing gratitude and mentally marking the package for return, youngsters may just blurt out what they perceive to be the problem.
- “Ugh, Clothes!” – With exceptions for budding fashionistas, most kids will turn up their nose in distaste when they open a beautifully wrapped package to discover an article of clothing. Because they can’t be played with, don’t perform any interesting tricks, and are likely to be itchy, uncomfortable or restrictive, gifts of clothing are most often popular with parents, but not greeted with much enthusiasm by the pint-sized recipients.
- “I Need Some Batteries!” – Flashing lights, noises and moving pieces are all things that make toys an eye-catching, engaging experience for kids. Unfortunately, everything that makes the toy appealing will usually require batteries to function. Being prepared with a small selection of common battery sizes before a function at which your children will receive presents will prevent any late-night store runs and tantrums from a thwarted child that was eager to test out his newest toy.
- “This Isn’t What I Asked For!” – Kids who have difficulty understanding the importance of grace and gratitude may bluntly state that a particular gift isn’t to their liking, much to the chagrin of her parents and the embarrassment of the one who presented the gift. Before any occasion that will include the exchange or receiving of gifts, it’s wise to coach children on how to gracefully handle the situation of being presented with an unwanted gift.
- “She Got More Than Me!” – Small children don’t always understand the concept of price equality, seeing only that a sibling or other relative has a larger pile of gifts than they do. Explaining that quantity isn’t always an indicator of quality can help to stave off some of this distress borne of confusion.
- “Can I Play With it Now?” – Gifts with small pieces, several components or requiring complex assembly are almost always the ones that kids simply can’t wait to play with. Choruses of pleas regarding the permissibility of taking a new toy out of the packaging before making it home will almost certainly meet your ears. Still, it’s best to explain the importance of being a polite guest, refraining from making an unwarranted mess in your hosts’ home and the likelihood of crucial parts being broken or left behind.
- “This is Just What I Wanted!” – Grateful kids or those that have been taught to greet each gift with sincere thanks and expression of appreciation will exclaim that everything they’re presented with is just what they wanted, regardless of whether or not the statements is patently true. For older children, this is a great opportunity to discuss the ambiguities of “white lies” as a social nicety as well.
- “Thank You!” – Every gift that your child receives should be accompanied by a sincere, heartfelt expression of thanks, regardless of its quality or level of desirability. Choosing gifts, especially those likely to be exciting to a child, on a budget resulting from a struggling economy, is almost impossible. Kids should be taught to understand that each gift given to them was chosen and presented with care, and cost the giver time and hard-earned money.
The commercial and advertising culture directed at children can make them a bit more focused on material goods than a parent would like. Unfortunately, kids’ favorite shows and programming are paid for by those advertisers and are, as such, unavoidable during live broadcasts. Opting for a DVR with commercial-skipping capabilities or sticking with videos are a great way to keep your kids entertained during allotted screen time, especially if you’re already battling problems with graciousness or gratitude.
This has been a guest post submitted by Sara Dawkins on behalf of Nanny Pro.
Image source: PR Log