You have visitors and they have bought your 6-year-old a bar of chocolate as a gift. Your child takes it but draws a long face and announces that he/she hates chocolates with nuts in them. You are embarrassed and your visitors feel sorry that they chose something that does not please your child.
Children are brutally honest and sometimes we like that about them. But it is important that as they grow older they learn social graces.
Teach your child how to receive a gift that they do not like.
- Say thank you. Whether you like it or not, say thank you.
- A lot of children find this very difficult to do when faced with the enormous disappointment of a bad gift. But tell your child that if you don’t like the gift use your imagination to see the spirit in which the gift was given. Gifts given as tokens of love, affection and friendship are precious because of the feelings behind it.
- Walk away before you are asked too many questions. Often enthusiastic grandparents or aunts and uncles will insist that your child immediately opens the gift and try it on or taste it. While we do not want our children to be rude, understand that you don’t want to train them to lie also. So teach them to politely deflect the request to a later time or simply accept the gift and take it out of the room.
Often at birthday parties, your child receives several gifts that he/she might never use or appreciate. Since most parents want their kids to open their gifts in privacy after the party is over, your child can be as honest as he/she wants about the gift. But remind your child that it is rude to confront their friend later about the kind of gift he/she gave.
What do you do with bad gifts?
- If your child doesn’t like something, keep it aside for a few days before he/she opens it up fully. Often, after the initial disappointment, your child might find he/she likes it.
- If your child has a number of gifts he/she doesn’t seem to show any interest in, consider re-gifting it within another circle of friends. Of course, make sure the gift is still perfectly new and unused.
- Sometimes family members buy your child perfectly good clothes that your mini-fashionista refuses to wear. In such cases, ask your friends if they would like to have it, or consider giving it to your maid or driver’s children.
- Give gentle feedback to people like grandparents and uncles or aunts who might repeatedly give gifts your child does not appreciate. Family members only want to express love through their gifts. They tend not to mind or get offended by any kindly meant feedback. Encourage them not to give gifts at all, but rather spend time with your child.
Today, thanks to the more materialistic ways of the world, our children have many occasions to get gifts. Birthdays, Diwali, Christmas and every vacation when family visits – these are times your child looks forward to with an innocently greedy gleam in their eye. Teach them to accept gifts with grace and gratitude.