A few weeks ago was Bubs’ birthday. To celebrate we had a birthday party with our friends and Bubs’ “adopted Uncles and Aunts”. We have always taught our children to say “thank you” when they receive something. We learned quickly that we have missed an important step.
Bubs had two presents to open. The first gift produced this comment “I already have one of these.” The second gift lead to “I don’t like this.” We wanted to fall into a hole in the floor. At least he was two for two!
I can’t place all of the blame on Bubs though. We have told him what to say when receiving a gift but we never discussed a way to handle a present that he didn’t necessarily want.
First and foremost – we do not want him to lie when he opens a present. The sinful heart of a child already has this instinct and we don’t need to help develop it. But we needed to role play how to handle a undesired gift.
Bubs and I came up with some things to say that would express a grateful heart. We talked about finding something in the gift that we did like – maybe the color or a feature of the object that was positive. You can even role play using really objects.
It is also helpful as the child opens a gift to give them suggestions of these positive features if you can see that they are really struggling. Many times those first impressions prove to be wrong for the child.
No matter what, make sure that the child creates “Thank You” cards to send to each person who gave a gift.
How do you prepare your child for gift opening?