How To Teach Kids To Appreciate Awful Gifts

Nothing is too horrific for a parent than watching her or his child toss a gift away because "it ain’t cool" within earshot of the giver. What would you do then, if you were in this pickle? You can’t pretend nothing is wrong. These tips will teach you how to carry on when the problem mocks you in the face.

Tricky Gifts and Award Winning Acting

Remember the times when you received gifts you hoped you wouldn’t get? Or the time you gave your partner a picture frame instead of the personalized Zippo lighter he wanted? That’s how it is with gift-giving and receiving.

When it’s time to open the gifts, both the giver and recipient go through some sort of torture. The giver wants to make sure the gift isn’t a bummer, and the receiver wants to keep a straight face when the gift yields a dud. As an adult, you can draw on your acting experience to keep a straight face and blurt thank you with the enthusiasm of a presidential hopeful winning the primaries. But how about your kids?

Instead of drilling into their heads that they should hold their tongue when they get lousy presents, give them some exercises that will help them understand why they should always make a show of good manners.

Show, Don’t Just Tell

When your tyke is invited to a birthday party, let him or her know that you have to get a gift. Encourage him to choose the gift. Discuss the possibilities of what the birthday celebrant would love to have, but give the early warning that the gift must be within a budget.

Ask your child if he’d like to make the celebrant happy with his gift. Would he or she be happy if the receiver loves the gift? It is startling that, at a young age, children already love to give gifts that please. You bet, they will always choose something they want to have and they always end up wanting to have the same thing.

Let the child choose the gift wrapping and scrawl his name on the gift card. It gives them a sense of accomplishment to choose everything, from the gift to the ribbon. When the time comes, watch his excitement when his gift is about to be opened. The anxiety will be palpable. The pleasure of his gift-giving outmatches the joy he feels when the gift is wildly appreciated.

At home, ask him what would he have done if his or her friend said it aloud that the gift wasn’t nice? Of course, he’ll be embarrassed and unhappy, and he wouldn’t want to go to the friend’s birthday party ever again. Take this chance to teach him why it is important to keep his opinion of the gifts he receives to himself. He’ll see the point.

But if your little one is indeed too little to understand things like this, you can always do any of the following:

* Stay beside him and be alert to the type of gifts he usually won’t like.

* Have more games until everybody forgets about the opening of the gifts.

* Prepare to hustle the kid to the kitchen to wash off the goo from his hands before he or she hollers anything that would offend sensibilities and keep on talking fast. Don’t give him a chance to open his mouth.

* Scoop him up on the pretext that you suddenly remembered you have to call his grandma before it’s too late. Smile warmly and tell him/her "Oh honey, we’ve got to call grandma quick!" that will give a reprieve before the words come tumbling from his little mouth.

One tip – always swoon with pleasure when your child gives you a surprise, even if it’s a toad or a lizard. That is if you don’t faint first.

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