Holiday Gift Giving: Are Your Kids Less Than Thankful?
We’ve all seen kids rip right through their presents on their birthdays or during the holidays—and then be less than appreciative when they see what they’ve gotten. Often, they’re even a little bit down at the end of it, and feel like it’s all over too soon. This makes parents crazy, because typically, we’ve gone to a lot of trouble and expense to make our kids happy.
How can you teach your kids to appreciate what they get?
- What are the magic words? Teach your kids to say “thank you” from an early age. While it may seem insignificant, the simple act of saying thank you forces us to pause and acknowledge what someone else has done for us. It’s a great habit to get into—and it’s never too late to start if you haven’t been vigilant thus far with your kids about manners.
- Pre-holiday talk: During the holidays, talk with your kids ahead of time about presents and gift-giving. Let them know that people worked really hard to get presents for them. Parents and family members do this because they love their kids. Tell your child what an appropriate response is, even if they don’t like what they’ve been given or are disappointed. You can say that sometimes there’s a little bit of let down after all the presents have been opened, but that isn’t an excuse to be unappreciative or in a bad mood.
- Walk the walk. I recommend that you really work on modeling good behavior all year long. Show your appreciation and encourage your kids to show their appreciation, as well. Say thank you to each other and to other adults. Let’s face it, no one really wants to feel like we’re being taken for granted.
- Teach empathy: One way for kids to learn to be thankful is to get them involved in helping others. As a family, you can donate food to food pantries, give a gift to an underprivileged child, or make cookies for a neighbor. The act of giving to others teaches kids empathy, and also how to be more appreciative when gives something to them.