They don´t like their presents. Now what?
January 7, 2016  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

It´s been a wonderful Christmas holiday and a fabulous winter break. But some days have also been hectic and perhaps even stressful. Between leaving things at work sorted, attending the kids´ winter performances at school, decorating the house, cooking and organizing activities with the kids as well as struggling to buy them their gifts, have left you running on empty. That’s why, the last thing you expected was to watch their disappointed faces when they opened their presents on Christmas day. Obviously, they didn´t like them or they didn’t think they were enough. If this is your case, here is a list of possible reasons and tips on how to best manage this situation.

Reason #1. They haven´t learned what gratitude is.

We know it´s important to educate our kids with values such as honestly, empathy and gratitude, among others. Just like we suggested in this post, gratitude is a feeling as well as an attitude and according to recent scientific discoveries, led by the Greater Good Science Centre, this feelings or quality blocks toxic emotions, reduces stress and boosts our self-esteem. If gratitude is still on your list of things to do, we suggest you read out post to learn how. If you need one more excuse, how about this? People who show gratitude are considerably happier – 25% more – than those who are not grateful.

Reason #2. They haven´t learned what solidarity is.

Scientific investigations, like the one we wrote about here, led by the University of Michigan, proved that the positive effects of being generous incudes a boost of our physical and mental health as well as our self esteem and it promotes longevity and reduces stress. Being generous goes hand in hand with solidarity and empathy, two necessary qualities to make kids understand that other realities do exist, and they learn to appreciate what they have and enjoy giving to others.

The definition says it all: the capacity to give to others. And not just material things but feelings as well. So, in order to be solidary, one must cultivate acceptance, generosity, empathy and tolerance.


Reason #3. They´ve seen you do it.

It all starts at home. We know that children are like sponges. They absorb and imitate everything they see. If they´ve witnessed you behaving with kindness and generosity towards others, they will lead by example. Watching you give up a seat on the bus to an elderly man or opening a present and feeling thankful, are simple everyday acts that show empathy. Kids will only learn how to be grateful if you are.

Reason #4. Promises and expectations.

There are parents who feel tempted to use Christmas gifts to encourage kids to behave. But a recent study urges them to avoid this type of bad habit. Using gifts to prize them for good behaviour or not buying them something to punish kids have a negative impact. Experts recommend being very careful when we speak to our children about gifts, promises and expectations. If your son or daughter asked you if Santa was going to give them what they asked for, for example, what did you say?

If you´d like to know how to manage their ungratefulness, read the reasons described above and don´t hesitate to access the links we´ve highlighted here.

You can also deviate their attention by doing the following activity: Let´s make a present for someone we love/like. What shall we make? Surely there are important people in their day-to-day life that deserves a little handmade gift. Get fun ideas here. That way you´ll have a great time being creative while they learn to be generous and value what they have.

Did your children like their gifts? Share your comments with us!

Photo Credits: Shutterstock



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