Question: I just attended a friend's child's birthday
party and was shocked by the responses the child gave as he opened
his gifts. "I already have one of these." "This isn't
the one I wanted." After I was done judging this
"nasty" child, I suddenly realized that the holiday is fast
approaching, and realized my own daughter would be just as capable of
making some of these comments! How can I prevent this rudeness from happening?
Think about it: Children are not born knowing how to
politely respond to gifts, and in their childlike honesty can say
some pretty rude things. The easiest way to prevent this is through teaching.
Teach: Have a training session prior to the expected
gift giving (before Grandma arrives at your house). Review the
possible situations. "What would you say if you get something
you already have - like another Monopoly game?" "What
should you say if you get something you don't like at all?" And
even, "What should you say if it's something you like?"
It's amazing what wonderful results occur with a bit of practice.
Give private corrections: Even though your child's
comment appears rude and thoughtless, it never helps to embarrass
your child in front of the gift-giver. If an impolite comment is
made, simply excuse yourself and your child, go to a private place
and point out the error. Suggest something nice to say, and return to
your guest allowing your child to save face.
Have you been doing enough training? If your child
isn't aware that his comments are inappropriate it's a sign that you
could do a bit more training about manners. This situation may be an
indication that there are other areas where your child could benefit
from education about appropriate manners.