Giving Gifts the Love and Logic® Way

opening giftsMost of our kids EXPECT gifts during the holidays, and indeed, our Christmas morning gift opening ritual may consist of a free-for-all with ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper flying everywhere. Sure, that can be fun, but it can also get out of control. It can lead to kids feeling “entitled” instead of “blessed.”

Giving our children gifts, no matter what time of year, can be fulfilling for us as parents, but it can also be an opportunity to teach appreciate and consideration. Here are some ways to maximize those teaching opportunities:

  • Remember that your kids are not entitled to gifts, even at Christmas. If they aren’t appreciative and respectful when they open gifts, they may have too many and be expecting too much. Don’t be afraid to give less.
  • Stress how important sincere thank you’s are to the gift giver. Encourage your children to say a personal thank you for each gift they receive.
  • Treating your kids equally doesn’t mean giving equal gifts. Your teenager might need a gift that is more expensive than your 10-year-old. This is an opportunity to teach coping skills, handle jealously, and learn about delayed gratification.
  • Spread out the gift opening. Instead of a free for all, try opening one gift during the twelve days of Christmas. This can encourage appreciation for each gift.
  • Show your children how much more fun it is to give rather than to receive. Be enthusiastic about giving your gifts to others, and encourage them to spend their own money on the gifts they buy for others. This will help them see the value of each gift and allow them to experience the gratification of truly giving a gift that they’ve chosen and paid for.

Remember that your children learn their attitudes about gift giving and gift receiving by watching you! Make it a point to set good examples for them to follow this holiday season!

Image credit: mcininch / 123RF Stock Photo

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