It’s Christmas day and the whole family has gathered at grandma’s house to exchange gifts. All eyes are on your 4-yr. old as she excitedly rips open grandma’s gift. What will it be? More importantly, you worry, how will she react? Will she remember to say thank you?
The holidays are filled with teaching moments for parents and kids alike. In the excitement of opening gifts, it’s easy for kids to forget their manners, but a little preparation beforehand goes a long way toward heading off an embarrassing moment.
Every family is different, but we think it’s a good idea to set expectations with your kids about opening gifts—especially gifts from extended family members. Kids should know that it’s impolite to rush through opening gifts, that each gift deserves a sincere thank you, and that grandma spent time picking out that gift so her feelings might be hurt if you say you don’t like it. You can’t really control what your child does, but you can plant the seed. And it’s a lot easier to have this talk before the big event, than on Christmas day in front of all the relatives.
One last tip: for gifts that are opened when the giver is not present, remember to have thank you notes on hand. There are plenty of kids’ thank you card ideas available, such as coloring cards, that can turn this task into a fun activity. Hope your Christmas is a merry one!