"I Already Have One of These!"
Teaching children how to respond politely to a gift
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?
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.
Copyright 1999 by Elizabeth Pantley (http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth)
Reproduced with permission by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, Inc.
Books by Elizabeth Pantley