A “Reality Check” by Dr. Michele Borba
The often overlooked and critical holiday skill
If you haven’t checked that calendar, here’s a word to the wise: in the next few days your child is going to be receiving a gift from someone. My question: Have you taught your child the skill of appreciation?
Here’s another way of putting it: “How well do your kids handle disappointment when that gift they are anticipating from Grandma, Uncle Fred or Sister Sue doesn’t meet their hopeful expectations?”
(Translation: the greatly-anticipated DVD player from Grandma turns out to be a pink cashmere sweater. How does your child respond to your mother or worse yet, to your mother-in-law?)
The days are going by quickly, so here is a quick quiz to assess how your kids may respond to gift-receiving disappointment.
How Will Your Kid Handle Disappointment?
There is no way to predict how a child or teen will react, but just pretend for a minute. Get into the scene, and think about how your child just may respond:
Scene 1: Your teen is dying for a MP-3 player and expects it, and then opens the package from Great Aunt Edna who is sitting right there eagerly awaiting and discovers shaving cream and an electric razor. How do you think he’ll react?
Scene 2: Your adorable three-year old has been begging for the fancy dollhouse for weeks, thinks Grandma will be giving her the item, and then rips open her gift to find a winter coat and boots, how do you think she will react? (Remember: your mother-in-law is anticipating your daughter’s joy in receiving that raincoat and boots she spent hours shopping for).
Scene 3: If you’re unsure how your child might respond, then just think back to the last birthday party. How grateful did your child respond to each gift from a friend or relative?
If your blood pressure is accelerating as you visualize a potentially-embarrassing moment come Christmas morning with your relatives eagerly awaiting the gift-openings and your kids’ luke-warm responses, don’t despair.
Click here to read the rest of this article: Teaching Kids the Art of Appreciation-Even When Disappointed