How to Deal: What To Do When Your Child Unwraps Something You Don’t Want Them to Have.

child unwraps
Image via Pixabay

When you were a child your parent probably taught you to smile, say thank you, and write a note of gratitude whenever you received a gift. What happens then when you grow up and people start giving your child gifts that you’re just not comfortable with? Should you still smile and nod? And then should you still let your child have whatever the gift in question is? Whether it’s a toy gun that you told you’re family you didn’t want your child to have or candy that you know will upset their stomach, you have a couple options when your child unwraps a gift you don’t want them to have.

Let it go

While it might be annoying for your child to receive something you wouldn’t buy them yourself, if the annoyance is minor, consider letting go of your annoyance. Perhaps you don’t like toys that flash or a certain cartoon character. But you know in the big picture it won’t make much of a difference. If the gift isn’t unsafe and won’t harm your child, consider simply letting them enjoy something they would not otherwise get.

Put it away immediately

Just because your child receives something, doesn’t mean they have to keep it. It may not make your child happy to have their new gift put away. But if you don’t want them to have it you can put it away. Whether you choose to return the gift or to donate it, your child likely won’t miss it once it’s gone. 

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Make a plan for next year

If your child receives something this year that you don’t want them to have, consider making a plan for next year to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Maybe create a wish list so people get a good idea of the type of toys you’re okay with. Or talk to someone specific about respecting your wishes. Making a plan will ensure things are smoother next year!

Do you have any tips for when you child unwraps a gift you don't want them to have?

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How to Deal: What To Do When Your Child Unwraps Something You Don’t Want Them to Have.

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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