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DCs and receiving presents they don't like

(105 Posts)
Squirrelfruitandnutkin Mon 18-Dec-17 06:49:19

Ds is good at faking it. He can smile and say thank you reasonably convincingly

Dd is not. She is the sort of child who says what she thinks. I am trying to get her to just smile and say thanks.

How did you help your dcs develop this skill/ technique?
Me and dd are going to have to practice before we see the ILs I think 😬

TheQueenOfWands Mon 18-Dec-17 06:51:20

Some people can't fake it.

I used to know an adult who would give things back to the giver if she didn't like it.

Some people are really blunt.

Squirrelfruitandnutkin Mon 18-Dec-17 06:57:06

Oh don't say that! 😩
I've already had enough of managing DD's reaction to MIL's gifts. (Usually end up with miffed dd and grumpy MIL!)

RoryItsSnowing Mon 18-Dec-17 06:58:14

I used to know an adult who would give things back to the giver if she didn't like it.

^ that's socially inept though, so teaching your children not to do that is a good thing.

septembersapphire Mon 18-Dec-17 06:59:39

How old is she?

Owletterocks Mon 18-Dec-17 07:00:17

We just had a chat to ours to explain that we have to be polite and not hurt the givers feelings. Ds did very well recently when he got a lovely new jumper of an auntie (obviously would have much preferred toys)! The do go to drama classes though! Possibly an option grin

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 18-Dec-17 07:00:52

Not sure you can, but it makes the gift giver more likely to stick to recommended gift lists/ think about what they might like when they know the utter disdain in which the wrong present will be treated 😁. Wherever possible we put to one side to 'be opened later'. We only have one child like this and there are good reasons for it before everyone is shocked at my blase response and lack of instilling manners. For her I think it is a combination of anxiety, not feeling understood (how could they think that I might like x) and not getting social norms. She is much more able to fake it with age, but we still have to prompt her everytime, it is obvious to everyone that she is faking it and it is just easier all around if it can be avoided.

CommonFishDiseases Mon 18-Dec-17 07:01:25

Following! Have the same issue with DD aged 6. Dreading present time.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 18-Dec-17 07:04:14

Oh and jumping in early to find a use for something - 'oh that's a nice bag dd we can put your ballet stuff in it can't we?' As she gazes at a pink monstrosity which will be triggering all sorts of visual distortions.

septembersapphire Mon 18-Dec-17 07:06:14

Well, it’s obviously different if there are additional needs, although a socially acceptable response should try to be taught if possible (only if possible - not trying to be inflammatory there, just pointing it out.)

Agree with Rory that the adult in Queen’s example was really, really rude.

SloanePeterson Mon 18-Dec-17 07:13:41

It's partly for this reason that we've asked extended family not to buy for our dc this year. Middle dc is autistic and simply cannot fake delight with a present he doesn't want. They don't even have to be bad presents, if it's not something he's already decided he wants or needs he is just underwhelmed and it's so hurtful to the giver, who we barely see and therefore gets the wrong impression about ds as being an ungrateful brat. I'm actually glad we won't have to face that this year. A prior warning to the giver might be appropriate op, if there are additional needs at play. It's taken me years to be able to confidently explain ds's reactions to things, and develop something of a thicker skin.

Chocolatecake12 Mon 18-Dec-17 07:18:17

My ds received some colouring pencils from my MIL.
Ds “more pencils?”
MIL “oh! Don’t you want them than?”
Ds “ no”
Then passed them back to her!
I was mortified but did then go on to teach him that we have to be polite and thank people for gifts even if we don’t like them!!
He was 5 btw

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 18-Dec-17 07:24:28

Remember too that girls can take longer to be recognised as having issues so this might be an early sign, or it could just be that she needs to develop the skills if she is younger than ds. I would go for rehersal and gentle instruction. Obviously you don't want her to become like the adult above, but it can take longer and more management with some children compared to others.

Squirrelfruitandnutkin Mon 18-Dec-17 07:31:23

Dd is 6. Last year MIL bought something we had suggested which dd loved. But MIL prefers buying stuff she thinks they should like.

the little gifts MIL brought when she last saw the dcs went down like a lead balloon with dd as it was all things she actively disliked! 😩 Which then triggered a MIL rant about how we give people gifts so that they can be gratefully received. (Not so that you can make someone else happy)

We're going to have to practice.

Squirrelfruitandnutkin Mon 18-Dec-17 07:56:04

shouldwestay - I'm as sure as any parent can be that dd is 'normal' (sorry forgotten proper term)
Ds is a people pleaser by nature so will always find keeping granny sweet easier.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 18-Dec-17 08:03:59

At 6 I would have said the same, not so sure at 10. The approach can be the same though. After all you are in effect asking her to lie.

SecretlyChartreuse Mon 18-Dec-17 08:10:29

The thing about ‘bad’ presents especially from grandparents is that they can tell a child that the grandparents either don’t care or don’t know the child.

I literally only saw one grandfather on Xmas Eve every year and I can still remember how not ‘me’ the presents were right from when I was about 8 to about 20. In fact, one of the presents was something I actively disliked.

The line ‘perhaps your cousin wanted it and he got confused’ used to help with the genuine confusion that he didn’t understand me or my interests.

Maybe say afterwards “this is what Granny thinks little girls want”.

MumInTheCity Mon 18-Dec-17 08:18:05

My DD has always been pretty good at this luckily. However, I do remember one year when DD was 3, I was opening my own Christmas present from a friend. It was a DVD that I already owned, but of course I thanked her and didn't mention that I already had it. As soon as DD saw what it was she piped up "oh how lovely mummy, now you have 2!" I gently tried to shush her but she wasn't giving up easily, she actually went to the DVD cupboard, got out my original copy and brought it over. "Look mummy, see, it's exactly the same!" She said enthusiastically grin

Elisheva Mon 18-Dec-17 08:20:29

I have 3 dcs and we actually practice opening a present they don’t like! I think that some children need to be taught how to react, given a strategy. So we practice thinking of a nice thing to say about a present. We pass it around and see how many nice things we can say. ‘It will be very useful in the kitchen,’ ‘I like the smell’. etc. Last year it was a bottle of fairy liquid. It sounds a bit miserable doesn’t it! But it’s actually quite fun. The 3 year old doesn’t get it, but the older ones do now.

DrRanjsRightEyebrow Mon 18-Dec-17 08:22:16

when I was 6 my grandma gave me a teddy she had handmade. I said I didn't want it. I saw her face fall and my older brother say he wanted it to save her feelings. I immediately felt awful and clumsily tried to backtrack without much effect. It's such a strong memory over 30 years later that it makes me wince to recall and I still carry so much guilt over it! So that was a steep learning curve that day.

christmasrage Mon 18-Dec-17 08:23:39

Remind them beforehand that 'granny isn't always good at choosing presents'. Then they are not disappointed and it's fresh in their mind that they ne3d to be gracious.

Hopefully, you don't have one of those encouraging children that says 'oh well done granny, you've tried really hard this year. I almost like it.'

Squirrelfruitandnutkin Mon 18-Dec-17 08:28:23

I've talked with the dcs about just saying thank you that's lovely. Meaning that it is lovely that someone thought to buy them anything. So not technically a lie as I don't want to teach them that, just a bit of spin. 😉

Dd can do it when we practice - just checked. But when it comes to the real thing she has never been convincing.
It's not easy when someone builds up your excitement about their present and then it is nothing like what you'd have hoped for.

Believeitornot Mon 18-Dec-17 08:29:18

Which then triggered a MIL rant about how we give people gifts so that they can be gratefully received

Not quite!! You don’t give gifts in order to lap up the praise, which is what your mil is suggesting.

But of course we should be grateful.

I tell mine that even if they don’t like it, they keep that in their head and they can tell me that later. But to always say a big thank you even if they hate it. Works for mine who are 6&8.

aprilanne Mon 18-Dec-17 08:35:05

i would just my daughter in law what the kids wanted for christmas .so everyone was happy .no point in buying kids gifts they dont want unhappy children and grandparents who have wasted money .

Wh0KnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Mon 18-Dec-17 08:35:44

Even as an adult I find it hard to sound really grateful for an unsuitable present, but I try and remember that I'm thanking them for thinking about it and making the effort as well as the gift itself. I'm a bit wary of sounding too enthusiastic in case I get more of the same next year, as happened for a long time years ago with my mum when I gushed over something I secretly didn't like at all.

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