When Good Presents Go Bad

Stop me if this sounds familiar:

“I want it. I want it. I want it, want it, want it.”  It can be any number of cool toys from Transformers, to iPads, to books, to clothes, to trinkets, to whatever the desire of the day is for your kid.

The requests usually ramp up at birthday and Christmas.

Being the good, obedient parent, you satisfy the craving demand and buck up for the big prize only to have it met with absolute disinterest, fear, disgust, and/or ambivalence when it is presented to the child on the appropriate day and your kid doesn’t like their present.

I hate it when that happens. I bet you do too.

Tony recently had this happen. His son was turning 4 and asked for “a race car.”  Tony bucked up huge cash for a Mattel Powerwheels Viper only to see it fall flat on the big day.

“Pretty cool, wish I had the thing when I was 4,” he says. “He won’t get in it, and I’m so frustrated I can’t stand it. Not that he is a big old chicken about it, but that he won’t at least try it.”

When we buy a gift that we think our child really really wants, in our mind we can see their eyes widen and hear their squeals when they open it up. This is what they mean by the joy of giving. We want that reaction so bad, that when we don’t get it, we’re as disappointed as a tween opening another package of socks on Christmas Day.

So what do you?

  • Good Kid. Bad Present. 1 of 6

    You got just what they wanted, but they're pouting or are ignoring it. Now what?

     Image via iStockPhoto

  • Dial Down Expectations 2 of 6

    As hard as it is, we can't predict the excitement our kids will feel. The same kid that freaks out over not getting their favorite cup at dinner cannot be expected to follow the linear path to excitement when they get a supposed favored gift.

     Image via iStockPhoto

  • It Is What It Is 3 of 6

    Once you dial down the expectation, it's easy to just take it as it is. The younger the child (like Tony's 4 year old), the easier their attention will be distracted - SQUIRREL!  Chances are something caught their fancy in the pile of presents, so take it so hard if it wasn't the one you thought.

     Image via iStockPhoto

  • Give It Time 4 of 6

    Kids are finicky (understatement). Put it off on the side, don't make a big deal about their indifference and see if they come around.

     Image via iStockPhoto

  • Invite Some Friends Over 5 of 6

    Perhaps some peer pressure will bring them around to the enjoyment of the toy. The excitement of a friend, cousin, brother, sister, might have them appreciate it a little more and start to come around.

     Image via iStockPhoto

  • Return It 6 of 6

    Yup, you spent a lot of cash on that big gift. You searched high and low for it, and had it on reserve for months. Return it, move on, and learn your lesson. No harm no foul if they like the big cardboard box better than the bright shiny toy.

     Image via iStockPhoto

Article Posted 2 years Ago
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