For grown-ups, Christmas is a chance to check in with family and friends while feasting on good food. But, for children, it is almost always just one word: presents. It is a magical season because their wishes come true. But what happens if it does not? The reactions can vary, but we can all agree that we wish they will respond the way these kids did when they got their terrible presents.
1. Start them young.
Kids 7 years old and younger have yet to gain the developmental skills needed to help them understand how other people feel. “It’s normal and natural for young kids to believe everyone in the world exists exclusively for their benefit,” says Deborah Spaide, author of Teaching Your Kids to Care. Teaching kids how to say a polite “thank you” for receiving a gift no matter what it is is a good start. But don't force it -- gratitude shouldn’t be a result of shame or fear of punishment. You can teach her by letting her hear you say "thank you" whenever you receive a gift or by commenting on how happy it makes you feel whenever you hear her say it, Thumby L. Server, managing director and teacher at Toddlers Unlimited Learning Center in Muntinlupa City, told Smart Parenting.
2. Curb materialism.
This little boy was feeling left out on Mother's Day because all the moms were getting presents. As a little prank, the grown-ups decide to give him a gift to make him feel better. "We expected him to get mad, but this was his reaction," says the video's description.
Aside from gratitude, being happy with simple presents also has a lot to do with being unmaterialistic. Our children should know that happiness doesn't rely on expensive and trendy "stuff," but in people and experiences. When we see that our loved ones are happy, we're happy along with them. One of the best ways to teach this is by being a good role model, says LearnVest, a financial planning company. If you want your child to not grow up with an unquenchable itch for the latest iPhone, you have to keep from doing the same as well. Avoid envious comments on a neighbor’s new sports car or a relative’s extravagant clothes.
3. Raise an empathetic child.
The kids in the video above knew exactly what they wanted for Christmas, a watch based on the cartoon show "Ben 10" and a "Princess Barbie and King Ken," but not getting them doesn't mean they get to be mad at dad. Showing thanks and appreciation for a present, even if it is a banana or an onion, may show that a child has a strong sense of empathy. Having empathy is the ability to see past one's own wants, and being able to make decisions with other people's feelings in mind. A bad present is a present nonetheless which means effort and thought still came with it. Also, how cute is kuya being a little teacher to his sister?
4. Take the time to stop and appreciate.
Server says that parents have to help their kids stop, appreciate, cherish and give sentimental value to gifts. Let's face it, a paper clip is not much of a present. The little one above may simply be happy that the present was from mom, not just because of the gift itself. Adorable.
5. Teach your child that fun doesn't have to be expensive.
Every kid wants a toy for Christmas. But does it matter how expensive the toy is? According to the mom in the video above, the Christmas presents her son asked for were "cheap." Nonetheless, he's happy and grateful. Show your child that having fun doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn’t cost at all to play pretend with you at home, for example, or to have a dance party in the living room. Introduce her to hobbies that don’t cost much and can teach her skills too, like painting or gardening.
As a bonus, here are a couple more kids who are sure to warm your heart: