The art of giving gifts at the holidays is sometimes a forgotten deal. When it comes to our kids, gift giving is almost an art form. How do we teach our kids to give graciously? Well here are some tips on teaching children gift giving.


Ensure we adults model gratitude and courtesy:

We as adults need to remember that old saying “Monkey see, monkey do”. If we adults are ungracious, pains in the backside, etc. when it comes to receiving and giving gifts, your little monkey will copy the bad behavior.

Talk to your child about what giving is all about:

When it comes to giving gifts, it is an act of love and caring. It’s a way people can say, “I cherish you. I want to make you happy.” Even if a gift kind of sucks, the intention was to please.

Kids as young as 5 can learn to figure out something positive to say about a disappointing gift:

Give your kids some practice by pretending together some outrageous “gifts” and thinking about all the positive things they could say to compliment the gift or the giver. Kids can be rather blunt (out of the mouth of babes and all!)

Teach them that if they can’t find something to like about the gift, they can always focus on the love:

Someone loved them enough to think about what to get them. Get to the store to buy it, and to wrap it up and deliver it. They can always tell the person that it makes them feel good and special that someone went to all that trouble.


Emphasize that it’s never okay to hurt the giver’s feelings:

They must never poke fun at the gift or embarrass the giver — even if the giver isn’t there. Laughing at another’s expense isn’t being funny. It’s just unkind and rude! If those unkind comments get back to the person, it can damage your relationship with that person.

Reassure your children that if they really, honestly don’t like a gift, they can quietly come to you later to talk about it:

Quite often gifts can be exchanged or a parent can tactfully help the giver better understand what would be a better choice at another time. And sometimes at least, what at first seemed like the most inappropriate, useless gift ever can become a dear reminder of the person who gave it.


Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.