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Unwanted Gifts - BehaviorIt happens quite often, a child wants a cool new game and ends up getting a pair of socks.

If this is your child, especially your child with isms, how might you handle it without embarrassing the gift-giver or your child? How to help your child graciously accept disappointing gifts?

First, prepare.  The best idea is to talk to your kids about the spirit of giving. It is not about the presents we receive, but the thought behind getting a present that really counts.

It is also a good idea to teach your child not to blurt out to the gift-giver that they dislike the present and it’s not what they wanted. Teach them in advance to smile and say thank you.  Practice before parties with role plays or social stories.

What to Do with Unwanted Gifts?

If your child make it through the challenge of graciously accepting an unwanted gift, then what?

You could always exchange the gift in order to get your child something more appealing.

Alternately, use the opportunity to teach you child about those that are less fortunate.  Talk to your child about taking unwanted gifts to a shelter or some kind of charity that benefits children.  That way, someone else can experience the holiday spirit and your child can feel good about bringing joy to someone who might better appreciate the gift.


If you are re-gifting, be sure to explain to your child what is and isn’t appropriate in order to avoid embarrassing situations.  Your child may be apt to blurt out that a gift received last year has just been given to your best friend or something. Reviewing the etiquette of re-gifting ahead of time will help everyone have happier holidays.

Have a happy, and safe holiday and new year.