THE holiday season is a magical time of year for children – and there’s no denying that a large part of this is due to the gifts and attention they receive.
But as any parent knows, there’s nothing more frustrating (and terrifying!) than seeing your child act ungrateful — especially when they’re in front of friends and family.
Well, the good news is that there are several things you can do to teach your child to be more grateful this Christmas.
Here, parenting expert Hannah Love shares her top tips and best parenting phrases…
Be a role model
Hannah, who runs a free parent community, warns that being materialistic is likely to rub off on your child.
“When you talk about Christmas, focus on the importance of seeing friends and family, making others smile, playing games and making memories,” she explains.
“If you focus less on the materialistic side, your child will too.”
She goes on to say that similarly, when you receive gifts, no matter how small, you should be careful to respond lovingly and kindly.
“If your child sees you opening the ‘wrong’ perfume on your birthday and groans, then they’ll think it’s okay to do the same,” Hannah adds.
The parenting expert says it’s important for parents to help their child understand how others are feeling.
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“By around the age of two, your toddler should be able to understand how other people are doing, even if they don’t feel the same way themselves,” she explains.
“That’s important when they get a gift they don’t like.”
The Parenting Miracle then gives a good example of what to say: “Aunt Sam will be so happy to get you a present.
“I’m sure she’s spent a lot of time thinking about what to get you and she can’t wait for you to open it.”
Hannah explains, “If you can help your child understand how the shopper is feeling before they open it, they’re much more likely to give an affirmative answer — even if they may be a little disappointed.”
Teach the feeling of giving
The parenting guru says: “In our family, all the children buy each other and us a small present.
“They are so excited to go out and shop, wrap, and then give their custom gifts.”
She continues, “It also teaches empathy as they recognize what it would feel like if others weren’t grateful for the gifts they give.”
The parenting pro highlights how wonderful it is to see their happy, smiling and excited faces as they give each other presents on Christmas morning.
“They’ll soon see how much they love the feeling of giving,” says Hannah.
“I often get a surprise gift or a flower I pick from the kids, who have big smiles on their faces because they’re bursting with pride at what they’ve done.”
Talk to them about how others feel when they are ungrateful
“A lot of times, kids’ comments are totally unintentional,” explains Hannah. “If they know how their comments might affect others, they’re much less likely to make them.”
She goes on to say how you can do this by putting them in the other person’s shoes and asking them, “How would you feel if you did something special for me and I said I didn’t like it?”
Hannah continues, “Once they realize how their actions affect others, they will be much more understanding and less ungrateful.”
Be honest with your children
Hannah also emphasizes the importance of telling your child when they’re being ungrateful, but cautions against doing so without using offensive language.
For example, she notes that parents should avoid phrases like “stop being a spoiled brat.”
Instead, she advises saying, “When you complain about what someone bought you, it really hurts them.”
Hannah notes that you can also validate her feelings, but still let her know that her reaction wasn’t kind.
She provides the perfect example of what to say, “I understand you were disappointed that Spider-Man is not your favorite character.
“But saying you wanted Bat Man will make Phil sad if he bothered to buy you a nice present.”
However, she cautions against saying, “You were terrible to Phil when he gave you your present.”
Hannah explains, “The latter explains no reason for it and contains no learning for next time.”
Take the opportunity to teach kindness
Finally, the parenting professional explains that if your child receives an unwanted gift, you can teach your child kindness by donating it to another child who would like to receive it.
“This act also teaches them that some kids don’t get as much as they do and can help them feel more grateful in the future,” she says.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/6961274/parenting-expert-how-deal-ungrateful-kids-christmas/ I’m a parenting expert – how to deal with ungrateful kids this Christmas and the key phrases that never fail