Are you longing to teach your kids how to accept a gift this season graciously? Worry no more! Here are some ways to teach your kids graciousness this holiday season. Just one of the 12 skills of Christmas!
Remember the year Great Aunt Nancy gave you the ugliest sweater imaginable? You might have remarked at it’s ugliness while your mom glared at you from across the living room. A life skill that will serve both you and your child well is learning how to accept an unwanted gift graciously. This will serve them both in their personal and professional lives. Make no mistake that exhibiting proper etiquette will make your child stand out for the better in a world devoid of it.
Here in Autismland, we practice this skill as birthdays and holidays approach. One of the deficits of autism is the inability to see other people’s perspective. I would venture to say this is a deficit in most children, autism or not. The excitement of receiving a present gets overshadowed by the disappointment of the actual present not being what they wanted. Children don’t know to mask their true feelings or to show appreciation regardless of the actual present. Should you have a child that can not do this successfully then make every attempt to open presents out of the giver’s view. You don’t want your child to be embarrassed or the other person to get their feelings hurt
Steps To Accept A Gift Graciously
- Take gift
- Dance around in complete adoration (this part is optional but also takes down the tension significantly)
- Thank giver for thinking of you
- Remove wrapping paper
- Open Gift
- Thank giver again for being so thoughtful and generous
There is where practice makes perfect. Practicing with your child how to keep their emotions from showing is imperative. The way you learn how to keep a smile on your face when it’s clearly the worst gift imaginable is to practice. Alternate turns being the giver and receiver. Help your child learn how to take the perspective of either person.
Perhaps being an autism mom makes me hypersensitive to making sure we have these social cues in place beforehand. I see children and adults alike who need to work on this skill. Adults in the business world use this skill on a regular basis in meetings when their ideas are not adopted or they are passed over for a raise or promotion. Give your child a leg up in the world by teaching this skill this Christmas.
Holiday life skills are important! Learn more about the skills you can focus on this Christmas through our 12 Skills of Christmas resource.
Author Bio: Penny Rogers from Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland