Kids Who Start Gift Giving Early Enjoy the Process More

16th November 2017

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By Lucy Wyndham

Gift giving for kids can be pleasant if it becomes a habit right away. A child who only receives gifts without giving becomes greedy; making holidays all about the child takes away a learning opportunity for the child. Parents must recognize when the time is right to begin the process, and how to help a child become a better gift-giver.

When to Start

Do not expect a child under the age of four to give a gift. Children under this age are inherently selfish as a survival mechanism. However, children begin to understand the pleasure of giving to others around age four. Watch for the child to become eager to share a toy with those closest to him. This is when he is ready to begin giving gifts to others. Encourage him to give gifts during the holidays by physically handing the gift to the recipient.

How to Prepare the Child

The most exciting part of the holidays for a child is the mystery of the package. They are curious and want to unwrap everything only for the sake of finding out what is inside. Help the child give a wrapped gift by asking her to help wrap it. She will know what is inside, and she will be more willing to part with the gift because her curiosity is satisfied. Be patient, though, if she blurts out what’s in the package before the recipient has a chance to open it. Patience is a skill that comes well after the empathy necessary for gift giving.

Let the Child Pick the Gift

If the gift is from the child, such as a gift for a teacher, guide the child in getting the gift. Making a gift is always a terrific option, and an opportunity to prepare for the holidays together. However, if the gift is to be store-bought, plan to take the child to a store or section of a store that is within the gift budget. For example, if there is a £10 limit, guide the child toward the mugs at the department store. This will help the child lead the gift choice while helping the parent stay within a planned price point.

Raise a Giving Child

Starting these steps early helps a child learn that giving is as pleasing as receiving. Talk to the child after the gift exchange is over, and ask him how he felt about giving. Discuss why gift giving is fun, and ask the child for gift ideas to help him contribute to the process.

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