Your child does not like his gifts… What to do?

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

August 21, 2021

You expect screams of joy… But instead, your child is completely upset and announces that Santa must have made a mistake and that the gift received was NOT on the wish list. It is disappointed… But why and how do you react?

His gift is smaller than the others and he measures its value by its size? Don’t rush back to the store to exchange it, that would only confirm your child’s false perception of value. Instead, use the opportunity to teach him something new: the benefits of quality over quantity. If he no longer believes in Santa Claus, explain that each gift was carefully chosen by people who love it. Encourage your child to make gifts for each guest before the holiday. This will help him or her understand the hope for happiness in the recipients that is in each package.

“I already have!”: Another reason for disappointment: Your child already has the toy he received or he is absolutely not interested in it. If he no longer believes in Santa Claus, he will realize that the person who gave it to him doesn’t really know him or ignores his preferences. The solution? Talk about it humorously and without reproach, and consider the possibility of exchanging the toy for something that was on the wish list.

“She got more than me!”: If your offspring thinks he hasn’t received enough presents and is jealous of his sister’s gifts, who got one or two more things, you need to respond. Perhaps he was not specific enough in his wishes and needs to learn to be more precise in expressing them next time. Or maybe his sister took Santa’s finances and values into better consideration when making her wishes. Don’t get angry, refrain from blaming, but explain to the child that he must be content with what he has. Suggest that he negotiate with his sister to borrow her toys.

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