Etiquette of Gift Receiving for Children

Etiquette of Gift Receiving for Children

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving gifts. This is yet another golden opportunity for parents to teach their children how to respond appropriately when receiving and opening a gift. As a classic children’s clothing lifestyle brand, we are hyper-focused on the look of children and dressing them in the most comfortable stylish clothing; however, the way children act socially is monumentally important to us as well.

We have all seen that moment when a child opens a gift and their honest response is one of displeasure. Any parent is sure to cringe when hearing their child say, “I already have this one” or “What is this?” We have all been there. Children need to be taught how to handle disappointment in gift-receiving as well as how to appropriately show gratitude for gifts they truly love. This is a social skill that takes time to master. I know I have been in situations as an adult where I struggled to say the right things when receiving that random gift that caught me off guard.

Here are a few tips to help you teach your child to be a gracious gift recipient.

  1. Have the conversation. Talk with your child about the event ahead of time. Make sure their expectations are clear about gifts. It is a privilege to get a gift, not a right. If your child thinks of any gift as a bonus and not a given, they are more likely to be grateful for whatever is unwrapped.

  2. Role-play with your child. Hand them a make-believe package. Have them smile and act excited to receive the gift. After opening the gift it is important to say something positive and specific about the gift.  Have them practice saying positive responses like “I love the color red,” or “I have heard about this toy and I am excited to have one of my own.”

  3. Explain the meaning of thank you. Have your child say thank you while looking you in the eyes. Children need to understand that saying thank you is not only for the gift, but it is also for the time and thought the person put into picking out something special for them. Whether they love the gift or not, they can be thankful for the thought behind the gift. Someone cares about you enough to spend their money on a gift. They took the time to wrap it and deliver it to you. Telling the giver thank you in response lets them know you feel special for all they did for you.  

  4. Writing a letter is the ultimate expression of gratitude. A simple sentence and even a picture are great ways for a child to say thank you. If your child is too young to write, you can have them tell you their thoughts and you can write it for them. They can add a colored picture related to the gift to include with the note. Hand-written notes in the child’s voice and handwriting are the sweetest expressions of gratitude. Let them spell the words how they think best. Keep it authentic and sincere. 

Be sure and download our Lambie Lambert Lesson: Receiving Gifts with Gratitude. Included are simple tips to discuss with your child. A thank you note template and a color sheet for your child to enjoy. Click to download.

*Looking for a sibling set for an upcoming holiday or special event, check our website at We are happy to help you find the perfect holiday outfit. 

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