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Saying No to Gifts You Don’t Approve Of

So we’ve covered how to say no to your kids, but what about when your child is dying for a toy that you’d literally rather poke yourself in the eye with a pine needle than allow your child to have? It’s a tough situation, especially with the holidays in full swing, and gift givers everywhere are on the prowl for the latest and greatest in toys that you may very well not approve of.

Perhaps you’re an eco-concerned parent and every toy in the house better be BPA-free and lacking in phthalates. Or perhaps, the absurd beauty ideals subliminally attached to many dolls on the market today are not the values you want instilled on your sweet daughter, or son for that matter? Or perhaps you’re like me, and think Furby is the freakiest thing since Chucky and would honestly be uneasy housing one under your roof, let alone in the room of which your child sleeps!

So, how do you say no to your child when they want gifts you don’t approve of?

  Choose your battles. Is the Furby thing just you? Maybe your child truly will benefit by owning a Furby. The Gremlin-like creature’s behavior is shaped based on how your child treats it – maybe it will be a great learning tool and teach empathy. Maybe… But in all seriousness, what you may see as unethical or just plain weird is more than likely nothing that your child will ever see or absorb. Children are beautifully innocent; sometimes it’s best not to over think things.

  Ignore the wish-listed item. Sure, children go through great lengths to compose a wish-list fit for a king, but sometimes, everything on their list simply cannot be bought.  For a good five years of my youth, I always included a chimpanzee. I never got one. I got over it.

  Provide an alternative. If your child is dying for that Barbie with the skin tight outfit that you are just simply not comfortable with, opt for a different outfit. There are plenty of other options that may be more suited to your tastes. It’s all about compromise.

  Teach your child to appreciate the gifts they do receive. Discuss the importance of gratitude and how many people are less fortunate. As we all know, it’s tough for a child to put on a happy face if they are disappointed by what they received (e.g. clothes vs. video games), but it’s a life lesson that they’ll have to master eventually.

  Communicate. If you know of other friends and family members that will be shopping for your child this year, tell them what they should get him/her. It reduces the pressure on the shopper, and you’ll be sure you and your child are happy with the result.

Have you ever been in this situation before? What have you done to skirt the situation, or did you bite the bullet and give in?


Disclaimer: The views expressed towards an innocent stuffed animal in this post are solely my own and do not reflect BabyEarth’s core values or opinions.

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