Dude…this just made my blood boil, so I thought I’d get you riled up, too. I think I need to step away from Christmas gift exchange planning, and search for my happy place. I’ll give you a background story first, and then we will get into the craziness of my morning.
Background Info Section A. We are typically the weirdo, overly protective parents who “screen” all of the families of Superkiddo’s friends. Most of his friends are children of our friends. There are rare occasions on which he gets to hang out with a friend that we do not know well, but we are always there with him. We have valid reasons for being so protective. Why are we so nut-so when it comes to our kid?
1) He has severe food allergies, cannot be exposed to certain items, and people need to know how to respond if there is an emergency
2) We do not allow him to have access to certain types of music, movies, or video games, and we need to be certain that our preferences will be respected
3) We are, by most accounts, private (so private that I’m sharing this haha), and tend to not hang around very many people
Background Info Section B. Superkiddo currently has friends with whom he has exchanged gifts for birthdays, Christmas, congrats on school tests, etc. I like to buy what I consider to be nice items, but they are rarely toys. Typically, we give a really cool book, art supplies, silly hats and the like. We occasionally have conversations about a particular child’s latest interests or hobbies, and that helps us select what we believe to be a thoughtful gift.
Now, let’s fast forward to today. We encountered one of his new friends today, and he wasted zero time to enlighten us that books are not presents. The gist of the conversation was that better ideas can be found in the electronics section of a certain toy store.
I hesitated to respond. I didn’t want to scar the poor child for life, nor did I want to insult the parent, but… HOW RUDE! I am now on the hunt for children’s books on manners & thankfulness. That may be the end of our gift exchange, or maybe it will encourage a new dialogue with them?
How would you handle such an encounter? How do you prevent your little darlings from demanding specific gifts, and being ungrateful for others? I am still floored…
Until next time,