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How to Help 5 Yr old to Wait for Christmas to Open Presents?

My 5 year old is crying and throwing a temper tantrum since I wrapped Christmas presents last night. I held off wrapping his presents, but he started to cry since there were no presents under tree. Alas, when I when I wrapped a couple, he can't seem to control his emotions. He stomps around stating that it's not fair. We try to explain that everyone has to wait for Jesus's Birthday and show a calendar of the days, but doesn't help.

Any ideas of how to help him to be patient?


Asked by AustinsMom112o at 8:20 PM on Dec. 13, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • At 5 years old? Tell him to stop, put him in time out, and tell him if he can't behave there will be no presents - and mean it. Yes, a 5 year old can most certainly understand that. How to "help" him wait? This is about self-control and good behavior. You can help him by teaching those 2 things. I have 6 children, ranging in ages from 6 to 11. We have never done the "hide the presents" thing, we always put them out under the tree. They were always taught that to behave the way you describe is simply unacceptable - and because they were taught, they learned. Putting the presents away doesn't solve the problem - it only makes it easier on the parents, because then they don't have to teach - but remember, if the parents aren't teaching, the children aren't learning.

    Answer by yoliplus6 at 8:36 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • tell him that if he will let him open just 1 on christmas eve..but all the rest must wait for christmas day. but if he is good he can have one

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:22 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • at 5 he should really have some better self control! unless there's a medical/emotional thing going on. beef up the countdown and try making it more interactive...... write, text, call, email santa, have him wrap some gifts and donate to toys for tots

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:22 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • I would just put them away and tell him since he couldn't behave himself they will not come back out until Christmas time. I disagree with hibbingmom, not all 5 year olds can exhibit that kind of control or understanding with all the excitement Christmas time brings, or any kind of gift. Think about looking at your birthday present for a couple weeks but not being allowed to unwrap it, same concept to me.

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 8:24 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • well, i say out of sight, out of mind, so i definately would not put any presents under the tree. maybe it would help if you have an advent calender and that way he will get a small prize or piece of candy everyday. and i also make it clear to my children that only good kids get presents for christmas. if they can't be good then i will give their presents to good children who are poor and can't afford any presents. they know that i don't play and it's not a threat, but a promise as my mom would say. 5 years old is plenty old enough to understand that (even my 2 1/2 yo understands). i would sit him down and tell him that.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:24 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • HOnestly, I would tell me child that if they didn't knock it off, the presents would not be there anymore. I don't put up with temper tantrums.

    Answer by KTMOM at 8:56 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • put them away

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 8:22 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • oh..and "santa is watching" always works with mine =)

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:22 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • taking them away won't fix the problem. my kids try to even touch the presents, i tell them they're going to go to their friends and they won't get to even see what's in the wrapping paper. that's kept them away. kinda. i have to remind them if i even see the thought on their faces to touch them lol. they're 2 and 3 btw.

    if you want to go get that ornament that counts down the days till christmas ( i saw it on a commercial) that might help...


    Answer by armywife43 at 8:30 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • I wrapped a couple since he came to me crying that he didn't have any presents under the tree. Previous years, he never cared about it. So definately, I'm going to put them up. I just bought an advent calendar, so that should help. I will try enact the Santa "clause" this year. My son is speech delayed, but this past year, his communication has sky rocketed. Now, he understands so much better what we are saying to him. Thanks to everyone for their helpful advice!
    Merry Christmas and counting down the days!

    Comment by AustinsMom112o (original poster) at 8:32 PM on Dec. 13, 2010