Should I take Christmas presents for my own kids to the in-laws?
Would that be awkward and weird? I ask because when we do Christmas with my in-laws, they get each kid a ten dollar gift. Of course, I have no problem with that, people should gift to others as they see fit, or not at all, if they like, but my five year old has gotten upset about it over the last two Christmases. This past Christmas, after opening his one present he asked "That's all?" And when we told him that was, indeed, it, he started crying. When he did that I told him immediately to stop, that he was being rude and that it's never polite to tell someone that what they got for you is not enough. He wouldn't stop crying so I took him to the car and made him sit for a minute to calm down and talk to him about how he is hurting his grandparents feeling about the gifts they gave. I told him he should ALWAYS be grateful and happy with what anyone gives him, because it means that they thought about him, and wanted to get something special just for him. I want him to learn how to be a gracious gift receiever...but at five, how much can I really expect? It really seems to be more about quantity than quality at this age, and I don't know what my expections should be here. I know I can tell him that I expect him to say "thank you" and not criticize the gift, but not being disappointed about only getting one present seems like a stretch.
So, what do you think? Should I just keep reminiding him that it's not the number of gifts, or the gift itself, that matters.....or should I start taking presents from under out tree each year so that our boys have several gifts to open, and not just one?
Thanks to everyone that replied, you helped me see that bringing extra gifts would probably do nothing but set him back in learning to show gratitude, and teaching him to be grateful for what he has is more important than making sure things go more smoothly on the visit.
I am working on teaching him to be grateful (as my post clearly outlines), but I just wanted to make sure my expectations weren't too high, and I wasn't punishing him for something he's really not capable of controlling yet. That's why I asked other moms. I didn't THINK I was be too demanding (by expecting him to not make a fuss when he doesn't get as much as he wanted) and expecting him to be polite and grateful. This just reinforces my own ideas. As it is, I remind him before we get there to show gratitude, to say thank you, and to NEVER make the person giving the gift feel like it's not good enough. If he fails to do this, I take him to the car for a time out (as I said before), explain to him that his behavior is hurtful to his grandparents, and tell him that if he continues acting that way people will choose not to give him anything at all.
We also buy presents each year for children who are in foster homes, it's part of a local charity we support. We make our five year old the focus, as in have him go to the store with us, go up to the charity organizer that's there for the event and ask for the Christmas list of a little boy or girl, his choice. Then HE goes and looks for the stuff on the list, with our help, of course. We've been doing this since he was three. But maybe he hasn't grasped yet that if not for that charity, those kids would have nothing. We'll work on that aspect.
Again, I ultimately agree with everyone that bringing extra presents isn't a good idea. I'd rather he learned to be happy with what he has instead expecting more. but again, I just wasn't sure if I was expecting too much. I've seen MOST kids in our familiy, on both sides, at one point or another express disappointment over not getting as much as the other kids, or not liking what they got, or getting something they already had. Yet I've NEVER seen another parent correct their child for this behavior at all, as we did. So I wondered if I was being too harsh. Heck, the very MIL I'm referring to (the MIL that only gives one small gift) is NOTORIOUS for throwing a gift back in your face if she doesn't like it, or if it wasn't EXACTLY what she asked for. She does this all the time, did it this past Christmas, in fact, and she's 58! And I DEFINITELY want my son to be better mannered and better behaved than she is, even at five years old.
Oh, and yeah, it's a weird time of the year to ask, I know, but it was only a few months ago, and it was brought to mind because the BIL's kids are now calling and demanding we send them their presents, demanding that the gift be this or that, (or a certain amount of money) since thier birthdays are around the corner, and that just made me think of it, lol. Needless to say, I want my son to have better manners than MOST of our family....