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Gift giving

Sprout is invited to a birthday party tomorrow.  I told her it would be nice if she made the girl a card, and we would get her a gift.

Sprout's excited response is to give the girl something she has made, rather than buy something.  Which, of course, I totally love and agree with. The problem is that I'm not sure the receiver will be as pleased, used to, as she is, getting store-bought, "fancy" gifts.  I don't want Sprout to be hurt if there is a lack of appreciation, and I don't want the other girl to feel disappointed.

One solution would be to buy something to give in addition to what Sprout makes, but that invalidates, in my mind, what Sprout wants to do and teaches that only bought things have value.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2016 12:50 pm (UTC)
If you trust your assessment of the girl--if you think she's likely not to appreciate, or, worse, to be disappointed in Sprout's gift--then I think I might urge Sprout to put her creative efforts just into the card. Handmade gifts are something I think people appreciate more (generally speaking) when they're a little older--say, ten, eleven, twelve--when they have some notion of what it represents in terms of time and dedication, and when they may have more interest in the process and appreciation for outcomes beyond just surface things.

Sometimes little kids can be surprising, though, and she might turn out to enjoy whatever Sprout made as much as she'd enjoy a store-bought thing, even just for the novelty.

Parties for young children are as much (seems to me in retrospect; not sure I thought about it at the time) about the interactions among the adults and the overall culture of the group. Thinking about that can be a guide, too.
Feb. 2nd, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)
Can you buy something that Sprout can add to or decorate or put together as a gift?
Feb. 2nd, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
This sounds like a perfect compromise! I got a jewelry box with my name painted on it for my fifth birthday--and I still have it. (I turn 29 today!) I bet any little girl would love a decorated box. You can get a plain wooden one and decorate it with paint or cut-out napkin designs and glue. Maybe you can get something inexpensive to keep in it, too--artificial flowers, little animal figurines, seashells, etc.
Feb. 2nd, 2016 09:15 pm (UTC)
This is a really nice compromise too, I love it.
Feb. 2nd, 2016 04:09 pm (UTC)
Well, can't weigh in with my own experience, but in puppy training, the road of least conflict is often preferred. :p

I think it sounds like a lovely compromise.
Feb. 2nd, 2016 09:14 pm (UTC)
I agree with you and Sprout but with a caveat.

Let's see if I can help/muck things up by putting it this way: A gift is about what one thinks the gift receiver will like the most and not about what the gift giver likes the most.

For me, since both kids are still pretty young, I'd totally go with the do both option, handmade gift and a store bought one and using this as a Teaching Moment about learning the happiness of pleasing the gift receiver more than yourself too.
Feb. 3rd, 2016 08:03 am (UTC)
I'd go with a bought gift as well as the home-made one, because the most important thing is empathy with the receiver.
Feb. 3rd, 2016 07:34 pm (UTC)
I suspect that explaining that thinking of what the recipient wants is not a bad thing.

And it may be nicer for Sprout to learn from you that for some people, handmade things have value and for other people, bought things have value. Not as a "we have to buy a present" but as a "here's something to think about" for the very reasons you are posting. Do you think Sprout is smart enough and ready to understand that there are two sides to every gift opportunity? :)

Feb. 4th, 2016 07:52 pm (UTC)
Joining the chorus of "Give what the receiver would like to receive."

The tricky bit, perhaps, will be helping Sprout understand that if the other girl prefers a store-bought gift, it isn't a judgment on Sprout's gift-making abilities, and that other people would prefer a handmade gift. There are different kinds of people, who like different kinds of things.

And indeed, that people's preferences change over time, and what they like now will be different later.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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