How can I get my son to act grateful if he doesn't like a gift?

Learning gratitude is a difficult concept for young children to grasp. Being grateful requires a sensitivity to other people’s feelings, but the ability to take a different perspective or “put oneself in another's shoes” is a skill that continues to develop throughout childhood. Teach your son the importance of saying “thank you” when he receives a gift, regardless of whether he likes it. Don’t ask your child to lie and pretend that he likes the gift, instead keep the focus on teaching your child the importance of being polite and thanking others. Your son will also learn by watching how you interact with others, so make a point to model this behavior yourself.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

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