I don't like the toys my parents give my child. What can I do?

It can be difficult when your child receives an inappropriate toy from a well-meaning relative, but as a parent, it is important that you feel comfortable with the toys your child plays with. Be honest with your parents, but do so in a grateful and gracious manner. Begin by explaining to your parents that you have some concerns with the toys they having given your child in the past. Be clear about why you feel the toys were inappropriate–whether because they were inconsistent with your values or not age-appropriate, so that your parents understand your concerns. Rather than giving toys, you could suggest to your parents that they give “experience” gifts such as swimming or dance lessons, or trips to the zoo. Another idea is to create a wish list with your child to help your parents choose more appropriate gifts that they know you and your child will love.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.