Q: Should children be taught to give gifts to family members during holidays such as birthdays, Christmas, etc.? I have three teens and have not received a single gift from them — not even a card. I brought this up to my oldest daughter who is 18 and does have a job, and she told me she doesn’t like spending her money, but she found it necessary to buy her boyfriend presents for Christmas. Am I expecting too much or am I raising unemotional brats? Its not the gift, its the thought I really care about.
A: We’d say your children are old enough to give a card or gift to their parents at the holidays. It need not be an expensive gift — in fact, often the most meaningful gifts are handmade ones that reflect a child’s talents or interests, or say something about the closeness of the relationship.
It may not occur to them that you’d like them to give a gift or card, or that you expect them to at this age. Perhaps it’s a good time to talk with them (or ask another parent to do this so it doesn’t appear that you are asking for gifts) about exchanging gifts and acknowledging what family members do for them throughout the year.