When my eldest daughter was soon to celebrate her 1st birthday party, me and my husband started to check online for ideas on what we could do for the party. And many websites and blogs stressed on giving “Return Gifts“, which was something new for us. Nevertheless we bought return gifts according to age of the children invited and very lovingly packed them.
Then the evening of the birthday arrived and yes as usual the 1 year old birthday girl was crying her heart loud on seeing so many children and people around her!! Anyway we managed to cut the birthday cake, offered them dinner etc..and as the party came to the end, kids were leaving one by one with their return gifts. There were two brothers aged between 7 – 10 years and they were waiting for their mom to pick them up so they opened the return gifts and to our utter shock the younger boy asked us loudly “what kind of a return gift is this?” Before you jump to conclusions the gifts were good quality water bottles and age appropriate. Clearly the kids were used to going to birthday parties where the return gifts are far more expensive and their expectation was no less than that.
But that taught me a big lesson to teach my kids not to expect a return gift when they go to a birthday party. Not everyone want to give or may be do not know the kind of gifts kids may like or may not be able to afford to give return gifts. It is our responsibility to teach our kids to respect the fact that they must not expect return gifts and that it is not that big a deal if they do not get one.
The return gift concept must not be a compulsion on parents or kids and if your child does get a return gift after a birthday party they must be taught not to open it in front of the host and others and also not to comment on the type of gift they got. That is the least we must do as parents!!