Dr. Nelson suggests to parents to use this time to learn from their child. He recommends saying something such as, "I'm kind of surprised. You're really sad and I can see how upset you are about not receiving this toy, is there something else going on that I may not be aware of?" By being reflective and exploratory while remaining empathetic, parents can show that they are interested in what the child is feeling and may get a clearer answer about what may be going on.
Dr. Nelson also advises using direct communication and treating these situations as opportunities to teach children. "If someone else, such as a grandparent or aunt, didn't get them what they wanted, use that moment as a teaching moment to show them how to react appropriately," says Dr. Nelson.
He also suggests parents can use these opportunities to explain to their children why they didn't get the toy, including a concern for their safety.
"Once children's concerns are met, it's best for parents to shift the focus away from the toys to other ways their children can enjoy the holidays, like playing out in the snow or going to a loved one's house," says Dr. Nelson.
The online survey consisted of a national representation of 1000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, including 301 parents of children aged 14 or under. It was conducted November 21st-27th, 2007, on behalf of Cincinnati Children's by eNation, the online omnibus survey service of Synovate, an independent, nationally recognized market research company.
Dr. Daniel Nelson
Daniel Nelson, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at
Cincinnati Children's and a recognized authority in counseling children and
families who have experienced trauma -- from natural and man-made disasters
to abuse. After the September 11 attacks in New York City, Nelson, along
|SOURCE Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center|
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