Punishing kids for gift snooping

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
KimPossible's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3475
Punishing kids for gift snooping

So I was just reading a thread elsewhere...mom said kids snooped and found some of their Christmas gifts and she is wondering how to deal with it. Both from a punishment standpoint and to deal with the Santa story.

Anyway....what do you do? Some people said to put coal in their stockings (the discoveries were stocking stuffers)

Others said that they always told their kids if they snooped and found their gifts they would be sent back to the store.

Have you had to deal with anything like this? Do you punish your kids by taking away their gifts?

I'm really curious about this.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6803

If I told my kids not to go into a certain area where I kept the gifts, and they did anyway, I would deal with it like any other area of disobedience. Part of it would be natural consequences. There would be no surprises on Christmas morning. I would probably not take away the gift though. Depending on how far out from Christmas you were, (and how old the child is) they would not remember why they were not getting any gifts Christmas AM and it would spoil things for everyone. I try to discipline as soon after the infraction as possible.

We do not teach Santa Claws in our family. I believe it is very important to never lie to your child. I am not sure how you would deal with it if you told your child that Santa got them the gifts and they later found out that it was you.

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I would exchange the gifts if possible, and then I would discipline for the disobeying. If it wasnt possible to exchange gifts I would probably donate the ones they found and then buy something else very small.

Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

I've never had to deal with this, but I'm also not one to leave gifts where they can be easily found. (Really, how does that happen? I'm in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment & I can always find good hiding places.) I also can't recall ever telling my kids NOT to look for gifts, so maybe they've found them & not said anything. If I HAD said don't go looking, then I'd deal with that. They'd probably lose a privilege that day, but I would not go out of my way to exchange or replace those items; the natural consequence of maybe not being surprised on Christmas morning is fine with me. We do love Santa but we don't present him as a mythical being who magically appears with gifts. Santa is the spirit of selfless giving, and we can all be Santa at any time of year.

Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

I've never had to deal with that but I agree with Stacey, the natural consequence is that they've ruined their own surprise. And they'd get some other punishment but not something like taking away their gifts.

We do Santa here too and it was no big deal when my son came to the natural conclusion that he's not real. Now he helps us make it magical for his younger sister. He never thought we were lying or anything!

Rivergallery's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I tell them I will donate them all.. doubt I would.. they have never tested me lol

Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

I'm just not hardcore enough to get rid of the presents or even pretend to. I'd cry before they did!

KimPossible's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3475

I can't imagine taking back presents or exchanging them because my kids found them either!

I was a little taken aback by how many parents were suggesting to put coal in the kids stockings, or told stories about threatening to take their kids gifts back if they found them early.

While some said they only threaten and would never do it (which i'm not personally fond of empty threats), some were dead serious or had done it in the past.

I think that seems so mean and not in the spirit of true giving...a true gift is not conditional! And the worst thing the kid has done was ruin their own surprise.

Now I could see an issue of privacy and maybe giving out some other punishment for breaking a privacy rule, but i guess i've never treated any space in our house as truly private. I don't think I've ever told my kids they can't go in my bedroom, or wherever.

We do Santa here, and if the discovery of hidden gifts meant i needed to somehow try to not give away the santa myth...that would obviously bring on some challenges of a different sort...but they wouldn't involve punishing, coal or taking away gifts!

But actually, i kind of can't wait until the Santa thing is done. It makes things so much easier when you don't have to plan that whole thing out!

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

My brother and I peaked one time, and it was really terrible. We both felt so guilty that we didnt enjoy the christmas season that year. And I saw that my parents had bought me a bright purple leather jacket, that I hated. So I had weeks to worry about what I was going to say when I opened it. I wore that jacket for a couple years because I felt too bad to tell them I hated it

KimPossible's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3475

"mom3girls" wrote:

My brother and I peaked one time, and it was really terrible. We both felt so guilty that we didnt enjoy the christmas season that year. And I saw that my parents had bought me a bright purple leather jacket, that I hated. So I had weeks to worry about what I was going to say when I opened it. I wore that jacket for a couple years because I felt too bad to tell them I hated it

OMG Lisa, this is a funny story. LOL

And i would totally do the same thing if I saw a gift that I didn't like! I'd obsess over a rehearsed opening and reaction until Christmas day.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6803

"KimPossible" wrote:

Now I could see an issue of privacy and maybe giving out some other punishment for breaking a privacy rule, but i guess i've never treated any space in our house as truly private. I don't think I've ever told my kids they can't go in my bedroom, or wherever.

I do not allow my girls into my closet for this reason. That is where I keep my underclothing, and personal items and I really do not want my girls in that space. That is also where I hide birthday and Christmas gifts. I would probably be more upset if she found a stash of condoms or something, so they know that space is off limits. I do not think it is unreasonable to have a space that they do not have to be a part of.

Now, if they happened to find a gift in an area that they were otherwise allowed in, that would be more my fault than theirs.

KimPossible's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3475

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not allow my girls into my closet for this reason. That is where I keep my underclothing, and personal items and I really do not want my girls in that space. That is also where I hide birthday and Christmas gifts. I would probably be more upset if she found a stash of condoms or something, so they know that space is off limits. I do not think it is unreasonable to have a space that they do not have to be a part of.

Now, if they happened to find a gift in an area that they were otherwise allowed in, that would be more my fault than theirs.

Oh i don't think its unreasonable to have an off limits space. I just never have defined one myself. They don't have any desire to snoop much i guess...because I've never given them any reason to think I have anything worth hiding or discovering.

I let my kids help fold underwear, which includes mine, so i dont' worry about that and I hang my bras to dry in plain view. We don't have any condoms anymore....but we do have ky. I don't know, i guess i feel i could give them some explanation they'd accept.

"Oh, its a kind of lotion" Lol

Its not that i think its bad to have one...i've just never said "hey kids, you can't go in this place...okay?"