WWYD if your child/ren unwrapped the presents under the tree? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my DF told me a story yesterday of a co-worker whose 2 and 4 year old children unwrapped all of the presents that were already under their Christmas tree. The response of the parents really surprised me and I'm curious what the folks here would have done in that situation.

ETA: According to DF, the kids were seperated and questioned about what happened then each sent to their room for the rest of the evening. I don't know exactly how long that was, but each child had dinner in his/her room, as well.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened they were alone long enough to open the gifts, either. I think maybe one parent was upstairs and the other stepped outside or something.
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#2 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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I would have rewrapped them and told the kids that we didn't have the presents until Christmas morning. Or I may have rewrapped them and put them out of the 2 y/o's reach, since the concept of "waiting" may be lost.
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#3 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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At 2 and 4 I would laugh it off. I might have them help me re-wrap some of the gifts. Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them. Especially the 2 year old isn't mature enough to with stand an impulse and temptation.

Now, at 12 adn 14 I would be mad!! They could be at least sneaky (LOL) and try to hid the fact!. LOL Does that make since I would be mad but laugh at it because they are being "kids' and it isn't the end of the world.
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#4 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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I am wondering what kind of HUGE house one must have to not hear the first rip. If my 4 yo somehow managed to open presents in our house without me hearing, I would not be angry. She is 4! I might be disappointed. But I would be more concerned that I was not supervising her well enough. At 2 and 4 yo, some adult needs to be able to at least hear their child doing something that loud or else they are not being supervised well enough.

That said, *I* opened a bunch of presents at age 4. We were having an outdoor BBQ and I snuck in to get into the gifts. No one was mad and I do not even remember doing it. I think people just thought it was cute. My mom said it was her and my dad's fault for losing track of me.
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#5 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them.
Yep. I'm questioning putting out any gifts for my almost 4 and 7 year olds. But if they had been unwrapped, I hope I would laugh, re-wrap, and put away until it was time to open them. Or maybe let a child have 1 each since they already saw them...

I'm afraid to ask with the parents in the OP did...
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#6 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
At 2 and 4 I would laugh it off. I might have them help me re-wrap some of the gifts. Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them.
Yep. Same here.
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#7 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
At 2 and 4 I would laugh it off. I might have them help me re-wrap some of the gifts. Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them. Especially the 2 year old isn't mature enough to with stand an impulse and temptation.

Now, at 12 adn 14 I would be mad!! They could be at least sneaky (LOL) and try to hid the fact!. LOL Does that make since I would be mad but laugh at it because they are being "kids' and it isn't the end of the world.
I agree. How could a 2 and 4 yr old resist??
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#8 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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With our little bitty kids, we don't put wrapped packages under the tree til christmas eve. Just too much temptation, IMO.

edit: reading comprehension is my friend. I could have done a quote and a :me too"
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#9 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I wouldn't have my kids' presents under the tree before xmas eve. I like them to be shocked at all the presents under the tree on xmas morning!

I did make the mistake of putting some of the presents I wrapped for my mom under the tree this year, as I was wrapping them. My 22 month old unwrapped one and broke it. I wasn't mad -- I laughed about it and moved all the other presents away so that it wouldn't happen again, and I was able to replace the broken one easily.

It happened again when he unwrapped one of his dad's presents immediately after I wrapped it yesterday . . . as soon as I turned around to put the tape up so he couldn't waste any more of it. Oh well, I taped it back up and it's fine.

I would have been mad if it were my four year old (well, last year when she was four, she's five now). She understands not to do that and had never tried.

If an older child 4+ opened any of their presents before xmas, I would probably take them back to the store and exchange them for other things. I like them to be surprised on xmas morning.

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#10 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MomInFlux View Post

I'm afraid to ask with the parents in the OP did...
According to DF, the kids were seperated and questioned about what happened then each sent to their room for the rest of the evening. I don't know exactly how long that was, but each child had dinner in his/her room, as well.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened they were alone long enough to open the gifts, either. I think maybe one parent was upstairs and the other stepped outside or something.
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#11 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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I wouldn't of even had the gifts out yet! I mean can you blame the kids? they're too little..... IMO that's just asking for them to open the presents!

Maaaammaa!! to A 2/99 M 7/00 J 10/04 B 4/07 S 3/09
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#12 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamamilkers View Post
According to DF, the kids were seperated and questioned about what happened then each sent to their room for the rest of the evening. I don't know exactly how long that was, but each child had dinner in his/her room, as well.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened they were alone long enough to open the gifts, either. I think maybe one parent was upstairs and the other stepped outside or something.
Yeah - that's putting the spirit of Christmas into them! Sometimes you have to shove it down their throats darnit. They better be happy when they open them on christmas morning too - or else they'll get more of the same I hope!

jeepers.
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#13 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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Same here...I don't put them out until Christmas Eve when they're sleeping!

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#14 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I'd laugh. I'd explain to them that it's more fun when everyone opens their presents together on Christmas morning. I'd re-wrap them all and probably put them where they couldn't find them if I didn't think they were on board with the program.

When my DD was about 4 we were spending Christmas at my sisters house. One afternoon, probably the 22 or 23rd my nieces fiance hollers... "Uh... hey Kama! Is you DD supposed to be doing this?" She was sitting on the landing half way up the stairs with a handful of giftwrap in one hand and a toy in the other. We laughed and told her... Okay... but no more!
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#15 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bullfrog View Post
Yeah - that's putting the spirit of Christmas into them! Sometimes you have to shove it down their throats darnit. They better be happy when they open them on christmas morning too - or else they'll get more of the same I hope!

jeepers.
I don't get how a two year old is going to understand that they're not to open them....

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#16 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamamilkers View Post
According to DF, the kids were seperated and questioned about what happened then each sent to their room for the rest of the evening. I don't know exactly how long that was, but each child had dinner in his/her room, as well.
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#17 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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I wouldnt tease them with this, If we did do christmas I wouldnt put them under the tree till right before they woke up.


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#18 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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If those kids are getting into the presents, chances are they are also getting into other stuff. I would think to myself that I need to watch my kids better and keep them better occupied. I see it as a discipline issue and would blame myself. And laugh. It would make a good story. So, I would rewrap presents, tell them they do not get them until xmas morning, and then get them busy doing something appropriate. I would chastise myself for not watching them better. I mean, they had to have been by themselves, making a loud mess for a while. Bad mommy!
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#19 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chinese Pistache View Post
I agree. How could a 2 and 4 yr old resist??
Huh, we have had presents under our tree for a week or two now, neither the 2 year old or 4 year old have touched them. We talked about how they are for christmas.

What would I do? I don't know, I wouldn't be "mad" but I might be aggravated at the extra work. I probably would express my frustration at having to rewrap, etc to my DD (who is 4.5) - if they opened presents for themselves, I'd probably just let them keep them but explain that we really wanted to open them all together and that they will have less to open on christmas as a result - I might give her the option of rewrapping them. I would not put any more under the tree if they did it once though.

What was the surprising response?

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#20 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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We have our gifts under the tree, but James is really good about staying away from them...plus we're in a 650sq/ft apt so it's not like he can sneak off and do it, the gifts are pretty much in my sight at all times. Really, we've only had to tell James a couple times not to touch the gifts, he's been really good.

If he did get at them, I'd figure it was my fault for having them out and tempting him and let him have them *shrug* I'm sure DH would disagree with me but he's much more strict than me.

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#21 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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Huh, we have had presents under our tree for a week or two now, neither the 2 year old or 4 year old have touched them. We talked about how they are for christmas.
Well, I know lots of 2 and 4 yr olds that couldn't resist. My 2 yr old keeps going after our gifts but the 4 and 7 yr old remind her not to

That said, my aunt took away her children's gifts (ALL of them) when they opened them and didn't give them back. I think that's a pretty unreasonable response to 2 and 4 yr old behavior (and sort of what I guessed the OP was going to say).
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#22 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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I just told dh the other day that I was really shocked that dd hadn't tried to open any of them yet. I did have her put them under the tree and told her who they were for as she did it, so maybe she understood that they weren't for her?

I would not have punished them at 2 and 4. I would have kicked myself for not explaining very throughly that they were for another day and other people. I would have laughed and had them help me rewrap, handing me tape, putting them back ect.
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#23 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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I vividly remember waking up around 3am one Christmas morning to the sound of my then 2 year old sister unwrapping the presents under the tree. At 6.5, I was outraged of course, LOL, but I know my dad (divorced parents) repaired the damage and laughed it off.
Makes a great story now, especially since I have a 2 year old.
I'm really curious how the OP's DF's coworker handled it though...

ETA: I posted late and now see the "solution"
definitely extreme, IMO
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#24 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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I wouldn't of even had the gifts out yet! I mean can you blame the kids? they're too little..... IMO that's just asking for them to open the presents!
Yep. I don't think I could have resisted at 13, let alone 2 and 4. That's just too much to ask.
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#25 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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This is why we don't put any presents under the tree until the kids are asleep on the night of the 24th. At the age of 2 and 4 I wouldn't worry about it and would just laugh it off and let them play with their new stuff. They don't really get the whole need to wait until a certain day so I doubt they really are going to care that there is nothing to open on the day the family officially celebrates anyways. They can have a nice celebration without worrying about the gifts.

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#26 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them.
:

For crying out loud, I didn't put any under the tree with only DH around as he would fiddle with them until he had guessed every single one. We have an empty tree until everyone is in bed on Christmas Eve and that's just the way it always will be. DH will never grow up.
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#27 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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There's a reason there are no presents under the tree in our house right now (they're all up high, where dd (21 mos) can't reach them). i.e., I know my child and my child would unwrap them all without thinking about it. And who could blame her?

I don't have a 4 year old, or even a 2 year old (quite yet), but I'm kinda wondering how long you have to leave them alone, and how far from hearing distance you have to be, to miss that they were unwrapping every single gift under the tree. So I think, completely honestly, if this happened in my house, I would . . .

Find a newspaper. Roll it up nice and tight. And smack myself in the rear. (ok, metaphorically speaking only; there is no violence in our home!).

It's my fault if I leave my toddlers unattended long enough to unwrap all those presents.
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#28 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
At 2 and 4 I would laugh it off. I might have them help me re-wrap some of the gifts. Honestly at that age I wouldn't have even had any under the tree to tempt them. Especially the 2 year old isn't mature enough to with stand an impulse and temptation.
:

My kids are the same age and the situation mentioned in the OP is *exactly* why their gifts are still hiding under my bed (OT: but I'm shocked they haven't found them yet, talk about most obvious hiding spot in the world ). Heck, I'll probably won't put gifts out under the tree until after they're in bed on Christmas Eve as teenagers . . . if they're anything like me when I was a teenager, they'll unwrap and rewrap the gifts while I'm gone so they can see what they got.

Mama to my 3 wild things.

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#29 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 02:04 PM
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I was 3 or 4 when I took a few presents and hid inside my grandma's endtable (one of those hexagon ones with a door on one side - anyone know what I'm talking about??) and opened them.

They were Strawberry Shortcake figurines -a couple of inches tall, and they smelled like the food. I got SS, Lemon Meringue, and Blueberry Muffin.

I left the toys and the plastic packaging and the wrapping paper and all inside the endtable.

At some point before Christmas they were found. The torn paper and packaging was thrown away and the toys rewrapped.

I knew I was in trouble when I crawled into the endtable to play and they were gone.

On Christmas I had those three little funnily misshapen gifts to open and pretend to be surprised about. No one in my family EVER said anything to me about it (until as an adult we joked about it). But I felt SO guilty knowing I had been caught, and that they obviously knew, and I obviously knew they knew....

that I never did it again.
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#30 of 91 Old 12-20-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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I was 3 or 4 when I took a few presents and hid inside my grandma's endtable (one of those hexagon ones with a door on one side - anyone know what I'm talking about??) and opened them.
We had one! My brother used to hide in it for hide & seek. The rest of the time, that's where we kept the games.

What cured me of being nosy about gifts was...you know, I smell a spinoff!
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