Don’t get me wrong, gift cards are fantastic gifts!!  I love shopping for myself and buying something I normally wouldn’t with a lovely gift card; but I’m a grown-up, I can make smart decisions… my 6 year-old is a completely different story.  (I had no idea spending a gift card could be so painful!!)

A Toys-R-Us gift card had been burning a hole in her pocket since her birthday over a week ago.  Yesterday, I finally gave into going to the store to spend it with her.  Inside the store I quickly learned gift cards are meant to be spent by the parents for the kids.  Literally, we spent an hour of going down the same 3 aisles deciding between toys that she really didn’t need.  $30 is a lot; I showed her she could get actual playsets instead of silly chotchkies that would just fill up her shelves.

She couldn’t decide on anything.  Nothing.  It became painful to watch.  I felt my face turning into the “frustrated mom face” and my voice started sounding annoyed.  I was done and she could have stayed in there all day struggling to decide.  I realized how much I despise toy stores and their overwhelming amounts of toys.

Somehow I managed to convince her to buy a toy that she would play with.  It was rough; meanwhile the toddler chose a cheap, but good toy, within 5 minutes and held it patiently the entire hour of our deliberations.

So what did we learn from this?!  Kids are not ready for the decision making that comes with gift cards.  Adults are.  I will now be happily accepting gift cards for the kids and will happily go shopping (solo) and will buy appropriate things with these cards.

Clearly shopping is a learned skill we will slowly work on with the kids.  (By this I mean when she is in her teens or when the husband wants to experience this “fun” firsthand.)