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to think that children should buy presents out of their own money?

(217 Posts)
Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 01:10:10

My DCs are 10 and 8. They receive very little pocket money, and small amounts of cash at birthdays and Christmas if they're lucky. If it is a family birthday, or Christmas, I expect them to use some of their own money to buy presents, and to really give some thought to the gift. If they had no money (but they should really hold enough back), they could make something. They sometimes also buy little presents for friends' birthdays, eg a packet of sweets. This makes the giving and the receiving really mean something. I have been really put off by seeing my, much older, nieces give no presents, or give presents which they have at best chosen at speed, with their mum doing the buying. They simply prefer to keep their money for themselves, and their mum goes along with this. At the same time, they don't bother to say thank you if you give them a present. It just feels like take take take.

NatashaBee Thu 14-Mar-13 01:18:53

I think it's maybe a bit much to expect them to save for presents on what you admit is a small amount of money. How much do they get? If it were me, I would consider giving them a raise with the proviso that they needed to start planning and budgeting for presents out of the extra.

Yep, give them a present budget, set aside.

StuntGirl Thu 14-Mar-13 02:24:13

At 10 and 8? Christ.

HillBilly76 Thu 14-Mar-13 02:28:38

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Slur Thu 14-Mar-13 02:30:09

Meh.

Thought by all means but money depends on sitch.

Drawings, homemade cards fine, bought gifts are only ever going to be relative. Ask yourself of the disposable cash you have what % do you spend on your mate's birthday eh?

As a child, and sod that at all ages, it is enough to show you care. That's mostly about time and effort.

Astelia Thu 14-Mar-13 02:49:18

At that age I helped my DCs choose the presents and I paid. They found it very hard knowing what to get and they couldn't go shopping by themselves at that age. I think you are being hard on your DCs personally.

OkayHazel Thu 14-Mar-13 02:54:18

If they are too young to go shopping on their own, they are too young to spend on their own.

ripsishere Thu 14-Mar-13 03:02:53

I think YABU, and I don't often say that.
My DD doesn't really get pocket money, she is very a bit spoiled and I get her what she wants and needs within reason.
If she has to buy a present for her friend, I get it for her.

exoticfruits Thu 14-Mar-13 03:16:35

If they are going to do that then they need more pocket money to allow for it. To do it from their very meagre amount of money is unfair and not teaching them much at all. They can still have thoughtful attitudes and enjoy giving if you pay.
I would sit down and work out what they need to pay for in a year and then work out how much money they need a week to budget for it.

sleepywombat Thu 14-Mar-13 03:48:20

YANBU. I used to do this as a child.

I generally made things as gifts - papier mache bowls, decorated flower pots, truffles, cookies.
But I also took money out of my piggy bank/account to buy things for gifts at Woolies. I used to get very excited Christmas shopping & would take 10pounds out & really enjoyed choosing stuff & trying to keep 'in budget'.
My cousins did the same & it really was more 'meaningful' that the gift was from them not something their mother picked out (some of my aunt's gifts were a bit odd, so glad she didn't actually).
At that age I got 50p a week pocket money (this was 20 years ago so would be a lot more now with inflation).

I don't think 8 is too young to go shopping?! Surely you can take them to a shop & they can choose what they want to buy & buy it?!

I will be doing the same with my dcs when they are older. My eldest is only 3, but I try to involve him in choosing what to buy & he 'makes' (draws/paints/sticks) the card.

Teaching me the value of money is one of many things for which I am grateful to my Mum (she also charged me 'rent' (a small amount) when I got my first Saturday job). I have always been good with money & have saved all my life - as a result I had a deposit to put down on our house.

LadyWidmerpool Thu 14-Mar-13 04:33:15

Your nieces give presents but you don't like how they are chosen or paid for. It's not really your business, is it?

Do they literally not say thank you if you hand them a present? Or do they not send thank you letters?

SkinnybitchWannabe Thu 14-Mar-13 07:12:07

YAB a little U.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 07:15:00

How much pocket money do they get? That's the crucial thing here. How much, and what sort of arrangements do you have for them getting more money if they need it?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Mar-13 07:15:40

YABU if they have very little pocket money to start with.

If they get cash at birthdays etc, then that should be for them to spend on things for themselves, not to save to buy other people's presents.

Bobyan Thu 14-Mar-13 07:17:48

So you give them very little pocket money which they are then expected to spend on your demand on other peoples' presents?
I think you're just being tight.
And your nieces are none of your business.

fuzzpig Thu 14-Mar-13 07:20:45

Too young IMO. Maybe wait until they start secondary? Also less likely to be invited to loads of parties by that age so they'd only need to buy presents for a few special friends.

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 07:27:03

I would rather the child spent their money on themselves than me. I would never expect to be given a present from a child

If they want to get someone a gift then lovely but they shouldn't be forced

Pickles101 Thu 14-Mar-13 07:32:26

YABU - either give them a raise or set aside a fiver or whatever when a birthday is approaching for their present budget. They are a bit too small for this - my parents did the same with me but I was about 12/13 and able to consider what people would enjoy from a gift independently.

I don't see how your plan of making something works either, surely they'd have to go out and buy supplies if they were making more than a card anyway? What exactly are they meant to craft out of bits of crap from the house!? Or do you live at Hobbycraft hmm

And for all you know, your nieces get no pocket money at all, which is why their mother buys gifts on their behalf or maybe it's NOYB

Fairylea Thu 14-Mar-13 07:38:36

I think you are expecting way too much of them for their ages.

My dd is 10 and she is only just starting to understand the idea of having her own money and saving up for something for herself.. she is very intelligent but would have no willpower or forethought to plan and save and budget for presents for others.

I think at this age you should be in charge of paying for and sorting out present buying with the children maybe helping to choose things and wrapping up and writing cards.

fluffyraggies Thu 14-Mar-13 07:42:21

I think YAB abit U.

I don't give pocket money, cant afford to. We spend lots on them on their b.days and at xmas though, and my DCs have always been lucky enough to have received generous amounts of cash from relatives at those times too. I encourage splashing some of the cash and putting the rest into their saving account.

Since they were 7 or 8 i've made the DCs to buy or make their own little cards for occasions like mothers day, fathers day, their close families b.days etc, but i have always been happy to donate a modest non negotiable amount for them to spend on a present to go with the card. (family - £10ish, friends - £5ish) This way they had input on the card and present but wasn't spending much of their little savings.

I've always made them choose the present and wrap it.

I make them write thank you's for any presents they have received where they couldn't thank in person at the time.

They're teens now, and they mostly manage their own money - but i still make them write thank you's grin

exoticfruits Thu 14-Mar-13 07:44:13

I wondered about the making of things- it can work out more expensive than just buying something- this seems to be the option if they have no money and yet you need the materials to make anything.
If I give a child money for Christmas or birthday then it is because I want them to spend it on themselves and not to recycle it for someone else.
I can't see anything wrong with it BUT they need enough pocket money on a weekly basis to cover it and then they need the freedom to shop for it without adult interference. If they have very little money and a parent supervising the buying then they may as well choose and let the parent pay.

Jinsei Thu 14-Mar-13 07:49:21

YABU - it's fine to make them pay, but if you want them to buy the presents, then give them a bit more pocket money so that they can genuinely afford it and have sone left over. The money they get at Christmas and Birthdays definitely shouldn't be spent on presents for other people. sad

Having said that, my dd (7) very sweetly wrapped up £8 from her piggy bank to give to me on mother's day because she hadn't had a chance to go out with her dad to buy a present!

livinginwonderland Thu 14-Mar-13 07:50:53

yabu. they're too young to be doing that, especially when you admit you don't give them much money in the first place. if i was to give a 10 or 8 year old money as a gift, i'd expect their parents to take them out to buy stuff they wanted - a toy, maybe, or a computer game or a board game, something THEY wanted. christmas/birthday money at that age isn't to be saved to spend on other people!

exoticfruits Thu 14-Mar-13 07:51:59

There is a huge difference between freely choosing to spend their own money and being told that they must.

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