to think I shouldn't be expected to buy presents for niece's step child? (turned out long, sorry)

(90 Posts)
Morgause Mon 13-May-13 15:56:30

I've always been very close to my niece, having no daughters of my own. We used to spend a lot of time together as she was growing up and I used to take her out for treats. Our families have also always been close and she has always loved our sons - her only cousins.

She married 10 years ago and she and her DH moved away to live but they used to come "home" regularly and we got to know and love her two children. We always buy them something nice at birthdays and Christmas

Time passes. She divorced and is now married again and they have a child between them and, of course, we have got to know the new baby, although we don't see them as often as we used to as they live quite some distance away.

Her new DH (nice chap) has a son from his previous marriage who we have only met once, at their wedding.

They were visiting her DPs a couple of weeks ago so we went over to see them with a present for her oldest child whose birthday was in a fortnight's time. Her DH said it was also <his son's name>'s birthday next month. I felt a bit embarrassed because it's never crossed my mind to buy a present for a child I don't know and who doesn't know me.

After they had gone I asked my sis if she thought I should be buying presents for the child. She said no because none of niece's DH's family buy for her children except his parents who bought them a little something at Christmas birthdays and sis does the same for niece's step son.

Today niece posted a thank you for the lego set message from her son on my FB page. Her DH added as a comment that <his son's name> would like a specific lego model from his "Auntie Morgause" next week.

It is a monumental cheek, isn't it? Or could he be joking? I haven't replied yet, not sure what to say. Seems such a trivial thing to worry about but I don't want to upset my niece.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 15:58:33

That should say Christmas and birthdays.

sue52 Mon 13-May-13 15:59:26

I think it's buy for all the children or none of them. The step child should be seen as equal to the other DC.

He is a VERY rude man. No you shouldn't be expected to buy a gift for a child you don't know, just because your niece married his father. I'm sure he has plenty of his own aunts/uncles/relatives to buy for him.

I might have given him 5 or 10 quid at the time his father said it's his birthday, as a "oh it is, well here have 10 quid and get yourself a little something" Or I might not depending on how his father said it.

CSIJanner Mon 13-May-13 16:01:16

Her husband added a comment requesting a certain Lego set from you on Fb which no doubt the rest of the family can see?

YANBU - bloody cheeky. I think you may have to ring your neice to clarify though.

thezebrawearspurple Mon 13-May-13 16:04:23

I would never buy presents for any of them again, demanding gifts, how rude!

ENormaSnob Mon 13-May-13 16:04:56

The father is a cheeky fucker.

Not sure re the gift tbh, I would probably send a small gift if I knew the child.

Probably not if I didn't know or see him.

EuroShaggleton Mon 13-May-13 16:05:42

He was very rude, but personally, I think you should buy for all children of the family if you are going to buy for one. That is what we do with my BIL's children (youngest is biologically his, eldest is not).

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 16:07:09

Sue52, I've known the other children all their lives and they know me. I don't know the other child we have no relationship, other than a brief conversation at the wedding. This child's uncles and aunt don't buy for niece's children and niece seems happy with that.

Thanks HRN ad CSIJanner, I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking he has a cheek. It's not a cheap set either. We're maybe a bit too generous with the presents but we're a small family and we can afford it.

MrsKoala Mon 13-May-13 16:07:39

WHAT!? no way. I could understand if you had bought the child presents for a number of years and then your niece said something like 'if you are planning to get x a pressie and can't think of anything he is collecting y set'. But this way is totally rude and i would now purposely not buy him anything OR if i was feeling generous i might buy something completely different.

Personally I would have been planning to buy him a little something for his birthday as i do think once new children are added to the family you should buy for all. But the way this has been done is very crass.

MumOfTheMoos Mon 13-May-13 16:08:47

He was being very cheeky but I have always treated step children the same as non step children, just as I was. Every one of my step dads family bought me Christmas presents just the same as my step brother and sister even if we hardly saw them. It's called being part of a family.

That is a very rude way to go about it. But perhaps its happening a lot and he's fed up (or perhaps it's a bad joke, or perhaps he's bloody rude, who knows).

But generally speaking, if I was visiting a family with two children, and both children had birthdays in the next couple of weeks, I'd expect to take a present each (or no presents).

You may not know your new nephew well at the moment, but you are presumably going to get to know him from now on.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 16:09:09

If we saw the child and had got to know him I probably would buy him presents but we never see him. They only come over when he is with his DM.

bamboostalks Mon 13-May-13 16:10:13

V cheeky.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 16:10:17

Sorry, I should have said. His DC wasn't visiting, he never does. Sis only sees him when they visit niece.

Loa Mon 13-May-13 16:11:07

I don't like people presuming I'd buy them anything - however perhaps they are experiencing or expecting issues with the DC in their nuclear family being treated differently and its a clumsy attempt to address that? Rather like new parents requesting that older DC aren't left out when a new baby comes along kind of thing?

I'd probably get something this time then quietly drop the whole present thing in future - just do Christmas of family present at Christmas saying it was getting to much.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Mon 13-May-13 16:11:51

Wow. Requesting particular gifts is very very rude unless it is the established way of doing things in your family, or you have asked what he would like.

YANBU

CSIJanner Mon 13-May-13 16:12:44

It is bloody cheeky. The only saving grace is that he was blatant and didn't put it in poetry form.

Ring your niece. What you could do is point out that whilst you're more than happy to get something within budget for his birthday next month (I spend the same on all of the children in the family but some may seem to get a better present because I manage to find a bargain), it may start nieces children questioning why they haven't been receiving from their step-fathers side of the family also?

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 13-May-13 16:13:07

Normally I would say you buy for one child you buy for all. however as you dont "know" this child and therefore didnt know it was his birthday (in a months time ffs) i wouldnt expect you to buy him a present.

Your neice's husband is a rude cheeky fuckwit. I would want to shrivel up and die of shame if my DP spoke to my relative like that! I'd have deleted what he wrote and told him what a rude twat he was being.

Midori1999 Mon 13-May-13 16:15:40

There's no doubt the father was very rude, but that's hardly the DC's fault, is it?

I think it's awful to buy for some DC in a family, but not others. My family buy presents/give money to my DSC who don't even live with us and who they hardly know.

needaholidaynow Mon 13-May-13 16:16:30

That is very very cheeky.

My auntie has never bought my DSD anything. She says DSD is "nothing" to her. I can't change the way she thinks or feels, but yes, Christmas and Easter can be quite awkward sometimes. I like it when she comes round when DSD isn't here on those occasions to avoid any upset. My mum's side of the family aren't big on Stepfamilies, but hey ho as long as we give DSD the best then she doesn't need to know my extended family does she?

shewhowines Mon 13-May-13 16:16:46

I'd normally say treat them the same if you have any sort of relationship with them but if you've only met him once at the wedding and are not likely to see him again, then definitely no. Will you be seeing him at future family occasions? If yes, then perhaps a small token gift but not a huge present.

Stuff the cheeky lego, unless the child is going to be regularly in your life.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 16:17:41

He has a bit of a weird sense of humour so I''m hoping it was a joke.

I had asked niece what lego set her son would like and given her a price range. She never takes us for granted and always asks for something cheap for herself and her children until I twist her arm.

Her step son has a lot bigger family than her own children and they all just buy for the step son, not her children.

Accidentallyquirky Mon 13-May-13 16:21:23

I'd be gutted if dh's family didn't treat dd the same as our ds who's due soon.
I would never treat children differently but that's just me. A friend of dh has two boys and another step child, our first Xmas I went out and bought all three a gift, as we exchanged gifts they had bought me and dd nothing and dh a small gift... I won't lie I was gutted on behalf of dd. the same thing happened for birthdays and Easter when I finally snapped and got upset over it. Mil had a word with dh and he finally understood my point of view so we simply didnt buy anything last Xmas or for birthdays this year - suprise suprise they looked put out when we didnt bring the kids gifts, but they still hadn't bought for dd (a selection box would have solved the issue it's not the cost etc just that dd had to watch th three boys infront of her getting gifts )

However the dad writing on a public status what gift his son would like is rude.

CSIJanner Mon 13-May-13 16:21:51

*pressed post too soon

Having said that, the children should be treated the same - there was that awful thread at Christmas about the granny who wouldn't buy for her daughters adopted child but only wanted to buy for the biological ones. Different situation to this as the dad is being a cheeky fecker, but it will mean a lot to your step-nephew and probably your niece if you did get something small.

But make it clear to her husband that he was being rude.

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