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.

I cannot believe that so many of you condone a Cinderella like situation where the step child in the family matters most of all, out of "political correctness".

Why should not the two oldest children born to the niece receive some special attention from an aunt? The other two children get both their mum and dad and presents from dads relatives. The two eldest dont? So what is so wrong with these two children having ONE aunt who especially remembers them, and give them presents? How is this unfair on that one other boy who gets plenty of presents from lots of other aunts and uncles?

If anything, the op will teach the children that DSS matters more if she now start sending gifts to him! Then it will be a situation where everybody bestows gifts on that one particular child, and the two eldest dont have anybody special who sends them presents.

exoticfruits Tue 14-May-13 10:33:30

What anyone else does is irrelevant. I am very pleased that all our extended family treat all my DSs as equal and don't have a narrow minded 'they don't really count because they are not blood relatives.'

MerylStrop Tue 14-May-13 10:37:09

I would send a token gift.

To be nice.

It's not the kid's fault his father is so rude.

VenusRising Tue 14-May-13 10:42:33

Not so nice a chap then.

Buy his son a book on manners, or a set of stationery stamps, of "thank you", so he can make cards.

Or just tell him that your budget doesn't extend that far, and that Santa visits at Christmas.

Yes, if you feel you must send a gift, send this book

needaholidaynow Tue 14-May-13 11:01:01

Quintessential

I really do agree with you. DSD doesn't do all that bad with presents and treats, she has all of her family on mum's side, then on DP's side, then she gets loads if presents from family on my dad's side too. So she has a lot of people who love her and think very highly of her. My mum's side of the family are the only people who give DS1 and DS2 a bit of special attention and to be honest it's kind of refreshing to see someone think very highly of just them. DSD has a whole other family on her mum's side who think the same way about her, so sometimes it's nice for my DSs to not have to share that attention with DSD.

Morgause Tue 14-May-13 13:10:08

Thanks for all the replies. Have spoken to sis this morning.

She spotted what he'd posted and told my niece who made him delete and gave him a right telling off. He says it was "just a joke" and has also messaged me earlier to say sorry for his lapse in manners.

Niece doesn't want me to buy her DSS anything ever for birthday or Christmas, and her OH now agrees.

Her parents buy for all the children and she feels that that's enough, given that all DDS's family buy for him and not her 2. Her 2 like that they a have a great Aunt and Uncle who always remember them and know they are as special to us as DSS is to his family.

She has promised to let me know if the situation ever changes.

I say, in my defence, if we were ever going to see the family and DSS was going to be there we wouldn't dream of taking anything over for the other DCs and nothing for him.

Right decision! You don't need to say anything in your defence OP, you sound like a lovely and thoughtful great-aunt.

I don't understand why anyone would be concerned that a child who doesn't even know who you are, having only met you once three years before, would be upset to not get a present from you!

If there is ever a decision made that everyone on both sides of the family buys for all the dc, fair enough. But you are very generous to provide as much as you do!

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 14:43:39

I would delete his comment. And not buy the Lego set.

IrritatingInfinity Tue 14-May-13 16:14:54

That sounds like a good result. I am glad everyone is happy.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 14-May-13 16:44:52

think I would send a card saying 'welcome to the family' or similar and see how things pan out. If you establish a relationship progress to a gift but if not keep it to sending a card to show he is included, perhaps a letter with a bit of 'getting to know you' stuff in it or a photo?

pigletmania Tue 14-May-13 16:50:48

That's great op, good outcome smile

dufflefluffle Tue 14-May-13 16:56:50

Your nieces children are your relatives - not your neices stepson. I don't think adoption is the same as step children CSI. But that stepson has his own set of relatives. I have a sd and would not expect my relatives to buy for her (well when she was younger - she's an adult now).

CSIJanner Tue 14-May-13 17:01:05

Morgause - I really like your niece. She sounds like a star

DeskPlanner Tue 14-May-13 18:08:11

You sound lovely and thoughtful and your niece sounds very sensible. I like the sound of your sister too. grin

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