To think I am not controlling

(24 Posts)

Because I buy my children presents that I chose for their birthdays.

In our house, children get presents they ask for for Christmas, and we chose them things they would like for their Birthdays (They all have birthdays within 3 months of Christmas). I put thought into the presents and pick carefully and the children have never had an issue.

Another Mum in the playground has said its a bit controlling to not let them chose what they want.

Dont other people do it this way?

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 14-Mar-14 16:33:37

I always choose, but have a good idea what dc will.like. Always get at least one thing I know is really desired, as do you probably, so doesn't sound controlling to me.

DoJo Fri 14-Mar-14 16:34:23

I suppose it is a bit odd if there is something that they are desperately hankering after and you insist on giving them something else. But if you are just taking your cues from what they are talking about and judging their enthusiasm for items to find a gift you know they will really like.
How old are they?

DoJo Fri 14-Mar-14 16:35:06

Whoops - there should have been a 'nothing controlling about that.' at the end of the second sentence.

NurseyWursey Fri 14-Mar-14 16:35:28

I get them what they've been hinting at our expressed interest in, why wouldn't I? Why waste money?

phantomnamechanger Fri 14-Mar-14 16:37:30

bit of both here really - they will have a list of things they might like for xmas/birthdays - they by no means get everything on the list! and sometimes I will ignore the things at the top of their list for something just perfect that I know they will love but have not thought of. I LOVE buying presents for people, I shop for bits and pieces all year round and would not think twice about buying someones xmas gift in January if I just happened to see the perfect thing for them. My children like surprises and have never been disappointed by their gifts even when they are not things they have asked for. I think it sets a bad precedent if kids expect to get everything they want.

DD (12) knew she was getting a laptop for Christmas but her favourite gift was a giraffe onesie that she did not know about and she squealed with delight when she saw it.

I buy things they are interested in, so for example for DD's birthday I did her a homemade voucher for build a bear, got her something she has been talking about since she saw it in the Disney shop and a nice new dress and shoes.

I dont buy what I think they should have, but I dont take orders if that makes sense, I save that for Christmas when they ask Santa for what they would really like.

And I agree - the DC's like surprises.

I get DS to write a list and then go from there, although of course, if I see something I think he would like that isn't on the list I may well get it.

I wouldn't get him something though because I want him to have it if it's something I don't think he will use/enjoy - that would be controlling.

phantomnamechanger Fri 14-Mar-14 16:43:38

DoJo - sometimes even the things they are hankering after are still destined to be a waste of money though, and sometimes a parent knows this. DD wanted rollerblades or heelies for a couple of years. In the end we let her buy a cheap pair of heelies off ebay - she has worn them twice and not for over a year now, I bet they wont fit any more. If they had been her main present from us I would have been really upset.

I am of the generation whose sensible parents did not allow me a Mr Frosty (did you see that thread? grin) and it did not really do me any harm, I can remember lots of lovely Christmases and birthdays even without this gift. I can now see what a piece of tat it was!

No I don't think it is controlling.

rookiemater Fri 14-Mar-14 16:47:37

Phantom - I hankered after one too and managed to find a Mr Frosty in a charity shop for £3 the other week - it's sat in my car book ever since and I'm thinking I might resell on E-bay.

We like to get DS stuff he'll like, but also stuff that is a surprise and will hopefully delight him on the day. I would really have loved a Mr Frosty as a DC and a girls world ( although I eventually got my cousin's highly used one when she was finished with it), my parents knew this and I now find it kind of odd that they didn't get me these things.

cory Fri 14-Mar-14 16:53:11

In our house a wish list is just that: information about things you wish for. It is not a delivery form for Tesco's. Sometimes they get what's on the list, sometimes not.

LittleMissLurksALot Fri 14-Mar-14 17:02:42

I think that's a fine way to go about it - my parents always tended to buy surprise presents for me and I loved it because I was really indecisive and would never have received any gifts otherwise!

As long as they are presents your DCs will enjoy and make good use of then what does it matter? It would be a bit U if they were asking for specific gifts and you totally disregarded them for both Christmas and birthdays, but as long as they have the opportunity to ask for certain things at some point then YANBC at all!

HannerHet Fri 14-Mar-14 17:35:08

No of course it's not controlling. They might never have seen/heard of certain toys you find that they might like. And a surprise is usually good. I do the same as you

RedFocus Fri 14-Mar-14 17:52:33

I chose what my kids get at Christmas and birthdays...what they want will influence what I chose but it is down to me what I buy them in the end.

Nomama Fri 14-Mar-14 17:56:17

Good grief. Wasn't it normal to be all in excited to see what pressies you got? Never knowing... you couldn't be disappointed cos you never really had an inkling as to what might be possible.

I never, ever knew and never, ever bought pressies off a list.

Confound their expectations, I say!

treaclesoda Fri 14-Mar-14 17:59:06

the idea of the recipient of a present getting to dictate what that present is is totally alien to me. I find the idea of children demanding a particular item to be really strange.

But as the parent, I also think I have something of a responsibility to show an interest in my child's interests and therefore buy them something that they will actually like. Nothing to be gained in presenting them with something that is of no interest to them and then wondering why they're not grateful for it.

notso Fri 14-Mar-14 18:08:45

Not sure really my Mum and Dad didn't agree with Barbies, My Little Ponies, Care Bears or Cabbage Patch dolls.
They bought us cars and garages, Thomas the Tank ride ons, puppets Sylvanian Families, toys we really liked and played with but not what we really wanted.
My Mum says she felt guilty when we bought a MLP and a Barbie from a jumble sale and played with them non stop for months.

I tend to do the opposite to you, my DC generally get surprises for Christmas and something chosen for their Birthday.

SlateTiles Fri 14-Mar-14 18:10:13

Hey, you're not my mum are you??

Just kidding! Have you seen my thread, OP?

Joysmum Fri 14-Mar-14 18:27:25

We like dilute prides in this house. How can the recipient choose their own present if they are getting a surprise?

Sounds to me that she's project her controlling attitudes on to you and had it the wrong way around.

EurotrashGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 00:16:14

Why is the fact that their birthdays are close to Christmas relevant? Also, do you have a particular reason for not having them choose their own presents?

wannabestressfree Sat 15-Mar-14 00:25:12

I think for smaller children that's fine but older children may have set ideas about what they would like (I know mine would)
I tend to mix and do the same at Christmas.

Anotheronebitthedust Sat 15-Mar-14 00:40:51

I think it's quite a nice idea at the moment, as your children seem quite young. As the adult you probably have a better idea of what's good value for money/what they will enjoy for more than 5 minutes/what they would actually like as opposed to being drawn in by sneaky advertising than they will!

However I don't know if you'll be able to carry on down this route when they get older. Teenagers can be SO specific; one brand can be cool, and another (identical looking) T shirt can be unwearable. As much as you think you know their interests, it can be so easy to get it wrong.From the age of 12 or so, whenever my mum tried to get me something I hadn't specifically asked for, it was inevitably wrong. I was always grateful, and never rude about it, but the item inevitably never got used, and so was just a waste of money, and upsetting because I got excited and then disappointed, and then had to try and hide it to save her feelings, which is hard for a young teen on your 'special day'!

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