To not give the non-birthday sibling a present?

(191 Posts)
waitingforsomething Tue 28-Jun-16 06:51:26

It is my DS 1st birthday in July, my DD will have her 4th birthday in November so a while away. I was chatting to a friend about what I would get DS, and she asked me what I had got for DD. When I said nothing as it isn't her birthday friend looked aghast and said she gives something small to the non-birthday kids and it's mean to make one kid look on while the other gets a ton of gifts. Is this normal practise? I hadn't even thought of it, DD will join in with his cake/party and 'help' him open his presents of course, but I wasn't going to give her a present.
What do people do on mumsnet? Is it unreasonable for her not to get a gift on his birthday?

HSMMaCM Tue 28-Jun-16 06:53:05

Of course you don't have to buy a present for the other child. What a silly idea.

SestraClone Tue 28-Jun-16 06:54:16

This isn't a "thing", your friend is nuts.

HoggleHoggle Tue 28-Jun-16 06:55:11

Each to their own and all, but personally I really disagree with giving a gift to the non-birthday child. Include them in the celebrations as much as possible but it's a life lesson to learn that sometimes we celebrate other people and you'll get your turn on your own day.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Tue 28-Jun-16 06:55:17

Only the birthday person gets gifts in our house. Surely it's part of learning the joy of giving? And learning to celebrate for other people? Other sibling also gets to go to party/eat cake/ join the birthday treat if appropriate but no gifts unless it is your birthday.

I try and encourage excitement in choosing and presenting a gift instead.

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 28-Jun-16 06:57:33

She'll get some cake, won't she? I might do a party bag for a sibling if there was a party but that's it. It's good for children to learn that not everything is about them, I think.

waitingforsomething Tue 28-Jun-16 06:58:59

Sestra :-) :-)
She's actually a really sensible normal person which is why I was doubting myself!! She has 4 children so all the birthdays must get pricey if they're all getting presents.

LetThereBeCupcakes she is likely to eat a fairly large amount of cake!

BarbaraofSeville Tue 28-Jun-16 06:59:39

It's been a thing for a while now. I remember reading about it in the paper a couple of years ago.

I think it's a crazy idea and agree with HoggleHoggle but it's just another example of commercialism tricking people into buying more tat that they don't need and making sure no-one ever feels 'left out'.

MoonlightMedicine Tue 28-Jun-16 07:00:27

I know a lot of people who do this, including my best friend. Each birthday costs her a fortune in sibling gifts. And my in laws and parents insist on doing it with my 2, despite me asking them not to. Their thinking is, they don't want the other child to feel left out and get jealous. But I'm trying to raise kids who don't have this 'it's not fair' attitude, and I feel annoyed that the expectation is they will naturally default to this. So far, neither of mine have.

Each to their own of course, but I think it's important for the children to celebrate each other's birthdays without feeling entitled to gifts themselves.

branofthemist Tue 28-Jun-16 07:00:48

Personally I don't do this. The only family I knew, growing up, who did this were the family where the sisters were always tearing jumps out of each other. There was serious sibling rivalry and their mum did these because both hated the others birthday.

There is nothing wrong with a child having its birthday to themseleves and I think it teaches kids to be happy for other people and understand that some days it's about other people. Not them.

Allatseainthemidlands Tue 28-Jun-16 07:01:35

We did "un birthday presents"- just tokens- for my 3 DCs - which they STILL expect aged 18,16 and 14. Save yourself the bother!!!!smile

ShanghaiDiva Tue 28-Jun-16 07:02:32

My mum used to do this when db and I were little. I was born in the 60s so it's not a new idea.
I don't do this for my children.

Abetes Tue 28-Jun-16 07:03:38

I'm as old as the hills but my Mum always bought me a small present when it was my sister's birthday and now I do the same for my children. When I say present, I mean something very small like a book etc (we're talking £5 max). I've never really thought about it in the terms that everyone has mentioned, it's just what we do.

ladygracie Tue 28-Jun-16 07:04:19

I do it because my parents did it for me & my sister. Not sure why really.

ItsyBitsyBikini Tue 28-Jun-16 07:04:39

Ooh my in laws are like this but not just for birthdays. We live 2 hours away so only go there once every 5-6 weeks but they always ask what I'll be taking 3yo niece as a present. Wtf?! It's a regular weekend she doesn't get a present. It's got to the point where she asks dp for a present now because she's so used to people telling her we're coming with a gift!
It must get very expensive for families like your friends with 4 kids round birthdays. And where does it end? If one does well in school and gets a present do the rest?

froubylou Tue 28-Jun-16 07:05:04

I will be doing it this year. But dd will be 12 and ds is 2.7. And he loves presents. He isn't old enough to process it's dds special day and dd is old enough to understand £10 of tat wrapped for ds doesn't make her day shared or less special.

I remember as a child my younger sister being horrendously jealous on our birthdays. She invariably had a tantrum, mum got stressed and it took the shine off opening presents.

DollyBarton Tue 28-Jun-16 07:07:28

I personally think it's unhealthy for kids to not learn their turn. My 2 yr old was so sweet on his baby sisters birthday. He was really respectful of his sisters gifts and for once asked permission to play with them. He definitely understood it was her day and really enjoyed the party. What message would I be sending if he got gifts too!

margaritasbythesea Tue 28-Jun-16 07:10:09

I do this, but only because my children's birthday, in fact birth hour falls exactly 6 months and 12 hours apart and I think that us quite a nice unique thing about them worth celebrating. Also, a bit because dd's birthday is on the first of January, which us crap.

I didn't expect it to be a general thing.

DollyBarton Tue 28-Jun-16 07:10:13

Froubylou I completely disagree that 2.7 is too young to understand. Completely up to you what you do but just saying I think a 2.7yr old can definitely understand.

bruffin Tue 28-Jun-16 07:13:09

My mum did this in the 60s as well.
I dont mainly because all our birthdays are in the same week and dcs are 5 days apart

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 28-Jun-16 07:17:34

People did it when I was a child. My parents didn't and in fact were very anti it. Guess who does it for my dc hmm they don't do anything huge. Bottle of bubble bath that sort of thing it really is just a token.

Noodledoodledoo Tue 28-Jun-16 07:18:31

My mum used to do this for me and my sister bother bon in 70s. No idea why, certainly wasn't due to sibling rivalry we get/got on pretty well! Can't even remember when it stopped! I won't be doing it for mone.

Think it was because my mum liked buying presents!

Nivea101 Tue 28-Jun-16 07:19:36

I think a birthday should be just about the child whose special day it is, kinds of takes the shine from them if you have to buy for other siblings.

PurpleDaisies Tue 28-Jun-16 07:20:11

I don't do this. I agree that it's important for children to be able to cope with not being the centre of attention and wait their turn.

NoahVale Tue 28-Jun-16 07:20:32

i remember getting a present, on my ds birthday
consequently i did it for my dc, when they were younger.

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