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


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.

YABU if you only give them a tiny amount of pocket money, what do you expect them to spend? Their birthday and Christmas money? Are they ever able to spend any of their money on themselves?


Let them be children for fucks sake.

Bananapickle Thu 14-Mar-13 07:56:55

When I was young, in fact from when I got pocket money which was when I was five, I had to save back a proportion of it to pay for my siblings and parents birthday and Christmas presents.
I think it does add meaning when you have paid and chosen a present yourself. I'm one of four and we quite often teamed up if someone wanted something specific.
I suppose it comes down to expectations of the standard of present. We weren't well off so I guess our perspective was a bit different.
When my Dd is receiving pocket money she will be expected to put money aside for presents for me and DH and any siblings if she has any!! But I will factor this into the amount we give her and she won't be expected to buy for her friends.

crashdoll Thu 14-Mar-13 07:59:52

YABU. Life is hard enough, let them be children for as long as you can. You said yourself they don't get much pocket money. If you increase it, then by all means, they should help out but otherwise, I think it's mean.

Give them X amount that you want to spend, support them to choose a gift within budget and perhaps a homemade card.

ginslinger Thu 14-Mar-13 08:04:59

my DCs bought or made cards up till about 10 I think and then when they got older they would save up bits of pocket money to buy close family/friends small gifts.

Emilythornesbff Thu 14-Mar-13 08:16:36

I can see what you mean, although by your own admission they have very little money so maybe it's a bit early for them to start buying gifts without having a pocket money increase.
I agree it can be galling to see older "children" (Tweens with a relatively large disposable income) having gifts bought by their parents or being added to the "from" list on gifts, especially when those (often cash -strapped) grown ups continue to buy generous gifts for those youngsters.
Maybe your approach starts them on the right road to taking responsibility for the social convention of gift giving.
Mind you, I find my ideals have "slipped" since having my own dc whom I just want to have everything I can give them grin

Callisto Thu 14-Mar-13 08:17:33

YABU and quite mean as well. Their birthday and Christmas money is for them to spend on what they want, not n presents for others. I wouldn't dream of making DD (nearly 8) spend the money she receives as a gift on gifts for others.

jerrykyle Thu 14-Mar-13 08:20:03

Yabu. Pocket money is ok to use but Xmas and birthday is harsh. Why should they give their cash gift away to someone?

akaemmafrost Thu 14-Mar-13 08:24:38

Cash gifts are presents to be used for them that's why they've been given it. You wouldn't expect them to give away an actual item they'd been given would you?

I think it's mean too and I would really resent being made to do this.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 14-Mar-13 08:28:24

we used to get them to make a card, think about what they want to buy and contribute a small amount, we paid the rest, usually took them shopping to buy too so they got an idea of how much we were spending. they felt part of it then. Now though they buy themselves and shop themselves.

NandH Thu 14-Mar-13 08:32:21


I think YABU to expect them to save up their 'very little pocket money' and/or spend their own birthday and Christmas money on presents for you other people. Giving them a budget for presents and helping them to choose something thoughtful is fine, but treating them like they're now independent, working adults seems a bit strange.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 08:33:37

Also <dons hard hat> why on earth would an 8 year old want a present made for them by another 8 year old? If they want a bunch of flowers made out of pipe cleaners, they could make that for themselves!

Emilythornesbff Thu 14-Mar-13 08:36:19

I think I'd find it difficult to take a gift from a young child. It would need to be very modest indeed.

exoticfruits Thu 14-Mar-13 08:37:03

Fond grandparents like the homemade gift, even as a fond auntie I treasure a few- but I can't imagine my 8yr old DS taking one to a friend's party!

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Mar-13 08:37:42

Present budget out of money given to them as gifts?! Weird.

Present budget out of money early doing household chores like car cleaning, hoovering, perfectly normal. Make the damn jobs up if u have to but to make them do it out of gifts to them is extremely churlish and petty.

I think you'd be risking horribly embarrassing your children by forcing them to take a home made gift and card to a birthday party for a child in their class. That sort of thing is fine within families, but I agree with seeker that it's unlikely to go down well with other 8 year olds.

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Mar-13 08:38:20

Earned not early damn iPhone....

someoftheabove Thu 14-Mar-13 08:48:03

Agree with most other posters that making them use their own cash presents for others is just weird.

Imagine the thank-you to Granny for her £10 Christmas gift to your DC: "Dear Granny, thank you for the £10. I'm looking forward to spending it on your Christmas present." Bonkers.

mrsjay Thu 14-Mar-13 08:54:56

you obviously need to adjust pocket money to afford presents you said they dont get a huge amount so give them a bit extra they are 10 and 8 so not as if they have £s to spend on presents if you cant afford to spend a lot presents then you need to give what you can. Do you expect them to use their own birthday/christmas money ?

I agree they should buy the presents, but give them more pocket money so they can actually do so!

INeverSaidThat Thu 14-Mar-13 09:00:40


I don't think being made to give presents and made to give present choosing thought is any better than a Mum buying a present on their kids behalf.

My older DC's (late teens) now buy little presents for close family. Often just a large chocolate bar. I can't imagine they give the choice of present much thought but I still think it is nice of them.

Good manners is another matter and DC's should know to be polite and say thankyou when they recieve presents.

shewhowines Thu 14-Mar-13 09:05:34


I have always brought their friends birthday presents but

From an early age my dc have chosen their own presents for family from poundland. They choose them, paid for them (with money I gave them when they were tiny and then pocket money at age 7ish) and take complete ownership of them. They love watching their relatives reactions when they are opened and have learnt the joy of giving we have very good actors in our family who appear delighted at some very odd choices .

They have also saved to buy friends christmas presents in recent years which isn't necessary , but they like to. They themselves have increased their budget and choice of shop as they have got older -- and got better taste-- .

It's a great thing to encourage them to do, however they do need enough pocket money to do this. It shouldn't be dependant on money gifts to themselves although I am sure the two income sources get blurred with my DC, but that is up to them how they manage their budget.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 14-Mar-13 09:08:45

YABU. I think it's important to talk about money with children and talk about saving money and spending sensibly, but I think what you are expecting from them is far too much.

shewhowines Thu 14-Mar-13 09:11:09

I also make sure they have opportunities for earning money if they are running short.

Moominlandmidwinter Thu 14-Mar-13 09:11:56


From the age of around 8, I earned 50p per week pocket money, by washing the car. I was expected to buy a Christmas present for most of the members of my family, plus some friends. This amounted to about 20 people. I used to really worry about not having enough money to buy a nice enough present, so I saved my pocket money all year to do it. The only money I could actually spend on myself was when we saw my Grandparents a couple of times a year, and they would give us a few pounds.

Things didn't improve much when I did an apprenticeship. Out of the £40 per week that I got paid, I had to pay half for board. After bus fares, and clothing, toiletries etc, there wasn't much left. I never had the opportunity to save anything for when I left home.

MortifiedAdams Thu 14-Mar-13 09:13:09

So if its their money they are spending, then you would be ok with them.not buying a gift at all then? Seeing as it would be unfair of you to dictate what they spend on.

Bananasinfadedpjs Thu 14-Mar-13 09:18:58

I used to save my pocket money all year just to buy presents for birthdays and Christmas - I think I started when I was about 8.

It was my own idea, and I loved doing it - I think the motivation for it has to come from the child. My parents didn't expect me to buy gifts (and probably would have been relieved to have been spared being presented with cheap aftershave and pot pourri grin), I just really wanted to buy presents myself! I don't like the idea of dictating how a child spends their pocket money. You've given it to them, and so it's theirs to spend as they wish imo.

Ipp3 Thu 14-Mar-13 09:19:08

Idon't think you are being unreasonable. I used to get a little pocket money and I enjoyed saving it in my money box and using it to buy presses for family and the teacher at end of year (can't remember what was done for friends). I was definitely junior school age when I did this. We were poor as piss and my dad used to borrow money from me when they ran out and give me an I.o.u. Promising compound interest! As a result I am pretty good now with budgeting and financial planning! I genuinely did enjoy all that as a kid and I don't really see why some posters regard this as antithetical to childhood, tbh.

Theas18 Thu 14-Mar-13 09:28:29

Don't do it. My 19yr old DDs best mate had this, infact she had huge rules about what she had to do with " her" money. She got very resentful about having to spend a set amount for presents etc.

My kids are 19/17/13 and always make a card. (the eldests cards are amazing !) other gifts vary. DD2 for instance at Xmas gave every one a bookmark that she'd made out of her stash of birthday /Xmas cards , with a wooly plaited tail through a hole punched on and something nice written on the back.

I don't expect my kids to spend their money on me- especially if I've given them that money. It feels wrong.

HorribleMother Thu 14-Mar-13 09:32:49


orangeandlemons Thu 14-Mar-13 09:41:46

So they have to spend their birthday and Christmas present money on other people's presents? That's nice. I would make sure they weren't given any money at all for these, but given presents instead. how would they spend them on other people

My ds has a birthday near Christmas. I used to go mad if he tried to spend his birthday money on Christmas presents. It was his present, and not to be spent on other people. My number one rule.

Talk about tight!

mrsjay Thu 14-Mar-13 09:43:11

I think them spending present money is shocking it is for them because it is well a present, I wouldnt dream of making my dc spend birthday money on others presents it is really tight and a bit weird

Squitten Thu 14-Mar-13 09:45:05


Whilst I think that teaching the principle of money management is a good thing, frankly I would be embarrased if I knew that a small child had used their pocket/birthday/Xmas money to buy me something!

I think it teaches the same point to have them make cards or small gifts so that they understand about the effort and thought that should be put into gift giving. Spending money is really not important

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 14-Mar-13 09:46:47

Yes mrs I agree it is their money. If I gave my niece cash I would want it to be spent on her.

kelda Thu 14-Mar-13 09:47:43

YABU. Any money my children are given gets put into a bank account, and they are allowed to spend a small amount on themselves.

They make cards for family/freinds' birthdays, and I buy the present.

kelda Thu 14-Mar-13 09:48:21

When I say a bank account, I mean their bank account. For when they are older.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 09:51:46

Why do they have to wait til they are older? If I send a child money I expect them to be allowed to spend it. If I sent a present I wouldn't expect it to be sold and the money put in the bank "til they were older". Why is a gift of money any different?

YANBU. We do something similar. They don't get a huge amount of pocket money, but they do get enough to save up to buy themselves some things throughout the year and spend a very small amount on siblings and parents' presents. My mum used to just buy something 'from me' and it was a bit pointless (she has a tendency to do that now given the chance!) They really enjoy finding something the recipient will like and since we expected them to pay for it they seem to get more enjoyment out of the giving.

I don't get some of the responses on here about letting children be children as long as possible - it's hardly sending them down t'pit grin

DS1 always puts birthday and Christmas money into his bank account. Then, when he has enough, he uses it to buy something big and expensive. E.g. He bought a 3DS and he might buy a PS4 when they come out.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Mar-13 10:17:57

No. Especially as you say they receive "very little" pocket money, and imagine they'd be selfish if they actually wanted to spend it on themselves?

bamboobutton Thu 14-Mar-13 10:21:27

I bet you squeak when you walk op.

How tight fisted are you making them spend their birthday money on presents for other people!


imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 10:22:38

YABU let the kids spend their pocket money on what like -you cannot give it with conditions they are still young. We do not do pocket money just pay for everything then at bday, Father's day etc we give them some money to spend. They earn bits for this and that. OP if you get 20 in a card or whatever for bday do you think "oh must put this away to x pressie" No I think you think yippie I can treat myself.

It isn't teaching them to manage money if you refuse to let them make actual choices about how the want to spend their pocket money. Or if you don't let them make mistakes in spending it and leave themselves short for stuff they really want.

shewhowines Thu 14-Mar-13 10:28:00

It is if they are aware that they get extra purely for that reason.

But the OP's point seems to be that her dictating that they must spend all their meagre pocket money and any money they receive as gifts on presents (for occasions that she deems present-worthy) is the way to teach financial responsibility. In reality, it would be depriving them of any choice at all. Much better to let them learn to manage their own pocket money for things they want.

Giving them a set budget to choose presents for others from is a completely different situation.

WireCatWhore Thu 14-Mar-13 10:38:42

I think you're mean.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 12:10:47

I'm not mean. It has nothing to do with me trying to avoid spending my own money. And they only spend a small percentage of their money on others. For instance, they generally each receive cash of around £25 for Christmas and again for birthday, sometimes more. They usually keep some of this (for sweets etc) and buy themselves a present out of the rest. Their weekly pocket money is linked to them doing the music practices that they are supposed to do anyway - the more often they practise the more they get. They are also both able to earn the odd fiver by an occasional fun job they have. Out of this I expect them to buy a present for me (birthday and Xmas), and the same for their sibling. When buying for me, they often pool their money. So they might spend £1 on a little toy for the sibling, and £2.50 each to buy a £5 present for me. If they're invited to friends' birthday parties, I buy the gift and card. But they sometimes choose to buy extra little presents for friends - eg DD1 bought sweets for several of her (female) friends on Valentine's Day. That is voluntary. If they want to give a present to their teacher, they should make the effort to make a card or some biscuits (I don't charge them for the ingredients, and help with the cooking). They also sometimes make biscuits or sweets for uncles etc, with me paying for the ingredients. Homemade biscuits are a really nice gift to receive, and show that the child has made the effort.
The idea is that they spend their own money on presents for family, they choose or help choose the present, they buy it, they wrap it. They have the excitement of seeing how well the present is received by the recipient.
This in my view is what it means to give someone else a present - it comes from you, not from your parent.
What my nieces do is not my business, as people mention, but I am allowed to have a view on it. I have literally handed a (nice) birthday present to a teenage niece and watched her open it, and she has not thanked me. They have never once sent a thank you letter. They have never given me a present that they have bought or made themselves. Much worse than that, they think that it is ok not to give each other a birthday present, even at an age when they have plenty of money through baby sitting etc, which they happily spend on going out with friends, etc. I don't want my DDs to behave like that - it's selfish and spoilt. But their mum thinks that it's ok for them to want to keep all their money for themselves.
It's interesting that the posters who were encouraged to buy presents themsleves when children feel it was a good thing, apart from the one who was expected to spend all her earnings on others.

I don't charge them for the ingredients

OP, you sound like a loon.

orangeandlemons Thu 14-Mar-13 12:18:37

Don't charge for the ingredientshmm.....right...

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 12:22:40

It is not the money and buying fir each other etc that creates spoilt kids it is the home environment and upbringing and influence of parents. My kids are not selfish at all and very generous but keep their money and enjoy spending every last penny of it!!
Pay for ingredients that is funny...thinking about it mine are partial to a bit of cake giving I could be on to a nice little earner, must remember to spend all of it on other people though...
I gave my DD £20 the other night to go out with friends and she paid for bits and bobs for them and friends likewise I have never drilled this into her just how things happen.

orangeandlemons Thu 14-Mar-13 12:33:40

If it,s their money I don't think you should,dictate in any way how they spend it.
If my dd was expected to spend her birthday money on my Christmas present..well I can't actually find words to express it, except that it sticks right in my caw. I want nothing from her except a homemade card with big hearts on it. If she wants to buy me something, she has a quiet word with Daddy, but neither of us expect it.

You are storing up a lot of trouble for when your dc are teenagers imo

Also, what makes you worth £2.50 and her sister only £1?

TomArchersSausage Thu 14-Mar-13 12:43:20

When I give a child money for Christmas or birthday it's because they're usually of an age where I'm not sure what they want or because I know they're probably saving up for something.

I expect them to spend that money on something for themself because I didn't know what to get them. I would hate to think they had to use it covering all the other stuff that crops up in life, I really wouldsad

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Mar-13 12:53:24

I cannot believe that you expect your still very young children to buy you a present! If homemade biscuits are so fabulous and show so much thought - why don't they just make you a batch of those?

OP you are really not coming across well here at all.

cantspel Thu 14-Mar-13 12:55:50

Gee it sounds a bundle of laughs in your house.

Maybe you can find a few chimneys they can clean as i hear that is quite a good little earner.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 12:56:49

Do you actually tell them you expect a £5 present at Christmas and birthday from you children? Really?

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:05:08

FGS. I mentioned not charging for the ingredients because other posters mentioned charging for the use of craft materials if children made their own presents.

And no, I am not a loon. I'm just making an effort to bring up nice children who think of others occasionally and make an effort for others. It seems to be working so far - I'm often told how lovely they are.

I would hate my children to turn out spoilt and entitled, thinking that others owe them everything, etc. Being a child doesn't mean that you shouldn't contribute to the household by helping out, shouldn't give to people you care about rather than just expect to receive, shouldn't work hard at things. That's how you learn to do all that when you're an adult.

Still18atheart Thu 14-Mar-13 13:06:15


They are children, it's mean on the person who gives ur dc the money at christmas/ birthday because they fully exoect that money on them noone else.

Secondly, they shouldn't be pooling their money it is their money and non one elses.

Also, pocket money should be spent on them, i.e sweets of their own not someones present.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:10:20

Seeker - I don't tell my children to spend £5 on my present. They talk to me about the kind of present I would like, and buy me a present accordingly. This year they knew I was keen on a certain music group, and bought me one of their cds. Nothing wrong with that.
I do a huge huge amount for my children - constantly taking them to activities, days out, nice birthday presents and party, helping them with schoolwork, etc etc. What on earth is wrong in them spending £2.50 each on my birthday present? It is a nice way for them to feel that they are doing something nice for me on my special day.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 13:10:54

"Being a child doesn't mean that you shouldn't contribute to the household by helping out, shouldn't give to people you care about rather than just expect to receive, shouldn't work hard at things. That's how you learn to do all that when you're an adult."

I couldn't agree more. However, you are the one expecting them to buy you a present costing several times more than the presents they buy for each other.........!

BeeBopDingALing Thu 14-Mar-13 13:10:54

At 10 & 8, really. No way I would expect my DCs to buy gifts out of their pocket money, this is a bit mean and tight of you. Help them make things. They should always say thank you or write thank you notes imo.

I am often told my DD1 is lovely.

I let her spend her money on herself.

My mum imposed ridiculous rules and standards upon us as children so we would "grow up proper."

I have a very strained relationship with her now due to my miserable childhood.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:14:46

Still18 - when does the miraculous change take place, when children are expected to start thinking about other people sometimes, rather than spending every last penny of their money on themselves? You may find that if they have been brought up that way, they simply, when they get a job for instance, carry on keeping everything for themselves, expecting their parents to do everything for them, etc. That is what has happened with my nieces. I see it with older adults too - they never have enough money to spend any of it on others, they are always too busy doing things they need to do for themselves to help others, etc. I bet they were brought up that way.

PeppermintPasty Thu 14-Mar-13 13:19:25

I was struck by what you said here

"I do a huge huge amount for my children - constantly taking them to activities, days out, nice birthday presents and party, helping them with schoolwork, etc etc. What on earth is wrong in them spending £2.50 each on my birthday present? It is a nice way for them to feel that they are doing something nice for me on my special day."

But, you chose to have children. You are bound, emotionally, morally etc to have to do a huge amount for them, as we all are, yet here you make it sound conditional. Of course there's nothing wrong with them spending money on a present for you, but not as payback for all you do for them, surely?

I do a huge huge amount for my children

Your children owe you NOTHING. Its disturbing that you think they do.

StanleyLambchop Thu 14-Mar-13 13:23:28

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.

You sound bloody smug!!

BeeBopDingALing Thu 14-Mar-13 13:24:50

*'I am not a loon.'*
Read your posts back to yourself.

You give them Christmas money as their gift from you. Then you expect them to spend it on you on your birthday. Barking. That is not a gift to them then is it? If you gave them a toy for Christmas would you expect them to give that away to someone else for their birthday.

You don't need to be mean to teach them to think of others and have manners.

Bobyan Thu 14-Mar-13 13:24:50

I do a huge huge amount for my children - constantly taking them to activities, days out, nice birthday presents and party, helping them with schoolwork, etc etc. What on earth is wrong in them spending £2.50 each on my birthday present? It is a nice way for them to feel that they are doing something nice for me on my special day.

Wow, you actually help you kids with their schoolwork. Forget the present OP, you deserve a medal for doing a huge, huge amount activities with your children that most normal people call being a parent.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 13:29:51

OP I am aghast. I do above and beyond for my kids because they are that my kids and I enjoy looking after them. I do not expect them to contribute financially to the house yes they help out do stuff and I do not have to nag and as I said are well behaved thoughtful and that si what is important. I am a littlke sad you think so low of your children and of your parenting skills that you will not bring up lovely rounded adults unless it comes to financial matters. This is silly OP really is. Give your kids a break do they really not think of other people or are you pushing this on to them.
Lighten up enjoy your kids and let them enjoy being kids one is 8 for god sake !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

squeakytoy Thu 14-Mar-13 13:36:30

poor kids sad

Squitten Thu 14-Mar-13 13:41:44

I'm amazed that you expect your gifts to be presented in exchange for being a parent! I have never heard that before!

I think most parents will tell you that even the most rubbish attempt by your kids at making a card for an occasion has more meaning and is more valuable than anything you can buy in a shop.

That is what you should be teaching your kids.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Mar-13 13:43:09

Dear God OP, I think you have a very skewed idea about parenting.

To answer your latest question, I think that teens should buy presents for other people from their own money, or at least with a portion of their money, once they have a proper allowance.
Once I was 14 my parents gave me x-amount a month, rather than weekly, and opened a bank account for me. We sat down and discussed the things it should cover so that I knew where I was. I had the opportunity to earn more by doing the ironing.

There was still NO expectation that I would buy a present for my parents. None. However I chose to, because I wanted to.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:44:46

I'm beginning to see why so many children turn out spoilt and entitled. We hear from employers that a lot of young people don't expect actually to do much work when they go into employment, or to turn up to work on time, for instance. And that increasingly young people expect their parents to continue to do a lot for them.
It is not obligatory to spend most of your life on making your children's lives interesting. My parents would never have dreamed of behaving like that - as a child I was expected to help around the house, do my homework without any help whatever from them, and occupy myself. That was not uncommon in those days. What has changed, that some people now think that parents are duty bound, by having children, to every moment of family life revolving around them? And why is is to terrible to encourage your children to appreciate the people around them, and who do so much for them? They are people, FGS, not magical little creatures who should be treated totally differently from everyone else.
For what it's worth, the other day I asked my 8 year old how she was enjoying her childhood so far. Her answer was "Really great!". If she can feel that way, and be a nice person with it, who appreciates and thinks about others, I count that as a success. Call that smug if you like.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 13:46:39

I repeat. It's you who's expecting a present, not them!

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 13:50:47

Well what are you worried then OP if you are happy and your kids happy- I just do not get it. Well done it sounds like your kids are great. It is not obligatory no to make your child's life interesting and mine do do their homework and help out and occupy themselves but I do like to make their life interesting and present them with opportunities and this has no affect on their work ethic or their interactions with people and as seeker says it is not them demanding Mum spend money on them because they do a lot for her.
I do not get your point OP at all.

I thought my childhood was "really great" until I had my own kids and realised what a childhood should be like. I realised that my mum was a self centered arsehole who should never have had kids, because she didnt take any joy from us at all.

The only one acting spoilt and entitled on this thread is you OP.

StuntGirl Thu 14-Mar-13 13:51:20

Aahhhh, you're a goady fucker. 'Nuff said <leaves thread>

Bobyan Thu 14-Mar-13 13:52:30

Everyone else; yes
Op; huffs and puffs and refuses to listen.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:52:35

Various of you - how would you feel if your children never said thank you for anything you did for them, never bothered to acknowledge your birthday or that of their siblings, never expected do do anything to help you in any way, always took it for granted that you would spend all of your time and money on them? Presumably you'd be happy with that - after all it is parents who owe everything to their children by dint of having given birth to them. So this would be reasonable and acceptable behaviour for your children?

squeakytoy Thu 14-Mar-13 13:53:43

OP, Are you really Katie Hopkins, gearing up for your weekly round of the chat shows and DM article... ?

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 13:53:51

I would expect my children to do all of those things. i just don't attach monetary value to their gratitude.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 13:54:57


Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 13:55:05

Bobyan - if you can be bothered to read further up the thread, you'll see that the people whose parents behaved similarly with them when they were children think that it was a very good thing. Maybe their viewpoint would be worth taking on board?

CheeseStrawWars Thu 14-Mar-13 13:55:21

"Much worse than that, they think that it is ok not to give each other a birthday present"

But why does that bother you? If they are okay with it between themselves? Presents aren't the be-all and end-all...

PeppermintPasty Thu 14-Mar-13 13:57:19

But OP, our children do do those things, even though we see them as "magical creatures"...

...How have we managed that then, and still we don't think they owe us...?...ermmm?

YABU, and I reckon you're well aware of the fact.


It is possible to teach all those things without making your kids pay for presents. hmm

DD1 is 4. She says thank you unprompted. She tells us dinner was delicious, thank you for making it, she tells me she loves me unprompted, she tells me I am beautiful. (I am not, but thats not the point.)

How does she know to do all those things? I lead by example. If DP cooks dinner I say thank you etc and vice versa. We all tell each other we love each other. On mothers day/fathers day/birthday one of us takes her to choose a present, its all a big secret so very exciting. When she gives me a card that she has made I take the time to read it and discuss it, telling her how special it is!

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:00:38

Ditto. Appreciation is the key not a gift anyone can buy a gift but no one can replace those words of you are beautiful or thanks for washing my favourite jeans for the week end.

This is so grim sad
I feel really sorry for these kids. Your kids might not have an entitled attitude but you surely seem to op.

Yet another poster who asks aibu and refuses to acknowledge they might me... Drives me mad angry

SoniaGluck Thu 14-Mar-13 14:06:10

I'm beginning to see why so many children turn out spoilt and entitled. We hear from employers that a lot of young people don't expect actually to do much work when they go into employment, or to turn up to work on time, for instance.

Now that has made me a bit annoyed. My kids were never made to spend her pocket money or their Christmas/birthday money on presents for anyone (especially me, FFS ) when they were little. DS1 and DD2 are now both working. They work very long hours and each has been promoted at relatively young ages. They are dedicated and conscientious.

I let them be kids when they were kids and now they are proving to be extremely responsible and hardworking adults. I am anticipating that my younger children will be similar, they are showing signs that they will be.

My mother had your attitude, OP. I very rarely had any of my birthday money
(November birthday) to spend on myself as I had to buy presents - on behalf of my brother and myself - for not only immediate but also extended family.

I just think it's wrong to have such high expectations of very young children. It stores up a lot of resentment, in my experience.

BeeBopDingALing Thu 14-Mar-13 14:07:13

Both my kids say thank you and they are toddlers. If children are taught manners then it's not an issue.

I helped out at home, remembered birthdays and said thank you as a child, because I was taught it by my parents. They never would expect presents they had given me to be regifted.

Trying to justify being a tightarse by taking your childrens Christmas money saying it will teach them to be grateful is ridiculous. That is not good parenting and you barking.

I think people are deliberately misunderstanding the OP. Where has she said that she expects them to spend all their pocket money on other people's presents?! Or that they have to take handmade gifts to friends' parties??

At xmas last year I went shopping with my friend and she bought herself a jumper for her ds to 'give' her. How meaningless.

Hullygully Thu 14-Mar-13 14:09:09

send the blighters up the chimneys damn it

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 14:10:39

As a child I was never made to buy anyone a present. When I was old enough to do so I did out of choice my parents still have the tacky photo frames I got them when I was about 11 and went christmas shopping with a friend for the first time.

Forcing children to spend their money on presents for others doesn't teach them anything IMO it has to be because they want to

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:14:11

mrs-she says they get little pocket money and get a little xmas money if lucky and she expects them to buy gifts for people. I am not misunderstanding when she states she does lots for her kids and they could at least buy her a present. It is bonkers they are 8 and 10. It does not sound they get a lot of money so what they get surely they could treat themselves.

SoniaGluck Thu 14-Mar-13 14:16:46

Oh, and just to add. DS1 and DD1 are now both very generous and thoughtful in buying presents for DH, me and their siblings. They put a lot of care into choosing what they buy but they can now afford it.

I would hate for them to go without themselves just to buy presents.

WireCatWhore Thu 14-Mar-13 14:18:46

Your explanations have made you sound worse.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:18:51

Yes and my kids undertsnd the financial roller coaster of life DD2 bday coming up wants a tablet. Says she can if money there if not she gets £20 or something. We both self employed they get it kids are happy it is about talking not present buying.

GreatUncleEddie Thu 14-Mar-13 14:19:50

Mine buy small presents just for immediate family and they did the same at the ages of the OP's children. I have no idea why she has been given such a kicking on this thread.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 14:20:18

Sorry, haven't got time to read it all. I have been wondering about this too OP. I used to do alot of making presents when I was little and sometimes I bought really small things....I guess from my pocket money. I sort of expected my Dd to want to do the same and sometimes she does but at other times she is reluctant. I haven't got an answer but just wanted to say I don't think Yabu to ponder this. I absolutely LOVE her funny little cards and pictures though, I really think handmade gifts from kids are the best!

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 14:21:29

Poundland and the 99p stores are great though!

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 14:21:44

Sorry, I meant yanbu!!!

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 14:22:48

great uncle - to me its the attitude she has and the expectation that they use money other people have given to them as a gift to buy gifts for others. Personally i don't think that teaches children any good lessons.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:23:41

Great did yours get little money and had to use pocket money or did you give them some money to go shopping. I do not know what little is in terms of pocket money OP may be a multi millionaire and little means £200 a week but they are only 8 and 10 I think the age makes a difference?
And handmade gifts are the best but the point is I do not expect anything in return for being a parent I think that is why the OP is getting a "kicking" her expectation of reward for duty.

cloudpuff Thu 14-Mar-13 14:24:04

I dont but buy my siblings gifts, sometimes not even cards, I dont always buy close family gifts either, its rare for me to get gifts from family too but you know what? They know I love them very much and appreciate everything they have ever done for for me, as I do them. We show this by spending time with each other, speaking regulary etc and none of us are spoilt brats either.
My Mother (and other family members) would be very dissapointed in me if she gave my Daughter (also 8) a cash gift which she was then expected to spend part of on others gifts. She gets quite a lot of cash at bdays and i would not dream of expecting her to pay towards presents, we take her shopping she buys some toys and keep sthe rest for more toys in the future she offers to pay for our takeaways wtc but I would not dream of allowing her to do so.

I dont want to sound braggy or boasty here but she is one of the lovliest children you could ever meet, she is extremley well behaved, hard working and will help others at the drop of the hat, her school have sent letters home about what a great example she is, so she proves your spoilt brat theory wrong OP. I am very very proud of her because of who she is, not because of how much she spends on me on birthdays (which is actually 0).

HeathRobinson Thu 14-Mar-13 14:25:48

Oh dear, my mum was like this. I worked out one year that if I bought everyone a reasonable present, including mother's day and father's day, I would have a minus amount left. And no money to spend on myself.

It sucked. One of her many attitudes to things that was a bit rubbish.

My kids have reasonably generous pocket money, plus I'll buy them a card and present for their friends if we're out together and slip them an extra fiver/tenner if necessary.

KatieMiddleton Thu 14-Mar-13 14:28:25

YANBU at all. They should put some effort in and show some initiative. I have a chimney that wants cleaning. Send them here.

I won't charge you for the work experience and each of them will earn sixpence.

SoniaGluck Thu 14-Mar-13 14:29:45

I have no idea why she has been given such a kicking on this thread.

Maybe because she seems to think that:

i) because she cares for her children she deserves presents (bought out of the very small amount of money that they are given *for themselves*)

ii) because she thinks that people who don't do the same are bringing up children who will grow up to be lazy and entitled.

cloudpuff Thu 14-Mar-13 14:30:21

And for what its worth OP i know someone who had similar experience when they were small, their Mum would expect them to buy gifts with their own money for as long as they remember, leaving them with nothing for themselves, fast forward to adulthood and that person now has very very little contact with their mum, she still gets her expensive gifts from them but thats about it.. I hope this wont be you when your children grow up OP.

Hullygully Thu 14-Mar-13 14:32:24

chimneys aside, we give ours a monthly allowance designed to be enough for travel, outings, small gifts etc, present money goes into the dame account and is just part of the pot

orangeandlemons Thu 14-Mar-13 14:32:40

I think the best thing you can teach them, is gifts aren't that important at all, it's what you give emit ally that matters. That is a much better lesson in life than expecting them to spend their money on your present

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:37:18

How old are your Hully?

The OP was getting a kicking long before she said that she expected them to buy her a present.

Its all very black and white with you OP isnt it.

In the real world my experience is that on the whole most youngsters grow up to be nice, hard working young adults who enjoy giving gifts and helping others.

KatieMiddleton Thu 14-Mar-13 14:51:10

Really charlady? How would that work seeing as the op and indeed thread expresses exactly that? confused

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Mar-13 14:53:52

OP - my children say thank you, please, are polite to everyone and I frequently get told how lovely they are, relaxed but not tearaway.

They don't get everything they ask for, far from it. They get generous birthday and Christmas presents, but not much in-between - maybe some books.

They are too little for pocket money, but when we start giving it then it will be theirs to keep. Until they are much older.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 14-Mar-13 14:55:42

The OP was getting a kicking for expecting her kids to spend money given as a gift to them on buying gifts for others. I give you a gift, the gift is for you - not for your mum to make you give away, whether it is money, toys, whatever. That, in itself, could be seen as an act of ingratitude.

Hullygully Thu 14-Mar-13 14:56:40

I'm not, 15 and 14 now, we started a couple of years ago, before that we just bought everything'

I can't speak for the OP but my kids sometimes buy something specific with a particular cash gift or sometimes they stick it in their money box along with their pocket money. Shock, horror, this might mean that when they buy their sibling a birthday present it might have technically have come out of the money given to them by Aunty Dot. That's hardly the same as making them spend their birthday money on a christmas present for someone else hmm

It seems to me that you do not like your nieces parents very much or respect them at all and you're convinced that only you as a parent do things right, not your older relative and you were hoping for affirmation from the mn jury.

To me you sound judgmental and harsh and if I knew my sister or SIL judged me like this, I wouldn't want to see her anymore.

Oh and your children's pocket money is linked to how much music practise they do. Did I read that right?

I think the OP was really hoping that this thread would validate her smugness about what a Totally Awesome parent whose children would never be entitled or spoilt like her awful nieces. Didn't pan out that way, did it?

Yes exactly.

Thank you letters or saying thank you is good manners. I can agree with that. Although even my polite teenager niece/ nephews have petered off sending thank you cards now they're 15 and 16. They're in their Kevin stage now grin

But she sounds so judgemental and critical of her own extended family though, it's horrid to hear the venom in her posts towards them all and I am wondering what further vendetta she has with them, there's more to this than is being said here, I think. It's thoroughly unpleasant to read it. I hope she's not speaking badly of them to her Mum as well though and creating even more of a divide.

MrsDeVere Thu 14-Mar-13 15:53:39

Mumsnet is more bonkers than usual at the moment.

I am so glad I don't give my parenting much thought. I used to feel guilty but after a few years on MN I now just feel relieved.

It must be such hard work to be like the OP.

MrsDV MN is always more bonkers than normal. It defies the laws of physics.

MrsDeVere Thu 14-Mar-13 16:02:15


akaemmafrost Thu 14-Mar-13 16:08:37

I agree MN is crazy right now.

Has the OP been back at all?

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 16:12:43

I don't think everything the OP has said is bonkers. The later posts about not charging her children for ingredients for biscuits are I agree though. I don't think you should expect your child to spend their christmas or birthday money on other people's presents but I do think they should make a lovely card or do something towards it.

I don't think her comments about her nieces never saying thank you for gifts are at all unreasonable though. I have 2 nephews who are just like this and it is rude and ungrateful. Nobody is saying they should fawn all over the gift giver or write an elaborate letter but surely it isn't too much to expect children to actually say "thank you" when you hand them a gift?

HeathRobinson Thu 14-Mar-13 16:17:23

Why make things harder than they need to be, just for your kids though? Maybe they don't want to make 'a lovely card'. Maybe they just want to schlep off to the shop like most adults do?

StanleyLambchop Thu 14-Mar-13 16:18:23

The ops nieces are by her own definition 'much older'. How smug the OP is being about her dcs compared to her nieces- but her dcs have not hit their teens yet. Maybe they will be like the neices too when they do. Very smug attitude of her perfect parenting, when she is only 10 years into it. Parenting is a long game OP.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 16:23:25

I know what you mean heath but the point that she is making I think is that it is nice if children give a little bit of something as well as enjoying receiving it. I agree with that to a certain extent.

Why is it an excuse that her neices are older? My nephews (well, the 2 I was talking about ) have never said thank you ever. They are now 15 and 17. My other nieces and nephews do (other nephews are roughly same age). How is she being U in expecting a thank you?

Schooldidi Thu 14-Mar-13 16:28:08

My dd1 started spending her own money on family presents (ie mine) when she was about that age. I certainly wasn't going to give her money to spend on my present and I was on my own at the time, so she saved up a little bit out of her pocket money each week and managed to afford a little box of chocolates from a local shop. It was very thoughtful and lovely for her to have done it, even though it was less than she would normally have spent when it was grandma's money (we moved away from my parents around then so grandma and grandad couldn't take her shopping).

Now she buys presents for me, dp and dd2 out of her own money and everyone else we pay for. Of course she gets a bit more pocket money now she's 13, so the present budget is a little bit bigger. I'll expect dd2 to start using her own money for family presents (me, dp and dd1) when she's around 8 ish. I won't expect much, but a little bit of saving so you can be proud of buying a present yourself is a good think imo.

I haven't read the thread though, so you all might have moved on from there.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 14-Mar-13 16:36:52

and it's not "smug" at all to say that you are pleased that your own children are polite and say thank you. I have been teaching for 15 years and I have yet to come across a child who is not capable of saying please and thank you.

I don't think the OP is simply pleased about anything. We seems much more concerned by how she's A Better Parent than anyone else her SIL.

She seems, not we seems.

I'm certainly not A Better Typer than, well, anyone!

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 17:58:13

To clarify again. My 8 year old receives approx £60 in present money (not from me) a year. She gets approx £25 in pocket money, and could make more than that if she wanted to. She also has the opportunity to earn the odd £5 in a fun job she does for somebody else.
The 10 year old gets more than that.
So let's say roughly £100 per year each.
Out of that they spend roughly £7 each on family presents. So it doesn't have to come from the gift money, it can come from pocket money or earnings.
I don't see that this is excessive or likely to lead to family breakdown in the future, as some of you are suggesting.
I have not said that the children owe me a present on my birthday because of all I do for them. Only that it seems right to me that if you have someone who does so much for you all year, you show a bit of appreciation by buying or making them a present on their birthday (or mother's day if you prefer that - isn't that the message children are always given around mother's day?). That's the basis on which children give their teacher a present at the end of the year, for instance. And yes, I think that that should be properly from them too.
The stuff about not charging for ingredients was because other posters had suggested that I charge them for craft materials if they made rather than bought presents.
I have just explained to my DDs that many people on Mumsnet think that they should be keeping all their money for themselves, rather than buying me a birthday present with some of it. Their response was:
8 year old: If we didn't buy you a present you'd have to buy yourself one out of your own money. That would be silly.
10 year old: Can you tell those people on Mumsnet that it makes me really proud to buy you a present out of my own money, and to see how happy it makes you.
I don't despise my nieces/their parents. But I do wonder how the way that they have been brought up has affected things for them, and have in some ways chosen to take a different course with my own girls. For instance they have always had a lot done for them, been praised a lot, not told off for behaving badly, got away with doing no schoolwork. With predictable results. I know their mum has some regrets now. I have made bad mistakes with my children and in no way think that I am the perfect parent. But I do think that encouraging them to give something that means something to them (eg spending money or effort) on others occasionally is a good thing, not a bad thing. It's nice to see that a number of others agree, and in particular that those who did this as children think that it was a good thing (except when they were expected to spend all their money on others, not 7% of it as in our case).

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 18:02:05

Thanks Hully you see I guess the age thing that bothers me or just that my 9 year old is actually a spoilt selfish entitled brat who on receiving his Christmas money was to buy the entire stock of lego from Argos and I said oh save some for April when it is your DS bday would have gone "Mum seriuosly!!" My DD nearly 15 went off to Spain and bought some lovely gifts from the money we gave her .
BUt yes would be better off giving pocket money we thinks for EVERYTHING I fork out for ...did geta lovely necklace for Mothers Day dad slipped them the cash though !!

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 18:16:41

There is a big difference between children buying something because they WANT to and doing it because they are being forced to/told they have to.

Presents from children shouldn't be expected from any adult.

£25 pocket money a year is less than 50p a week.

And brain washed children do tend to agree with their parents.

NomDeOrdinateur Thu 14-Mar-13 18:22:05

I think that's ridiculous, if the children's annual "income" comes to as little as you indicate. I would be very upset to find out that my grandchild/niece/god-daughter etc had spent present money from me on a gift for somebody else - the money is for the benefit of the person to whom I choose to give it. In fact, if I found out about your arrangements I would sadly resort to asking the child what "thing" s/he wanted.

£25 per year in pocket money and the odd £5 here and there should be money for the child to enjoy by buying small luxuries like books, sweets and magazines (as opposed to the "big" gifts associated with Xmas and birthdays) - it's not enough for doing that AND buying presents and cards for multiple family members and friends.

My folks insisted that I didn't buy presents for them or for other family members until I was properly employed (age 16, although I was certainly pulling my weight before then in my mother's home business and helping my younger brother). I think that was the right choice - I always chose very thoughtful presents back when my parents were funding them and I still do, to the extent that I start searching for them about 6 months in advance and actually managed to render my dad (who's never usually that bothered about receiving gifts) speechless with the excellence of his most recent Xmas present grin.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 18:23:46

I disagree, Sirzy. Just as I think that a child who chose to ignore mothers' day (despite all the hype they get at school and so on) would be being rude and unkind to their mother. I think that it is a part of parenting that you have reasonable expectations of your children, and communicate those expectations. But we can agree to disagree. If my children had a big issue over not wanting to spend the money, then of course I would address that. For instance if they really needed it for something else, or didn't want to give me a present because they were cross with me, or whatever. But I would like to discourage the idea that it is fine not to give someone important to you a present on their birthday simply because you would rather hold the money back to buy yourself sweets with.

crashdoll Thu 14-Mar-13 18:23:47

Your 8 year old gets £25 in pocket money and she is expected to pay £7 which is not 7%. You shouldn't count her present money in that, that's her present!

At that age, I'd buy for my mum or dad out of my pocket money (of which I got more than your DD even almost 20 years ago!) but not for my friends.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 14-Mar-13 18:28:38

Dromedary you are at the other end of the spectrum from the parents who spoil their children and over-indulge them. To my mind both ends are equally abusive and damaging to the well being and development of the children. There is a sane and loving middle path you know.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 18:29:18

There sis a child who ignores Mother's day and one who makes a card and rustles up Breakfast.Does not need a gift just hug and a snuggle and a DVD marathon.
OP did your children forget Mother's Day ...
And to reiterate one is 8...
£25 a year do not tell my kids that...costs more than that in dinner money a week

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 18:30:13

I don't think I can explain my position any more clearly than I have done. A good number of people have agreed with me, including most strikingly those who had a similar situation when they were children. I've tried hard to get my head round the argument that it's absolutely ridiculous that you expect your child to spend £5 a year out of their £100 a year disposable income on buying you a present at birthday and Christmas (when they of course receive vast numbers of presents). But my head simply indicates a wish to explode. I will therefore have to leave it there.

OP you sound so materialistic. Present this, present that.

My childrens laughter is my present. Might sound cheesy but its true. I dont enter every situation in life wondering what I can get out of it.

They are magical beings. I dont need presents from them to make me feel happy, loved or to tell myself I am a good parent.

FedupofTurkey Thu 14-Mar-13 18:31:51

And they should go out to work to earn it! Anyone got a chimney that needs cleaning ....

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 18:32:16

You are making this about you not them.

You seem to think you deserve some thanks for being a parent. You want to look good by your children handing over presents they have been forced to buy.

Sorry that's not a good thing to demonstrate to children. We have years of having to balance money and make sure that they have enough enough to cover everything with when they are so young they should only have to think about what they want to spend their money on no what you expect them to do with it.

disposable income

it can come from pocket money or earnings

Sorry but this is ridiculous. They are CHILDREN. They do not have earnings or disposable income.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 18:37:11

OP just think about your last post. Go on read it. I am not being horrid but really a bunch of "flowers" picked from the garden would not mean as much as a present they had "bought with their disposable income".
Disposable income they are bloody kids!! Mine love it when Gran comes down and slings them a tenner so they hotfoot it Primark life is for living OP. I did ask earlier if you keep any birthday money back for other people ? Do you ?

Bobyan Thu 14-Mar-13 18:37:35

"Disposable income" WTAF are you talking about? They are children, not investment bankers. That is all of their income!
They have £1.92 a week, including present money given to them for them to spend on themselves, and you class it as "disposable income"!

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 18:44:20

and theoretically you buying yourself a present as pocket money comes from you... I am agog you are discussing this with a 8 and 10 year old "mumsnet thinks.."

BeeBopDingALing Thu 14-Mar-13 18:46:43

But it's not "£100 a year disposable income" £75 of that is gifts that they have been given for birthdays and Christmas!
They have £25 a year income, and it sounds like they have to put a lot of effort in to get that, and you are taking a fifth of that for your gift.

'And brain washed children do tend to agree with their parents. ' Agree with this.

OP, every post you make is making you sound worse.

beautyfades Thu 14-Mar-13 18:52:37

This has got to be a joke.

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 18:53:55

They do actually earn money - a few times a year they have the opportunity to earn £5 for about one hour's work. This is in addition to pocket money and present money. The work is a lot more fun than sweeping chimneys, by the way.

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 18:58:33

And ... they earn it they can spend it on what they like.
again I ask the question do you save your birthday money??
OP a few times a year...your posts are officially mental sorry but really they are or perhaps it me just a mad, mad Mother.
My DD did really well in a race and I gave a tenner to say well done in a card. Should she spend this or save it to buy a Father's day present or whatever? No imo.

Sirzy Thu 14-Mar-13 18:59:05

I am starting to wonder if this is a wind up, or at least hope it is.

So basically you want your children to work for you to earn money to buy you a present - and you see that as fair?

Surely if children do jobs for money that money should be used to buy a magazine, or a toy or whatever the child wants?

BeeBopDingALing Thu 14-Mar-13 19:04:00

In your OP you said 'It just feels like take take take.' It seems like you are the one that is take take take, but from your own children. I feel sorry for them.

I am also beginning to wonder if this is a joke <leaves thread>

imnotmymum Thu 14-Mar-13 19:06:59

Well she got the hump!!!

Bobyan Thu 14-Mar-13 19:08:59

They do actually earn money - a few times a year they have the opportunity to earn £5 for about one hour's work. This is in addition to pocket money and present money

Wow £10 a year in addition to their other disposable income. Come on OP, admit you're just winding us up grin

Dromedary Thu 14-Mar-13 19:21:20

Imnot - I have no idea what you mean when you ask "Do you save your birthday money?" Do adults receive birthday money? I don't think I've received anything like birthday money since my grandparents died, though it was probably book tokens. The money I receive is earned. From that money I pay for everything the children need, including many nice treats, sweets, etc etc. I am not so cash strapped that I need to pinch money from my children, as seems to be being suggested. Believe it or not I could manage to buy myself a £5 cd for my birthday if I wanted to. But that is not the point.

I find those of you who remain on this thread very weird - a bit like stepping into a parallel world. There were a good few sensible posts further up though. I'm going to leave you to say strange things among yourselves now, however strong the provocation.

KitchenandJumble Thu 14-Mar-13 19:28:43

YABU. For children of those ages, I think that parents should fork over the cash to pay for presents. If the child spontaneously chooses to buy a present for a friend or relative, that's great. But I don't think it should be a rule imposed from on high.

Of course you want your children to think of others. But they are not thinking of others. You are doing the thinking for them.

And the "after all I've done for them it's the least they can do for me" attitude strikes me as such a grim way of viewing the parent/child relationship. Do you really see it as a transaction?

Finally, I hate to break it to you, but it is hardly unusual for other people to praise children when talking to their parents. Of course people tell you that you have lovely kids. (I'm not suggesting otherwise, I'm just saying it's hardly proof of anything.) Similarly, it is entirely predictable that young children would parrot back their parents' opinions if asked. Wait until they are adults and then see what they think of their childhood.

Bananasinfadedpjs Thu 14-Mar-13 19:35:13

I'm one of the people upthread who (voluntarily!) used to save up their money to buy presents.

My parents were aware of this and perhaps that is whay they were very generous with things that others might have perhaps have bought with their pocket money - things like ice creams , chocolate bars, books - my Dad regularly came home with new books for me that he'd bought on the way home from work.

Perhaps if I'd spent more of my pocket money on myself then my Dad might have instead used the money he spent on me to pay for any presents I chose to give to others, I don't know.

The point is, I had free choice about what I did with my own money, and (I now realise, though I never thought about it at the time grin) my parents were generous enough to make sure I didn't miss out anyway. But you can't make someone want to buy gifts for others. A gift should be freely and unconditionally given, otherwise it isn't a gift at all, it's an obligation!

crashdoll Thu 14-Mar-13 19:41:07

Someone gives your child birthday money as a present and you expect them to use to pay for someone else's present.....and you call us weird? Do you expect them to give away a proportion of their actual presents too?!

I get that you want to teach them the value of money and giving. You have gone waaaaaay OTT.

HeathRobinson Thu 14-Mar-13 19:41:34

'A good number of people have agreed with me, including most strikingly those who had a similar situation when they were children.'

Not me and this is what I had to do!

Most of those whose parents imposed a similar situation on them as children most definitely didn't agree with you OP. some people said they chose to do it voluntarily, which is not the same thing (and, as Heath points out, her parents made up for it in other ways). I do like how you talk about £100 a year 'disposable income' as if it is an enormous amount of money. It's less than £2 a week. And that includes money they get as presents themselves.

pigletmania Thu 14-Mar-13 19:45:51

Yabvvvvu they are not earning, they are children, as you said they don't get much money. It's YOUR job as te parent to buy the family presents. Wtaf you expect thence to buy you presents! Your a parent it's your job to look after your kids without reward, if they want to buy you a birthday present or christmas present fine, but they are not earning so you can't expect tem to do this what planet are you on op. you sound quite childish tbh

Dont start a thread in AIBU if you already think YANBU. What is the point?

To gloat about your marvellous parenting no doubt. And to have a veiled dig at your SIL.

Hulababy Thu 14-Mar-13 20:06:29

I wouldn't and don't expect DD to buy presents from her pocket money and most certainly not from her own birthday money; the latter seems really off to me sorry - if I was giving a child money for their birthday I would not expect it t be spent on someone else!

DD is 10y and does get pocket money. She doesn't buy gifts with her own money but she does have a big say in what gifts we buy for her to give to others. We have a budget of sorts and she spends time selecting what feels right for each person. She will also write in cards, etc. and will often make a card.

DD is also very appreciative of things she receives though - despite being in a very privledged position and receiving many lovely things, she always appreciates gifts, always says thank you both verbally and a written thank you note.

Maybe if she was ungrateful and acting in a spoilt manner I would rethink, but she really isn't like that. Her pocket money is, for the next few years, - for herself. We will provide the extra money required for her to buy gifts.

lljkk Thu 14-Mar-13 20:11:20

You didn't start this thread to ask if your own choices were reasonable, you started this thread to ask if you were reasonable to declare other people's choices as BAD. That's where YABVU.

Hulababy Thu 14-Mar-13 20:16:27

The present money they receive, imo, does not count. That was a gift to them from others. If I was a friend or relative and thought they would have to be buying others things from it I would insist on sending a physical present only and never money. I never give money anyway as I want the child to have something physical - not it risking going in a bank account and not being seen by the child for years on end!

So £25 pocket money a year? That's 50p a week, well less.

So a £5 present to mum is 10 times their weekly income!!!

Maybe if they were being given a lot more money each week, but at less than 50p a week - imo, yabu.

pigletmania Thu 14-Mar-13 20:19:50

And you stipulate how much they should spend on you op. you sound mean and grabby, you don't get it. I would be pay with a home made card for my birthday.

pigletmania Thu 14-Mar-13 20:21:05

Meant happy, £5 is a lot for a child really op get a grip

Snazzynewyear Thu 14-Mar-13 20:39:53

"For what it's worth, the other day I asked my 8 year old how she was enjoying her childhood so far. Her answer was "Really great!". '

She's probably worried you will cut her pocket money altogether if she says anything else. Seriously, telling us your kids think this is a great idea is not convincing given your tendency on this thread to a) simply disbelieve that anyone could hold a view that differs from yours, and b) to insist that you are right no matter what. I would have to assume that your children are well used to this and have acclimatised to the idea that their mother is always right. Well done hmm

One more thing - you have assumed that children whose parents pay for presents don't get involved in choosing the gifts, and are as rude and ungrateful as your nieces. That's a false assumption. Like most of the posters here, I wouldn't expect an 8 yo to pay for other people's presents but I would expect any 8 yo to graciously thank people for gifts. My DC know what is expected in terms of politeness - that is appropriate for 8 and 10 yos, expecting them to finance themselves is not. When do you plan to start charging them rent?

pigletmania Thu 14-Mar-13 21:12:25

I agree snazzy i expect my dd 6 to thank people for gifts given to her, but never would i expect her to buy presents for people tha'ts my job, and never ever would i expect her to buy me a present shock she is not earning, she is a child

akaemmafrost Thu 14-Mar-13 21:38:05

My Mum used to make me do this. Not with gift money though but save up my pocket money to buy presents. It was normal to me but as an adult I realise she was/is as tight as a ducks a*se and I don't think much of her for doing it. Also when it was presents for her I couldn't buy her what I wanted, with MY own money, I had to buy what she chose.

Oh and OP increase your kids pocket money too, that's a ridiculously paltry amount.

SneakyNinja Thu 14-Mar-13 21:51:13

Haha MN is full of em today!
'disposable income' for an 8 yr old? >snigger<
"How is your childhood going daughter?" >giggle<
" After ALL I do for them" .....Bahahahahahaha!

Someone please make it stop grin

SoniaGluck Thu 14-Mar-13 22:01:32

For what it's worth, the other day I asked my 8 year old how she was enjoying her childhood so far. Her answer was "Really great!".

Actually, that is a pretty daft question to ask an 8 year old. I mean what sort of answer does the OP expect?

A mother is all in all to a child of that age. No child is going to risk saying the wrong thing. And what has she got to compare it with, in any case?

Sorry, OP, you sound more and more like my mother the more you post. She had very high standards for her children and we never measured up no matter how well we did.

She was wont to ask questions similar to "How are you enjoying your childhood so far?" hmm and we knew the correct answer and gave it. Anything else would have been foolish. I have rarely ever been totally honest about anything with my mother; I know what she wants me to say and I say it.

We aren't close.

Are you my DS's father? I've just spent 20 minutes discussing the same topic with him.

YABU still, DS's DF - He's 10. He's very kind and generous in his actions and spirit. He's a lovely boy and spending his own money on a present does not mean he loves you more. And it doesn't mean he's selfish. As I said earlier I spend about 0.5 % of my income on presents and i'm generous. When his income goes up he will do it naturally. At the moment he has enough money, just about, to buy a couple of treats a month. There is time when he gets a job.


gordyslovesheep Thu 14-Mar-13 22:31:59

goodness - I just couldn;t do that to my kids - sorry - I have one who does save money and buy gifts for me and her mates but I tend to replace the money in her piggy bank or treat her to something

I buy the gifts for parties etc

they have plenty of time as adults to worry about money poor sods!

RatPants Thu 14-Mar-13 22:37:31

They're your children, they don't have an income so you cover their expenses and that's just how it is. If they were 17/18 with jobs you may have a point.

PeppermintPasty Thu 14-Mar-13 22:47:35

Coming back to this, things haven't improved. OP, you claim people upthread agree. I saw two people who were trying very hard to see your angle, and were supportive of some of your views. But the majority on the whole thread think you're unreasonable. (As opposed to the weirdos in a parallel world hmm at the end of the thread).

You're deluded. I'm another one who's reminded of her own mother. Gives me the shivers.

Im loving the image of the OP sitting her 8 year old down to do an annual review of her childhood. Are you going to ask her to submit her personal development plans for the coming year too?

Anomaly Thu 14-Mar-13 22:51:06

YABU it really isn't teaching them much at that age.

I just don't expect children to buy presents, it felt really strange when DH's cousins 16 and 18 with weekend jobs bought our kids presents.

I hate this idea of measuring how people feel about you by their presents. My Mum is terrible, she seriously gets upset if someone doesn't successfully read her mind and buy a vase or other gift exactly to her taste. But she then buys me things she likes!

Startail Thu 14-Mar-13 23:07:39

My two are 12 and 15 and I'm only just suggesting presents come out of pocket money and even then only because DD2 has way more friends than DD1 so I tend to cap how many people I'll subsidise.

I stickily forbid Mothers day presents (DH ignored me and I got flowers and chocolates). I'm trying to aconomise and if the DDs buy presents for me thats simplt a book each they'll blag in the future rather than using their own money.

They are experts at avoiding using their own money DD2 has grade A in purse forgetting. DD1 has grade A in being generous and still me ending up paying her back somehow.

Startail Thu 14-Mar-13 23:09:09

aconomise- pooh sticks that s such a beautiful bad spelling I;m not going to say sorry.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 14-Mar-13 23:32:32

Yes you really don't know how much they really enjoyed it till they leave, don't need you any more, and can tell the truth OP.

shewhowines Thu 14-Mar-13 23:52:51

I think the OP is having an unfair bashing.

The children volunteer to buy extra things for their friends. They obviously enjoy giving presents that they have carefully chosen and paid for out of their own money. The Op said she buys their friends proper presents. She has encouraged them to think of others. They are not being marched down the shops with their arms tied behind their backs and a shotgun to their heads.

Give her a break. I'm surprised any of you ask your kids to do any chores or anything to help others. After all they are only kids and should be able to enjoy their childhood without doing anything nice to help others even if they get obvious enjoyment from it. Shame on you for ruining their childhood.


Yfronts Fri 15-Mar-13 00:11:22

I buy all the gifts on a budget and with lots of thought and planning as we are skint. I mostly bulk buy them and have various things for various interests/age groups.

We also send thank-yous but only ever by email or text.

My kids have little interest in money and don't get pocket money but they quite enjoy being given 10 pounds and let loose to buy Xmas gifts for their siblings. They also make gifts when inspired.

My friends kids are very money aware and know about saving/spending and have great financial sense already. I think it's a great skill but at times they do seem slightly obsessed by their piggy banks!

Dawndonna Fri 15-Mar-13 07:33:04

Giving is nice. Making them keep back some of their Christmas and Birthday money to give to others is tight.

Sirzy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:26:50

the OP has made it very clear she EXPECTS her young children to go out and buy her presents.

Expecting children to help around the house (to a reasonable level) is fine. Giving children money for those jobs is fine. Expecting them to use that money to buy you a present NOT FINE.

I would be pissed off if I gave a child money for their birthday which they were then expected to keep back to buy presents for other people.

imnotmymum Sat 16-Mar-13 08:41:00

with regards to birthday money my parents slip some in a crad and Grandma outs some in not that uncommon for adults to get money.
However would you OP? Save it?
Anyhow what ever the majority says and you asked the question AIBU and I can safely say yes!

StanleyLambchop Sat 16-Mar-13 11:18:13

Are you Ned Flanders, by any chance? Poor Rod & Todd <shakes head in pity for children>

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