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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That should say Christmas and birthdays.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The father is a cheeky fucker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V cheeky.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is very very cheeky.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*pressed post too soon

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

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

sparechange Mon 13-May-13 16:25:36

That is just plain rude!

I think there is a distinction on the way step children are treated. It is one thing not giving them a present on Christmas day when seeing the whole family.
It isn't 'unfair on the stepson' for him not to get a present in the post from a total stranger. It seems very entitled to think the son should get bought presents from strangers, especially if the parents aren't making any effort to introduce him to the wider family.
Family is two way, so if the cheeky father was suggesting all getting together for Sunday lunch, or coming en masse to visit 'Auntie Morgause' on her birthday, then fair enough. But for it to just to say 'you technically count as family, that gives you a duty to buy presents' is just grabby

Alwayscheerful Mon 13-May-13 16:25:44

Very rude, I hope he is more pleasant to your niece.

You did the right thing, you had a quiet word with your niece and she assured you it was Ok.

Most children these day get far too many presents and I notice the parents struggle to find space for them.

Personally I am happy to buy things for family "step" children especially if I have a relationship with them and they are polite.

I was sad when my DM said the "they are nothing to me" comment, I think its vile, never a card or a present for any of my three DSCs.

AmberSocks Mon 13-May-13 16:25:55

he was being rude doing that,if it were me i would just ignore it,and i wouldnt be buying the stepson presents either unless i was going to be seeing him a lot as part of the family.

Nanny0gg Mon 13-May-13 16:28:19

Normally I would agree that you treat all children the same. However, I am in the same boat, having never even met the new other half, or the step-child. So I really don't know about sending presents and cards.
If I had met them then there would be no question, but I don't know them at all, so sending something would be weird.

Mother2many Mon 13-May-13 16:30:50

Hi. Well, it was rude of him to suggest anything. Your sis said it was okay.

If you seldom see this child, then I wouldn't worry about it. If you seen this child all the time, and got to know him, then yes, it would be rude not too.

However, don't feel guilty.

This child ALSO has an extended family beyond you, and will not be short of gifts.

needaholidaynow Mon 13-May-13 16:31:47

I was sad when my DM said the "they are nothing to me" comment, I think its vile, never a card or a present for any of my three DSCs.

Alwayscheerful, my DSD never gets anything from my grandparents and aunts/uncles. This Easter DSD was with us and they came round with Easter eggs for DS1 (DS2 is a baby so need to give him any!) and nothing for DSD. She looked like she was going to burst in to tears.

MammaTJ Mon 13-May-13 16:32:59

I would I'm afraid.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 16:33:23

Well, the message has disappeared. He must have deleted. I suspect my niece saw it and made him delete. I shan't mention it unless she does at some point.

It's made me think twice about her new OH being an upgrade from the old one.

Thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to reply.

cozietoesie Mon 13-May-13 16:40:42

I buy for all the children in our family on the same basis - whether they've come into it or have been born into it. Children need to feel appreciated.

I admit that I would feel that his message was a bit off but I'm just wondering (as you originally said you thought him to be a 'nice chap') whether he sensed something on your part when he mentioned his son's birthday and thought to emphasize it - albeit in a completely ham fisted way. Maybe his son is feeling sensitive about the situation in some way and he was just trying to prevent any problems?

PicaK Mon 13-May-13 16:44:26

He's rude.

But you need to treat your neice's children and step children the same.

MrsKoala Mon 13-May-13 16:45:52

I think the way step children are treated depends on the family situation. My half sister is my mum's step daughter - yet she has never met my nan, granddad, aunts, uncles etc. She never lived with us, and has never been with us on xmas day or birthdays. My nan/aunts would never have sent a present or card for her. My sister had gifts from her nan/aunts etc on her mums side.

However, if she'd lived with us and been here at present swapping times then i'm sure they would have brought a little something.

If his son is feeling sensitive about it all, it's up to the father to explain to him, that he has different relatives than his step-siblings who buy for him, and he shouldn't be put out by not getting gifts from his SMs family. Everyone is different and treated differently, it's how we handle it that makes it into a problem or not.

cozietoesie Mon 13-May-13 16:50:51

Yes - but much depends on the age of the child. (Which I don't recall.) Things can smart dreadfully when you're - say - 8 or 9 despite all the wise words of grown ups.

Tabliope Mon 13-May-13 16:59:52

How rude of him. I would say I'd expect your sister to buy for her step grand child but not you as the great aunt. Even with your DSIS a lot depends on how often she sees him and what relationship they have or whether he has a full set of other grand parents buying for him. If she's part of his life then I think yes she should. I'm astounded at your neice's DH.

Kneebeefjerky Mon 13-May-13 17:00:56

I suspect that your sister may well have got it wrong about his family not buying for the other children. From that post and the way he brought it up it sounds like this is something that has been festering for a while and he is getting cross about it. It all sounds a bit sarcastic.

The only possible reason I can think of for him acting this way is that he thinks his child is being treated unequally and that there have actually been presents forthcoming from his side of the family for all the children but not from yours. Are you sure your sister is not mistaken? Or that they're unhappy both sides of the family are doing this?

Also, are your side of the family significantly wealthier than his? Are your presents more extravagant than his son would be receiving?

Because I guess it would be quite hurtful for a child to always see their step sibling come home with big gifts if they don't get much from their family.

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Mon 13-May-13 17:03:25

I would have bought him a small present but his dad's message was extremely rude and presumptuous.

2rebecca Mon 13-May-13 17:14:17

I think it's different if the stepkids don't live with you like this boy. My aunt buys presents for my kids but not my stepkids, but she has never met my stepkids who rarely visit us these days staying with their mum or on their own. My sister buys my stepkids cards, and a present on "special" birthdays but she is my kids aunt not a great aunt. I no longer get any presents from my aunts as we don't bother now we are all adults and just exchange cards. My kids have never had presents from my husband's aunts and uncles, but they have rarely met my kids and my husband only exchanges cards with them, unsure if they buy my stepkids presents.
We treat all kids and stepkids equally, they are all our kids, that doesn't apply to the extended families on either side who really just have a relationship with one set of kids, especially if the kids spend more time with the "other" parent.

exoticfruits Mon 13-May-13 17:16:08

He is rude, but I think you have to treat all the DCs of the family the same.

Peenoweeno Mon 13-May-13 17:20:08


He's probably just trying to feel his way through a "step-" relationship, for himself and his son.

A bit too enthusiastic. Not right to assume the blended family thing extends beyond your own immediate family.

Booboostoo Mon 13-May-13 18:06:57

Very rude. I also agree that you should treat the DCs the same, but if your buying a present was circumstancial then that's life. That is, if you always buy a present for DC, you should always buy a present for DSC, however if you only buy a present when you happen to visit and it so happens to be DC's birthday then bad luck for DSC (as long as in reversed circumstances you buy for DSC and it's bad luck for DC).

MrsBungle Mon 13-May-13 18:26:04

He was unquestionably rude!

However, personally, I would always buy for all the children in one family or none of them. Wouldn't matter to me if I knew them properly or not or how recently they'd joined that family.

Saski Mon 13-May-13 19:02:49

The dad is an ass. However, I'd treat all kids of the same family the same - whether you know them or not, whether you're close with them or not. You're an adult and they're children and it's your job to make them feel welcome.

The dad would test my goodwill. I'd also not be pleased to receive a thank you note via FB, but that's besides the point I guess.

He is rude.

But, does the stepson live with his dad and your niece and her dc?

If not, it seems pretty grabby and totally insane to expect the aunt of your wife buy presents to a child that is a virtual stranger. Especially if his family is not buying for nieces children.

LouiseSmith Mon 13-May-13 19:50:49

I think all children should be treated fairly, its cruel not to.

Reverse the situation how would you feel if it was your child being left out by your DH family because biologically the child isn't his.

You don't have to spend loads, but something.

In my view, the children are treating fairly if OP does not buy for step son, because step sons family does not buy for nieces children. It is fair the way it is, when none of the step families buy presents.

Footface Mon 13-May-13 20:05:31

You don't need to buy for nieces dh's son.

My aunt never brought a present for my ss, and I would never expect her too. She hardly ever meet him so why would she.

The only time she did was when we were all having Christmas together, so everyone who was there did

MummyBurrows Mon 13-May-13 20:16:47

Let me get this right-basically your great nephews/nieces get nothing from their step-relatives but the new dh fully expects his in-laws to buy his kid something despite his side of the family not doing so for your nieces kids?! I'd tell him to feck right off! He's incredibly rude to assume that you should get his son something-not only that but even more so to actually tell you exactly what to buy and therefore dictate how much you're expected to spend on a kid you've only ever met once and will probably never see again!

I'm guna take a guess and say his son is a spoilt little shit if the father fully expects him to be lavished with gifts from relatives that have actually got nothing to do with him and have only met once briefly at a wedding!

I'd send a card and even at that the kid-or more to the point his father-should think himself lucky that you even remembered or bothered to do that! I certainly wouldn't go buying any presents or sending any money! Especially seeing as the fathers family don't feel the need to buy for your nieces children!

I do think all kids should be treated the same but only if both sides of the respective families are willing to do so and it should only go as far as the grandparents and perhaps the brothers and sisters of the mother and father of the step-kids,not include great aunts and uncles,cousins,the neighbours cat ect! Why should every member of one side of the family be expected to buy for step-kids they've never met-or as good as-but the other side get away with not bothering?!

Plus to be fair,you're the great aunt,not the kids aunt so I'm impressed that you even buy your nieces kids presents,I know my great aunts and uncles have never once bought me or my sister anything in our entire lives (despite being the only 2 great nieces-no nephews in our family at all),the best we ever get is a card at xmas and on our birthdays and even then it doesn't happen every year. Actually to be fair my actual aunts and uncles have never bought us anything but cards either despite us being the only kids (obviously now adults) in the family as none of them have ever had dc of their own,and we're not even step children,we're direct blood relatives!

Seeing as you're technically a great step-aunt to this boy I personally wouldn't expect anything more than a polite card,even then I wouldn't be bothered if one didn't turn up,you're nothing to do with this boy really and if he has a large family on his fathers side then I doubt he would even notice if you didn't buy a gift or send a card anyway!

Talk to your niece and explain to her that despite what the boys father said to you on facebook,you will not be buying his son anything and you found it incredibly rude of him to assume you would and even more rude that he dictated exactly what it is you should buy and therefore how much he expects you to spend on a child you have only ever met once and generally have nothing to do with! Tell her that you're happy to send a card to keep the peace if need be (and if you're feeling generous!) but you will certainly not be sending a present or any money along with it and he-or should I say his father-will just have to be grateful and think himself lucky you even bothered doing that as I bet his side don't even bother doing that for her kids smile

OrangeLily Mon 13-May-13 20:23:46

Treat all kids the same, otherwise it's horrible for the child as you don't feel accepted. Iv been on the receiving end of this and it's heartbreaking.

The Dad has gone about this the wrong way but its very awkward.

exoticfruits Mon 13-May-13 20:44:53

They are now a family of 5 and you are treating them as if they are only a family of 4, with one member being second class.

" This child's uncles and aunt don't buy for niece's children and niece seems happy with that."
Well, if he EVER raises the subject with you again, I would smile sweetly and respond that I would buy presents for his son when his family bought presents for niece's children. 'Do let me know when that starts.' Cheeky fecker.

Morgause Mon 13-May-13 20:53:26

Back from shopping to more replies. Thank you.

Niece's step son lives with his mother and spend every alternate weekend with his dad and my niece. Plus usually one evening in the week.

All the children were at niece's last Christmas Day and sis told me step son had a lot more presents to open because he has more uncles, aunties, cousins etc than my gt nieces and nephew. So I know his side of the family don't buy for my niece's children.

If I ever saw him then I think I probably would buy him presents but I don't. I thought we'd worked out who bought for whom but it seems he thinks we should also buy for his son - or maybe he was joking. But if I did he'd have even more presents than the other children in the family.

We aren't any wealthier than the same generation in his family but we are, perhaps, over-generous with presents for children. We "spoilt" my niece, with the permission of her parents. Every girl needs an aunt who spoils her with unsuitable things. smile

We were also quite generous with a cash gift when they got married, so maybe he thinks we're loaded. We aren't but we are comfortable, as my Mum would say.

I'll raise the subject when I see sis later in the week. He deleted his comment so he must realise he was out of order.

deleted203 Mon 13-May-13 20:58:43

I think it's a bloody cheek. Whilst agreeing that children should be treated the same it is not as though this child lives with them and you know him at all. You've met him once, at their wedding.

I would phone niece, personally, and say that you feel embarrassed at being put in this situation and feel it's odd that you are expected to buy a present for a child you have only met once.

starfishmummy Mon 13-May-13 21:21:04

He's rude.

But I would probably get the child something small anyway, it isn't his fault he has a rude father.

GladbagsGold Mon 13-May-13 21:25:41

Its a shame he's deleted it. You could have replied 'Didn't realise he has TWO Aunty Morgauses, what a lucky boy!'

Purple2012 Mon 13-May-13 21:45:55

I would buy in this situation. Although the dad was very rude.
I don't think whether the child lives with your relative or not matters.

I have a step daughter. She is treated as one of the family by most of my side -- my side is better to her than her dads--

My mum and dad are nan and grandad, my brother and SIL are auntie and uncle, she doesn't live with us but is here a lot and she us part of my family. I provide for her, financially, practically and emotionally.

When we got married, abroad just the 2 of us we had a family BBQ when we got back. I invited friends of the family, who were 'aunt and uncle' to us growing up. The 'uncle' spoke to my SD, was interested in what she had to say, the 'aunt' pretty much ignored her and looked at her with disdain. They gave my nephews a fiver and completely left out my SD. I was furious and very upset about it. They don't have a relationship with my nephews, have maybe seen them twice and the oldest is 10.

I will never feel the same about them now, especially her. She got annoyed when her husband was talking to my SD about her interests and made it so obvious that she thought my SD was insignificant.

Luckily I don't think it really registered with my SD and she is very lucky with how good my family are with her, but it still grates on me now even though it happened 2 years ago.

thegreylady Mon 13-May-13 23:24:41

I do think you must buy something for the child. He is now one of the family. When I remarried I acquired 3 step dc and my mum always bought presents for them as well as for my dc. I wouldn't get something big but you must buy something I'm afraid.

pigletmania Mon 13-May-13 23:37:24

Yanbuat all, how rude and cheeky. I would ignore it. I would not buy for a child I have never met. You bought your nephew a present be us it was his birthday, not just a random gift

pigletmania Mon 13-May-13 23:38:32

For your nieces dh son get him something small next month when it's his birthday

IrritatingInfinity Mon 13-May-13 23:50:20

I think the suggestion to move to getting 'family' presents is a good one.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 14-May-13 01:35:50

I am a stepchild (beginning at the age of 5), a stepmother, and a step-grandmother, and I have a great deal of experience with this issue.

I think, especially given your closeness to your niece, you should seriously consider treating her step-child as your great-nephew. I don't think it matters that you don't see him much; DH and I rarely see our step-grandson (and this is the only context in which we even use "step," when the relationhip is relevant to the discussion. And even then we refer to him as our "bonus grandson.") But we get emails, texts and phone calls in response to the presents (he is 12; he was 8 when he came into the family), and I know that it means a lot to him to be treated the same as his half-sisters. Also anyone on our side of the family who gives presents to our grandaughters, his sisters, gives presents to him.

I also don't think it is relevant what the other side of the family does; that is really not part of your relationship with your niece and her family. Hopefully your generosity would set a good example for them.

The dad was out of line with the facebook post, no question. But having been down this road so many times and in so many ways, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he is just trying to strengthen the ties in his new blended family.

exoticfruits Tue 14-May-13 06:50:51

I agree with scone. Your niece now has 3 children and you seem unwilling to acknowledge it and are insisting that she has 2 children and a visitor- not very nice for the family member who now as to share his father and isn't even counted as belonging 'properly'.

Morgause Tue 14-May-13 07:28:44

My niece has 4 children. 2 by her first husband, who we have known all their lives and see regularly, one by her new husband who we also see regularly and one who is her DH's from his first marriage who we met once briefly 3 years ago and have never met since.

Her DH's son has lots of relatives who buy him presents and don't buy for her children from her first marriage, despite seeing them regulaly and living in the same village.

When he gets more presents at Christmas than her 2 from her first marriage she can console her older 2 by saying that they get presents from us and he gets presents from his aunties and uncles. If we buy him stuff as well they are going to see that as very unfair, I'd have thought.

Some may not agree but the feelings of children I know and love matter more to me than those of a child I don't know. If all new DH's family bought for all the children then we would as well.

I'll talk to my sis later to see what she thinks but until now everyone has been happy with the status quo. Niece's first 2 children already get far less at Christmas and birthdays than their step brother. Niece's DH has never shown any indication that he'd like us to get to know his son, her own parents hardly know him and see him rarely. We only get invited over on weekends when they doesn't have his son there. I get the feeling his ex doesn't want her son to get to know the extended family but I could be wrong.

pigletmania Tue 14-May-13 07:44:26

Give the op a break. She said she bought her nephew a birthday present. It's not this boys birthday yet! It's not like she bought them all presents and left him out, that would be cruel. Op I hope if your going to buy Christmas presents for your nieces kids tan you also buy for this boy.

Altinkum Tue 14-May-13 08:16:41

Its buy for all children or none in my opinion, the boy is your nieces son (step) so if your buying for his sister (step) the rules should apply to all children.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Tue 14-May-13 08:32:20

I'd buy the boy a small gift and card Lego, it's expensive enough! The bloody cheek

I'd talk to niece about his family leaving out her DS1&2. To the point where they get upset and need reassurance they're just as loved as their stepbrother with his mountain of tat.

All children should be treated the same. But if one family side don't acknowledge their new grandsons/DN's etc, that would worry me more than Disney Dad already trying to bully wrangle more presents for his son.

WHY is't he standing up for his DSS?? Is he just weak as piss when it comes to extended family, event at the detriment of his family.

needaholidaynow Tue 14-May-13 08:57:50

I actually think the OP has got a very good point. The fact that her DH's son has lots of relatives that buy for him and not her niece's children just reinforces OP's reluctance to buy for OP's DH'S child.

I think her niece being able to console her older 2 with the fact that their own family will be buying them presents after they have watched their stepbrother open presents from his family and they get not a bean, then I think this is fair. It sort of, "balances it out".

Why should her nieces's stepson get presents from his own family and step family, whilst OP's great nieces only get presents from their own family and get disregarded by stepfamily?


Midori1999 Tue 14-May-13 09:03:50

I don't understand why you are justifying this by saying that your nieces stepson's family don't buy for your niece's DC? Just because they behave like arseholes, doesn't mean you have to.

My DH's family don't buy for my DC, despite seeing them as often as they see their Grandchild/niece. It is only because DH has up until now not wanted to rock the boat that he has never said anything to them and they probably think that I/we don't think it's a problem. It is.

However, my Grandmother (who has only met my stepchildren a few times at most, who don't live with us and DSD is in fact grown up) always sends money at birthdays/Christmas for them and so does my Mum, who has only met them once. They don't see someone else's poor behaviour as a model for their own.

I just can't imagine one of my DC getting married to someone who already had DC, who became my step grandchildren and sending presents to some DC in the household, but not others, it seems utterly alien to me.

Midori1999 Tue 14-May-13 09:07:06

Also, growing up, my Grandparents always bought my half brothers presents and treated them the same, in spite of the fact my half brothers were no relation whatsoever to them, as they are my paternal grandparents and my brothers are the DC of my Mum and stepfather.

I am glad they did, as to me my brothers were just my brothers growing up, the same as my sister was and I would have hated them to be treated differently by a relative I loved and cared for greatly. However, my Grandparents always were/are (my Grandfather sadly passed away this year) extremely generous and kind people and also when they talked about a family cruise for their 60th anniversary, as they had done for their 50th, they talked about including my DSC. I admire them greatly.

sweetmelissa Tue 14-May-13 09:10:26

I am a foster parent and therefore relatives/friends are often faced with the problem of buying for a child they don't know and actually may only be with us a short time. However, without exception all have included the foster child/ren and acknowledged them at Christmas/birthdays/Easter in the same way as our own children. Even if with us for only a short time it has always been very important for them to be treated as part of the family. I'm not sure what I would do if someone did not include them because everyone in my life has always believed you cannot leave a child out (even if you do not know that child).

I saw someone had written about not buying "unless the child is going to be regularly in your life" and (pathetically) I almost cried as I imagined any of my foster children being left out and being aware of the other children opening gifts while they did not.

DeskPlanner Tue 14-May-13 09:42:14

Op, I agree with you totally. This man is very rude. I think your doing the right thing. It must be tough for the biological children watching the Dss open far more gifts than they have, without you making him have more.

As an aside, do most people receive gifts for there dc from there own aunts/uncles ? Mine never have and when we where children we never received anything from my parents aunts/uncles. Not complaining in the slightest, we have more than enough toys in this house.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would send a token gift.

To be nice.

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

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

Not so nice a chap then.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's great op, good outcome smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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