WWYD: Christmas Gift

(56 Posts)
tony61 Tue 03-Dec-13 12:30:51

Would appreciate your advice or ideas on the following…

… it’s a wwyd about giving child a gift for Christmas…

Background:
Husband and I had our second child earlier this year, after announcing birth etc to family and friends oldest (step) child (22) went "ape", saying dreadful things to their dad, very hurtful things eg feckless father, you have too many children already, shouldn’t be allowed more, you’ve abandoned your older children, only care about your new family, have never helped me or mum, Mums the best she’s done everything and been to everything (you get the general idea)!

So on the evening of our youngest child’s birth my husband was up at the hospital (with me) in tears.

Apparently this started off in the afternoon as a series of texts, and then husband called sc and tried to talk but was told all of the above, he said at the time he didn’t interrupt just listened and tried to discuss but no joy. Told child he loved them and was there for them. Attempted to call the following day but it was the same. There has been no reconciliation since, and my husband is reluctant to call as he doesn’t want to be abused again, he has said if his oldest child calls he will chat as if nothing ever happened (but that hasn’t happened yet). I do understand these feelings and thoughts are coming from somewhere, but I don’t pretend to know where.

Husband has always supported his child and their mum, has always been at the end of a telephone [and the week before they were chatting about changing jobs, new home etc (so on this occasion this all came out of the blue)]. Has attempted to get to; every event/occasion possible but we live 2 hours’ drive away so it hasn’t always been possible, but he certainly isn’t feckless or anything else that was said.

We had a similar falling out (several years ago) just before the birth of our first child and it took a year for father and child to be reconciled. SC had no interest in their new sibling on that occasion and hasn’t shown any towards their new sibling on this (but that’s something else).

So with Christmas a couple of weeks away husband and I are working out what presents we’re getting for family etc, but we really don’t know what to do for oldest sc. My heart says to send a gift but my head says, you can’t hate someone else and their family (me and the kids) but still say Ill happily expect/ take your gift!!

But I think if we don’t send a gift they would take it very personally, but I feel are there not consequences for saying hateful things to people. I appreciate that things were said in the heat of the moment and I’m sure some will say my husband should call, but I think he feels it’s happened twice now and actually on the birth of our second child what was supposed to be a joyful occasion ended in tears.

So if anyone has gone through this, please any ideas would be useful, I was thinking of a token gift (possibly from their siblings but not sure). Just wondering whether to go with head or heart...

Head is a small token gift
Heart is a sum of money

Maybe83 Sat 07-Dec-13 19:43:04

If this was one of your adult children of your relationship who was upset regarding aspects of there child hood when they grow up what would you do? Would you buy them a token Christmas gift because you didn't like there behaviour?

If the answer is yes then you have done the right thing if not then I would rethink.

eightandthreequarters Sat 07-Dec-13 01:28:32

Just to be clear, it's not that I think your ideas on gifts are wrong. It's just that it's not your problem to solve. If I were you, I'd be quite happy not to hear from SC again at all - her behaviour was unacceptable and it's distressing to have someone wishing your children were never born on the night of their birth.

SC is an adult with her own home now and your DH needs to decide for himself what kind of relationship to pursue with her. You don't have to be involved at this point, so save yourself the bother!

eightandthreequarters Sat 07-Dec-13 01:18:49

I don't think you should be messing about with gift or no gift. I think your DH should call his oldest child and talk. And if he gets an earful of abuse, then so be it, but that's his job as Dad even to a 22-year-old. Assuming he gets more abuse, then HE - and not you, not your family - sends his child a Christmas card to say he loves them and will be there for them whenever they would like to talk again. No charity donation and no token gift.

Your DH needs to see if he can repair the relationship, and he needs to think about his child's resentment and anger and what justification there is for that.

IThoughtThat Sat 07-Dec-13 01:12:28

OP. If I was you I would not have worried myself over this and I would have told my DH to deal with it however he wants. Let him decide what to do. It would be less stressful.

noseymcposey Sat 07-Dec-13 00:55:23

Well, that answers my question on another thread - stepmums should tolerate, excuse and make allowances for their DSC appalling behaviour well into adulthood, even once they are living independent lives of their own and possibly until the DSC are old enough to be parents and grandparents

No, but they shouldn't be anymore inclined to cut out a step-child than than they would their own child. I certainly wouldn't be excluding my DS because we'd fallen out, so I wouldn't expect to exclude my DSS's either. If their parent is prepared to forgive and move on/tolerate/make allowances then so should the step parent.

Never mind the damage they do to other, younger DCs - be they step siblings, half siblings or even their own DCs.

No matter what their age, their feelings in response to their parents choices justify behaviour that would be considered unacceptable, if not arrestable, if it were directed at anyone else

Well, clearly not - but that isn't the case here from what the OP has posted.

caramelwaffle Fri 06-Dec-13 23:12:32

Well said Mumallthetime

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 22:59:41

I'm sorry but I really struggle to see this as appalling behaviourconfused

I've had some barneys with my mum, my daughter has had some barneys with me.

you get over it because you want to have fun together more than argue.

This to me just isn't to the stage you cut contact with a child.

That's all that's happened. not going to stop me buying my mum a Christmas present.

Petal02 Fri 06-Dec-13 22:11:54

Well said mumallthetime

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 22:04:36

I don't think her age is that relevant here, she is in her 20's isn't she? Not 40's or 50's! Children in their 20's still need their parents.

Well, that answers my question on another thread - stepmums should tolerate, excuse and make allowances for their DSC appalling behaviour well into adulthood, even once they are living independent lives of their own and possibly until the DSC are old enough to be parents and grandparents.

Never mind the damage they do to other, younger DCs - be they step siblings, half siblings or even their own DCs.

No matter what their age, their feelings in response to their parents choices justify behaviour that would be considered unacceptable, if not arrestable, if it were directed at anyone else.

noseymcposey Fri 06-Dec-13 20:45:24

I cannot believe some of the advice on here! Your DSD is upset/hurt and behaving badly because she feels replaced/excluded and your response is to err, exclude her further. I don't think her age is that relevant here, she is in her 20's isn't she? Not 40's or 50's! Children in their 20's still need their parents.

I honestly think if the approach you encourage your DP to take is to distance yourselves in response to her behaviour you will make the situation much worse.

Are there other step-children?

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 20:25:04

petal I certainly have !! wine

Petal02 Fri 06-Dec-13 20:22:19

There are some very bizarre posts this evening, I think someone's started the sherry a little too early ....

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 20:01:01

mame surely that just reinforces the DSCs dependent behaviour?
She doesn't live with her mother - why would her dad send her mum a gift for her?!?

mameulah Fri 06-Dec-13 19:56:22

Could you send a present to her Mum for their Christmas meal, so everyone gets something. A hamper, or wine or something? Definitely send something.

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 19:46:55

What?!? You've lost me.

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 19:46:30

sorry not left out wrong word second best

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 19:43:19

Mumal-Oh I quite agree. only my definition of hurt doesn't include someone getting upset because they feel left out.

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 19:41:49

"Final outburst of hurt?"

It's the second time it's happened. It's not the responsibility of an adult child's parent to seek the therapy they believe the DC needs.

After the first outburst and rejection if her Dad, an adult who truly wants to make amends will self reflect and seek to address the issues.
An adult who is selfishly expecting everything their own way and doesn't care what pain they cause their parent will continue to lash out in anger.

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 19:37:59

Clueless - that's what I suggested at the start, a well thought out present didn't matter whether it was big or small but the kind of present that says you still matter to us.

not a token present because you have to

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 19:35:40

and what if it was the final outburst of years of hurt? Hurt can be unintentionally done but be there all the same.

We won't know as there has been no attempt to talk it out.

There won't be the opportunity to with talk of token gifts, which to me is quite deliberate and thought out hurt.

Cluelessat30 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:34:53

Can't you buy a gift, tell SC that it's under your tree and wait for her to come get it? Or is that a terrible idea as you're 2 hours away? Usually people with a new baby wouldn't be expected to travel so much anyway, so it's not totally unreasonable I think!

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 19:32:32

you will only encourage a Partner to be there for your step child as long as you don't feel it is not to the detriment of your own children.

You're having a laugh, aren't you?

What kind of parent supports their adult child to hurt any child - particularly another child of their own?

A decent father to the OPs DCs will put boundaries in place with his adult daughter to prevent her hurting his younger children - you know, the ones who are dependent on him for protection?

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 19:27:19

All that has happened is is that Stepchild has got upset and expressed an opinion that the parent didn't like or agree with. There is no attempt to aknowledge those feelings exist. They are simply unacceptable.

Her behaviour was certainly unacceptable - feelings are not right or wrong, they just are, but as an adult, it is her responsibility to moderate and curb her behaviour in reaction to those feelings.

It's possible that OPs DH is reaping what he sowed if he was a Disney Dad - his DD was abusive to him to the point of reducing him to tears and the parenting that the DC received as a child received plays a big role in that - but, a DC has two parents who contribute to creating the adult their DC becomes.

paperlantern Fri 06-Dec-13 19:25:35

Mumal - sorry that was badly worded.

You might also need to consider the damage your DSD behaviour will have on your DCs in the future - if she is willing to cut off her father when she feels pushed out then there may be other situations in the future that lead to a similar reaction - when your DCs are old enough to be hurt as well.

What I meant is you will encourage your DP/H will be there for your joint children whatever.

But you will only encourage a Partner to be there for your step child as long as you don't feel it is not to the detriment of your own children.

Essentially you will deal with her feeling pushed out by pushing her out first. confused

Petal02 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:16:20

Paperlantern - are you serious?

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