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Is it rude to tell people what not to buy dcs?

(17 Posts)

Last yr MIL bought all kinds of crap for them and it was such a waste!! We don't have space for toys that won't be played with but last yr MIL bought loads of useless crap that didnt get played with, they hadnt asked for and it was just a waste we dont have space for unwanted toys this year but I'm not sure how to put that politely to her. She was on about getting DS a bike but me and DP really wanted to get him that for his 3rd birthday in march. Told her this and she said oh well Christmas toys last the year so u can find something else!

crazynanna Sat 10-Sep-11 09:40:08

I always ask my DIL (and adult DD) what the children need/want for birthdays and Christmas. I would rather not waste the money,and much,much rather I get them something they really want,instead of basing my decision on last years gift/what ads are on the TV wink

plupervert Sat 10-Sep-11 09:52:31

We started a trainset for DS a few years ago, and now I ask my DM, DF and DPIL whether they'd like to give him some bits for that, then when they say yes, ask them what their budget is, and offer them some pieces to choose from. It's a bit more work for me, but at least we don't gets lots of crap that everyone (including DS) hates.

If you could be a bit more specific with your MIL, and spin it more positively as something your DCs really want, she might come round, and not even realise she's been moved... smile

festi Sat 10-Sep-11 09:55:57

I do tell people what not to get as do most of our family, I would also check with my family prior to buying. My dnepher wated a nerph gun, I would have bought it but his mum said absolutly not.

I think it is practical and sensible.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 10-Sep-11 10:30:39

Whilst she should have listened re the bike, I think its rude to dictate what she can and cant buy. Buying presents is supposed to be nice for the buyer, if you truly dont agree with something she buys you can always squirrel it away.

mogs0 Sat 10-Sep-11 12:58:11

I have an ongoing battle with my family over this.

Ds is 9 and the only child in the family so gets many gifts at Christmas and birthdays and any other time someone feels like buying him something.

As his mum, I like to get him lovely things too and it spirals out of control.

I often give them the option of contributing to a bigger present from us all but they still buy a minimum of 5 more quite substantial gifts each.

Last Christmas or the one before, I put a very strict limit of only 3 presents each and they had to be under a certain size - it didn't go down well, they thought I was scrooge and totally disregarded it anyway!

Sometimes they come to my house and comment on how cluttered it is and then I point out that most of it is from Christmas and birthdays!!

I am extremely grateful for their generosity and I know how lucky ds and I are to have such a close family but I really wish they'd see how much it stresses me out when I can't walk into a room without feeling miserable at the amount of crap that's in it.

I have decided that this year I'm not going to say anything about Christmas presents and leave them to it because I'm fighting a losing battle but I'm also not getting ds half the presents I'd normally get him. I can't control how they waste their money but I can control how I spend my own.

Re your mil buying the bike - let her and put the money you'd have spent on it into his bank account. At 3, he's not going to be bothered about who got it for him. Or could you suggest that you go halves with her and then you'll have some input as to which one he gets - I think I might be a bit of a control freak blush.

mogs0 Sat 10-Sep-11 12:59:07

Omg, that was long, sorry! This is a subject that has caused me much stress over the last few years!

Byeckerslike Sat 10-Sep-11 13:05:18

Mogs0 i could have written that exact post, its obscene the amount of presents that come to our house from pils, i was asked last year what they should get him. I told them clearly what he wanted and they got at least ten things, not including the one item i mentioned. We have had twins this year so im laying the law down this time.

I wouldn't have minded about the bike but for DDs first Christmas MIL bought her a first bangle bracelet and I'd been so excited about getting her first piece of jewellery!! She also got DS his first lunchbox. I may be over reacting but she just doesn't think as their mum some things might be important to me to buy myself. Admittedly stupid little things!!

gillybean2 Sat 10-Sep-11 14:03:41

Why not suggest to your MIL that spending money on panto tickets for you all (including her) may be better. Hopefully that'll cost enough that she won't then also buy all the other tat on top.

gillybean2 Sat 10-Sep-11 14:08:21

Oh and it's not rude but some people will think it so and/or ignore you.

My sister always bought ds smarties for everything (xmas, borthday, easter, halloween...). He hates them and I used to donate them to the school fete. I suggested he tell her (nicely) and she freaked out and told him he should be grateful for what he was given and to say thank you and not be so rude hmm However she didn't buy him smarties again and did ask what he would prefer from them onwards!

I don't see the point in not telling people that they are wasting their money and to suggest somehing else instead if there is something you know the dc would like. I tend to suggest games for wii, nintendo ds etc and as they can be expensive that tends to be all ds gets now.

olibeansmummy Sat 10-Sep-11 14:47:18

If you don't want to be so direct, throw into the conversation that you've been looking at Xmas presents and aren't getting anything too big this year has you just haven't got the room. Hopefully they'll take the hint!

TeaOneSugar Sat 10-Sep-11 16:08:04

Sounds familiar, MIL turned up with weaning spoons, when I'd been looking forward to taking dd into town to buy weaning stuff, she also appeared with pants just before I was ready to start training dd.

It's annoying because she's had all those little, but important, firsts with three children of her own.

Anyway, each Christmas I try to get my pil and my mother to reduce the number of things they buy and it seems to get better each year, but there's still an element of competition.

One thing that seems to work is getting them to buy more practical things that dd needs anyway, like PJs, slippers, dressing gown, pants, christmas day dres, socks etc so they still feel they've created a bit pile of presents but at least most of it isn't plastic crap which I don't have room for.

She's getting to an age now where she wants smaller but expensive things like Wii games, and there was a danger of them compensating with lots of smaller cheaper things to make it look more, so I reinforce the message in the run up to christmas.

I also squirrel away things to bring out later in the year when dd isn't so over whelmed with stuff (also because it's her birthday just before Christmas so she gets lots of stuff almost in one go) presents get much more attention and appreciation when I pull them out of the back of her cupboard in March.

Sorry that was really long, one of my pet subjects.

Treats Mon 12-Sep-11 21:17:17

I've had to work on this a bit - but with my own mum rather than my MIL, which probably makes it a bit easier. I realised that the best way was to have a detailed list of my own of what I would like people to buy her, so that if someone rings up and asks, I can sound as if I've just thought of something off the top of my head.

With my mum, I've realised that the best way is to ask her outright to buy something. For DD's birthday, for example, I said that she really needed a new winter coat, and that, given that money is tight, would she be able to buy something nice for her. She was delighted to be entrusted with such an important buy, and loved the thought that DD would be getting something much nicer from her than i would otherwise be able to afford. She also really enjoyed the shopping trip that all three of us went on to go and buy the coat, so it was a win-win-win really.

I'm not sure that would work with my MIL who's a different kettle of fish, but there's still a lot to be said for knowing what you want people to buy your children and finding a way to let them know.....

SootySweepandSue Mon 12-Sep-11 21:22:34

Maybe start a wish list on amazon? I'm going to do this as I'm trying to build a library (but they also do toys..). I just know at least few people will ask what to buy so I will just point them in that direction.

Scuttlebutter Mon 12-Sep-11 23:27:25

As an aunt, and therefore a present buyer, I'd say it's not rude, if done politely. We appreciate a steer on things like favourite characters, particular wants and so on. I take the view that it's better and less wasteful to buy a gift that is going to be wanted and enjoyed. Having said that, we usually pop in something small, and gratuituously fun/filled with Enumbers too, rather than sensible and educational all the way...

MrsJasonBourne Mon 12-Sep-11 23:38:47

TeaOneSugar I could have written your post! My dd1 also has a birthday just before Christmas. It's a shit time for a birthday isn't it? smile

My mil did actually comment recently that the playroom was full of toys and the girls had more than they could possibly play with. I actually took some pleasure in reminding her that it was mostly hand me downs from her family. Perhaps she'd like to gently remind them that we don't need any more offloaded tat hand me downs?

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