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To expect a 6 year old to appreciate presents

(24 Posts)
QuadMummy Tue 21-Dec-10 16:25:24

I have a six year old step-niece who I adore. She has been in my life for about three years. But I dread Christmas and her birthday. The reason why is, she snatches presents, doesn't say thank you (nor do her parents get her to), doesnt really look at what she has been given, then asks if there are more. I was brought up to say thank you and to never, ever, ask for presents (we always went to my aunties house boxing day and she always had presents under the tree for us, but even though we knew they were there and were anxious to open them, no way would we have asked for them! In fact one christmas, it was only when we were putting our shoes and coatson to go home that my auntie suddenly remembered the presents lol)

Am I being unreasonable to expect her to at least say thank you? I know that she is only six and christmas and birthdays are very exciting for them, but I hate it. I hate that we spend a lot of money on here and it isn't really appreciated. On her birthday this year, we made excuses to not see her on her birthday, but took her presents the day before when she was at school. We then saw her the day after her birthday and she asked where her presents were! We reminded her she already had them. a little while later, I asked what she'd had for her birthday and she didnt even mention what we had bought her.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 21-Dec-10 16:27:42

YABU to expect a 6yo who has never been taught better by her parents to have good manners. However YANBU to expect her parents to have taught her manners. Its a shame for her but not her fault.

Wordsonascreen Tue 21-Dec-10 16:31:22

My dd is six and if she did that she'd be straight upstairs to her bedroom in disgrace.

BUT if her parents haven't taught her better its them you should be pissed off with.

QuadMummy Tue 21-Dec-10 16:31:45

Oh god, noway am I insinuating it is her fault!

coldtits Tue 21-Dec-10 16:36:03


Ds1 is 7.8 and has mild ASD, resulting in social skills that leave a lot to be desired, but I have trained him to say "Thank you very much" to people (and then say NOTIHNG ELSE, as he was asking, like your neice, where OTHER presents were, and other rude questions). But it is easier to train Ds1 in things like this, as he wants to please people, he just doesn't know how, so if someone trustable says "This is how we behave to make people happy", he'll do it.

Ds2 is quite obnoxious at times but I'm working on it.

AlpinePony Tue 21-Dec-10 16:38:31

YANBU - but at least you can go home - her parents must have this day-in, day-out! Pity them, then go home to your nice children.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 21-Dec-10 16:48:35

Sorry, I wasn't saying that you're insuating it was her fault. I was just staing that it wasn't. smile

It would be different if her parents were trying to do something about it but from what you say they're not. Poor kid doesn't have much of a chance.

BettyCash Tue 21-Dec-10 16:52:29

I second AlpinePony - sounds like everything's alright in your house! DD's going to get a shock if she takes that attitude with her.

FrostyAndSlippery Tue 21-Dec-10 16:58:21

Feel sorry for the girl, she won't go far without manners

And yanbu to be annoyed. Her parents need a reality check!

cath476 Tue 21-Dec-10 18:11:45

If it was my niece I would prompt her.

readywithwellies Tue 21-Dec-10 18:15:22

I would buy a token gift only and put money in her CTF or other savings account. Then she can thank you when she is older. grin

Hulababy Tue 21-Dec-10 18:20:28

I certainly don't pity the parents. They have done the parenting. You reap what you sow an all that.

yabnu to expect a child of that age to have manners and say thank you for a gift.

BelligerentYhoULE Tue 21-Dec-10 18:22:11

Pity the parents?

It's surely their fault, if they allow her to get away with it.

I'd be demanding a thank you, or taking the gift away tbh.

create Tue 21-Dec-10 18:35:36

I remember giving a gift to my then 6yo niece. He mother did say "are you going to say thank you?" The girl said "NO!" and everyone (except me) laughed. She's 13 now and after a number of years with no thank you letters I stopped bothering, so that should be a lesson to your DSN and her parents!

My Ds2 (7yo) on the other hand wrote a new draft of his letter to Santa last night which went "Dir santer I wil lic yur presens I wil apriseeat them..." grin

hhg Tue 21-Dec-10 18:36:59

YANBU - but this is the parents fault, not the childs fault

FrostyAndSlippery Tue 21-Dec-10 18:52:23

I think it's a tough choice as to whether or not to get her a present. But the threat of it may spur her parents into action at least?

PeeringIntoAFestiveVoid Tue 21-Dec-10 19:03:26

YANBU. But YABU to keep spending "a lot of money" on her - get her a very token gift only. Why would you continue to spend money on someone who doesn't appreciate it?

MumNWLondon Tue 21-Dec-10 19:11:05


My DD is 7, and finds it hard to be excited about something she doesn't really want, although we are working on it with her.

However would be very grateful with something she does want, even if it doesn't cost much. I now have amazon wish list, she was over the moon with a book she wanted that my brother bought her.

SkyBluePearl Tue 21-Dec-10 20:07:16

I blame her parents. Mine are the same age and if they don't say thankyou i prompt them. Maybe you could do the same.

SkyBluePearl Tue 21-Dec-10 20:13:29

Mine also say 'thankyou for my tea' after meal times and 'please can i get down from the table'. I think manners are an important life skill but only half of the children i know actually have good manners. My brothers children are the worst offenders though.

Can you buy her a box full of thankyou notelets?

FrostyAndSlippery Tue 21-Dec-10 21:32:19

We are strict (in an encouraging way IYSWIM) about manners, DD is 3 and is very good at saying thank you etc. She went through a phase of refusing to say thanks but that was due to shyness. She will also be saying thank you to us at Xmas for the gifts we get her, as well as everyone else.

monkeyjamtart Tue 21-Dec-10 22:11:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrostyAndSlippery Tue 21-Dec-10 22:50:56

I used to have a slight issue with my DSCs actually, they never said thank you for Xmas and birthday gifts. It was weird - they have always been immensely polite otherwise. I realised it was just the way their mum treats them, she doesn't expect them to say thanks for gifts for some reason. As in, they expect the presents so therefore don't need to say thanks?

Anyway, I always ignored it and they've corrected themselves now so they always say thank you.

readywithwellies Wed 22-Dec-10 10:30:46

SkyBluePearl - I knew a child who was taught to ask permission to leave the table. He sat at the table all the way through a birthday party because no adult got close enough to him for him to ask permission. After hearing that, I couldn't do that to my dcs.

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