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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.

olibeansmummy Thu 14-Mar-13 07:52:11

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?

wannabedomesticgoddess Thu 14-Mar-13 07:53:58


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


ArbitraryUsername 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.

ArbitraryUsername Thu 14-Mar-13 08:38:00

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 ?

NotGoodNotBad Thu 14-Mar-13 08:59:21

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.

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