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Children's birthdays/siblings

(35 Posts)
Whatutalkinboutwillis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:28:32

Ok so it's the first year I have 2 kids and we are just about to reach ds1 birthday. My mum was showing me the stuff she had bought him and then got out the stuff she had bought ds2. She has spent about 300 on each child.

I asked why she had bought for ds2 when his birthday is months away and she said oh you can't just buy for one. Do people normally buy for siblings when it's a birthday? We don't intend to and feel its each child's special day and should be treated as such. Don't mind a small token gift but this was literally matched gift for gift. Aibu to not want this?

Nanny0gg Wed 12-Mar-14 10:31:23


It's ridiculous and will set up expectations for the future.

I understand buying siblings something when there's a new baby, but that's it.

To my mind, birthdays are about that particular child, not their siblings. It's one day a year that's their day.

I would ask her please not to. And I'd be prepared to have a row about it. £600 per child per year (not counting Christmas and Easter) is barmy.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:32:52

Not to mention the grand each she spent at Xmas and the toys on every single visit. I never expected this though it never even crossed my mind.

Beanymonster Wed 12-Mar-14 10:38:04

I'd put my foot down I think, it just seems plain weird, especially as it could lead to one child asking 'well where's my present?' When it's their siblings birthday!
Give her options either a- she puts the stuff away until the child actually has a birthday, or b- she returns it and buys for the child's birthday!!

Marylou62 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:39:03

I am a firm believer in a childs birthday being their special day and I have never ever bought for the other DCs nor has anyone else. This is a new thing I think. Children need to learn that disappointment is part of life, not that any of the siblings ever complained. And I would maybe gently suggest to your DM that maybe she should only spend £30 each and put the rest in a savings account. My DM did this and at 20 years old it was enough to buy a little car and get them through their test. Not toys that they can't possibly play with/clutter house.

Nanny0gg Wed 12-Mar-14 10:40:11

Ask her to put the money in a savings account for them.

And if she needs 'objects' - a small toy or game when she sees them or a comic. And maybe buy all their shoes or something?

cory Wed 12-Mar-14 10:41:42

We never did. I couldn't get my head round the idea that somebody else's special day was something you needed to be compensated for. I think it is much better for children to be taught to enjoy preparing something for others as well. The special buzz of getting somebody's present ready and wrapped, sharing a secret with the family, wondering if they're going to enjoy it- won't your life be poorer if you never get to focus on that?

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 10:42:42

wow thats such a lot of money on toys, and toys are two a penny these days.

wouldnt it be better spent on memories, so lessons or classes and theatre, sports adventure holidays, a horse riding lesson, and so on...seems such a monumental waste unless you are all very well off anyway.

TamerB Wed 12-Mar-14 10:42:51

A mad idea! Put into a savings account. I would refuse, and make her keep it until the birthday. It raises huge expectations. The birthday child is special and they get a turn later. Getting the same all the time isn't good for children.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:42:54

I have tried saying about a savings account or paying for swimming lessons but apparently that's hardly fun for a child. Anything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I don't let ds bring anything home she gives and last week she hasn't got out to get anything and panicked when we turned up and she had nothing to give them when I got home I found a 20 quid note in each of their pockets with a note to buy a toy. It drives me crazy

BlueFrenchHorn Wed 12-Mar-14 10:43:13

Op yanbu could you suggest your dm keep the presents she bought for dc2 until it's his birthday? I think the siblings will enjoy their brother or sisters birthday anyway - there's cake, party, excitement it's not like they're left out.

I enjoy being a guest at a wedding even though it's not my day. Maybe your dm is getting a bit too carried away.

ShadowFall Wed 12-Mar-14 10:44:30


I feel that a child's birthday should be primarily about the birthday child, not their siblings. Siblings will get birthday presents when it's their birthday after all.

redskyatnight Wed 12-Mar-14 10:44:56

My in-laws and parents both buy for the "other" child on birthdays. But it is generally a token gift.

However ... that sounds like the least of your problems - �300 on each child is way too much ...

TamerB Wed 12-Mar-14 10:45:02

Be assertive! Don't let it pass through -sit her down and tell her that it isn't going to happen.

TamerB Wed 12-Mar-14 10:45:54

Start your own savings account and when you find £20 in a pocket put it in the account.

RagamuffinAndFidget Wed 12-Mar-14 10:46:40

DS2 is less than a year old, right? WTAF has your DM managed to spend £300 on for a baby?!

I agree with PPs.. Tell her to either return the stuff or at the very least keep it until it's DS2's birthday.

TamerB Wed 12-Mar-14 10:46:52

I generally say 'smile, nod, ignore' and choose your battles. This one is a battle worth fighting.

Nanny0gg Wed 12-Mar-14 10:47:14

Tell her that if it continues you won't be visiting.

That should focus her mind.

What does your DH think?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Mar-14 10:47:23

YANBU at all. Totally over the top. I thought you were going to say a small, toy car or a colouring book or something for the sibling which would be OK but this is madness. £300 is a lot for birthday child from their parent but is far too much from a grandparent.

littlebluedog12 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:48:15

I thought like you... until DD1's 4th birthday when DD2 was about 22 months. We were at the inlaws' house and as present after present came out for DD1, to see DD2's little face crumple was heartbreaking. She got very upset and couldn't understand, however much we tried to explain. I wrapped up an old book for her in desperation!

So since then they have always had a very small present on each other's birthdays. I think we might stop it this year though- they are 6 and 4 now, so old enough to understand.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:49:04

Yeah I intend to. She laughed it off when I said I didn't want her buying for ds2 but I won't be swayed on this now I see its not normal practice. It's such a ongoing issue with the amount she buys them that it's a big bearer with me now and I really did not know if it was me being unfair or not.

Twighlightsparkle Wed 12-Mar-14 10:50:21


Nip it in e bud, easier said than done though!

DeWe Wed 12-Mar-14 10:52:38

Totally agree.
The birthday is the day they feel special. Their own day.
It is particularly hard on ds (dc#3) who has both his sisters have their birthdays within a week and still had 9 months to wait for his, but he's been able to understand that since he was 2.3yo (at 15 months he was more interested in playing with the wrapping paper).
Even at 2yo you can get them excited at chosing and wrapping their present for their sibling.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:52:50

Sorry no we have adopted ds2 he is 3. He had his 3rd birthday the week he moved in and the day was all about him ds1 got nothing. He did get big brother gifts from people but we did not give him them on ds2 bday for exactly this reason.

To give you a idea how bad it is I have 3 board games exactly the same from her as she buys so much she has forgotten what she has already given them. At Xmas ds1 had 39 parcels from her and a huge gift bag full of clothes. It's unbearable, and she always goes on how skint she is!

TinyTear Wed 12-Mar-14 10:55:57

No way! £300 for the kid whose birthday is not?? crazy

We always got a present on the sibling's birthday growing up, but it was A BOOK!!! not £300 worth of stuff...

I am ok with a book and if I was lucky to have a second child I would do it, but not proper presents

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