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Is this dictorial and controlling?

(36 Posts)
Paddingtonthebear Sun 30-Nov-14 07:28:40

Asking grandparents not to buy a young child more than 2-3 presents for Christmas/birthdays.

Altinkum Sun 30-Nov-14 07:31:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigbluestars Sun 30-Nov-14 07:32:17

Yes- you are lucky that your child has grandparents.

mrssmith79 Sun 30-Nov-14 07:35:11

Yes to both. PFB?

Nervo Sun 30-Nov-14 07:35:30

Well, looking round at some of the tat my kids have been given by their Great Grandmother I would love to dictate a limit. I won't though.

Roomsdoom Sun 30-Nov-14 07:36:35

I'm sort of torn here.
On one hand I hate the constant stream of stuff that kids can get given- it benefits no one.
On the other hand, grandparents often love doing this and it can feel mean and rude to tell them not to.

What is it you object to? The waste or the feeling it is given the child expectations?
Could you gently try a compromise?
I let my mum choose her gift to kids herself unless she asks for suggestions so she feels she can enjoy shopping and finding what they might like but we also agreed a while back that a fabulous gift was to add to a savings account for them instead of more than one gift.
She does this as and when she chooses on bdays or Xmas - sometimes a fiver, sometimes more, sometimes none if she bought a bigger gift. She has the account details so does as she pleases. I think it will be fabulous for them when they are older.

Littlef00t Sun 30-Nov-14 07:36:42

I guess the question is why you think this is an unreasonable request. I know that some children can find present opening quite overwhelming. Or the parents don't want their child becoming materialistic, or you buy them unnecessary tat they don't want.

I think this is a fair enough request. Do you find other requests they make about how they are raising their children to be controlling and doctoral?

Birdsgottafly Sun 30-Nov-14 07:41:48

Depends on what they are buying and the age of the child.

Realistically, we don't all have the space for masses of toys and some children get overwelmed by lots of choice.

I'm due to be a GM any day and I don't understand, as a parent of adult children/GC, why you wouldn't do what fits in with them.

It does get easier once they can appreciate gifts of days out and console games/DVDs etc.

Paddingtonthebear Sun 30-Nov-14 07:42:01

Reasons are not wanting the child to become spoilt and develop sense of expectation from those grandparents, who also buy the child a gift most weeks throughout the year. Also not wanting the child to compare volume against what they get from other family members (1 or 2 gifts from other grandparents etc)

This comes from a one year old getting 14 Christmas presents last year. Just think 2-3 gifts, up to them what they choose, is a bit more suitable.

Poolomoomon Sun 30-Nov-14 07:44:09

I feel bad dictating to family what they can and can't buy Dc but my god we end up with some tat... My mother is the worst culprit. Growing up she'd fill the living room to the brim with presents for DB and I but only maybe ten of them we really wanted, the other 40 were just little pieces of tat she'd found to make it look like we had loads and loads of presents. To me it's quality NOT quantity. How many presents are there is not what's important, it's how loved the presents will be. Now I have DC my mother buys ten million gallons of tat for them instead sad. I appreciate using the word tat makes me sound really very ungrateful but that's what 98% of it is and it goes unused, ends up in the bin or in a charity shop I'm afraid... But I'm far too polite to tell her to stop getting so much even though she's wasting her money!

I think if they ask what DC want just say "well not very much because they already have a lot. They're interested in... So maybe a couple of things related to that would be good." And leave it at that (and hope for the best!)

Wilf83 Sun 30-Nov-14 07:45:28

YANBU. If it's due to the amount of money they are spending maybe say you would prefer clothes, money for savings account etc. If it's due to the amount of things tell grandparents that they will have to store the toys at their house.

listed Sun 30-Nov-14 07:49:59

I was going to say YABU to dictate, but 14 presents and something every week is ridiculous.

Can you tell the gps you're very grateful, but simply don't have room for anything else and you're worried that your dc are becoming ungrateful.

Is there a nice way of saying that they run the risk of the GC only wanting to see them for the presents? Imply it's affecting their relationship?

I'd be taking stuff down to the charity shop if they didn't get the hint.

samithesausage Sun 30-Nov-14 07:56:06

No, if they're giving presents every week then its getting mad! Is there any way you can work together, so she can get you what you need? If they want to do weekly presents how about a nice fruit box or something like that.
Regarding christmas, it's always better to liase with the parents. (My mum used to give out the argos numbers)grin

Birdsgottafly Sun 30-Nov-14 08:11:59

I would be having an honest conversation about the tat being bought.

I think that it's easy to buy lots of crap these days, we didn't have all these discount shops about when mine were younger, or the planet destroying cheap plastics.

Children don't appreciate it, or learn anything from such gift giving.

Sunna Sun 30-Nov-14 08:18:14

It is controlling - you can't tell people how to spend their money. You can ask them not to buy pound shop tat which breaks/is dangerous. You can say that storage is a problem but if they want to buy stuff, let them. The feelings of other people aren't their responsibility.

One set of DC's GPs were much better off than the others and spent more on them. Why should the DCs go without something they want? They bought lego sets and art materials - stuff they got a lot of use from.

Bambambini Sun 30-Nov-14 08:26:25

No, I'd be having a word - this would annoy me too much. We live far from family so this was never a problem.

EverythingsRunningAway Sun 30-Nov-14 08:30:29

You can't tell people how to spend their money, but you can decide that your children don't need 14 presents for Christmas and refuse to accept all of them.

pinkorange Sun 30-Nov-14 08:36:49

I wouldnt allow it as there is no need. I tell me parents all the time not to buy certain things as they can get carried away. I wont have really big things and tell them to get something else.

Paddingtonthebear Sun 30-Nov-14 08:41:16

Does a one / two year old really know what they want though ? They want everything and then just play with the box anyway.

Should a two year old be picking up stuff around the house (books, toys, pyjamas) and asking us "who bought me this" on a daily basis?

I don't think having 2-3 presents rather than 5-10 presents at Christmas from grandparents is denying her. They of course can buy what they want and spend what they want, we don't give a list of acceptable items or value, if anyone asks for suggestions then we will offer ideas. I just worry about her becoming spoilt when they constantly buy her stuff. She will be an only child too so it's not like she will need to learn to share toys at home either.

I thought it was a reasonable request based on reasonable concerns. Perhaps not. confused

Bin85 Sun 30-Nov-14 08:46:12

Ask for help buying lovely storage and labels?Show her Pinterest for inspiration ?!

NoSundayWorkingPlease Sun 30-Nov-14 08:48:13

It is controlling - you can't tell people how to spend their money. You can ask them not to buy pound shop tat which breaks/is dangerous. You can say that storage is a problem but if they want to buy stuff, let them. The feelings of other people aren't their responsibility

Bugger that. I couldn't disagree more.

I'm similar to a pp who says growing up her parents would fill the living room with tat to make it look like loads of presents at Xmas - mine were the same. It's always been about quantity, not quality.

Now I have two dc they try to do it to them. I put up with it for a couple of years but Xmas 2012 was just awful. I don't care if it's ungrateful, it really was. We visited my parents Xmas morning - the dc were 4 and 2. There were piles of stuff for the dc, so much that my mum hadn't even wrapped it all, just shoved it in Xmas sacks. Honestly op, I would have welcomed 'only' 14 presents. We had 4 black bag fulls leaving - it took us 20 minutes each end just to load/unload the car.

It completely ruined the morning for me...the kids got bored with opening so much, were getting testy and grumpy (as were me and dh). We dumped it all in the living room then had to lug it all upstairs so we actually had room downstairs to enjoy the day.

I put my foot down last year and said (in advance) that on leaving we'd be taking one black bag of toys and anything that didn't fit would have to live at my parents. We had a row about it last summer (I gave plenty of advance notice) and I got called controlling, mean etc - but I really couldn't care less.

SoMuchForSubtlety Sun 30-Nov-14 08:50:01

I have already had a word about a similar topic with my parents. We have a very small house. I get very stressed when people send me truckloads of crap that I feel I can't get rid of but have nowhere to store. On the flip side I'm very appreciative of the gifts and the thoughts behind them - I just make our space limitations clear.

And I would also be trying to redirect the energy in your case away from "stuff" to other ways of showing love. Babies and small children don't need loads of things.

Ultimately you can't and shouldn't control other people but you can have a grown up conversation about parenting/grandparenting. Just be prepared for them to utterly ignore you (my dad always ignores me, but then he has form for ignoring everyone else).

Chrysanthemum5 Sun 30-Nov-14 09:02:02

OP I have this issue with two of my sisters. One kept by purine the DCs little presents every time she saw them, with the result that the DCs became excited about visits from Auntie A purely because they expected gifts. I explained that to my sister, and said it was up to her if she wanted to continue. Obviously, she didn't and it only took one visit without a gift for the DCs to move on from that expectation. Now they love seeing her because she's fun, not for the gifts.

The other sister just buys loads of presents from charity shops, Poundland etc. so they DCs get a giant bag of presents at birthday, and Christmas. Plus things if we see her in between. I've tried having a nice chat with her about it (we really don't have space), tried telling her I didn't want the DCs to just associate her with presents, I've tried being firm. Didn't work! Now I just accept them, and don't take most of them out the car. The DCs take in the things they like best, the rest goes straight back to the charity shop, it sounds mean, but I've given up trying to explain - and it's harder because my sister does it as a gesture of love so I don't want to upset her.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Sun 30-Nov-14 09:03:51

We have a one in one out rule for toys. Big toys stay in GPS house. Our house is busting at the seams; he'd rather have quality time but I think a lot of the over the top gift giving comes from guilt.

His birthday is just before Christmas and I have nowhere left to store toys. He has 20 massive boxes of toys and he plays with a football. We are about to have massive sort out and give as many as we can to fostering families.

It's ok to ask. If they say no, ask if they can keep some things at their houses. They may be getting excited at the gift giving and aren't really aware / interested in the consequences. I asked my sis for help sorting toys and the madness stopped. Could they set up a bank account for pocket money instead? A few pounds a month will grow and is something your lo and they can share.

Over indulgence is as bad as neglect.

MorelliOrRanger Sun 30-Nov-14 09:06:11

I'd rather a £14 present than 14 £1 presents to be honest.


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