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To not buy my spoilt niece a birthday gift?

(165 Posts)
BumFluffle Sat 21-May-16 15:22:25

Niece is turning 6 next week, her mother is my sister. N is an only child and is absolutely spoilt rotten by her parents and two sets of grandparents, and I promise I'm not exaggerating. She has a holiday home (the 5 year old), 2 of everything (never understood why) and gets whatever she wants, which is an awful lot. For example, when I got engaged, N wanted my diamond ring. Next day, N has a REAL diamond necklace cos they couldn't find a diamond ring small enough to fit.

I'm not particularly comfortable (financially) and have no DC of my own but have always tried to get her nice gifts. Often my sister will send me a link to the exact gift N wants and then expect smaller gifts to go with it. My problem is though that neither of them appreciate the gifts.

For example, last year I bought N a beautiful set of classic fables. It literally got tossed on the floor with no thank you's from either. Then we were out shopping a few months later when my sister saw the set for sale for a hefty price, only then did she decide to take them down from the top of the wardrobe, covered in dust, and actually read them to N. For Christmas I got her a crystal set that N was apparently desperate for (hmm), upon opening it she proceeded to stamp on it. My sister regularly shares stories with me of 'awful, cheap gifts' others have dared to give her DD and she clearly expects a lot from ppl.

So, i quite frankly don't want to add this spoilt behaviour. I want to quickly get out of the habit of her expecting things from me and I know if I get her a (in her eyes) lesser gift, it will cause drama and if I get her no gift it will cause drama but I just don't want to. AIBU to just give a card?

Just to add, I've also tried taking her out as a treat (on top of the gifts) and she has acted incredibly bratty on every outing, demanding everything in sight. So I don't want to do that again.

Get her a £10 gift voucher and nothing else. (I would love this actually. And I'd love it for my kids)

It's not really the child's fault, she's been completely overindulged.

TendonQueen Sat 21-May-16 15:24:58

They're very rude but I wouldn't stop giving gifts as then you're in the wrong too. I would just give the gifts you want and if they choose to be ungracious about them, that's their fault. Book tokens are what I would be getting.

MrsJoeyMaynard Sat 21-May-16 15:28:06

I'd get her something as a gift. She is only 6, after all.

But if the incidents you describe are typical of the way your gifts are treated, I wouldn't be going out of my way to get anything expensive.

Peyia Sat 21-May-16 15:28:55

Is your N my N? I set up a savings account and I put what I can afford for birthdays and Christmas'. There will then be a very small gift to 'open' as he's still a 'kid' but due to him having everything I don't feel bad. He's not grateful and has been brought up with the mentality that if you spend £100 you love him, but £10 would be innacceptable - so ungrateful but as he's still a child I try not to blame him for his behaviour.

Cakecakebaby Sat 21-May-16 15:30:34

She is 6 fgs! And your niece of course you give something put a £10 note in a card even?
It isn't her fault she's spoils that is your sisters doing

Fallstar Sat 21-May-16 15:35:17

As others have said, it's not her fault that she's overindulged with material things, so it would be a shame not to get her a present at all.

What about gifts that are based on spending time with her, such as a day/afternoon out to a museum, show, film or event? It doesn't have to be expensive. Other than that, a voucher or a tenner is fine. Most children enjoy choosing things with their own money.

thecatfromjapan Sat 21-May-16 15:37:24

Do you want to completely piss your sister off? Do you routinely get into fights with 6 year olds?

I think you have to remember you're an adult and act like one. Get an Amazon voucher if you're finding it tough.

For the record, we routinely had a lot of disapproving comments from dh's father about ds as a child. This stopped when more grandchildren arrived and - I suspect - he developed more of an insight into childish behaviour. Not saying that's what's going on here but it might be.

For what it's worth, few pre-schoolers will sit down and quiet read through fable books by themselves. Ds did (I found him reading C S Lewis by himself at 31/2) but he was weird unusual.

curren Sat 21-May-16 15:38:46

Yabu. Why would you punish her for all this?

I like the idea of a gift that allows you to spend sometime together. An experience rather than an actual possession.

FutureGadgetsLab Sat 21-May-16 15:38:55

I don't think YABU. I wouldn't bother buying something for people who are rude, family or not.

CodyKing Sat 21-May-16 15:39:47

Do you want to completely piss your sister off?

OK got DSis to piss off OP with ungrateful attitude? Children need to say thank you even for gifts they didn't want and that example is set by parents - I've sent stuff to a "nice" child when they've behaved like that!! Shameful.

Sukebind Sat 21-May-16 15:40:22

I agree a voucher would be ok, or a trip to the cinema or maybe a subscription? You can get subscription boxes with craft things in that come every month or you could get a magazine subscription. My dd is keen to join the children's rspca and you get a soft toy and magazines or something.

Routenationale Sat 21-May-16 15:41:06

£5 book token sent in a friendly birthday card. That way you won't have to experience the spoilt child opening it.

diddl Sat 21-May-16 15:41:50

Why does she have to have a present because she's a 6yr old niece?

Tbh I wouldn't bother Op.

It's not her fault. Equally, if she tosses stuff aside or deliberately breaks it, what's the point?

memyselfandaye Sat 21-May-16 15:43:30

Get her an oxfam gift, mango saplings, a goat or mozzie nets, something that will benefit under privalaged kids in her name.

limitedperiodonly Sat 21-May-16 15:43:42

Buy her what your sister suggests if the price is right or give her money to the amount that you are happy with.

Stop trying to change their behaviour by giving presents that you think are suitable. It won't work and it's the child's birthday, not yours.

FutureGadgetsLab Sat 21-May-16 15:44:25

Actually I like memyaslfandaye's idea.

thecatfromjapan Sat 21-May-16 15:44:51

Pointedly not giving a PFB a birthday present is the express-route to fucking up your relationship with PFB's mother/your sister.

You'd probably have to donate a kidney to claw back the relationship after that.


Actually, for OP's username alone, and because I'm sick of the reddit invasion (with their crap punctuation and spelling,) I am tempted to encourage OP to press the red button ('You go girl! Teach her a lesson!') and beg her to update regularly, appraising us of the fall-out.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 21-May-16 15:45:27

I wouldn't bother either.

Doesn't sound like she needs anything.

pandarific Sat 21-May-16 15:46:26

Tenner in a card and be done with it - or a tenner Waterstones gift card.

They will strop, but fuck em.

pandarific Sat 21-May-16 15:48:11

memyaslfandaye's suggestion is a good one too. Encouraging her to think about others wouldn't be a bad thing.

thecatfromjapan Sat 21-May-16 15:48:14

That was enormously bad-tempered of me.

Well done to everyone else who is not being unpleasant and bad-tempered to strangers on the internet.blush

QuiteLikely5 Sat 21-May-16 15:51:25

I would open a savings account for her and pay £5 per month in but give cards. Once she turns 18 give her the cash

Gazelda Sat 21-May-16 15:52:50

Do you love your N? If you do, then I think it would be sad not to acknowledge her birthday. I agree with previous posters who recommend a book token or a subscription to National Geographic for Kids, or adopt a meerkat or subscription to monthly craft boxes. Or some child-friendly stationery for her to write her thank you letters on.

memyselfandaye Sat 21-May-16 15:53:08

FutureGadgets Thank you, Ive bought them before, its either a nice thoughtful gift or a bit pa, and it should have said underprivileged!

Maybe it will give the sister food for thought.

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