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To ask MIL not to bring children a present at every visit?

(163 Posts)
ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 14:44:19

Visits 2-3 times a month. Present every time to the value of approx £10. DH says it is her right as a grandparent. I am worried LO's are being spoilt and expect gifts. My parents visit the same amount and only bring gifts on special occasions. (Last time my parent's came dd asked me (luckily they didn't hear) why they hadn't brought her anything). I don't wish to encourage greed in my children but dh doesn't want anything said for fear of his mum getting upset.

mrsgenehunt Mon 12-Mar-07 14:45:22

can you suggest she opens a bank account for them. you really dont want them expecting gifts from her

fryalot Mon 12-Mar-07 14:46:59

can you make it a sort of reward? If you know she's coming, tell the kids if they do something (really, really simple) nicely, then granny will bring them a present. This way, they don't associate it with granny visiting as much as them being good and granny rewarding their good behaviour.


I can see huge problems with this if the kids don't do what you've asked of them, but if they're likely to...

nailpolish Mon 12-Mar-07 14:49:29


my IL's do that

i tell them - it got to the point when FIL came in the dorr dds would say "have you somethihng special for me?"

of course he did, and he would smugly say "of course doenst grampa always"

it made me sad and mad, like they were happy for the gift not his visit

i got dh to tell them

also what bugs me is if you go out to the shops he always buys them a shitey comic or bag of sweets

makes me fume

princessmel Mon 12-Mar-07 14:50:06

My inlaws bring sweets every time and if they don't they apologse and give the children the money to buy sweets instead. I never ask for them. Its nice but sometimes too much. They have so many still in the cupboard as I don't give them to them much. I make them last ages! I always say 'you really dont need to bring them sweets' etc but it doesn't work.

Its difficult as you dont want to appear mean and ungrateful but you also dont want the children to expect toys every time they see them. Could you say something like 'we have so many toys we're running out of room'in a jokey way or maybe suggest a magazine or a book if they really want to bring/buy something.

nailpolish Mon 12-Mar-07 14:50:26

squonk in my experience that doesnt work

dc does somethng vaguely nice and then asks over and over again for the 'reward'

zippitippitoes Mon 12-Mar-07 14:53:35

that sounds alot to me..I would ask them to cut down, or make it no more than a colouring book or pencils or a comic

I have a dgs who is nearly three and I don't buy him much now..I get him clothes sometimes but only about two or three times a year and hardly ever give him a present and I've never bought him sweets! Except I did get him some chocolate snowmen or something at Christmas (but was addressed top mum and dad too)

Actually I sell toys on my website so he has sometimes had something from my stock but he certainly doesn't get much in relation to possibility..he is supposed not to touch anything and if he does it goes back.

zippitippitoes Mon 12-Mar-07 14:55:25

I do sound rather cruel

nogoes Mon 12-Mar-07 14:56:35

Both sets of parents do this. I have decided not to say anything as I know I would upset both of them too much.

ProfYaffle Mon 12-Mar-07 15:17:23

My parents are like this, go waaaaay ott when it comes to prezzies etc. eg, dd2 was born a couple of weeks ago, they said they'd bring a gift for dd1 as well, fair enough. They actually turned up with a giant gift bag packed with about 7 or 8 wrapped prezzies just for dd1. It's really difficult, every time we discuss it and explain the practical difficulties of living in a small house with two children they nod and agree, promise to curb it a bit but nothing changes. Drives me insane.

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 15:44:46

I wouldn't mind if it was a magazine or such like but she is spending an average £0 a month on presentsfor the 2 of them. I just think it is way over the top and gives them the wrong expectations. Plus it is(in the children's eyes) making my parents look bad as they are much more conservative with their gifts.

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 15:50:47

That should read on average £60 a month

suejonez Mon 12-Mar-07 15:55:37

Cov - can you get your DH to say "I'm afraid that the DC's are beginning to look forward to the preents more than the Grandma so I suggest that you cut down on the presents for a while"

Or be really mean and say you have a new rule that one present in means one old present out ie donated to charity.

Yes it is nice that Grandparents can spoil the children but not to a degree that the parents object to it. You are entitled to set some boundaries.

Anna8888 Mon 12-Mar-07 15:57:05

My mother out-of-law gives my daughter (and her stepsons) lots of expensive presents - she loves buying my daughter very expensive clothes, which is just fine by me (and she doesn't mind if I change them for things I like better). My father out-of-law buys horrible large, cheap, plastic toys, which is much more of a problem in my view as I want my daughter to grow up to value beauty and toys like that won't form her taste.

My parents, in contrast, buy quite modest presents - mostly books, or home made dolls' clothes. But they do give my daughter wonderful holidays at their house (which has a huge and beautiful garden).

It's hard if grandparents give presents that are not consistent with the values you are trying to instil in your children. But I don't think there is much you can do about it, other than heap on huge praise when they get it right and stay quiet when they get it wrong, and hope they get the hint.

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 15:59:04

Trouble is DH doesn't want to say anything for fear of upsetting her. He thinks that there are some battles worth fighting and this isn't one of them. There is no point in me saying anything to her as it will just be seen as me having a go at her etc and cause an arguement.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 12-Mar-07 15:59:14

god it's really difficult
I think you cna't really put a stop to it without causing bad feeling SORRY. and it obviously gives them both pleasure so I would need to have a really really good reason to stop it.
I have the same situation, but I do make a point of reminding dd1 that she shouldn't expect gifts every time and that it is spoilt behaviour to always expect something &c. being spoilt isn't about getting lots of stuff imo, it is about attitude and expectations and gratitude and manners and thinking about other people's feelings. It is certainly possible to be very rich in material things and NOT spoilt imo.
hard, though, you have my sympathies. I have the same thing re ILs and my mother.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 12-Mar-07 16:01:59

yes, I agree with your DH, if it was my mother I wouldn't want to say anything tbh. I have tried to restrict the lavish madness of Christmas but to no avail and I think in the meantime I hurt MIL's feelings a bit which I wouldn't want.

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 16:02:50

Blimey, I have worked out that they are spending over £700 a year on gifts and then buying christmas and birthday presents on top of this .

Enid Mon 12-Mar-07 16:03:05

most grandparents do spoil their grandkids

I think its petty to tell them to stop - if I were them I would be offended and think you were being overly controlling!

It doesnt mean your children will expect gifts from everyone all the time

Tell you dd that your PILs bring presesnts more often than your parents. Kids quite often accept the bald truth I find. You can always big up the presents from your parents if you think they are getting a raw deal.

Enid Mon 12-Mar-07 16:03:26

I completely agree with your DH on this

FioFio Mon 12-Mar-07 16:04:57

Message withdrawn

FioFio Mon 12-Mar-07 16:06:08

Message withdrawn

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 16:06:29

I don't want dh to tell them to stop, just tone it down. A chocolate bar or a magazine is fine but a new car or doll, or dressing up outfit every visit is excessive.

Enid Mon 12-Mar-07 16:07:44

have you said anything light like "honestly Brian it is so good of you but you really dont have to buy things like this for them every time you come"

ComeOVeneer Mon 12-Mar-07 16:07:55

It is never anything as sensible as clothes, it is always frivilous toys and plastic tat.

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