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To ask mil to stop buying so many toys

(48 Posts)
user1498912461 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:10:59

I am at the end of my tether! Mil sees ds around 3/4 times a week and every time she comes over turns up with armfuls of toys. If she finds out ds shows even a mild interest in a certain character or tv show she buys everything under the sun to do with that. Then a few weeks later ds moves onto something else and the cycle starts again! Leaving the brand new toys barely played with. She must be spending around £60/£80/£100 per week on him. Meanwhile our house is a tip and every day is Christmas Day for our ds. DH and I have talked to her in the past and the spending tapers off but then gradually she goes back to her spendy ways! On the flip side, she helps out with ds, takes him to after school activities and helps occasionally with childcare. Of course she is the favourite grandparent now which causes friction from my side of the family as they both can’t afford and don’t believe in spoiling a child. So, should I just leave her be as ds adores her and she does help us as a family or how would I broach the subject in a tactful yet firm way? DH isn’t at all bothered and won’t let me talk to her myself for fear of “upsetting” her. Help!

chuttypicks Sun 03-Mar-19 17:28:16

Ask her to keep the toys at her house for him to play with.

akmum18 Sun 03-Mar-19 18:36:30

Can you put them away for birthday/Christmas? Or sell them online and use the money for one big gift he’d like? If she’s not willing to be respectful of your wishes then bag them up and give them back/give to charity so she’s less likely to buy more if she knows you’ll get rid

theWarOnPeace Sun 03-Mar-19 18:43:37

I would tell her that I will bin them. You’ve asked her not to, and yet she’s actively spoiling your child against your wishes. Some people might think it’s just generosity, but it’s a deeper issue and can cause real problems for you and your child. Not to mention the waste and cycle of buying that is just so vulgar these days, considering what we know about the state of the world. The planet is falling to bits, we don’t need any more unnecessary shite, any of us!

Tavannach Sun 03-Mar-19 18:50:32

Tell her you really appreciate how much she thinks of DS but the toys are overwhelming. Ask her if she could confine it to a book a week. If she doesn't want to turn up empty-handed could she bring him an apple. And when he stops playing with something ask if you can store it at her house as storage is becoming a problem.

FurrySlipperBoots Sun 03-Mar-19 18:57:05

Tell her now, before she comes again that it's getting too much that you're trying to declutter and you want your son to appreciate things instead of becoming spoiled. Spell it out (nicely) that you do not want her to bring anything else, except one small gift on birthdays and Christmas. You could emphasise how grateful you are for her generosity and suggest she start a savings account that she could surprise him with when he turns 18 instead. If she goes against you and brings something wrestle it off her immediately with a big smile and a 'Awww, this will be a lovely donation for the nearest children's hospital/residential home, thank you'. And repeat each and every time until she gets the message. Unfortunately if your son sees the new toy he can't have he's likely to get upset but hopefully his gran will learn quickly.

Girlzroolz Sun 03-Mar-19 18:58:07

Tell her there’s a new hamper inside your front door, and you’ll be putting everything bar a small toy per week straight in there for the charity shop. Follow through.

rosydreams Sun 03-Mar-19 19:00:01

i would tell her whilst i appreciate it we just dont have the room to just keep filling the house. Why not use that money instead to take him for fun days out or go out for cake together.He will have lots more happy memories of you .Plus he will appreciate the toys you give him at christmas more if they are less often

user2085372673 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:01:46

Could you point out that’s she isn’t actually doing him a favour in the long term as all these toys are all eventually going to end up in landfill and are polluting the world for the future and you don’t want to plastic in hour house for environmental reasons?

SarahAndQuack Sun 03-Mar-19 19:07:50

She sounds lovely, but misguided.

Do you basically like her? And can she afford the money? If so, I would assume she is trying really hard to show her love for her grandchild and just going OTT. I'd sit her down and explain that it's been lovely for DS, and she and he have a very special bond, but you've been wondering if she'd very generously consider instead buying him entry to some places/events while she sees him? Maybe suggest he is getting more active and would she consider buying entry to a local National Trust place/a go on a climbing wall/renting bikes? That's if she is able to do that sort of thing, or would be happy to watch while he does it? Maybe stress the 'experiences are more his thing than toys' angle?

Or, could she buy things that won't stick around to clutter your house? Maybe he'd like to plant some seeds or something like that? (Sorry, if you've mentioned your DS's age, I didn't see it, and I am offering solutions that are probably shaped by my child's age!).

SarahAndQuack Sun 03-Mar-19 19:09:57

Btw, you do absolutely have my sympathy.

My MIL and SIL are terrible for this. Every time they see DD they give her toys, and Christmas is mountains of toys. We've asked lots of times for them to stop buying specific things (she ended up with baskets of soft toys and she's never been very keen on them, so it is such a waste). We get massive sulks or them ignoring us. But, apparently, money is tight and they can't afford to come visit unless we pay the train fares. hmm I find it really infuriating.

Mamaisamermaid Sun 03-Mar-19 19:16:48

I don't see what's wrong with buying your kids lots of toys.
There's nothing wrong with spoiling anyone, YOLO!
Surely they get great joy from it?
Let your children be children.

Why do gifts need to only be given on Christmas or birthdays?

FiveLittlePigs Sun 03-Mar-19 19:26:17

I don't see what's wrong with buying your kids lots of toys

Really? To teach children to love guests for what they bring rather than their company?

FurrySlipperBoots Sun 03-Mar-19 19:27:50

There's nothing wrong with spoiling anyone

Think about that sentence...

drspouse Sun 03-Mar-19 19:30:41

apparently, money is tight and they can't afford to come visit unless we pay the train fares
How sad, they can't come more often. Bet you're gutted.

berrybubbles Sun 03-Mar-19 19:33:36

My DM is awful for this but she keeps them at hers, and all the clothes too. So my DD has unrealistic expectations of what’s at home now. And they got her an iPad when she was 2 letting her go on it behind my back. So now I have to deal with a toddler full of rage if she can’t watch fucking baby shark for the 10th time. Just tell her you appreciate it’s a waste. Maybe she could sell or donate them

Cherrysoup Sun 03-Mar-19 19:36:30

'There's nothing wrong with spoiling anyone, YOLO!

Seriously? Up to £100 a week, are you for real?

Mamaisamermaid Sun 03-Mar-19 19:46:34


I'm sure OP's MIL is spending what she can afford to make OP's DS happy. Adulthood is way more stressful than being a child, so people might aswell have the best childhood they can, while they can. YOLO so spoiling isn't a big deal. £100 isn't even allot of money nowadays.

Whatsername7 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:47:59

You need to put your foot down. I had to do this with my mum amd mil as my dd stopped being grateful and started expecting presents.

user1498912461 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:50:01

It’s the excess I can’t deal with. The mountains of black bags in our loft full of immaculate toys that have been barely played with. I honestly could cry! I had very little growing up but what I did have I treasured and loved. I saved for any big items out of pocket money. Ds instantly has whatever he wants, no waiting, mil buys it for him that very day. Most of what mil buys, she gives to him when I’m in work (DH is home). I come home to piles of empty packaging every day 😢

GreatDuckCookery6211 Sun 03-Mar-19 19:51:07

Why don’t you say “ instead of toys would you be able to get him some PJs/clothes/coat etc as you’ve bought him some lovely toys lately and he’s got so many now “ and see what she says. Either that or just tell her that you’ve no room and they’ll have to stay at her house, I’m sure she’ll soon stop buying so many then.

drspouse Sun 03-Mar-19 19:53:26

Having lots of unplayed with toys in the loft is NOT the best childhood.

Butteredghost Sun 03-Mar-19 19:57:04

I can't stand clutter or waste like this so this would be my nightmare. I think the biggest problem here is your DH though - he is the one allowing it to continue. And he isn't bothered at all? Could you talk to him and try to make him understand.

Doghorsechicken Sun 03-Mar-19 19:58:08

Could you ask her to take him on days out instead of buying toys? That way she is spoiling him with time and attention rather than ‘stuff’.

Samind Sun 03-Mar-19 19:59:32

If she likes buying him stuff could she not just put money into a bank account for him? That way he can enjoy what toys he has now and enjoy his money later on.

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