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to think that children don't need presents on their siblings' birthdays?

(67 Posts)
Treeny Wed 16-Jul-08 14:27:45

What are people's views on this? My DH and I have been having a lively debate on whether it's reasonable/sensible for children to be given presents by parents and other family members on their siblings' birthdays, to avoid that left-out feeling.

I think it's bonkers - why can't children just grow up accepting that birthdays are a special day for the person whose birthday it is, and everyone has their own special day. DH disagrees and thinks it's nice for siblings to have presents of their own to open. His family (who are very big on not hurting people's feelings and quite liable to put the idea into my DDs' heads that their feelings might be hurt when the idea had never occurred to them) have apparently always given presents to all children when one of them has a birthday.

I suppose it doesn't really matter - I'm not going to start a family feud over it! DD2 will have her first birthday next month and I can just see DD1, who is five, getting loads of new stuff out of it. She'll think it's great of course. But what's wrong with children dealing with the idea that there are days when someone else is the centre of attention?

WideWebWitch Wed 16-Jul-08 14:28:37

Agree with you, it's bonkers. They do need to accept that it's about the birthday person, not about them.

itati Wed 16-Jul-08 14:29:08

It annoyed me no end when my husband's family gave the other child presents on his/her sibling's birthday. Not necessary at all and it now seems to have stopped thank goodness.

Rubyrubyruby Wed 16-Jul-08 14:29:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoupDragon Wed 16-Jul-08 14:29:38

It's bonkers.

Uriel Wed 16-Jul-08 14:29:48


wessexgirl Wed 16-Jul-08 14:30:14

Oh, yes, this really irritated me on dd2's birthday last week.

Dd1 still hasn't looked at the superfluous stuff she was given either.


posieflump Wed 16-Jul-08 14:31:10

we had to tell inlaws that ds wouldn't be opening the present they bought for him on dd's b'day until the following day
If you don't put your foot down they expect a present on every birthday and it costs a small fortune

Pidge Wed 16-Jul-08 14:32:51

I've ended up getting dd2 something on dd1's birthday for the last two years - but then we've been away on holiday each time, so dd2 away from all her toys etc. And last year dd1 got a scooter, and I really wanted to get one for dd2 too so they could both scoot merrily at our holiday location. This year we're away again, and dd1 is getting a tamagotchi, and dd2 is getting a game too that will entertain her at this year's holiday destination.

Definitely shouldn't be obligatory. And I would discourage extra gifts from extended family. So dd1 will get 99% of the presents.

mrsruffallo Wed 16-Jul-08 14:33:04

I feel it is completely unnecessary to give siblings presents when it isn't thier b'day.

I think that siblings' b'days are a great opportunity for thr others to learn the joy of giving and to take pleasure in others' happiness.

TheHedgeWitch Wed 16-Jul-08 14:33:33

Message withdrawn

Bramshott Wed 16-Jul-08 14:33:58

Hmm. I do think it's nice when older siblings get a present when a new baby is born though, but yes, maybe once the new baby is one, the older one should be able to understand about other people having birthdays.

bossybritches Wed 16-Jul-08 14:34:04

YANBU - it is the Birthday persons Special Day !!!! hmm

However we DID used to have one small "un-birthday" prezzie for the youngest for a few years to avoid tantrums - just for those early years. As soon as she was old enough it all stopped.

I would be FURIOUS if the rest of the family joined in that malarky!

mumfor1standmaybe2ndtime Wed 16-Jul-08 14:34:27

YANBU! I hate this so much it hurts!
A friend of mine did this with her dd's and it drove me mad. Birthdays are about that child, not about the whole family getting a present. It is part of growing up!

lilyloo Wed 16-Jul-08 14:35:53

i think it's good for the siblings to know it's not about them for one day

Treeny Wed 16-Jul-08 14:51:54

Oh I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who thinks this is a bit mad. I do feel irritated about it, and just think the whole thing gets a bit out of hand. (DD1 gets presents on her cousin's birthday! And he on hers!)

Would it be going a bit far in a po-faced sort of way to mention it to MIL in advance of DD2's birthday - something like 'please don't worry about getting anything for DD1 on DD2's birthday - she's still happily playing with presents from her own birthday, and she understands that everyone has their own special day'. Or not?

penona Wed 16-Jul-08 15:01:08

Yes I would def mention it to her. Otherwise it'll just keep getting worse! Your suggestion sounds very polite and sensible. Perhaps mention you are helping DD1 to learn to enjoy someone else's happiness (my MIL responds well to things that involve learning!!)

I agree with this thread - my DH's family all do this and it really annoys us both. So i was determined to put my foot down and just refuse with our own children .... but then we had twins so had no choice!!!!!

Sidge Wed 16-Jul-08 15:08:12

That's barmy!!

A birthday is special to that person because it's to celebrate the day of their birth. Whilst a present for a sibling on the day a baby is born is nice, it's not essential every year.

Surely it detracts from the special-ness of the birthday child's day if they are in effect sharing it with everyone. It might as well be Christmas.

Treeny Wed 16-Jul-08 15:12:47

Yes - learning opportunities ring my MIL's bell too!

smoggie Wed 16-Jul-08 15:13:39

YANBU - I have the same debate with dh, his parents always bring something for the sibling and I just think it is ridiculous. They need to grow up learning that sometimes it's just not their day.
It's a special day for their sibling, they had theirs on their birthday, now it's somebody else's turn....otherwise nobody has a 'special' day if everyone gets gifts do they?
The same gransparents always buy 2 cards - whatever the occasion. FFS - mad.
WE have politely mentioned this but they still do it - jsut a toned down version.

DaphneDescends Wed 16-Jul-08 15:15:28

YANBU, what on earth is wrong with a child learning that it is not always all about them. I coped fine with my brother's birthdays as a child, as did he with mine.

tootiredtothink Wed 16-Jul-08 15:16:30

TBH I have always done thisblush(well, for 2 years anyway!) as my ds is too young to understand why his sister is getting all these pressies and he is not.

However, as soon as he is old enough to understand then he will have to wait, the one whole day, til his birthday.

The presents i get them are 'token' gifts that cost no more than £5 in total.

But yes, YANBU as kids do need to learn - have never heard of anyone other than parents doing this though!

micci25 Wed 16-Jul-08 15:20:59

my dp and i have this same argument every year. dd1 gets something small on dd2 and nieces birthdays. by small i do mean small is usually a book or something similar. neice and dd2 also get on the others birthdays.

we do this so that the ones who feel left out do not have tantrums and therefore ruin the birthday girls day!!

i have always thought that dp is unreasonable about this as he says "so what if dd1 has a tantrum take her away from the party if she does" which would leave niece with no one to play with at her birthday party!!

though dp is unreasonable about most things. he doesnt like it when i let dd1 chose his birthday cakes and my birthday cakes as he doesnt see why as adults we should have disney princess birthday cakes!! i personally dont see why as adults we should have cakes at all. i only do it because dd1 likes it. he also gets upset when i let her unwrap my presents and tell her she can share them, particulary as she usually buys me (with her nan supervsing) her favourite chocolates!!

2shoes Wed 16-Jul-08 15:25:23

think it is a crazy 1dea.
good idea when a baby is born but after that it is is not their day. they have to deal with it.

cory Wed 16-Jul-08 16:09:41

I have always thought it important that children should learn that they're not actually losing anything by somebody else being given something iyswim. The last thing I would want is for them to grow up into the sort of person that sees another person's good luck as their own misfortune.

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