Advanced search

AIBU just to expect a thank you?

(19 Posts)
mammamiaaaaa Mon 03-Feb-14 11:22:30

I feel just a bit disappointed as I organised a party for my 8 year old sd and put a lot of thought into the presents etc. She looked over the moon with the gifts my partner and I got her, but all the other presents my family kindly got her got a completely blank expression and just put to the side, which was a little bit embarrassing in front of all of them. And she even opened one and just said 'I've already got that.' After a few times saying 'are you going to thank auntie so-and-so etc' I just left it as I didn't want to make a meal out of it. I understood in a way her not thanking me or her dad for her presents as she was probably just a bit overwhelmed in the moment. However later on I gave her another little present to open on Valentine's (as I always get the kids something small) and she just took it and put it down, again no thanks. Later that day I handed her a painting by numbers set from my grandparents and she looked at it, turned her mouth down and handed it back to me without saying a word. At this point I was genuinely just a bit hurt.
Is it unreasonable as a step parent just to expect 'thanks'. Not an oscar winning speech or some sort of outpouring of gratitude, just plain old 'thanks'. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.
Thanks in advance...

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 03-Feb-14 11:32:38

Not a step parent myself, but YANBU to expect a thank you. My six year old knows to be grateful and not to say in front of people if he is given a duplicate gift. What did your DP say to her? He's the one who should be pulling her up on lack of manners if it's awkward for you to do so as the SM. Or is he a dreaded Disney dad?

purpleroses Mon 03-Feb-14 11:45:08

A child should be taught always to say thank-you to anyone who gives them a present. Doesn't matter who they are.

It's not uncommon to need the odd reminder at that sort of age, but if her parents aren't doing that then they're going to bring her up to be very rude.

Did her dad witness her being so rude and do nothing about it?

Kaluki Mon 03-Feb-14 11:54:24

No YANBU. Rude little girl.
I would be inclined to tell your family not to bother in future.

QueenTea33 Mon 03-Feb-14 11:59:24

Uh. I know that feeling.

My dsd was the same at Xmas. Delighted with her main presents, couldn't even be arsed opening the rest of them. Didn't thank my parents who were here for Xmas dinner for their presents (and they spent a fair penny on them, too) and left everything piled up, still in boxes in the corner, where they all still remain.

Dp and I constantly pull her up on lack of manners and she uses them when reminded, but there's no sincerity. It's a basic lack of respect for people's feelings, imo.

It gets right on my tits.

CountryGal13 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:25:39

I stopped buying presents for my step teens for this reason. Id spend a lot of time looking for a gift I thought they'd really like + spend money I could have done without spending + never even got a thank you. I think it's very ungrateful and rude but their dad doesn't seem to notice. I just leave it to him now.

You have every right to be upset and it's up to her dad to let her know that she must show gratitude. After the way she reacted to the gift from your Grandparents, I'd say she sounds very spoilt.

I think kids get so many presents now a day's that they simply feel entitled to it and many are very ungrateful. It's up to the parents to make them teach them to appreciate what they have and be thankful that someone cares enough about them to go to the effort.

mammamiaaaaa Mon 03-Feb-14 13:31:13

Her dad just sort of doesn't notice these things. I felt i had to say 'can you thank aunty x and uncle y' etc etc because it is my family and I don't want them to feel my sd is ungrateful. But if i hadn't prompted her it definitely wasn't coming naturally and her dad is just oblivious. He didn't even realise she hadn't thanked him or I for the presents we gave until I pointed all this out to him. I think he sees what he wants to see and ignores the rest.
He used to be such a 'Disney' dad - it was really uncomfortable to be around, he behaved like sd's personal footman and was always building up big outings and events to her and promising her the world, and we would get to the soft play/museum/theme park and she would say 'is this it??' I had to tell him to stop building everything up and behave in a more natural way.
He still literally spoon feeds her her meals if she is tired/being a bit lazy, and he treats her like the toddler and treats my 3 year old like she should be as responsible as an 8 year old. Since I have pointed all these things out he has got the balance a bit better, but he is still very indulgent of all her food whims. For example I got a lot of party food that I know she likes e.g. pizza etc and she looked at the table of food and turned her nose up saying 'what can i eat??'.
It's as if no matter what I do, she just doesn't want to fully enjoy it or make it simple.
Then whenever my daughter wants to play with her she says she has a 'sore tummy and needs to sit down.' But when someone else shows my daughter attention, suddenly her tummy is fine.
Also when my daughter gets things for birthday/Christmas, she says 'oh X has got this and that' as if she is somehow deprived, even though we spend the exact same on her, and the things she is referring to are toys she either has currently also, or had when she was younger too, e.g. scooter etc.
I am going off on a tangent here, but I think i am just a bit fed up. And husband notices none of it.
I have dealt with this in the past by just persevering, and then went into a spell of disengaging and basically hiding away when she is here, but that made me feel down and as if I wasn't really a part of my own family. So I'm trying to be engaged again, but just feel like my efforts get snubbed and pushed in my face every time.

chickenoriental Mon 03-Feb-14 14:14:31

Yep, this sounds all too familiar. My family go out if their way to treat disc as they do their blood family. The amount of times I've been mortified! DSc now expects presents when they visit. If they get a thank you it's usually prompted and insincere. As for thank you notes, we have a major strop at the suggestion.confused

So, yanbu at alk dsc or not. Would you accept it from your children? Thought not.

theredhen Mon 03-Feb-14 14:29:24

You are not wrong to expect a thank you. It's common courtesy and teaching kids to get along in the world when they're adults. I'm seeing my dsd1 struggling with young adult life as she's been so used to being allowed to be rude.

If I'm feeling generous, I choose to believe that dp's standards are just different to mine and I'm a bit old fashioned.

When I'm feeling less generous, I think he is useless for not caring that they're rude and entitled.

Then of course, there's the trying to be understanding that he's scared of losing his kids if he gives them a bollocking for being so ungrateful.

It's not easy being a step parent is it?

TheMumsRush Mon 03-Feb-14 15:18:43

I'd be taking unwanted/unopened gifts to the charity shop!

ShesYourDaughter Mon 03-Feb-14 17:15:48

She's a spoilt little brat. End of.

Even allowing for being overwhelmed, the rest of what you say smacks of daddy's little princess trying to exert her influence over someone who's not sensitive to her charms - you!

But you can't do anything about that apart from talk to DP about it. And try and make that about the two of you rather than just him, so ask him questions like 'what do you think we're teaching her when we allow xxxx?'

It will maybe prompt him to reflect rather than immediately jump to her defence.

On the present front, you have every right to say you will think twice in future before buying her anything, or encouraging your family to, if she doesn't understand it's just polite to say thank you, and people will be impressed she shows some appreciation.

Kaluki Tue 04-Feb-14 11:34:37

My DSD has a pile of christmas presents that are still in the boxes too. She is desperate for something, badgers us for it, then gets it and that is that. Job Done! It sits unopened or she will play with it once and never touch it again.
I have taken stuff back to the shop and got a refund before and she hasn't even noticed its gone.
Strange kid!

entersandmum Tue 04-Feb-14 22:07:41

Dsd10 doesn't even say thank you to her own GPs, never mind any of my relatives. I think DP and ExW gave really missed the boat regarding manners.

I was mortified last Xmas when GPs brought Dsd10s gifts over. Dsd10 ripped them open, gave a shrug of the shoulders and disappeared upstairs, never to be seen again.

According to SiL, this and other rudeness is a regular occurrence, but DP doesn't notice.

I can honestly say that Dsd10 has no concept of social interaction or manners.

Jumping on seats and tables when out for dinner, putting on a rather offensive Chinese / Indian accent when getting a takeaway, ridiculing overweight, disabled, different people at the top of her voice when out. Needless to say DP turns a blind eye. I now rarely spend time outside the house with Dsd10 and if she starts I pull her up on it, no matter how 'evil stepmum like' DP thinks I am.

DP panics Dsd10 will tell her mum I told her off and not want to visit anymore. Funny how Dsd10 didn't mention anything the last time I heard her taking the piss out of another disabled child in the play area?

shey02 Sat 08-Feb-14 17:15:13

Sorry, just very, very rude. And very bad parenting by dd. What you say enters about having no concept of social interaction or manners is exactly the same with my dsc.

Is it that they 'switch off' when they are at dad's or are the testing everyone, or are they just cheesed off being there... My dc are grateful for everything they get and thank god even 'excited' when they get presents. Isn't that normal to be hyper and happy and say thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

When I see kids that hardly crack a smile at a load of (carefully thought out) presents and still have them half in their wrappers in gift bags nearly two months after Xmas, what is that about?!? Is that them sending a message, I don't want these, I don't care for them because you bought them.... or something else....?

I just don't get it. Feel like returning the stuff on the quiet, don't think anyone will notice, house will look more tidy though.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sat 08-Feb-14 17:50:02

Well, there's your answer. If her parent doesnt notice that shes got no manners, thats why shes never learned them. It's down to parents to instill good manners in their children. Can you tell your partner that he is letting down his child by not doing his part in ensuring she grows up to understand that good manners are an essential part of life?

ToBeSure Sun 09-Feb-14 14:21:48

Can't you try and anticipate problems and speak to her beforehand. If you know your relatives are coming over to give presents could you speak to her just before and tell her that she must say thankyou.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Feb-14 14:26:43

I agree with Iseeyou. Sounds like your DH is lacking in manners so has probably never modelled good manners to your DSD.

I'd keep picking her up on it and also get your DH to step up about teaching good manners.

mammamiaaaaa Sun 09-Feb-14 15:25:44

My husbands manners are impeccable and just very natural to him, as are mine. I think dsd's mum may not value them so highly, and maybe tends to use them when she deems it necessary, rather than just as a matter of course.
Dsd is just very apathetic when it comes to gifts and things people have done for her. I remember once hiding lots of Easter eggs in the garden, she was only 5 or 6 and it was if she just couldn't have cared less.
She has also only just started to prefix 'please may I have' to her requests, whereas before she would just bark out 'milk' or 'more'.
If her dad was present for the above he would say 'what do you say??' But he tends not to notice her other unappreciative behaviour.
I have tried talking to her about similar things but she looks so terribly wounded if I do so, as if I have knocked the wind out of her sails, that I just can't keep making myself the bad guy.
Other than this she is a generally good girl and seems very happy and well adjusted.
I babe discussed this with my family who feel that between all the fuss she gets from her mum and her mums family, she maybe just doesn't appreciate it from mine - it's maybe too much. But we have only ever wanted to make her feel special.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 09-Feb-14 17:42:26

I still think your DH needs to just be reminding her constantly about her manners.

I did wonder whether she didn't like opening lots of presents in front of your family and felt a bit shy/uncomfortable?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now