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Still not bought DSD a birthday present

(18 Posts)
MycatsaPirate Mon 15-May-17 17:29:56

It's DSD's 14th birthday this week. I've had other threads about the ongoing issues with DSD and her non-relationship with her dad.

About 4 weeks ago, DP suggested to his DD that for her birthday he (and I and DD) take her to a waterpark for the day (good fun local attraction which is something she would love). She was non-committal but did say to DD that it looked amazing and she'd love to go but didn't think her mum would let her. DP said we could go on any weekend, if she was busy her birthday weekend. Both DP and I also asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She mentioned a book (but didn't specify) and said there were four or five things she wanted. I asked her to send me, dp or DD1 a list so we could go and buy her things she wanted.

Last week DD2 came out of activity and said that DSD has told her that she can't come to the waterpark because she's working both saturday and sunday every weekend. We still haven't been given any idea what to get for her birthday.

Her older sister rang us today and said she has no idea what to get her as DSD won't talk to her either (they are half-sisters and DSD1 lives in London).

So we have bought a lovely card. But we haven't bought a present because we simply don't know what she wants. I suggested money but DP said he would rather buy her something she actually wants rather than just do the lazy option of shoving money in a card. If she wants money then she could have said and that would have been fine.

Just so frustrated that this is still ongoing. Dp is trying. He has texted her with no reply. He has tried to phone (but she's never in). He always goes over to see her immediately on Mondays (we missed her last week as she was late and we didn't think she was coming).

So do we ask her again what she wants?

Or give her money?

Or just guess and buy something else?

Alanna1 Mon 15-May-17 17:33:38

I think you're overthinking this. She sounds like a teenager who doesn't know what she wants (but doesn't fancy a family trip to a waterpark!). Buy her something (with a gift receipt if it's clothes). Teenage girls aren't usually that hard to buy for - topshop, h&m.... Use an amazon voucher and say its for the book she wanted. School stationery stuff (fancy pens, notebooks) often goes down OK too. Good luck.

anyoldname76 Mon 15-May-17 17:37:57

what sort of stuff/music/films does she like? she probably wants her dad to put a bit of thought and effort in to buying her present rather than just specifying what she wants, i know my dd gets brassed off at the lack of thought from her dad and just ends up having money off him

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 15-May-17 17:41:16

I agree with the pp, I think you're overthinking it a bit!

I was trying to think if there was anything to add to the above list that I used to enjoy at that age. I think my dad started getting me 'grown up' perfume around that age which I used to love as had always just been getting the cheap Charlie stuff up until then, or vouchers so I could go shopping with my friends. Handbags are always a hit too (river island do some nice ones that aren't extortionate). We also started the tradition around then that we had a meal out for birthdays - I'm 27 now and we still do this even though the family has grown a lot since dad remarried and I have stepsiblings etc. I love it because it gives us all a chance to get together smile

brownmouse Mon 15-May-17 17:43:21

Does she have an Amazon wish list? I force mine to update them before their birthdays... grin

MycatsaPirate Mon 15-May-17 18:19:11

The water park is something she would love, she does a lot of water based activities and this is like an assault course on a lake.

No amazon wish list.

For christmas we bought her make up - all good stuff and lots of it from cleansing wipes and foundation right through to mascara and all the sponges and brushes. Put it all individually wrapped into a big make up storage box as well as some CD's for a band she loves and a hoodie with the band logo on. There are no other CD's to buy for that band.

We have no idea what books she reads anymore. We really don't know much about her anymore which is really sad. His ex said this to DP but as his DSD won't talk to him and ex won't tell him, it's hard for him to know!

I could go out tomorrow and buy her a ton of lovely stuff. But not entirely sure what he has or hasn't got now. It's been a while since she spent time with us and has always been reluctant to discuss what her mum and stepdad have bought her before that anyway. We would be at risk of duplicating.

She said quite clearly there was 4 or 5 things she wanted.

She won't go for a meal out either. When dp went down for parents night she refused to go out with him either before or after.

Not sure that handbags are her thing. She's got her own style, jeans/checked shirts/boots/trainers and has long hair which invariably hangs over her face. Tends to use messenger bags. Doesn't overdo the make up, always looks really pretty and understated. I would have no idea what size clothing to get and nor would DP. She is tall and quite large chested so would think adult sizes but not sure on exact size.

When I keep saying 'I', I do mean us. We have always put loads of thought into her presents but at the age of 14 it's so easy to get things wrong! Once DSD1 and DD1 reached teen years we tended to ask them for a very specific list of what they wanted so we could make sure it wasn't a wasted present.

CrazedZombie Mon 15-May-17 21:07:30

I have a 14 year old and she loves getting cash so that she can choose what she wants.

A voucher to buy shoes would go down well here. Dd loves Adidas NMD which cost £90
a pop 😱 She'd also enjoy Netflix or Spotify for the year.

CrazedZombie Mon 15-May-17 21:08:48

Pressed send too soon. It's very hard to get the right thing so I suggest playing it safe with voucher or cash. Primark is good because she can get stuff for her bedroom as well as clothes.

MycatsaPirate Mon 15-May-17 21:32:20

It's going to have to be cash.

Ex phoned DP back. Apparently the list was sent round the whole family (except DP) and all the things on it have been bought.

Also told dp that she doesn't wear make up so it was a waste of time buying the stuff we got at Christmas, she doesn't bother with clothes, shoes or bags and doesn't need or want anything else.

So I guess cash is the way forward. But I'll be really pissed if I hear back through the grapevine that DP 'couldn't be bothered to get her a present and just flung cash at her' at any point.

swingofthings Tue 16-May-17 06:22:15

Frankly, why go overboard on presents? The focus should be on trying to rekindle the relationship between father and daughter. Buying her a number of presents/a big one is not going to do it.

She talked about a book. How about a voucher from WHS/Waterstones?

MycatsaPirate Thu 18-May-17 09:09:09

Where she lives doesn't have the big shops.

And swing he is still trying very hard to rekindle the relationship with his daughter. Still being blocked left, right and centre. And if he doesn't get her a present then it will be 'look your dad doesn't even care enough to buy you something - just throws cash at you'.

The easy option is cash. Buying something she wants takes thought. However, the list was given to 'family' which means everyone on the exes side of the family. Her dad, older sister and dp's side of the family have been left out of the loop. Again. There is no effort by ex to let DD retain a relationship with anyone on her dad's side of the family. Ideally her dad would facilitate this when he saw her but it's a bit difficult to do when there's no contact isn't it?

Things really haven't improved at all. He is going to try and call her tonight (it's her birthday today) and wish her happy birthday and have a general chat. We will see.

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 18-May-17 10:01:25

Is there any bands/singers she likes doing any upcoming gigs that he could get her tickets to? Might be an option. Or if you do go for cash maybe get her a small father/daughter aimed present to go with it to show some thought has gone into it, E.g. A scrapbook of all his favourite photos of both of them and favourite memories. Or something along those lines. My dad (who I love to pieces but is fairly logically minded and not overly emotional/cheesy) got me a decorative light up bottle to go with my Christmas present that had a (possibly cheesy) father/daughter quote on it.

I'm not normally into things like that but it was genuinely my favourite Christmas present, he said he had to get it because the quote reminded him so much of us.

If the scrapbook is too much maybe he could just frame his favourite picture of them both and when he gives it to her tell her what made it such a special photo.

I think something thoughtful would stand a much better chance at showing her he misses her and wants a relationship with her which, at 14, isn't too much of the ex's responsibility to be honest. At that age my parents were divorced and hated each other and definitely wouldn't have tried encouraging me to see the other one. It was very much my responsibility and my decision who I saw. Has he tried asking her if she's upset with him? It could just be that as a teenager it's much 'cooler' to hang out with her friends but it might be something she's upset about that he isn't aware of that's keeping her away that could be easily sorted.

Hope it works out OP, must be horrible for your DP at the moment.

MycatsaPirate Thu 18-May-17 12:14:31

Thank you for the suggestions. I've already looked for gig tickets but the band she loves is only playing in America at the moment. I'll keep checking to see if they add uk tour dates in the future.

The contact has been non-existent for over 2 years, started when she was 11. Pretty much as soon as the divorce was finalised and the ex got her money. Sounds bitter but she sat in court saying no need to sort contact as it was all amicable and they lived so close to each other, DD was happy going between the two houses. As soon as she got the money, she moved in with her boyfriend and all contact came to a grinding halt.

Dp can't really get to ask her if she's upset with him. Most of the time he can't even talk to her as his ex or her bf just says she's not in or doesn't want to talk.

We will have a look for something for her at the weekend. Unfortunately ex has all the photos, she took everything personal like that when she left. Otherwise it would be a lovely thing. We only have a few that we have taken of her but normally has other people in the pictures or just her on her own. Will have a rummage through my photos and see what I can find. That's a good idea.

BurningViolin Fri 19-May-17 11:45:18

Mycats, what about a phone and some credit to start her off with? Or a tablet? If the ex and her boyfriend are blocking contact by refusing to let her come on the house phone then it might facilitate more direct contact between your DP and DSD.

MycatsaPirate Fri 19-May-17 15:09:58

She has an iphone already. And a tablet and a laptop.

Dp did speak to her last night, very briefly. She asked for a computer game so we have ordered it via Amazon plus a voucher in case she wants to buy any add ons for it and sent it directly to their house.

She doesn't answer her phone or reply to texts.

CouldntMakeThisShitUp Sat 20-May-17 14:35:51

she's old enough to be employed - she's old enough to take responsibility for her relationship with her dad.

Throwing money at her and buying her lots of stuff is not going to help build a close relationship.

Personally, i would have offered the waterpark as a present - if she wants to have a relationship with her dad then that is her opportunity to enjoy some fun time with him.
You can always spoil her with extras like a nice lunch etc.

Quite frankly, a teenager who can't be arsed to put some personal effort into a relationship doesn't deserve being pandered to and spoiled with lists of presents and expensive items.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 20-May-17 14:39:42

Why not open a bank account with her df as a trustee?
When she grows up and realises he is actually the good guy here she will have a nest egg!!

MycatsaPirate Sat 20-May-17 20:55:32

She has a bank account with a considerable sum in it already. And we are not in a position to be putting money away on a regular basis, dp isn't working as he cannot find a permanent job. We are already struggling to pay the maintenance for her so really can't justify putting money into an account monthly either.

couldnt I actually partly agree with you. For two years we have tiptoed around her because ex says she's really upset with him. We have no idea why. We have not really been given a reason apart from some snippets like me asking her to put dirty wet clothes straight into the washing machine (not actually do the washing just put it in the machine!) and her not having her own bedroom at our house (please note we can barely afford the rent on the house we have, never mind upgrade). So yes, I do find it hard. And we never, ever get a thank you for the stuff we do send down. Not the Xmas presents, Easter Eggs or birthday presents. And she doesn't even phone her dad. The only time she's spoken to him on the phone in the last year was on her birthday this year to state what she wants.

But it's hard. If we stop, then dp doesn't care. If we don't, then he is just 'throwing money at her'. Can't bloody win.

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