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Is my 7 year old just being honest or is she ungrateful? Maybe it’s me maybe I’m really shit at choosing presents?

265 replies

MarrymeKeanu · 25/12/2022 11:23

My 7 year old DD had the following on her Santa list...

A cuddly koala that talks
Gym equipment so she can do gymnastics at home (obvs can’t have a rope hanging from the ceiling)
Lol stuff
Barbie aeroplane
A history book
Lego set
A see through umbrella
A computer
Photo frames

And few other bits that I couldn’t make make out (sneaky look at letter before it went to Santa because she didn’t want me to see it)

This morning she opened from her list
Cuddly koala that talks
Barbie aeroplane
History book
Lego set
Surprises which were...
Playdoh set
Arts and crafts set (new pens, ribbons etc)
A lovely fluffy lockable box to put her special things in
Barbie doll for the aeroplane
Polly pocket set
Sink n sand game (she’d said she wanted this)
Couple of new clothes

She’s just told me she doesn’t like most of her presents and this year isn’t as good as last year.

Shes told me she isn’t that keen on the Barbie aeroplane now, Santa got the wrong history book (it’s an age appropriate lift the flaps Usbourne book), she never wanted polly pockets (already has some and asked for more about a month ago), doesn’t like the crafts set....

Aibu for thinking I’m shit at choosing presents or do I have an ungrateful child? I need perspective.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

759 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
FunctionalSkills · 25/12/2022 12:04

There's a lot we put on kids at Christmas and remember they haven't had years of practice of present receiving. A lot of people are criticising the child from a very adult centric point of view.

  • Firstly we tell them santa brings what they want like some kind of magic. So it's not unreasonable a child will think santa will bring what's in their head even if that isn't expressed/is too expensive. This needs managing. At an age they still believe in santa it can be confusing.

  • They aren't criticising you. This is different to being rude to granny when she gives you a gift- they have been built up to expect this magical perfect Christmas when magic brings them toys. They dont know its you... presumably they're greatful for what you gave them? One way around this is to have santa just do little presents/stocking but everyone does this differently.

  • It's a huge thing to have this expectation that every year has to be actually better than the one before. Do we need our kids to parrot that this is the best Christmas ever? If sk that's a lot of pressure on us to up the game every year.

  • I imagine she will love the things she has but it's really hard regulating emotion mixed with all the "how am I expected to behave? I'm somehow reaching wrong but can't work out why?" At 7 that's only a few Christmases in memory - learning to tell everyone everything's perfect (even when it's not) is a learnt skill... a cultural learnt behaviour. Over the next few days they'll play with toys etc. It's a lot in one go and can be overwhelming.

    Don't punish the child. They're reacting to the situation we create. Wed be punishing for not reacting the way we want to make us feel better about the Christmas we create. We're really looking for validation. Know you've done a fab job and enjoy the rest of the day!

    Just an alternative view!
Ladybrrrd · 25/12/2022 12:04

I'd park it but I'd still be wanting a talk with her about that reaction. Yes she's probably overwhelmed but it's really not on. I hope she doesn't behave similarly to relatives who give presents.

stayathomer · 25/12/2022 12:05

Ps in awe of the people who talk about taking presents away or giving them to charity-do you remember being a child? She’ll start playing with ones she didn’t know she liked in the future but yes, in future say the list is waaaayy too long for Santa!!

SpottyBalloons · 25/12/2022 12:05

Daffodilis · 25/12/2022 11:55

Oh she did, it was also definitely a smug my child is better than yours post.

@Daffodilis If you're so certain, please show me the exact part where she called the child a name. I'll wait.

Appleandoranges · 25/12/2022 12:05

I don't think she's being ungrateful at all. She's just being honest to you about what she thinks about her gifts!!! Also remember she thinks Santa gave them to her, not you. She's not aware of all the hard work you put in.

Proudofitbabe · 25/12/2022 12:06

Ungrateful little madam.

Boomboom22 · 25/12/2022 12:06

Did you manage her expectations about the gym equipment and laptop in advance, ie hint it's not possible for santa to bring those sorts of toys? If not she may expect it.

TurtleTriplets · 25/12/2022 12:06

Sunflowersinthewind · 25/12/2022 11:50

So you got her sibling something that was on her list? Why didn't you just buy her some of the other stuff that was on her list instead of spending money on things she didn't ask for? She put two larger items on the list and didn't get them. Fair enough but maybe don't make writing lists into such a big thing! Or say lists are only for smaller items.

I agree with others that she should be grateful. You can say that actually you need to be grateful for presents, but she is only 7 so still little, time for her to learn.

This is exactly what I was going to say.

The see-thru umbrella that she wanted she saw her sibling get and not her.

HandScreen · 25/12/2022 12:06

You've gotten her hopes up by telling her to write a big "wish list". You should tell her next year that she can ask Santa for 3 things and a surprise.

Angeldelight81 · 25/12/2022 12:06

RambamThankyouMam · 25/12/2022 11:48

Why would you grit your teeth and smile instead of actually parenting them into better behaviour?

@RambamThankyouMam life is too short, and what happens is is a natural part of their frontal lobe, developing the behaviour changes all by itself. The way people do and do not parent has actually very little influence on the way children turn out however, what they do remember is how they were treated and not stressing the small stuff is an enormous part of ensuring a good relationship with your children on an ling term ongoing basis. Taking the toys off them on Christmas day will stay in their mind long longer after any attempts of you extracting more gratitude for gift that let’s be honest will be long forgotten in under a month.

FunctionalSkills · 25/12/2022 12:06

Ha direct contrast to Mookie! I'd agree if it was a skill/behaviour practiced more regularly (like around meal times /being grateful etc) but how to react to santa is only once a year and not a skill they've practiced/been taught. We teach how to receive a present from granny for example but not around why we should be grateful to mum for Santa's presents...

Hippyatheart58 · 25/12/2022 12:06

I think your gifts are lovely op and your daughter received more than mine (not competing just mentioning). We do two gifts from Santa and stocking. We feel the main gifts should come from us for a variety of reasons. Financial expectations being one. This is what we as your parents can afford. Not a magical man with a workshop can give you.

We also do gift donation and dd (5) and an only! Helps with these. Being older this year I think the clogs did start to turn over how privileged she is for what she will receive compared to what these children were asking for.

Your daughter didn't realise she was offending you. Her attitude would upset me though and your feelings are valid. Possibly suggest she can donate them then if she isn't happy. I understand she is young but appreciation for what you have can be taught from a young age I feel. Your other kids are happy and thankful. Take your joy from them.

Like others have said she could just be overwhelmed and we build Christmas up so much for them it might not be the gifts. Just something doesn't feel right and she is putting it onto the gifts as a way of expression.

anotherscroller · 25/12/2022 12:07

Rotherweird · 25/12/2022 11:29

She’s only 7, Christmas is a lot for young children. I’d let it go.

I agree.
I have a powerful memory of being “ungrateful” about a present at the same age, and the adult showing how disappointed they were, and feeling such intense shame and like I had done everything wrong.
At least make sure you talk this through with her, don’t leave her alone with her confusing emotions.

VHSyeah · 25/12/2022 12:07

Can people stop stereotyping only children as rude and bratty?

Merry Christmas.

bellac11 · 25/12/2022 12:08

Mookie81 · 25/12/2022 12:03

I'm fed up of people excusing poor behaviour due to being 'overwhelmed' or 'tired'.
It's rude, plain and simple. 7 years old is old enough to know this isn't appropriate.

Absolutely this, someone will probably also question SEN in a minute too

Pottedpalm · 25/12/2022 12:09

We never did lists until much older. I think with younger children the List tends to comprise the last things they saw advertised, andwhat was in their mind that moment, and could be very different the next day.

Elleviss · 25/12/2022 12:09

She thinks Santa didn't get her everything from her list. She's annoyed with Santa and not you. I'd let it go and have a listen to the Santa Claus song by Kevin bloody Wilson to cheer you up. Don't let her listen tho 🤣

FTY765 · 25/12/2022 12:10

Daffodilis · 25/12/2022 11:53

Her son wouldn't tell her that his watch didn't fit whilst looking upset, so his sister had to tell her

And nowhere did it say any adult called a child any names, or inferred that the child was scared of anybody

EasterIsland · 25/12/2022 12:10

Aibu for thinking I’m shit at choosing presents or do I have an ungrateful child? I need perspective.

YANBU. But remember when you were 7?

The anticipation, the build up? There’s a risk that the reality is going to be a let down.

Its a very normal human reaction - I’m sure we all feel it on occasion. So it’s about how you talk her through it, and how you get her to appreciate what she’s been given, and what fun she’ll have with all her presents.

Emotionalsupportviper · 25/12/2022 12:11

I think one of the problems is that nowadays there is so much stuff to choose from, and adverts targeted at children are incessant! My DD used to circle desires gifts in the Argos catalogue - every page of toys was covered with felt-tip circles!

Also there is so much hype about the toys in the ads that they can't possibly live up to expectations. ( Yes - I'm looking at YOU, Mr Frosty 😠)

Often they can change their minds (several times . . . ) between putting in their list and Christmas Day.

Not easy, and very disappointing for you all, but I think "ungrateful" is a bit harsh - I think she's just been led to have unrealistic expectations. And that's the fault of toy manufacturers and advertisers, not you or her.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend · 25/12/2022 12:12

In this house Father Christmas brings one present per child, the present they asked him for when they went to see him.

All other presents are from mummy and daddy. They don’t really write lists but I will make a note of things they ask for.

Anywherebuthere · 25/12/2022 12:15

Definately rude and ungrateful.
But possibly because she is overwhelmed by too many 'things'.

Whatthediddlyfeck · 25/12/2022 12:16

Daffodilis · 25/12/2022 11:55

Oh she did, it was also definitely a smug my child is better than yours post.


winterpastasalad · 25/12/2022 12:17

I think she's crossing over into that age where they realize that everything isn't amazing. Anyone who got a Mr Frosty or A la carte kitchen after age 6 can attest to how incredibly disappointing they were compared to the magic shown on TV. Up until age 5 dc are delighted with any old plastic tat.
Remember too that gone are the days where children were so grateful to receive a lump of coal and a satsuma. Dc are bombarded with adverts and YouTube 'unboxers' who give their very honest opinions on toys.
There is also so much pressure on dc to perform for their parents "to see the look on their faces". I got piles of presents every year but my mum wasn't great at buying age appropriate stuff, but I had to feign looks of delight and proclamations of "this was the best Christmas ever!" otherwise my DM got upset.
Let it go for today,and don't take it personally. Maybe in a few days if she's still the same talk to her about how many children didn't get anything and would she like to pass on some stuff?

SalmonEile · 25/12/2022 12:17

I’m on the fence , of course lots of kids would be delighted with that haul but a computer and gym equipment were huge expectations compared to receiving Polly pockets and play doh and that should’ve been talked about before hand really

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