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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
ifIwerenotanandroid · 25/12/2022 13:12

Only read 2 pages. I've found someone thinking the same as me: she asked for a computer & didn't get one. Surely that would be the big present, & it wasn't there.

OTOH, I asked for a (real, living) horse every Christmas & birthday because that was what I wanted more than any other present, even though I knew I'd never get one. Spoiler alert: I never did get one.

PeekAtYou · 25/12/2022 13:13

How early did she write her list ? Is it possible that she's forgotten some of the items since writing the list ?
Next year I would definitely get her to narrow it down to like a more manageable number (say 3 or 5) and you'll be able to hype up the ones that she will get. As her list is so long is it possible that she was overwhelmed? She might need time for things to sink in and for her to enjoy some of the items.
Maybe gently find out what she liked about last Christmas. I think that kids these days are under a lot of hype that Santa will just know what you really want even though you don't and are force fed a Christmas is Magical message everywhere.

BlueTick · 25/12/2022 13:15

I honestly think Christmas sets most of us up as parents to fail at some point.

Whoever came up with the idea of Santa replacing Mum must have been a man…

It’s very hard to teach a 7 year old to be grateful to a nebulous mass of folklore that presents itself differently up and down the land.

I used to love the idea of Father Christmas but as I get older I don’t think it teaches us anything healthy at all.

Your DD is confused. She’s not ungrateful or grateful. She can’t work out why last year was better.

As someone else said upthread, Christmas will get more and more mundane.

My mum when she was little got a single book each year at Christmas.

I guess most disappointment in life is a dashing of expectations.

Id suggest next year you play down what is coming and manage the expectations more and more.

I don’t really think it’s her fault. Or yours. Just a screwed up society we live in now, where expectations have gone mad.

RamblingEclectic · 25/12/2022 13:16

At 7, she may be feeling less holiday magic and with younger siblings, may feel they're having more fun that she is.

I've had this with my older daughter - not the remarks about presents, but the idea that it was better before and her younger siblings are having more fun. When discussing if there was anything fun she'd like to do in the new year, she said she'd love if we could go to a soft play that she as a teenager could go to as she misses them and wants to have that kind of fun again.

BeardyButton · 25/12/2022 13:19

Ihatethenewlook · 25/12/2022 13:12

I love posts like this :) any example of a child not acting like an utter bellend is of course a parent showing off. What if it was a relative that gave the op’s daughter a present and she’d told them it was rubbish and she’d preferred last years? 7 is old enough to know better than to come out with comments like that, no matter who she’d received the presents from.

The example given in the context of calling the OPs child a brat? Yes! Definitely taking the opportunity to gloat. Gloating is 🤮

Athenen0ctua · 25/12/2022 13:21

SapphosRock · 25/12/2022 11:30

Only child?

The pressure of being centre of attention on Christmas morning could be a reason if so.

Stereotyping much? My only DS was not like this at all. My middle child DSis was.

RunLolaRun102 · 25/12/2022 13:25

She’s 7. Ask her again tomorrow and I’m sure she’ll love them. But I do think that next year you might want to get Santa to write back to her (nspcc do a great letter that you can add a ps to) & tell her she will only get one present and what it is. That will build the excitement.

Rainbowsparkles29 · 25/12/2022 13:28

Just a tip. I tell my dd that she can put 3 things that she really wants and only 3 things. I do get her more than 3 things but this gives her chance to really think about what she's most looking forward to opening and gives you chance to home in on the finer details about what she's asking for eg 'what colour would you want that to be' I'd also concentrate on the experience rather than the gifts. The experience is what will stick with her forever. She will probably have forgotten what presents she got by next week. I don't necessarily think you need to correct her attitude but you don't need to pander to it either. Ask her if there's anything specific she's disappointed about with her gifts and explain that if she doesn't tell you you can't help her. If it's something specific that she didn't like and you can fix it eg by exchanging a gift then reassure her that you'll do this but explain that she needs to be more specific next year. Merry Christmas and have a lovely day x

JoyBeorge · 25/12/2022 13:39

She does sound quite ungrateful on the surface and I'd certainly address it after Christmas and remind her just how privileged and lucky she is to get anything, just to give her a bit of perspective of what Christmas is like for a lot of other people.

Although I think a lot comes down to managing expectations, perhaps remind her that Christmas isn't about how much you get. I think this is the problem with the meaning of Christmas being lost. It's so commercialised now and in a society where children are used to having what they want on tap, there's nothing to look forward to anymore.

NantsIngonyamaBagithiBaba · 25/12/2022 13:40

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.

Agree with this.

No wonder there's a perceived entitlement amongst the younger generation, with examples like the child having a meltdown because they got the wrong apple watch.

SamPoodle123 · 25/12/2022 13:46

Perhaps too many gifts? We try to do less gifts as they get older and more quality. When they get too many they start to appreciate them less. Also, they start just wanting more and more.

Lovetotravel123 · 25/12/2022 13:47

My suggestion would be to turn this into a positive: next year her expectations might not be so high as a result. On the more precocious side, try suggesting that if she doesn’t like the presents she can donate them to a charity. My guess would be that when you suggest that she suddenly likes them a lot more and wants to keep them 😆

knackeredmu · 25/12/2022 13:50

She's 7 and overwhelmed with a Rose glow recollection of last year when she's got used to her gifts.
As adults we assume our kids love surprises but not all of them enjoy it or the expectation to be continually amazed for an hour - once yes of course but then it's tricky.
I bet she'll love them - she's just a year old and experiencing new emotions and not yet learnt to regulate them to say the right things.

Minesril · 25/12/2022 14:01

Bit young for playdoh maybe? My 8 year old is definitely too old for pop up books, he would prefer a slightly older book.

But it is so overwhelming for kids on Christmas morning. DS gave me hugs throughout opening, loved everything, but still had a slight tantrum when building his lego and couldn't find a bit (had gone wrong earlier on). And the toddler was a bit whiny earlier. It doesn't mean they're 'spoilt brats' (ffs), I think they'll always find something to complain about! Big emotions, little people and all that.

Ragruggers · 25/12/2022 14:03

We have always done a stocking with little gifts then presents from family which children thank those who have given to them.Why build Christmas up to be such a big deal where children expect everything they ask for.Yes, they are children and love presents but they need to learn that you don’t get everything you ask for.Have a lovely day.

florentina1 · 25/12/2022 14:03

Could you say very kindly, I am sorry you diid not like your presents. Do you think it might be good idea to wrap your least favourite and we can give them to some other children.

This is not a judgment on her, like others have said, maybe next year buy a lot less.

I had a good lesson when mine were that age back in the 70s. All of my presents were ordered from a catalogue. I put some under the tree and the rest, about 80% in big sack . I told them it was for their Dad. I expected them to be disappointed with their present haul. In fact they were delighted. Then not that impressed by the fact that they had more.

From then on I stopped buying so many presents. I notice at Birthdays and Christmas, my GCs get fed up after opening a few presents.

Minesril · 25/12/2022 14:03

Old for playdoh! Wine has been drunk Grin

shinynewapple22 · 25/12/2022 14:12

I wonder if, with children so close in age, she has looked at her sister's presents and spotted a present she has fancied which her sister has got - possibly something she didn't even know she wanted. Children can be very fickle about the 'most wanted'.

I remember the year 10 year old DS had wanted a hand held computer game - which we had bought nice and early- then a couple of weeks before Christmas he announced he didn't want that any more - he wanted a hamster. There followed a lot of discussion around how winter wasn't the right time of year for small animals !

Mookie81 · 25/12/2022 14:12

Kindofcrunchy · 25/12/2022 13:12

You are clearly the expert on child development 😂

Not claiming to be an expert, just 15 years as a teacher around primary kids
7 year olds aren't 'babies' and 'overwhelmed ' is always thrown around. She doesn't need a rant but she should be spoken to about it, it's plain and simple rudeness.

Ladybug14 · 25/12/2022 14:17

Ihatethenewlook · 25/12/2022 11:37

Extremely rude. My 5 year old has better manners. He looked crestfallen halfway through opening his presents this morning. I asked him what was wrong but he plastered a fake smile on his face and said ‘nothing mummy’. I was confused thinking I’d missed something out he’d really wanted, but he hadn’t even finished opening everything yet. His sister told me later that he’d opened the little bluey watch I’d bought him and it was too big, but didn’t want to tell me and make me sad. Took me less than a minute to sort out with a new hole and I gave him a cuddle and said tell me next time so I can help you! I’d be taking the presents back if my children came out with such a bratty comment like yours did.


What a gorgeous DS you have @Ihatethenewlook

Tinsella · 25/12/2022 14:18

I’m a pretty laidback parent, but I think that’s a very ungrateful statement from a child who’s just got so many lovely presents.

I’d limit the requests to Santa to one gift in future. Having a whole wish list is a bit crass, and then getting it all and complaining IS being spoilt. Limit expectations!

Khyfxq · 25/12/2022 14:19

Very ungrateful of her. I would suggest to her that if she doesn't like them that's fine you'll take them to the charity shop then so that boys and girls who aren't as lucky as her can get the chance to enjoy them instead.


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Figgypudding123 · 25/12/2022 14:22

We found staggering presents helped with appreciation. One on Christmas eve, staggered through Christmas day and one left for 26th. Our children are all adults and we still do it. I'm pretty sure our grandchildren will be subjected to this too.

We've tried this before and found it helpful...Sometimes there's just overload...

AmyDudley · 25/12/2022 14:22

she is just a bit overwhelmed and she doesn't think she is being personal because she think the things came from santa not you. I remember asking for a cuddly panda at that age and got one on Christmas day, my Mum asked if I liked it and I said 'I don't know, it's got a bit of a sad face' my Mum just said ' well give panda lots of cuddles and she'll be happy'. I'm 63 now and I still have that panda, I love her Xmas Grin.
You are not shit at giving gifts - the list you posted sounds brilliant - my DD would have loved all that stuff at that age.
Your DD has just over-built things in her head and got overwhelmed. Come tomorrow she will have set up her Barbie plane and Barbie will be in it jetting off to Ibiza, whilst changing her clothes twenty times en route Xmas Grin

Goawayangryman · 25/12/2022 14:23

Gosh that is very rude. Mine knew to lie about unwanted presents from a very early age, even Santa ones.

I wouldn't deal with it today but tomorrow I'd consider sitting her down and saying, "right DD, given you didn't really want xyz how about we give them away to a little girl who doesn't have much? Shame for it to go to waste and some.people have absolutely nothing" sort of thing. And then take two of the unwanted things and do exactly that. Let her keep the rest.

It sounds harsh but I think it will teach her and her sibs important lessons. One, that things don't come for free and two, to be grateful for what you have. And also that her parents aren't pushovers that tolerate such behaviour.

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