Overly Generous Grandparents

by admin on November 15, 2011

My husband and I have a one and a half year old son and this story happened around his 1st birthday. My husband’s mother, Frances asked us what she should get for our son’s 1st birthday. I told her (a number of times, because she inquired a number of times) to keep purchases very modest. Maybe books, clothes or simple baby necessities. He is only 1 and really doesn’t need large, expensive toys. But maybe he is starting to grow out of the size pants he has, and maybe an extra package or two of diapers would be a nice thing to have on hand.

I explained this to Frances (pretty sternly) about not wanting my 1-year old to have tons of toys. That is a personal choice my husband and I have made for our child, mostly because we don’t want to create a pattern of over-stimulation or always needing to be stimulated by something loud and flashy, and that is just what we’ve chosen for our family.

For our son’s 1st birthday, we did not throw a big family bash. We had a very nice little party at home, just the three of us and a little cake. About 6pm, Frances shows up at the house uninvited, with about 3 different large sized presents in tow. Ok. Husband’s father and step-mother stopped by earlier in the day to wish our son a happy birthday, so no biggie. Husband’s step-mother got our son some new clothes and a couple books. Perfect! But Frances bought three large, flashy, loud toys, along with 4 or 5 other small toys. To say the least, it irked me, simply because I had asked her not to buy those toys specifically, and explained why we did not want them. A couple times!

I understand grandparents especially like to spoil their grandchildren. It’s fun to buy presents for babies, period. I get that. But I think people need to understand that especially when a child is only 1 year old, you really should listen to the parents about gifts.When a child is that young, I think the parents need more things FOR the baby (clothes, diapers, new bottles, etc) than the baby actually needs for himself.

My question is, would it be wrong for me to return these gifts? I understand these are just toys, but this is a choice my husband and I have made for our family and I do believe that my son will turn out to be a well-adjusted boy despite the fact that he does not have tens and tens of toys to play with every which way he turns.

Any advice would be great! 1113-11

 

My husband and I had a similar problem with a grandparent after the birth of our first child.   Despite recommendations that we celebrate Christmas modestly and to please limit her gift giving to a few small items, Grandmother B sent a huge box filled with many gifts.   We thanked her, gave two or three of the gifts to our daughter from the box and then put the remainder in storage.  Over the next year we raided the stash for new gifts to give her and regifted a few for other children.  I may have donated some as well.

Etiquette doesn’t really permit the recipient to dictate to the giver what they should or should not be giving.  When asked it is perfectly polite to give suggestions and recommendations but any more direction starts to gain the appearance of micromanaging other people’s generosity.   We should be loathe to curtail generosity in a typically stingy, me centered world.   The trick is to figure out how to encourage generosity in other areas such as writing letters to the child, building their personal library, or opportunities and adventures the child might not otherwise have.   Grandfather A was the complete opposite of Grandmother B in that he was very frugal in his gift giving but he was very generous in providing experiences that Dear Son still remembers and treasures many years later.

Grandmother B continued to send many gifts to the kids over the years and eventually tapered off as she slowly realized her gifts were not necessary to ensure the love of a child.    In response to her overly ambitious generosity, we began encouraging our children to give gifts on their birthday to counter the perception that they are owed a mountain of gifts.

There will be a few comments that suggest that grandparents ignore their children’s wishes for they wish to raise their children to which I say, the answer to the dilemma is still the same.   Have an attitude that one cannot dictate the generosity of others, accept gifts graciously and with appropriate thanks, and then feel free to dispose/regift any way you choose.

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

elleseee November 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm

@–Lia
That reminded me of what my boyfriend said about being an uncle- you can spoil them and have fun without dealing with the consequences. During a trip, he gave candy and etc to his nephew and he was so active when they returne to mom’s house for dinner. Ah, what a devil I’m dating :op

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KTB November 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Why do people proclaim their right to spoil grandchildren so loudly, even in jest? Don’t they realize what they are saying, and that it’s a horrible thing to do to a child? There’s nothing wrong with gifts, but I’ve grown up with kids that were completely spoilt. I don’t ever want my children to be that way, and I will do everything in my power to stop it happening. Including being stern with my parents and in-laws.

OP, thank your MIL for her generosity and donate away.

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anotherloginname November 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I don’t think this is about the toys, it is about the MIL ignoring their wishes, after she had expressly and repeatedly asked for advice. If this was a one off then fine, but I suspect it is an on-going problem.

As to why the rest of the family were’nt invited to the first birthday, who kn0ws? It sounds like their extended family lives near by, maybe they don’t often get a chance to be alone with just Mum, Dad, and Baby. With an in law who drops by unannounced and ignores my wishes, I would probably choose low stress immediate family time as well.

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admin November 16, 2011 at 1:25 am

Whether the grandparent is passive aggressive does not change the etiquette advice. Don’t dictate what people should give you, be grateful for what you receive, express proper thanks, and regift, regift, regift like a fiend quietly.

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Spike November 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

It’s funny that you posted this because on my way home today, I was just pondering whether re-gifting and otherwise discreetly disposing of unwanted gifts after having accepted them is really 100% kosher for the Gods of Etiquette. I feel much more clear on that now.
Love your site(s) by the way, I found it a couple months ago and I feel like I’ve learned so much useful stuff.

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Cherry November 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I can’t help but feel there’s a bit of a battle for dominance going on here…
The MIL specifically asked the OP what to get the child, then went off and did her own thing anyway… why ask if you aren’t going to listen?

On the other hand, I have a real personal dislike of swapping gifts or returning them for money, unless there is a really good reason – e.g. “Two people got me the same book, so I swapped one of them for the sequel”.

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Anonymous November 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I agree with the admin. I had a lot of leftover toys from my brother and sister, but I really only played with three or so of them. We ended up giving them away. You can give whatever you want, but the parent gets final say. For instance, if you don’t want your kid to play with some of those dolls that kind of wear “sexy” clothes, I think it’s okay to return one of those dolls.

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Anonymous November 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Not to mention, the more toys you have, the more they get *everywhere.*

I imagine my kids will be gifted a lot of toys (big big family) but I think it’s okay to give toys away. The best thing I ever saw was a 18 month old getting her first teddy bear at the courthouse I worked at. Her mom was a poor 17 year old, so I imagine she didn’t get many toys. That’s where those donated toys go.

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Rhonda November 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

There’s a reason why grandparents and grandchildren get along so well:

THEY HAVE A COMMON ENEMY.

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Lisa Marie November 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I, too, am an overindulgent grammie. I even bought my one year old grandson a pony. BUT like the pony, most of my presents remain at my home so he has something to enjoy while he is here and I can
see if I get out of hand because I have to store them here. LOL. Yes, I enjoy the pony more than he does. Who do you think waters, feeds, and buys him (pony) things?

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Emily J November 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

@Lia – I completely agree. Also, i found that my own children were excited for about a week with loud, flashy, toys, and then lost all interest. I think that’s a pretty common reaction, judging by the tendency for those sorts of toys to broadcast occasional “reminders” that it’s still on! Anyway, all those toys ever did for my kids was look cool, take up space, and gather dust.

I had the same issue with my (ex) MIL. She would always ask what to get the kids for various occasions, and I always told her what we needed or wanted, and would mention that we prefer no electronic or large toys (since we had limited living space). Without fail, she always bought big, electronic toys. Now, I would never presume to up-front tell people what they can and cannot buy my children, but /she asked/ what I wanted, I told her, and she completely disregarded what I asked for. Why bother asking if you already know what you are going to buy? Seems rather passive aggressive to me.

If it was a more expensive toy, I usually kept it around but never put batteries in it (which she noticed and commented on whenever she came over, although it didn’t seem to stop her from buying more of the same). And if it was something I was particularly opposed to, I had no problem taking it to the nearest location and exchanging it for something I knew the girls would prefer, and certainly get more use out of.

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Sarah November 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

To those of you who say that one should just accept the toys… what about if one set of grandparents is more cash-strapped and buys one nice, thoughtful present for each child for each holiday, and the other set of grandparents has plenty of money, loves buying presents, and buys 17 per child per holiday (not exaggerating). Options like “spending time together” are not an option to fix the balance, either, because both sets of grandparents live out of state, and when the children go to visit, they usually stay with the richer parents (more room) and spend more time with them (because they’re retired and the other grandparents work all week). So, instead of just an excessive number of presents, we’re also looking at a set of children who are going to be biased towards one set of grandparents because they tend to have more space and time available, and because they shower them in gifts. It’s still not permitted to try to limit things a bit? (And there’s no way to intercept presents and send some to charity without the giver knowing it.)

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Toni November 15, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I think it was insensitive to not invite the grandparents over to celebrate the first birthday. And yes, grandma overdid the gifts. But I want to tell these first time parents (mother, actually–she’s obviously running the show) that things in life get more difficult than this. Tempest in a teapot. Let Grandma buy the toys, and mom can controll how much time is spent playing with them, as the poster above said.

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Edhla November 16, 2011 at 4:27 am

I think in terms of “want” and “need” we can safely take the one year old child OUT of the equation. So here is what we’re left with.

The MIL “needs” to spoil the child. Or at least “wants” to.

The parents do NOT “want” the piles of loud flashy irritating toys the MIL buys.

I’m sorry, but I’m totally with the OP here. I have nieces, and even thought they are now 7 and 5 and I could easily spoil them rotten, I buy their gifts in accordance with my sister’s wishes. Because (and here’s the thing!) I want to buy things that will be appreciated and useful and loved and make nieces and sister all happy.

That is the point of a gift. You buy something for someone that you think THEY would like (or if they are a baby, that their parents would like!)

To take the attitude of “to hell with what you want, I’LL BUY WHATEVER I WANT BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT MY INSECURE NEED TO SPOIL THE CHILD AND BUY THEIR LOVE”, is really, really, really selfish.

And, imho, a serious breach of etiquette.

Or maybe I’m the only human being in the world to have received lots of presents that were so badly thought out, or in direct opposition to what I’d asked for (when prompted) that it seriously comes across as insulting. “I don’t care what you want. I bought what I wanted, because it’s about how I feel when I give you the gift.”

Ugh.

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Bint November 16, 2011 at 5:26 am

I don’t think this is about the toys or ignoring your advice, OP. I think the fact you feel it is OK to speak ‘rather sternly’ to your husband’s mother, and deign to admit it’s ‘no biggie’ when she turns up on her grandchild’s birthday after other grandparents have been, are things more worthy of attention. Or rather, that they don’t come across very kindly.

It’s simply not your place to speak like that to your husband’s mother in this situation. How would you feel if your son’s wife spoke to you ‘rather sternly’ about what to buy your grandchild when you were excited? Your husband should have spoken to her and probably also suggested she came over on the day, at a good time, to share some time with you and the baby. To be left uninvited for the whole day when she seems to live close by – how hurtful. Have your little private party but after that you might at least have asked her to come over.

Seriously, I share your position on children’s toys and my MIL loves to spoil with presents, but it’s my husband’s job to talk to her about it, with respect, and make sure that we are all happy and everyone feels included and valued. I do believe you went about this the wrong way, however wrong Frances was to ignore your wishes, and are likely to have hurt her feelings very much…nobody’s attitude comes over very well here.

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Claire November 16, 2011 at 5:30 am

We cannot possibly expect grandparents not to want to give a bright lights and loud toy. This is not a wedding and the whole point of a gift is giving something especially picked out.
I cannot actually believe that one would feel aggrieved by this. Of course there are exceptions but you leave them alone say thanks and be grateful that they took the trouble. Don’t be angry if she is over the top. The gifts are not for you and you can deal with the fallout afterwards in private.

Re the comment on one person pending much more than another – it is not the present that should be judged. We show thanks and show interest in what is bought

It reminds me a bit of Father of the Bride when the bride is so touched at the blender given by her dad even though they were given a child by her future in laws.

Make the person feel good without worrying about comparisons. That is what matters

What are we coming

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Claire November 16, 2011 at 5:43 am

In a few years when you may have to deal with far more serious things like schools and physicians, you will think of this as a storm in a teacup.

However, thanks for bringing this up. Discussions like this often help me understand the issue better and things are not always black and white.

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Marli November 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

You are the one responsible for your children and it is up to you how you educate them.
In the present case, I think it is no problem at all to give the gifts to someone else or sell them, if you don’t need them in your house. The problem will be when your child is old enough to realize he’s been given lots of gifts and will not want to give them back. You have a few more occasions to make that clear to the grandparent. I think grandparents should be aware of the situation their own children are in, so it is not impolite to be insistent when it comes to the education of the grandchild.

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--Lia November 16, 2011 at 7:00 am

I know I’m beating this into the ground, but I thought of a better way to drive my point home. What if mother-in-law insisted on spoiling her grandson with toy weapons, too-sexy videos, or live animals? Wouldn’t the mother have some business then to be upset with her mother-in-law for overriding her explicit requests?

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Margo November 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

I’m not sure either party comes out of this very well.

Yes, it was rude of grandparents to buy the type of things they had specifically been asked not to buy, but equally it was a ilittle thoughtless of OP and her husband to have asked only for things which were utilitarian, every day items. Chosing gifts for people you love if one of life’s pleasures, and with the best will in the world buying daipers isn’t a lot of fun.

n the future, Op and her husband might consider being a bot more specifc – perhaps making suggestions for less ‘full-on’ toys or books which would be suitable – that way, the gransparents can have the fun of chosing a toy or game which they think their grandchild will enjoy, but from a range with mum & dad are happy with.

Is it possible for Dad to sit down with his parents and explain that they aren’t happy with the gifts bought, what their philospophy is and what types of things would be suitable (It occurs to me that grandparenst may have scaled down their original plans and feel that they have bought small things, and that they might well have thought the original request for ‘very modest’ gifts was doen to a wish not to appear greedy.

If OP and her husband do make more specific (and more fun!) suggestions in future and these are ignored I don’t think that donating or regifting the toys is rude, although I would tell the grandparetns that that was wahat i planned to do and give them ‘1st refusal’ so they could return the goods or keep them at their own home, if theywishes.

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claire November 16, 2011 at 9:58 am

I absolutely agree with Ktb. its much more fun to be considerate and choose the best gift for the child ( I love the beetle hunting kit idea).

I personally don’t think teh OP has committed any real etiquette breeches.
1- G’ma asks what child would like – Op repsonds with ideas…no breech.
2-G’ma repeats – OP reiterates (G’ma breeches here for not accepting the first answer)
3 – G’ma repeats – OP reoterates “sternly” – well this might have been a bit rude but I would be a little frustrated myself by this point – If I’m asked what my child would “like” I’ll give you several choices. If you don’t like my answer, don’t keep asking,to try and persuade me into somthing else and if you are going to totally ignore, just don’t ask at all, what is the point? Also, on this, if several people ask me, I will make a point of saying different things to each to avoid duplicates. A number of times when this has been ignored, guess what? Yep, lots of duplicates, which embarrasses both duplicate givers and makes it look like I have told everyone the same thing!
4-G’ma ignores OP and turns up with gifts, lots of – OP accepts them and welcomes G’ma into home (she actually said it was “no biggie” that G’ma turned up as G’pa had already done so earlier)
5 – OP is ONLY asking if its ok to regift some of the toys. There is nothing to suggest she has been ungracious in accepting the toys or rude in her treatement of G’m post-party.

So, my thoughts are its fine to regift a few as long as G’ma doesn’t find out and be hurt by it. Ultimately baby is only one and won’t miss the toys. Next time, be prepared for G’ma to do as she wishes again, and as child gets older be sure to explain about different approaches to gift giving, and start getting smart about asking for something which G’ma will feel is suitably indulgent,,,maybe a park membership plus mini-bike or swimming lessons plus towel/suit/goggles/floats. I have already, with my 3 and 4 year old, started a regifting tradition for any duplicate gifts, and also before each birthday and Christmas we sort through toys to donate to teh women’s refuge and the local play group prior to further gifts.

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starstruck November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

please dont return those gifts! that would be quit hurtful . i understand how you feel. but no need to respond to something trivial by doing something pretty offensive. to your mom in law i mean

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Wink-n-Smile November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

Sarah, I recommend encouraging long distance communications, such as email, Skype, and even long-hand letters, between the grandchildren and their grandparents. Get the poor ones to tell stories, and the younger generation will love them.

Plus, kids love getting mail!

As for intercepting the presents, I recommend not. Let the children open the gifts, and see what their grandparents sent. Have them write the thank you notes, mentioning each gift. Then, let them choose one from the set, and they can give the rest to needy children. If they are directly involved in the giving, it will help them to understand the need of others, how blessed they are to have so much, and people who love them, and it will make them feel good, knowing that they’ve been able to help others.

There are many charities and organizations that would love new gifts. Some even love used ones. So, depending on which one you use, the children can unwrap the gifts and look at them, but not use them, or they can actually play with them for a few days before giving them away.

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Wink-n-Smile November 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

Rhonda – I wish I could “Like” your comment.

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Kimberly November 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I always check with my sister and cousins before buying their kids a gift. It want to give the kids something they want, and that their parents agree with. It is simple respect.

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AS November 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I am not yet a parent, so I cannot speak for parents or grandparents. But I can speak from the point of view of a child who was pampered, often clandestinely, by my grandmother.
My grandmother used to buy me gifts prohibited by my parents. These were small things like chocolates (because parents wanted to curb my addiction to chocolates and limit it to 1 a day). But my grandmother bought these and gave them to me in private. It was not even once a year or so, but every day, because she used to live with us back then! And obviously I used to feel that I can ignore what my parents try to tell me, because my grandmother hinted that I can ignore them. (She also used to laugh at anything my mother told to discipline me, which became a nightmare for my mother to say anything, because I got conflicting opinions and I listened to my grandmother as she let me do what I wanted to do). My parents had to try minimizing my contact with my grandmother, or keep an eye on me at all times when I am with her. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized how harmful her behavior could have been to my development.

In the story, I agree with some of the posters that OP doesn’t have to give her child all the gifts that he gets, and donate the rest to some charity.

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Erin November 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Instead of giving them away or re-gifting, what if you kept one at your house and asked your mother-in-law to keep the rest at her house so there would be something “special” to play with when you go over to her house? And, if you keep doing it each time, then eventually, maybe she’ll stop buying so much since her house will be full with the toys.

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Meow November 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

You can’t control what other people do, but you can control your reactions. After asking and being told what *you* want, she decided either that was too boring or she would get under your skin. That was her reaction, her choice. Now choose yours, do you want to blow up a bridge or tend to its upkeep through graciousness (gritted teeth optional).

Just say thank you, and do with the gifts what you wish. See if you can exchange them. do not send them back to mil, unless you are looking to burn the bridge. We’re coming up to the Christmas season, plenty of children out there don’t get anything, donate the unwanted noise making toys to a charity that brings Christmas to underpriveleged little ones. There’s always a silver lining to every situation, pay your mil’s generosity forward. In the coming years when your own little one becomes aware of the fact all these awesome toys are coming his way you can have him choose either which older toys he would like to donate, or pick -insert random number here- new toys to give away. There could be a lesson in those toys about generousity, a very good quality to have.

(my apologies for any spelling mistakes, there’s no red lines showing up to indicate spelling errors… lol technology, I rely on you too much!)

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--Lia November 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I know I’m beating this into the ground, but I thought of a better way to drive my point home. What if mother-in-law insisted on spoiling her grandson with toy weapons, too-sexy videos, or live animals? Wouldn’t the mother have some business then to be upset with her mother-in-law for overriding her explicit requests?

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Enna November 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I think this might be a case of overexcited grandparent – is this her first grandchild? Even if it is her 5th or more it could be excitement. If she has a habbit of doing this try and drop tactful hints but I do agree with admin on this one.

However there are some excpetions from admin’s advice, e.g. if a child is scared of clowns and the parent as clearly expressed this phobia to the grandparent yet this has been ignored and grandparent buys a toy clown or if the grandparent has been warned of a child’s allergry and has ignored it. When I was a child if I went to someone’s birthday party and someone had brought a gift that the birthday child already had, there was nothing wrong with the mother mentioning to the guest’s mother so it could be exhnaged.

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splatman November 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

When your kids grows bored with certain toys, that would be an opportunity teach kids generosity. “Don’t like that toy anymore? Consider giving it to the kid down the street who has few/none.” An overabundance of toys would be less of a problem, as your kids would be deciding what to keep, and giving away the rest.

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Jojo November 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Heard the best story today. My Mum’s friend used to go out of her way to get the grandparents to buy her kids the ‘bad’ things she totally disapproved of! This is a family with no television, no sweets and a very wholesome lifestyle. It meant the kids got the trashy plastic toys they really wanted for christmas and the grandparents got to be’ naughty’ and spoil the kids without the mother having to compromise her own principles about how the family should be raised. The kids saw the gifts as a massive treat and not a daily expectation and got to grow up with parents who maintained a strict authority and integrity that was seldom compromised ( we wont mention the cigarette smoking issue!). She saw it as an excellent way to get round her strict rules and enhance the fun of the kids and grandparents. Win-win for all concerned!

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Toni November 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Yes, Lia. That would be way over the line. However, being the HUSBAND’S mother, he would/should be the one to explain to her that those gifts are unacceptable. In some cases, the mother in law, daughter in law relationship can be tricky so the man has to grow a backbone and deal with it to preserve family peace.

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Jac November 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

I have to side with the OP here. I remember my oldest sister being positively irate one Christmas because her kids (8 and 6 years old) had come home from visiting their grandmother with Gears of War and Halo. This is after being repeatedly told by both my sister and her husband that those games were too violent and not age appropriate for the boys. I always ask the boys what they want for Christmas but I never buy anything until I run it by my sister. Why? Because my sister and my BIL have rules and boundaries for their kids and I respect them. Simple as that.

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Chocobo November 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

Lia, if you found such things objectionable for your children, feel free to put them aside and say to the child “Oh, how kind of grandma to get you these things, you will surely enjoy them when you are old enough. I’ll just put it aside for you.” The same thing you might say if they receive savings bonds or clothes that are still too big.

Put the offending gifts aside and out of reach, and decide when “old enough” is — thirteen, eighteen, or never — and follow through. Most likely by the time they reach the designated age, they won’t care about a video, game, or toy that is so many years old. More importantly, by then you will have had the time to engender the values you want for your children, so that they will not want or enjoy objectionable material anyway.

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Maitri November 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The important thing for my children to have, IMHO, is grandparents who are fully invested and involved in their lives. My MIL loves to spoil my children, and I let her, because it makes her happy. I love her dearly and would never ever tell her not to buy something for them if she had her heart set on it. I find the OP’s attitude to be a little condescending towards her MIL, frankly. To me, it’s all about love and family, not who buys what.

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Enna November 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

@ Jac that is a very good point about choosing gifts that are suitable for the children’s age and maturity. When I was very young a relation brought me a doll you can do make up on and hair styles which is just the head and shoulders of a large dolll. I was too young e.g. under 3 and when I first saw it it scared me as it looked like a doll had been decapetated!

I would never buy a gift for a child without checking with the parents first but I would definatly not buy something unsuuitable, like a 15 cetifcate film for a 12 year old!

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Kim November 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

It’s rather difficult to re-gift/donate grandma’s presents after they’ve been given, opened and played with by an 8-, 6- and 4-yr old. It’s different than when you’re dealing with a baby.

We too have a small house, with 5 people and 2 dogs living in it. We too have a simple, non-materialistic lifestyle in which we want to raise non-spoiled, polite, respectful kids. We also respect the environment and cringe at all the plastic crap made by third world children ending up in our local landfill.

It’s all crap that ends up in small pieces underfoot that I have to go through and purge every few months in order to keep a toyroom in even the remotest order.

What’s wrong with enjoying your grandchild’s company and love in ways involving spending quality time together, making cookies, taking kids to the park, giving them ONE appropriate gift for appropriate holidays (just birthday and Christmas, NOT Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, end of school, beginning of school, July 1st (or July 4th), Memorial Day, Remembrance Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea.)

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jena rogers November 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Give them to charity.

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catwhisperer November 28, 2011 at 2:50 am

I read these comments with a wistful smile on my face. When my daughter was born, three of her four grandparents were dead, and her surviving grandfather had mental problems and really couldn’t be involved in her life at all. When my daughter became old enough to be conscious of the fact that virtually every other kid in her peer group had grandparents who were involved in birthday and holiday celebrations, I had to explain to her why she didn’t have any. I’d much rather have had the problem of having grandparents who wanted to spoil her.

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