Author Topic: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)  (Read 10069 times)

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Adelaide

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 02:45:37 AM »
I don't have any advice as to whom or how you should mention it, but it DEFINITELY needs to be addressed. This reminds me way too much of my younger brother, who is now 17 and continues to do things like scratch out the word "birthday" and write "mother's day" on "happy mother's day" cards that he hands our mom. I don't think anyone's ever mentioned how forgetting a gift/sloppily doing a gift is very hurtful and he shows no signs of improvement. I'm sure that once your or your husband communicates this issue with your son he'll understand, but until someone brings it up he probably won't.

MariaE

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 03:05:21 AM »
14 is much, much too old for this not to be addressed. He's old enough to know better.

I'd mention it to DH as well.
 
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hannahmollysmom

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 03:27:24 AM »
{{{hugs}}} I know how you feel and my daughter is an adult. I won't go into my story, but just know, I feel for you!

cicero

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 03:34:00 AM »
i would talk to both son and DH.

remember - someday your son is going to date, and maybe get married and have children(if that is what he wants). he has to be taught how to do these things.

and hugs

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Iris

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 04:03:56 AM »
14 is much, much too old for this not to be addressed. He's old enough to know better.

I'd mention it to DH as well.

POD. 14 year olds are often absent minded but that doesn't mean they aren't old enough to learn that if you forget to buy someone a present then that someone will feel hurt.
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Traveler2

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 05:10:23 AM »
If I were in your situation, I'd have separate talks with DH and with DS.

With DH, it would be more of a "what the heck" type talk (but that's how I am with my DH).  And just address what you mentioned in your first post - "You knew/should have known that this was his only chance to buy me a present. Did you discuss it at all?" And figure out why/why not together, to get expectations on the same page.  You also mentioned that you and your DH fund your sons gift shopping - so was there a money issue involved? Did someone else get a bigger present/more presents?

With DS, as others have mentioned, you are in a teaching role. And 14 is old enough to have an honest discussion. I'd start with "Did you want _US_ to stop exchanging presents with _EACH OTHER_?"  Not in a P/A way, but as a teaching opportunity that things like favors and presents are usually exchanged on a somewhat equal level.  (and e-hell is filled with stories of inequality and the hurt feelings that come out of that.)  Teach him that gift exchanges can be stopped, but in general should not be one way. And that if they are being stopped, they should be stopped with notice.

Toots, you always speak very eloquently about gifts and their symbolism of the relationship between gifter/giftee, and I think that's really relevent here, and should be part of your discussion with your son.

lkdrymom

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2011, 06:43:44 AM »
I would be terribly hurt. As soon as my kids were school age they knew they needed to pick out and get presents for others on Christmas. And they earned their own money to do so. The only thing that annoyed me was that my ex would not take them out to shop so I had to do it...I made sure they got their dad and his parents gifts (why that was MY job I will never know). Finally their step dad stepped up and took them out to shop for me. He is 14! I can't believe he totally forgot you.  I know kids that age are forgetful....my son is 16 and asked me 5 times what I wanted..and he got the same answer each time (latest Pirates DVD). My DD15 spent quite a bit of time researching a gift for me on the internet. If he had no time to go out he could have ordered somethin goff the internet with his dad's card and paid him back (mine do this all the time). There was no excuse that that.

thunderroad

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 07:10:07 AM »
Toots --

I am sorry that this happened, and I am sorry that your feelings are hurt.  And I completely understand those hurt feelings -- you were looking forward to that moment when you open something, however small, from your son, knowing that he thought of you.

I agree with the PPs who say that this should be a teachable moment for your son.  It's our job as parents to ingrain and model those habits of thoughtfulness and kindness that we want our children to have as adults.  You've done a great job of modeling those habilts, and now, you and your DH need to explain to your son the reaction in others when one fails to show consideration and respect.

And I also agree that you need to get your DH on board, and ask him what happened.  Good luck with this. 

EnoughAlready22

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2011, 10:21:52 AM »
I am crying while reading this and sending you HUGE hugs.  Everything my son made at school this year ended up as a present to his dad, my ex.  But he did get his dad to buy something that he could give me for Christmas.  I understand he sees me more, and you don't want to feel hurt, but it does. 

I hope you do talk to your DH and your son about it.  They need to realize how this makes you feel.

Searcher

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2011, 10:25:57 AM »
Wow, that is hurtful.  I'm sorry.

While I agree that presents are supposed to be optional, giving them in a situation that makes clear that someone is left out isn't thoughtful or kind, and I think it would be reasonable for you to address that with your son and husband.

But, it may be seen by both as a "guilt-trip" and you've mentioned that your son doesn't respond well when he thinks that's what's happening, so I don't know if it would do any good.

Hmmmmm

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2011, 10:29:17 AM »
Toots... I'd ask your DH about it first.  In our family, the norm has always been that the kids pick a present for each of us, with the opposite parent assisting with the logistics of purchasing.  This is the first year I couldn't et my 15 yr old son involved in the decision/selecting process.  So though there were presents under the tree from him to me, my DH, and my DD, we all knew he hadn't really engaged at all in the process except for the wrapping for his sister's and his Dad's gift which I insisted that he did.  I told him next year that if he doesn't want to engaged in the gift giving process, that would be his choice.  We'd stil give him presents but wouldn't expect to open anything from him as it just seemed so silly to be opening a present with his name that we all knew he hadn't been involved in purchasing. 

Did you have a hard time getting him to select something for your DH? 

Cami

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2011, 10:42:21 AM »
I firmly believe that one reason so many women complain about their husbands' failures at Christmas and birthdays is because they were never taught when they were children that they have a responsibility toward others. They grow up in environments in which Mommy is 100% responsible for all holiday activities, including gift-giving.  So they never learn how to behave.

This is your opportunity to teach him that lesson. Your future DIL will thank you.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2011, 11:05:42 AM »
I firmly believe that one reason so many women complain about their husbands' failures at Christmas and birthdays is because they were never taught when they were children that they have a responsibility toward others. They grow up in environments in which Mommy is 100% responsible for all holiday activities, including gift-giving.  So they never learn how to behave.

This is your opportunity to teach him that lesson. Your future DIL will thank you.

Big ol' pod to this. My MIL seemed to do a good job of teaching DH about giving presents because he's a really good gift giver since he bothers to listen to what people like and/or need.  I don't have to buy gifts for his family because he does a real good job of it.  I didn't have enough to do it this year but in past years I took the boys to Five Below, gave them some money and let them pick out things to give each other and us.  Or they make things at school.  This year Pirateboy1 gave his brother cookie mix in a jar for Christmas. 

And when we have to buy presents for birthday parties I ask them to think of what that person would like.  Or look at their toys to get an idea for what sort of things they like to play with. Legos? Barbies? My Little Pony?
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WillyNilly

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2011, 11:08:36 AM »
Big (((HUGS))).  Christmas gifts are always described as one of those "its the thought that counts" things.  To get no gift ends up feeling like no thought is spent on you, and that hurts.  Straight up, its not the stuff aspect, its the emotional aspect.  I only know you as a screen name but I can assure you, you have value and worth and are deserving of more thought and effort then no gifts!

All that said, 14 is a very selfish age.  And one of things about teenage selfishness is it ranges from sometimes being very ego-centric selfish but sometimes very self depreciating ("no one will notice me"), so it really probably is more about your son then about you. 

But I do think both your son and your DH should be spoken to.  If it were me, I'd speak to DH and have him speak to DS.  But something should be said because if its not mentioned as a problem, it might not be noticed as a problem, and it is a problem.

TootsNYC

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Re: No presents for Mommy!
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2011, 11:20:23 AM »
UPDATE FROM THE ORIGINAL POSTER


Toots... I'd ask your DH about it first.  In our family, the norm has always been that the kids pick a present for each of us, with the opposite parent assisting with the logistics of purchasing.  This is the first year I couldn't get my 15 yr old son involved in the decision/selecting process.  So though there were presents under the tree from him to me, my DH, and my DD, we all knew he hadn't really engaged at all in the process except for the wrapping for his sister's and his Dad's gift which I insisted that he did.  I told him next year that if he doesn't want to engaged in the gift giving process, that would be his choice.  We'd stil give him presents but wouldn't expect to open anything from him as it just seemed so silly to be opening a present with his name that we all knew he hadn't been involved in purchasing. 

Did you have a hard time getting him to select something for your DH?

This is very relevant. This is what DS was like this year--detached. His mind on something else. He had no ideas, or very few. He just seemed to be acting as though he was only being "toted along" on the whole gift-giving process.

Then, now and then, while the two of us were out, he came up with some. Or saw a wine-bottle stopper and said, "Oh, for Grandpa" (who makes his own wine, and drinks a lot of wine, so a very very good present).

I think we've been doing things for him way too much, and this is another problem, I think.


The "you didn't get a gift for your MOM!?!?" came up right at the moment, and he hung his head. And last night he came to sit by me w/ his Nintendo DS, sort of "parallel play"--I think he was seeking reassurance that he was still loved.

So I quietly asked him if he understood how I feel. And he was actually right on the money and it seemed like he got the idea pretty well, actually. He even said, "you feel like I don't listen to you." Bingo!

And I also pointed out that he himself had been very focused on "what am I getting?" and "what did you get me?" And that when he then didn't get anything for me, and didn't get anything for his grandmother or great aunt, who always remember him, and when I had to pry ideas out of him or push him into being enthusiastic about it, it doesn't make him look good. It makes him look sort of selfish and greedy.

He did say a couple of times, "I'm lazy." And I said, "sweetie, you can control that. It's up to you."

But I also pointed out that he needs to find a place to write gift ideas down, and to start listening with an eye toward gift ideas.

And then I let it drop--lectures don't work.

We did point out that there will be another gift-exchanging session later, because one of his sister's gifts didn't arrive. So he'll have a second chance.



RE: the question of big gifts:
I did get a big gift, so that is part of the reason why I didn't get very many gifts--my husband bought me my yearly piece of jewelry, so there weren't littler gifts from him.

(Oh, I also pointed out this year, "it's a sad thing when you have to fill your own stocking." And I said, "When i was a kid, we put stuff in my parents' stockings.")