Author Topic: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?  (Read 9924 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4412
    • My blog!
What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« on: November 15, 2012, 10:44:01 PM »
For birthdays, Christmas, etc.?

My husband and I are dealing with two very different sets of parents, one set (mine) who have plenty of money and try to spoil the grandkids rotten, and the other who are much less well-off and also have twice as many grandchildren to buy for, and so who buy much more modest presents.

He wants me to limit my parents to within a reasonable scale of what his parents buy (as in, maybe up to twice the price/size/amount, but not an order of magnitude).  And since we really do want to raise the kids to enjoy what they have and not constantly have the attitude of expecting more more more, I'm mostly fine with that.

But I am curious... what do you consider a reasonable range for a birthday or Christmas present?  I know people will vary hugely, but I'm curious about what responses you'd have.  In this case it's for children who are under 6, so not teens who might want expensive electronics or the like.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21431
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 10:51:42 PM »
I think first you need to figure out your limit as parents.  I would generally expect grandparents to be at tleast slightly below that in most circumstances.  SO if you decide  to spend around $X per child your parents probably souldn't be spending that much or more.  Now, if oyu were struggling fifncially and couldn't do what you would like for your kids I wouldn't limit them in the same way.

AylaM

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 326
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 11:02:20 PM »
I agree that it varies.  But in the end I don't think it will matter too much in the long run.

My grandparents were very different in this aspect.  One grandma tended toward cheaper more numerous gifts - arts and crafts, stuffed animals, dollar store trinkets. The other tended towards one or two nice gifts - expensive dolls.  When we lived apart grandma who sent cheaper gifts always sent something, and the one that gave nicer gifts sent nothing.

I can't remember ever saying "grandma A always sends better presents!".  All I thought was "PRESENTS!!!!!!"

If you decide to limit it, make sure they know it is because you don't want the kids having the expensive item and not let her think it is only because other GPs can't afford to match.  My GPs always asked mom for ideas, so she could easily say things like "I know Furbies are really popular right now, but the girls do not need one, perhaps a new dress for their barbies?"

Daffydilly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2357
  • Live;) Laugh;( Pretend you're sane :-}
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 11:40:44 PM »
I prefer the approach of two items no larger than a shoebox. Because the larger the toy, the more space it takes up. And I prefer the grandparents talk to me before getting items that are firsts like a play kitchen, American girl doll or bike.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5574
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 12:11:08 AM »
My kid has 8 grandparents. I never considered trying to make them "equal" between the sets. So I can't really answer what is normal. All the sets have their own relationship with her and I'm happy to let them pick out whatever gifts they like.

Now that I think about it, I guess one set likely spends a lot more than one other, but it just isn't an issue. So I would say that a normal range is $5 to $100, which I think was the range last year.

My feeling is that by trying to make things artificially equal, they cost of the gift is granted too much importance. I hado two grandmas that gifted me very unequally, but I was much much closer to the cheaper one and loved her thoughtful gifts over the other cash gifts.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4412
    • My blog!
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 12:27:23 AM »
Part of the problem is that the girls strongly prefer my parents, not because they're better people but because my parents tend to shower them with gifts and special trips, plus lots of time.  They'll take them out for fast food and get them whatever they'd like to eat, plus milkshakes, unless I specifically put limits on it.  They want to give them sweets all the time.  My mom wants to buy my oldest an American Girl doll.  My oldest is 5, and her dolls still get dragged around the house.  A previous Christmas, I counted at least 16 presents per kid.  My parents are retired (well, my mom works two days a week), so they've got all the time in the world to take the girls to the park, to the mall, play with them outside, etc.  They live on 1/3 of an acre and have a beautiful, child-friendly backyard with swings, sandbox, play kitchen, bikes, etc.

His parents love our girls just as much, but they've been unemployed for a long time, and while they're both now employed, they work full time and can't take much time off, so they can't spend time taking the girls to the mall or park as easily.  They live in a small house with a tiny yard, so they don't have a ton of toys on hand for the girls to play with.  They have 7 grandchildren and can't afford to spend a lot on each, so it's generally more like one present per child, often a book.

Trust me, the girls notice the difference.  My 4-year-old just had a birthday, and she happily opened the single present each from my husband and myself, her aunt and uncle, and my husband's parents.  Then, she was like, "NOW, let's see what all the presents from Grammy and Grandpap are!"  There were three, so not a *ton* more, but each present was the equivalent of a single present from anybody else and it obviously made a huge impression.  They definitely regard my parents as the givers.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5574
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 12:46:05 AM »
That is a bit of a different issue.

With your update, it doesn't sound like you are comfortable with your parents gift giving regardless of what your husbands parents were doing.

I'm veering a bit off etiquette advice and more into relationship, but I would suggest focusing on what level of grand parental involvement and giving and spoiling you and husband are comfortable with ( without comparisons to the other set) and go from there. In my opinion, I think it's great to give grandparents a chance to spoil the kids and develops a special relationship and dreadful to give kids everything they want whenever they want. The tricky question is where the line is.

I do think that when you decide as parents what amount of indulgence is appropriate, it will be easier to come up with boundaries.

nolechica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6173
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 12:54:27 AM »
I didn't have the "rich"/"poor" issue, but I do have one set that spoiled me rotten as a kid. My sister and I were the only grandkids that set had access to, while the other saw all of theirs every holiday.  When this is the case, you can try limiting gifts, but that may not create the equality your DH desires.  The kids will play favorites and you'll have to do damage control. Knowing you are the only grandkids matters sometimes.

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2321
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 01:03:20 AM »
I would drop the comparison between Grandparents and focus on the issue of "am I comfortable with the level of gift-giving my children are receiving in general". If you feel they are being overindulged, or that your house is starting to resemble a toyrus explosion, that will be an easier and stronger discussion to have than "we don't want you to be loved more than them".

You also can't force gift-giving or time spent to be equal, but it's certainly not to soon or too late to discuss the issue with the kids- teaching them to realize the differences between people's budgets and availability. My older DS is 4 and I struggle with this too, as he has one grandparent who likes to spend a LOT (though he's not the wealthiest), one that is a moderate spender, and extended grandparents (long story) that have a very different budget and lifestyle from us. They all love him, but the time and money they have to invest is different in each case. I am hoping that little quiet comments afterwards like "wasn't it nice of Grandma Otherfamily to take the day off to go to the zoo with us? It's normally so hard for her to get time off work" will stick in his mind as he grows up, so he doesn't just think that his retired other grandparents liked him better. Only time will tell I guess :)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

QueenofAllThings

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2921
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 06:51:10 AM »
Mp, I had the same issue with my parents when my children were young.  There isn't much you can do - it's hard to stifle generosity and I'm sure your parents love to spend time with your kids. You can have a conversation with your mother to let her know you'd hate for your kids to appreciate her solely for her money - would she be receptive?

The good news is that the children grow up. It's normal for them to go through a 'more is better' phase, but eventually they come to appreciate their grandparents for who they are - mine did. And, to some extent, your parents are making their bed.  If they want lasting relationships with their grands, spoiling them to death isnt the way to go.

Margo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1566
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 06:58:21 AM »
I like Sefaeria's suggestion of limiting the size/number of gifts. It may mean that your parents continue to spend more but it will be less overwhelming.

I would also suggest sitting down with your paretns to alk about the issue, and makeit clear that you don't judge their level of love for, or committment to, your children by the value of the gifts they give. Acknowledge that they get a great deal of pleasure out of chosing gits and being able to give (were they able to be so generous to you and your siblings when you were growing up?) but focus on the fact the sheer volume is overhwhelming.

I think thrying to enforce parity with the other grandparents is unrealistic - wheras a 'no more than 2 gifts per child and no gift larger than a shoebox (or a single gift as big as 2!)' policy is clear and easy to enforce.

However, you can't stop them buying whatever they want, to keep at their home.



jemma

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 263
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 07:11:59 AM »
I would also stop comparing the gifts between the grandparents.  Ask both sets to run by each gift before they give it, and veto ones you aren't comfortable with.  Me, I always ask my parents and ils to get the more expensive gifts.  That way we get alot less junk and they still feel like they are spoiling the kids.  If I were you, I would just ask my parents for less McDonalds, but maybe teach the kids how to make milkshakes in there kitchen, and cook your favorite foods and stuff.  I think it is inevitable that your parents will be the favorites for now if they have so much more time to spend with your kids.  There are plenty of years to build relationships with your ils.

I'mnotinsane

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2372
  • My mother had me tested
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 07:13:00 AM »
Unless your parents are doing something you are uncomfortable with (such as sweets all the time) I wouldn't say anything.  Set your boundaries within reason but start discussing gracious gift giving/receiving with your children. 

HermioneGranger

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2490
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 08:47:04 AM »
What about asking your parents to tone it down to one or two gifts, and, if they're itching to give more, asking for money for their college funds instead? 


Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6447
Re: What do you think is a reasonable gift from grandparents?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 09:03:30 AM »
I like Sefaeria's suggestion of limiting the size/number of gifts. It may mean that your parents continue to spend more but it will be less overwhelming.

I would also suggest sitting down with your paretns to alk about the issue, and makeit clear that you don't judge their level of love for, or committment to, your children by the value of the gifts they give. Acknowledge that they get a great deal of pleasure out of chosing gits and being able to give (were they able to be so generous to you and your siblings when you were growing up?) but focus on the fact the sheer volume is overhwhelming.

I think thrying to enforce parity with the other grandparents is unrealistic - wheras a 'no more than 2 gifts per child and no gift larger than a shoebox (or a single gift as big as 2!)' policy is clear and easy to enforce.

However, you can't stop them buying whatever they want, to keep at their home.

POD all of this.  And tell your parents you are concerned about the importance your girls are starting to put on things.  You need their help in scaling back.  Make them watch an episode of one of the "My Sweet 16" and tell them you are trying to head off your girls developing that type of entitled attitude.  :D :D