Author Topic: Gifting brothers differently.  (Read 10252 times)

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SPuck

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2012, 11:41:54 PM »
I think with sending him a gift the previous year you have set a precedent. Since they are going to be the same place this Christmas you wouldn't want your gift being the lighter for this potential emotional powder keg. I would say give him the gift and follow Toots suggestion if you feel the need for action.

As for not giving him a gift and treating relatives unequal in gift giving, there isn't anything wrong with that. Some relationships are complicated because of situations beyond the gift givers control, which it sounds like in this case, and life just isn't fair. It isn't your job to make up for the lack of gifts your nephew hasn't received.

Deetee

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2012, 12:46:55 AM »
Like just about everyone else, with the added backstory, I think both brother should be gifted equally. This is too emotionally fraught a time to gift based on a lack of thank-you and I think siblings of similiar age should be treated the same.

However, a nudge that you would like the gift acknowledged is fine. But for many people, a gift accepted in person does not require a note afterwards. And personally, I find it odd to thank someone for a cash gift and then go check the amount and then thank them (verbally or in writing) once I know the amount. It feels oddly mercenary The fact that it was a gift or a card is enough.


MariaE

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2012, 02:36:14 AM »
I agree, gift them equally.

Buying multile gifts for a 9-year-old is different. As long as it's not blatantly worth a lot more than you're giving the two others, then you're fine. But you do need to give the two oldest the same. Especially if they're likely to compare and as you gave them the same last year. If Will is only just starting to have a relationship with his brother, it could bring out bad feelings if it becomes apparent that the brother is obviously preferred.
 
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Sharnita

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2012, 08:17:13 AM »
I think making up for the gifts he hasn't received would mean giving him more to close the gap.  Continuing to give him less or nothing perpetuates the disparity that already exists.  I think OP can shoot for the middle.  She certainly doesn't need to give him what she would have given him the first 14 years of his life but that doesn't require a continuation of a gap.

cicero

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2012, 09:18:53 AM »
I agree, gift them equally.

Buying multile gifts for a 9-year-old is different. As long as it's not blatantly worth a lot more than you're giving the two others, then you're fine. But you do need to give the two oldest the same. Especially if they're likely to compare and as you gave them the same last year. If Will is only just starting to have a relationship with his brother, it could bring out bad feelings if it becomes apparent that the brother is obviously preferred.
I agree.

ANd I like Toot's idea for "nudging" a thank you (or grunt of acknowledgement).


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Redsoil

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2012, 09:43:59 AM »
Perhaps it could be useful to ask him at the time he receives the card and cash "So, what do you think you'll spend it on?" or similar phrasing.  Or even "I wasn't sure what you already had, so I figured cash would be good, same as last year.  I hope you enjoyed whatever you got with it - do you remember at all what that was?"  If he doesn't say anything resembling a thank-you, I'd definitely address it.  A simple "thanks" isn't emotionally fraught, no matter how "overwhelmed" someone may or may not be with the family dynamic. 

Plain and simple, it's rude not to thank someone for a gift, especially if it was a "substantial amount" as was mentioned.
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SiotehCat

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2012, 01:14:55 PM »
Thanks for the advice, everyone.

Having him at the Christmas party is something that everyone has wanted for a long time. We are very happy to have him there. I don't know if he will actually show up, but I need to plan as though he will.

I know his life has not been easy. Yeah, he's had it tough. I am struggling with this, because after all that, I just don't feel the same way about him as I do for Riley.

I will give them the same amount of cash again this year. I already bought some "extras" for Riley, so I can pick up something extra for him also.

Thanks again.

Deetee

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2012, 01:34:24 PM »
I also want to mention that if you want to gift them differently, the way to do it is not at Christmas (when it is easy to compare both for you and them), but over the year.

It makes sense that a child you are closer to will end up with more gifts (either presents or experiences or lunches out). And I think that is OK as long as it arises naturally out of the relationship.


JenJay

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2012, 02:18:10 PM »
I am struggling with this, because after all that, I just don't feel the same way about him as I do for Riley.

That's understandable, heck you just met the kid a year ago. The important thing is that you want to care about him as an Aunt. Hopefully he'll let you.  :)

Sharnita

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2012, 02:30:35 PM »
I am struggling with this, because after all that, I just don't feel the same way about him as I do for Riley.

That's understandable, heck you just met the kid a year ago. The important thing is that you want to care about him as an Aunt. Hopefully he'll let you.  :)

The phrase "fake it until you make it" comes to mind.

TootsNYC

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2012, 03:15:15 PM »
I would just say to Will--he's 16, so just say directly to him:
"Hey, Will--last year, did you get the Christmas present I tucked into the card?"
Ask him in a message on Facebook.

And if he says yes, then say, "I would have liked to know you got it safely, and I always like hearing 'thank you.' If you can't say it in person, a Facebook message would be smart. Not a bad policy anytime someone gives you something. It makes them more likely to want to give you something again. See you at Christmas!"

And then I'd give him the same type of present.

And see if he learns something from it.

But Will is 16--you can talk directly to him about how *you* feel. Or about society's expectations in general. Just keep it from sounding like a lecture or a scolding.

I can definitely do something like this. In person, I do have to watch my tone, especially with people that don't know me very well. I can practice this for sure. Thanks for the script!

You're welcome!
To help get the right tone, get the right mindset. Make it "cluing you in, something I know that you might find useful one day."

Also, feel free to say, later in the day, "Be sure to let me know what you decide to do w/ the money. I like to hear about the followup! And it helps me know what to do for next Christmas, if I hear about this one."

There's a cause-and-effect here  that LOTS of perfectly nice people don't "get" until they're older. And some of them never.

gorplady

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2012, 03:28:26 PM »
I would just say to Will--he's 16, so just say directly to him:
"Hey, Will--last year, did you get the Christmas present I tucked into the card?"
Ask him in a message on Facebook.

And if he says yes, then say, "I would have liked to know you got it safely, and I always like hearing 'thank you.' If you can't say it in person, a Facebook message would be smart. Not a bad policy anytime someone gives you something. It makes them more likely to want to give you something again. See you at Christmas!"

And then I'd give him the same type of present.

And see if he learns something from it.

But Will is 16--you can talk directly to him about how *you* feel. Or about society's expectations in general. Just keep it from sounding like a lecture or a scolding.

I can definitely do something like this. In person, I do have to watch my tone, especially with people that don't know me very well. I can practice this for sure. Thanks for the script!

You're welcome!
To help get the right tone, get the right mindset. Make it "cluing you in, something I know that you might find useful one day."

Also, feel free to say, later in the day, "Be sure to let me know what you decide to do w/ the money. I like to hear about the followup! And it helps me know what to do for next Christmas, if I hear about this one."

There's a cause-and-effect here  that LOTS of perfectly nice people don't "get" until they're older. And some of them never.

Sorry, Toots, I disagree. Sio does not have a relationship yet with this young man where she can hint or teach under any circumstance.

 I think, first, they need to establish that there is going to be an ongoing permanent relationship and then she can start showing him by being a gracious example, not instructing him. Kids tune out instructions, but they do observe behavior.

And yes, Sio, you have to gift equally. Put yourself in Will's shoes. He sees the known-about child getting $100 and he gets $10. That's going to send a powerful message. If you want to set a good example for him to follow (and the rest of your family), treat him as well as you treat your son. 

dietcokeofevil

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2012, 04:19:19 PM »
I agree that you should give both nephews the same amount of cash if they are both present when the gifts are handed out.    I also don't see an issue with prompting for a thank you, if none is forthcoming.

In the even that he doesn't make the family party, then I would probably just send a movie gift card rather than sending him the equivalent money.

mj

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2012, 04:43:04 PM »
I would just say to Will--he's 16, so just say directly to him:
"Hey, Will--last year, did you get the Christmas present I tucked into the card?"
Ask him in a message on Facebook.

And if he says yes, then say, "I would have liked to know you got it safely, and I always like hearing 'thank you.' If you can't say it in person, a Facebook message would be smart. Not a bad policy anytime someone gives you something. It makes them more likely to want to give you something again. See you at Christmas!"

And then I'd give him the same type of present.

And see if he learns something from it.

But Will is 16--you can talk directly to him about how *you* feel. Or about society's expectations in general. Just keep it from sounding like a lecture or a scolding.

I can definitely do something like this. In person, I do have to watch my tone, especially with people that don't know me very well. I can practice this for sure. Thanks for the script!

You're welcome!
To help get the right tone, get the right mindset. Make it "cluing you in, something I know that you might find useful one day."

Also, feel free to say, later in the day, "Be sure to let me know what you decide to do w/ the money. I like to hear about the followup! And it helps me know what to do for next Christmas, if I hear about this one."

There's a cause-and-effect here  that LOTS of perfectly nice people don't "get" until they're older. And some of them never.

Sorry, Toots, I disagree. Sio does not have a relationship yet with this young man where she can hint or teach under any circumstance.

 I think, first, they need to establish that there is going to be an ongoing permanent relationship and then she can start showing him by being a gracious example, not instructing him. Kids tune out instructions, but they do observe behavior.

And yes, Sio, you have to gift equally. Put yourself in Will's shoes. He sees the known-about child getting $100 and he gets $10. That's going to send a powerful message. If you want to set a good example for him to follow (and the rest of your family), treat him as well as you treat your son.

Actually, Toots example didn't come across as teaching or hinting to me, necessarily.  It sounds more like the Aunt would be saying to her nephew that she wants to talk and get to know him more.  Outside of just Christmas.  It's a way for Aunt and Nephew to establish a relationship and keep in touch.  I see it as a caring gesture in the way Toots phrased it, also tone and body language will come into play too.

Sioteh, I think it's very normal to have these feelings.  I have a cousin that we didn't know about until I was in my teens and he was in his teens.  We just aren't as close as the cousins I've known since birth.  Looking back though, I do think it was possible to get closer to him but circumstances of the adults involved didn't really allow it.  I think you've got a chance though.

stargazer

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2012, 04:54:19 PM »
I would just say to Will--he's 16, so just say directly to him:
"Hey, Will--last year, did you get the Christmas present I tucked into the card?"
Ask him in a message on Facebook.

And if he says yes, then say, "I would have liked to know you got it safely, and I always like hearing 'thank you.' If you can't say it in person, a Facebook message would be smart. Not a bad policy anytime someone gives you something. It makes them more likely to want to give you something again. See you at Christmas!"

And then I'd give him the same type of present.

And see if he learns something from it.

But Will is 16--you can talk directly to him about how *you* feel. Or about society's expectations in general. Just keep it from sounding like a lecture or a scolding.

I can definitely do something like this. In person, I do have to watch my tone, especially with people that don't know me very well. I can practice this for sure. Thanks for the script!

You're welcome!
To help get the right tone, get the right mindset. Make it "cluing you in, something I know that you might find useful one day."

Also, feel free to say, later in the day, "Be sure to let me know what you decide to do w/ the money. I like to hear about the followup! And it helps me know what to do for next Christmas, if I hear about this one."

There's a cause-and-effect here  that LOTS of perfectly nice people don't "get" until they're older. And some of them never.

Sorry, Toots, I disagree. Sio does not have a relationship yet with this young man where she can hint or teach under any circumstance.

 I think, first, they need to establish that there is going to be an ongoing permanent relationship and then she can start showing him by being a gracious example, not instructing him. Kids tune out instructions, but they do observe behavior.

And yes, Sio, you have to gift equally. Put yourself in Will's shoes. He sees the known-about child getting $100 and he gets $10. That's going to send a powerful message. If you want to set a good example for him to follow (and the rest of your family), treat him as well as you treat your son.

Actually, Toots example didn't come across as teaching or hinting to me, necessarily.  It sounds more like the Aunt would be saying to her nephew that she wants to talk and get to know him more.  Outside of just Christmas.  It's a way for Aunt and Nephew to establish a relationship and keep in touch.  I see it as a caring gesture in the way Toots phrased it, also tone and body language will come into play too.


I agree with gorplady.  There is not enough of a relationship here where you can send that message (a YEAR later no less) without it coming across as scolding.  Will has no idea what Siotehcat's normal "tone" is because he hasn't spent a lot of time with her and so you can't use a normal aunt teaching her close nephew something.  The boys should be given the same gift amount and prompt for a response then if needed.