Author Topic: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child  (Read 15229 times)

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Bexx27

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Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« on: December 05, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »
I realize this is a somewhat silly first world problem.

I have an "old" 1st generation ipad. My 3yo DD loves playing with it and most of the apps on it are for her. (I use it mostly for internet and DH has a few games on it.) Knowing this, my FIL told DH a few months ago that he wanted to get DD a LeapPad for Christmas. We thought it would be a great gift for her and were thankful for his generosity.

Later he decided that instead of giving her a LeapPad, he will get an ipad mini for himself and give her his ipad2. We do not want her to have "her own" ipad, but DH said it would be all right if FIL made it a family gift so we'd have 2 ipads between the 3 of us. I was thinking DD would mostly continue to use mine since her apps are already on it. Having another ipad would not change anything for DD since the only time I don't allow her to use mine is when I don't want her to have screen time; the only real benefit would be for me and DH, since we would have another ipad to use at the same time. This isn't something we particularly desire since we have plenty of other ways to occupy ourselves and we don't want DD in front of a screen for hours at a time regardless of "sharing" issues. But it's a nice, generous gift and would be appreciated.

DH thought he had made it clear that we didn't want it to be a gift specifically for DD. He even asked that it not be wrapped and put under the tree. However, that conversation was a few weeks ago and FIL seems to have forgotten it. Yesterday he was talking enthusiastically to DH about "DD's ipad" and how excited she would be when she unwrapped it. I'm not comfortable with that. I don't think DH is either, but he has a hard time standing up to his dad.

My questions:
Am I being unreasonable? I can't even really verbalize why this makes me uncomfortable. (DH jokes that I just don't want my 3yo to have a better toy than I do. There's some truth to that, but it's more about not spoiling my child than wanting the best stuff for myself.)
If it's OK to ask FIL not to do this, how should we go about it? Just reiterate that we don't want the ipad to be a gift for DD specifically, don't want it wrapped for her to open, etc.? Does that sound rude and/or entitled? (As in, "don't give that to my child, give it to meeeee!")
If it's rude to dictate the terms/recipient of the gift, is it better to outright refuse it? Would it be extra rude to try to steer FIL back to the LeapPad idea, especially since that would cost him an extra $100? (I'm assuming he'd get himself an ipad mini anyway and isn't just getting it in order to pass on his ipad2 to DD.)
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 10:21:35 AM »
My questions:
Am I being unreasonable? I can't even really verbalize why this makes me uncomfortable. (DH jokes that I just don't want my 3yo to have a better toy than I do. There's some truth to that, but it's more about not spoiling my child than wanting the best stuff for myself.)
If it's OK to ask FIL not to do this, how should we go about it? Just reiterate that we don't want the ipad to be a gift for DD specifically, don't want it wrapped for her to open, etc.? Does that sound rude and/or entitled? (As in, "don't give that to my child, give it to meeeee!")
If it's rude to dictate the terms/recipient of the gift, is it better to outright refuse it? Would it be extra rude to try to steer FIL back to the LeapPad idea, especially since that would cost him an extra $100? (I'm assuming he'd get himself an ipad mini anyway and isn't just getting it in order to pass on his ipad2 to DD.)

I think you are being unreasonable, especially given the bolded.  I doubt your 3 year old places much significance on what it means to open a present in the sense of "if I open this present that was under the tree it is MINE and my parents can't dictate how I use it" - she likely just enjoys opening things.  I don't generally get many presents anymore, but when I do I often let my DD help me open them becuase at age 4 she still likes the pretty wrapping paper and bows and glitter.  Unless you can better articulate what is bothering you about this gift and your FIL's plans to give it as a present to your DD, I would not say anything.

PurpleFrog

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 10:40:31 AM »
I think you have a perfect right to veto such an expensive and easily breakable present for a toddler. I would be hugely uncomfortable with my 3 year old having an iPad of any form. Your FIL is ignoring your agreement for his own pleasure in seeing dd opening the gift.


Speak to him again, explain that you do not want your 3 year old to have a personal iPad, which is why you suggestedit be a family gift. As it seems he is not happy with the compromise you'd prefer that he not give the iPad at all. Tell him if he does give it to her it will be promptly returned.

You then need to stick to your guns, if he turns up with it on Christmas day take it from your daughter and hand it back to him, saying there must be a mistake and this can't be the gift for your dd as he knows she isn't allowed her own iPad.
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JenJay

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 10:43:03 AM »
I think you are being reasonable. My kids are 9, 10 and 12. My oldest has a Nook color which she saved up for (DH and I kicked in $50 and a cover as a gift) and each of my boys has an iPod touch that was handed down as DH and I upgraded from regular cells to smart phones. I wouldn't be comfortable with anyone giving them iPads.

I would ask DH to remind his Dad that you all agreed the iPad would be a gift for the family. He can still wrap it, DD can still open it, but he needs to make it clear that it's not just hers. Maybe he could say "This is a special present for you, Mom and Dad to share, would you like to open it?"

WillyNilly

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 10:47:42 AM »
I understand why you are having issues with the gift and with verbalizing why it bothers you.  Because it would bother me and I can't really explain why.  Its sort of like that old definition of pornography versus art "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it".  I think as much as anything its probably bothering you that you had a discussion and agreement with FIL about this already (ok to get the LeapPad, or if it is an iPad2 its for everyone).  Part of it is probably the effort required of you - her apps are already in the existing iPad - you would have to redownload them all onto the "new" iPad and perhaps delete off the existing one (to clear up space for apps you use). And yeah the idea of spoiling kids with 'better' then their parents have is an element...

In all I suspect its a whole bunch of little reasons that individually don't matter but add up to you being wholly bothered.  Its like sand - one tiny grain of sand is nothing.  But 100 grains of sand will ruin your floors or render your shoes uncomfortable or will scratch your butt in your bathing suit.

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 10:52:09 AM »
Maybe I am not understanding the issue here - I understood that the OP historically allows her DD to play with an ipad.  I don't see how a gift of another ipad changes this in any way or forces her to not have control over a 3 year old's use of the ipad (or any toy or object for that matter).  I also am perhaps confused what a Leap Pad is but I assumed it was essentially the same thing as an ipad only specifically geared for younger kids.  I don't see how the OP would be fine with this but is upset about the ipad.

FWIW, I do not allow my DD (age 4) to use my computer at all and would not let her use an ipad. My opinion here is based on the parenting choices the OP said she made - I don't see the distinction or the problem with the gift given those parenting choices to date.

CaptainObvious

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 10:52:52 AM »
I think you have a perfect right to veto such an expensive and easily breakable present for a toddler. I would be hugely uncomfortable with my 3 year old having an iPad of any form. Your FIL is ignoring your agreement for his own pleasure in seeing dd opening the gift.


Speak to him again, explain that you do not want your 3 year old to have a personal iPad, which is why you suggestedit be a family gift. As it seems he is not happy with the compromise you'd prefer that he not give the iPad at all. Tell him if he does give it to her it will be promptly returned.

You then need to stick to your guns, if he turns up with it on Christmas day take it from your daughter and hand it back to him, saying there must be a mistake and this can't be the gift for your dd as he knows she isn't allowed her own iPad.

The FIL can present to the daughter in any fashion he wants, it still doesn't make it "her iPad". You are the Parent, you make the decisions, plus she is 3, she isn't going to understand that it is a family gift or a personal one.

O'Dell

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 10:58:39 AM »
I don't understand how letting your daughter open the gift changes the agreement in any way. Your FIL just wants to see her open "her" gift. Use it how you want.

I do think he was rude to unilaterally change the first agreement from a LeapPad to an iPad. But the time has passed to object to that.
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jmarvellous

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 11:03:22 AM »
I don't understand how letting your daughter open the gift changes the agreement in any way. Your FIL just wants to see her open "her" gift. Use it how you want.

I do think he was rude to unilaterally change the first agreement from a LeapPad to an iPad. But the time has passed to object to that.

Agreed. You are still the parent. You can dictate how, when and where any gift your kid receives is used, and in most cases, you can still use it yourself as you like.

Stop trying to reason with an unreasonable grownup (though I'm sorry he's that way!), and do what you can once you're in your own home.
 

Zilla

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 11:03:39 AM »
The fact she plays with an iPad already influences my opinion here.  I too think it's fine for her to open it as a present.  She is 3 and doesn't understand how expensive of a gift it is.  It is simply a present and yay her own to play on.  Your personal rules would still apply and you would still supervise her use etc.

Virg

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 11:08:20 AM »
I agree with the others that the act of opening the iPad and the use of the iPad can be separated when you're dealing with a toddler.  So, you can let him wrap it and "give" it to her to open while still retaining the right to control its use, and at age three your DD isn't going to be worried about it at all, and probably won't even notice that you've put her back on the old iPad after Christmas day.  I understand the idea of not having an easily stated objection to the gift in general, but it sounds like you're more concerned about how she'll use it than the very fact that it's there, and you'll still be able to control that to the extent that you've been doing so far, so in your place I'd let the issue slide and let her unwrap it as your FIL planned.

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Eden

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 11:35:33 AM »
I agree with the others who say, as you have no objection to the gift in the general sense, how and when you allow your DD to use it is still up to you.

Even if she were old enough to realize it was "hers" you'd still have every right to control its use.

WillyNilly

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 11:50:00 AM »
Earlier I posted its probably a bunch of little objections.  I'm wondering if another one of those little things is the OP is comfortable restricting her daughter's usage of a toy, but is not comfortable commandeering a "toy" (word used lightly) given to her daughter and re-purposing it as a family gift.  So while yes the OP is still the parent and can control her daughter's usage, she might not be comfortable saying "oh DD doesn't understand the idea of a group gift and we let her open it and her grandpa said it was hers, but really her dad & I are going to use it as a family device."

I know for me, I think the idea of it being a family device is reasonable if its given as one.  But I don't think its ethical for a parent to take a gift given to a child solely and then deem it belongs to the whole family.  If it wasn't given to the whole family it does not belong to the whole family, regardless of who's in charge.

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 11:58:59 AM »
If it wasn't given to the whole family it does not belong to the whole family, regardless of who's in charge.

I think the fact DD is 3 makes a big difference here.  When my child is 3, I am in charge, period.  As she gets older, of course I would consider her desires, but at age three, no, I am the parent.  I think the OP can and should absolutely decide how the gift (insert EVERYTHING) is used and by whom in the family. 

Sharnita

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 12:01:29 PM »
I stronfly disagree that the presentation doesn't matter. At 3 you are trying to teach them about sharing but also teaching them to respect others' property. Giving a child that age a gift "for them" on Christmas and then having mom and dad try to explain that doesn't really mean it is theirs - totally wrong.