Author Topic: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child  (Read 15558 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1896
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 12:04:23 PM »
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.

Yes, this is exactly it.

Thanks for all your responses. They've helped me understand what's bothering me. It's not so much the gift opening, and I realize DD is too young to really "claim" the ipad. It's that FIL is clearly intending the gift for her and we had not planned on using it that way. It feels like we'd be accepting it under false pretenses. If FIL does not want it to be a family gift, that should be his choice. But we don't want an ipad for DD's exclusive use. Maybe DH should talk to him about how we would use it and he can decide whether he wants to give it under those conditions?
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

O'Dell

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 12:04:38 PM »
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.

I would agree with this and would feel the same way, except in this case FIL knows and agreed to the plan of it being used as a family gift. If he didn't like the plan, he could object, or even better go with the original plan. He seems not to have done that.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

Peregrine

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 463
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 12:09:26 PM »
I don't see this that much differently than a grandparent gifting.....say a WII to the grandaughter.....It's not like Mom and Dad will never use it, and it's use would be with the parent's permission and knowledge.


Docslady21

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 12:11:53 PM »
I understand the discomfort, but she's only three. You aren't going to have the same fight you would have with a kid who was 6-10. She's not going to fight you and tell you it's hers and she can use it if she wants. You have all the power.

He just wants to see her open it and see her face light up with excitement. You'll be able to impose the same restrictions you would if he bought her something like a bike or a movie. Just because it's "her" bike, for example, doesn't mean she can just go outside at 2 a.m. and ride it in the street unsupervised. She can't just turn on "her" movies in the middle of your family watching a show. She can't just open the fridge and eat "her" leftover birthday cake for dinner.

Your average iPad sells for about $350. On trade at a store, you get about $200. It's used. And, you can easily load all of her regular apps on it because you can link it to your family iTunes account. That's how our family does it. And if using it makes you feel weird, it's really not. I use my son's iPod if I can't find mine or I'm bored at the doctor, etc. I make him share it with his sister. It's "his", but I make the rules.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21616
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2012, 12:16:54 PM »
I don't know which 3 year olds you all know but every single one I've spent time with has mastered the concept of "mine" and would very clearly recognize that mom and dad were playing with her gift but expected her to respect their property. 3 year olds aren't stupid.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6388
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2012, 12:23:44 PM »
I don't see this that much differently than a grandparent gifting.....say a WII to the grandaughter.....It's not like Mom and Dad will never use it, and it's use would be with the parent's permission and knowledge.

I would make the "family gift" distinction for a wii, too. I've always been careful about that with my kids to avoid the "That's mine and I don't give you permission to use it!" thing when they're being grumpy with each other. I don't teach my kids that they automatically have to share with anyone who asks, including me, when something truly is theirs. If one of my kids has a game they were gifted or purchased for themselves they are allowed to say "No, you can't borrow it." if the refusal is reasonable. For example if youngest was recently irresponsible with a game and the disk got scratched, I would let his sibling refuse to share. However, I would make them share if their only objection was because they were feeling grumpy (the game wasn't being used by the owner, it held no sentimental value, the borrower could be trusted to treat it carefully, etc.). Major items are always family gifts to avoid all of that. My middle son saved up his xmas cash one year and wanted to add a Kinect to our Xbox. I explained to him that if he chose to spend his money on that it would not be his, it would be for everyone. He still wanted it so we let him (and we bought him a game or two that were his, which he's always shared).

A three year old will understand that she only gets X amount of time on the iPad and then it gets put away. She's also likely to say "Mommy, that's my toy, Grandpa gave it to me. Why are you using it?" I agree with PPs that if OP and her DH will be using the ipad then the "Family Gift" distinction is important.

Zilla

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2012, 12:27:45 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.
But if it was given to the child as a gift and put up when she isn't using it, why would you have to explain anything?  If a leap pad was given to the child instead, that gift would also be put away to do other things.  What difference does an iPad make?  I think the OP was pointing out the pros and cons and thought of changing it to a family gift but even then she said it isn't needed.  So I would leave it alone and let it be her daughter's and put it away just as she does now with her own iPad for her little girl.

MamaMootz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3012
  • I'm a lumberjack and I'm O.K....
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2012, 12:32:06 PM »
To me, the distinction is this: Grandpa is buying a brand new I-pad for a 3 year old. I know it's going to be used as a family gift, but that is what I would have the objection to.
Yes, the 3 year old already uses an I-pad but it's an older one with apps just for her on it. I don't think it would matter quite as much if it got broken over a brand new one that is in the area of $600 as a new gift.

On the other hand, Grandpa wants to see her open a gift on Xmas. Maybe he can wrap up something smaller for her and give the i-pad to mom and dad as a family gift?
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1896
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2012, 12:32:33 PM »
I don't know which 3 year olds you all know but every single one I've spent time with has mastered the concept of "mine" and would very clearly recognize that mom and dad were playing with her gift but expected her to respect their property. 3 year olds aren't stupid.

This is true, but another important 3-year-old concept is that a toy becomes a zillion times more desirable when someone else is playing with it. So she might be fine with using my old ipad as long as she gets to take it from me.  ;)
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

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2012, 12:35:51 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.
But if it was given to the child as a gift and put up when she isn't using it, why would you have to explain anything?  If a leap pad was given to the child instead, that gift would also be put away to do other things.  What difference does an iPad make?  I think the OP was pointing out the pros and cons and thought of changing it to a family gift but even then she said it isn't needed.  So I would leave it alone and let it be her daughter's and put it away just as she does now with her own iPad for her little girl.

I think the point is, if it belongs to the child, the parents can control when its used by the child or put away and not in use.  But the parent's can't just take it - lets say one parent gets called away on a business trip - if it belongs to the daughter its unethical for the parent to just take the iPad with them on the trip by them-self, at least without asking the child's permission (and really who wants to ask a 3 year old for permission to take a $500 electronic device on a business trip?!?!)

If it belongs to the family, the parents till determine when the kid can use it.  But they can also go ahead and take it for their own use when its needed/desired.


When I was a kid I definitely had stuff that was mine, that I was expected to share and be nice about, and then there was stuff that was general use that was for everyone to share but didn't belong to an individual.  My teddy bear was mine, but Monopoly belonged to the family.

Even at 3 I understood the distinction.  I also understood when I was opening gifts for me, or just 'helping' my parents open gifts that were for them or for for the family as a whole.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21616
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2012, 12:40:45 PM »
The parents don't intend to just put it up, though. They intend to use it as well. That is why they made the family gift condition in the beginning.

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1896
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2012, 12:43:58 PM »
To me, the distinction is this: Grandpa is buying a brand new I-pad for a 3 year old. I know it's going to be used as a family gift, but that is what I would have the objection to.
Yes, the 3 year old already uses an I-pad but it's an older one with apps just for her on it. I don't think it would matter quite as much if it got broken over a brand new one that is in the area of $600 as a new gift.

On the other hand, Grandpa wants to see her open a gift on Xmas. Maybe he can wrap up something smaller for her and give the i-pad to mom and dad as a family gift?

It's actually not new. FIL is getting a new ipad for himself and giving DD his old one. But his old one is still a newer model than mine.
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

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2866
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2012, 12:47:16 PM »
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.

Yes, this is exactly it.

Thanks for all your responses. They've helped me understand what's bothering me. It's not so much the gift opening, and I realize DD is too young to really "claim" the ipad. It's that FIL is clearly intending the gift for her and we had not planned on using it that way. It feels like we'd be accepting it under false pretenses. If FIL does not want it to be a family gift, that should be his choice. But we don't want an ipad for DD's exclusive use. Maybe DH should talk to him about how we would use it and he can decide whether he wants to give it under those conditions?

Does FIL have a history of boundary-trampling? I ask because we've seen many times where a person asks about Incident X involving relative Whoever, which seems innocuous on its own. Then, once we get more history on the relationship between OP and Whoever, we find that a huge part of the problem is that Whoever has a bad history of steamrolling over boundaries, and Incident X was preceded by Incidents A - W, making "innocuous" Incident X much more suspect.

Regardless, you & DH made the decision that it had to be a family gift or not a gift at all, and you made that clear to FIL. Your family, your rules. He is now trying to break those rules. DH needs to have a polite conversation reminding FIL has already been discussed, and that it's a family gift, or don't give it at all. If you suspect he'll try to give it to DD anyway, you have every right to screen her gifts.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1896
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2012, 12:50:56 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.
But if it was given to the child as a gift and put up when she isn't using it, why would you have to explain anything?  If a leap pad was given to the child instead, that gift would also be put away to do other things.  What difference does an iPad make?  I think the OP was pointing out the pros and cons and thought of changing it to a family gift but even then she said it isn't needed.  So I would leave it alone and let it be her daughter's and put it away just as she does now with her own iPad for her little girl.

Part of it is that this ipad is a newer model than mine, so DH and I would be inclined to use it ourselves while DD uses my old one. Which is fine if it's a family gift, but seems wrong if the gift is intended for her. Maybe I should just let the newer one be DD's, but it seems silly for a 3-year-old to have a fancier version than her parents, KWIM?
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

padua

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 526
Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2012, 12:55:21 PM »
i agree with sharnita. 3 year olds are learning the concept of 'mine'. i have a 15month old and he knows what's his. i also agree with jedikaiti. FIL is playing by his own rules.

if he gifts it to her, and the parents allow her to open it but use it as a family item, the parents may run into the problem of FIL consistently referring to the gift as belonging to the 3 year old. that's going to cause some confusion.

and i may be jaded here (i've worked clinically with youth who end up in group homes with significant entitlement issues), but i, too, wouldn't allow my child to have such an expensive 'toy' at a young age. it's not something i can rationally argue, but in my mind it sets an unrealistic precident. FIL gifts an ipad today, maybe next year it's something more expensive. it starts to create a divide between the parents and in-laws. 'no, 6year old sally, you can't have a phone.' 'then maybe grandpa will get it for me.' i'm for setting limits and getting him on board with giving it to the family while DD opens the 'family gift'. he'll still get to see how excited she is, but won't cause needless triangulation.