Author Topic: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child  (Read 15238 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2012, 12:58:16 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.

My four year old understands that I am in charge.  I tend to play with her toys right along with her and she has no problem with this.  If she is asleep and for some reason I wanted to build something with her legos I cannot imagine she would have a problem with that either!

djinnidjream

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2012, 01:00:57 PM »
It would bother me too.   I do not believe that children should get mega-expensive items as a gifts at a young age because how do you top it?  I have a nintendo DS.  At some time, I may upgrade to something better, and at that time, my son would get my DS and my daughter would get his gameboy.  If Grandpa flew in and gave DS a 3DS without asking, I would be very upset- not because he has something better than I do, but because it would completely negate anything I'm trying to teach my children about taking care of things and being happy with what you have- and if you want something better, you do something to earn it.
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Bexx27

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2012, 01:04:37 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.

Eh, not really. The worst he does is give lots of well-intentioned advice that DH sometimes sees as nagging. DH has been annoyed with him recently because DH wanted to take DD to a sports event 4 hours away over Thanksgiving weekend and FIL told him firmly that was a bad idea (basically insinuating that DH was being selfish) and that he wanted DD around that weekend for Christmas decorating. I don't think that's related to the ipad issue, though.
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

wyliefool

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 01:15:42 PM »
I'm having trouble w/ the concept that a 3-yr-old can tell the difference between an ipad 1 and ipad 2. Do they look very different? Because I can't tell the diff between ipads 2-4 (5?). Don't know if I;ve seen a 1.

It's just as likely imo that she'll open the package and say 'grandpa, I have one of these already.'

Sharnita

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2012, 01:18:53 PM »
Again, this would not be playing with it at the same time as her or while she is asleep, from what I can tell. This woul inolve moments when she will be told she can't play with "her" ipad because mom or dad wants to use it to do their own personal thing. With a family gift that is reasonable. With somebody else's gift it feels unfair. The fact that the owner of the gift has no leverage doesn't make it feel any more fair. It really conflicts with how they are being told to treat the property of others at that age.

EMuir

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2012, 01:22:59 PM »
I agree with wyliefool, I don't know if the toddler will even know it's different.  And even if she had her own iPad, would you really let her spend more time on it than she does on yours right now?

I think instead of asking your father to give it to the family(which takes away your power) you need to just tell him that he can wrap it for her if he wants, but it will be used by the whole family, and she probably won't react that much to it because as far as she sees, she already has one. Suggest that he'd get far more joy out of watching her unwrap a new toy. 


TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 01:25:30 PM »
Again, this would not be playing with it at the same time as her or while she is asleep, from what I can tell. This woul inolve moments when she will be told she can't play with "her" ipad because mom or dad wants to use it to do their own personal thing. With a family gift that is reasonable. With somebody else's gift it feels unfair. The fact that the owner of the gift has no leverage doesn't make it feel any more fair. It really conflicts with how they are being told to treat the property of others at that age.

But there are two ipads, right?  And surely the DD is not allowed to constantly play with the ipad (I think the OP even said this). 

Mikayla

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2012, 01:39:40 PM »
I'm having trouble w/ the concept that a 3-yr-old can tell the difference between an ipad 1 and ipad 2. Do they look very different? Because I can't tell the diff between ipads 2-4 (5?). Don't know if I;ve seen a 1.

It's just as likely imo that she'll open the package and say 'grandpa, I have one of these already.'

I don't think this is the issue.  There are both etiquette and parenting questions here, and from a parenting standpoint, many parents would be uncomfortable with a 3 year old getting a gift that nets between $300-$500 on my craigslist (depending on specs).  I think it taps into larger concerns about entitlement, or as someone said upthread, how do you top this?  Three year olds don't know value that well, but at 6 she'll remember what she got when she was 3.

And the etiquette is that, when parents have these concerns, it's not rude to express them.  Ideally, DH would find a way to talk to his dad, because it's a boundary that may need to be set now, rather than fight a new battle every year.  But if not, I see nothing wrong with OP thanking him for his generosity, but that she and DH are uncomfortable with their child getting a gift like this and they'd prefer that the child understand this is a family gift.  And of course OP wants her FIL to understand this, as well. 

JenJay

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2012, 01:43:16 PM »
I think OP doesn't feel right about allowing Grandpa to give DD the newer iPad and then using it herself while handing DD the older iPad when she asks to play with one. Technically she could tell DD "No, that's your iPad." but that's dishonest, even if the 3yo can't tell the difference.

If I were in OP's shoes I'd feel like my options were either allow GP to give DD the newer device, transfer her apps to it, and reclaim the older device for myself or insist the new device is a family gift and make sure DD understands that it is not hers. I'd go with B. I personally wouldn't be comfortable with an option C where DD thinks the newer device is hers but it really isn't.

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2012, 01:44:48 PM »
My daughter's paternal grandparents buy her all sorts of expensive things, like keyboards and electric guitars and computer games.  She is 4.  She plays more with her legos and paper dolls than she does with those things.  She plays with her scissors and glue more than she plays with those things! She doesn't have a concept of the monetary value of her gifts.  I think that is why I am not grasping why some people are so offended that the child would have a gift worth more than the OP's version of the item.  I doubt the DD would even understand that!

Bexx27

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2012, 01:45:06 PM »
I think OP doesn't feel right about allowing Grandpa to give DD the newer iPad and then using it herself while handing DD the older iPad when she asks to play with one. Technically she could tell DD "No, that's your iPad." but that's dishonest, even if the 3yo can't tell the difference.

If I were in OP's shoes I'd feel like my options were either allow GP to give DD the newer device, transfer her apps to it, and reclaim the older device for myself or insist the new device is a family gift and make sure DD understands that it is not hers. I'd go with B. I personally wouldn't be comfortable with an option C where DD thinks the newer device is hers but it really isn't.

Yes, this explains it much better than I've been able to.
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

Sharnita

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2012, 01:46:24 PM »
I think OP doesn't feel right about allowing Grandpa to give DD the newer iPad and then using it herself while handing DD the older iPad when she asks to play with one. Technically she could tell DD "No, that's your iPad." but that's dishonest, even if the 3yo can't tell the difference.

If I were in OP's shoes I'd feel like my options were either allow GP to give DD the newer device, transfer her apps to it, and reclaim the older device for myself or insist the new device is a family gift and make sure DD understands that it is not hers. I'd go with B. I personally wouldn't be comfortable with an option C where DD thinks the newer device is hers but it really isn't.

I agree.  I also wouldn't want DD haing it presented as hers but then tell her that reall menat "ours" not "hers".  I do think OP and her DH have the right to address htis again and make it clear the only way they will accept the gift will be under the original terms.

Mikayla

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2012, 01:54:35 PM »
My daughter's paternal grandparents buy her all sorts of expensive things, like keyboards and electric guitars and computer games.  She is 4.  She plays more with her legos and paper dolls than she does with those things.  She plays with her scissors and glue more than she plays with those things! She doesn't have a concept of the monetary value of her gifts. I think that is why I am not grasping why some people are so offended that the child would have a gift worth more than the OP's version of the item.  I doubt the DD would even understand that!

I agree with this.  I think some of us were talking in more general terms, but with the update, if that's the only significant objection, it is a little puzzling.

Sharnita

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2012, 01:59:44 PM »
My daughter's paternal grandparents buy her all sorts of expensive things, like keyboards and electric guitars and computer games.  She is 4.  She plays more with her legos and paper dolls than she does with those things.  She plays with her scissors and glue more than she plays with those things! She doesn't have a concept of the monetary value of her gifts. I think that is why I am not grasping why some people are so offended that the child would have a gift worth more than the OP's version of the item.  I doubt the DD would even understand that!

I agree with this.  I think some of us were talking in more general terms, but with the update, if that's the only significant objection, it is a little puzzling.

Honestly isn't the fact that it is a parental objection their kid their household enough?  You set the standards for your kids and household - you are the boss as you rightly pointed out.  Wouldn't this be one of the things for them to be the boss about, at least if it matters to them?  If that is aboundary for them it is a boundary they can and should enforce.  Nobody is saying it should be a universal boundary but once they identify it as theirs why would anybody else challenge it?

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2012, 02:05:19 PM »
Honestly isn't the fact that it is a parental objection their kid their household enough?  You set the standards for your kids and household - you are the boss as you rightly pointed out.  Wouldn't this be one of the things for them to be the boss about, at least if it matters to them?  If that is aboundary for them it is a boundary they can and should enforce.  Nobody is saying it should be a universal boundary but once they identify it as theirs why would anybody else challenge it?

In general I totally agree with your post. Here, the OP was somewhat unclear even in her own mind why she was uncomfortable with the gift, and it wasn't because she didn't want her DD playing on an ipad.  It was because she didn't want her daughter playing on an ipad that is nicer than hers.  That to me is just odd.  I think she can absolutely make whatever rules/boundaries she wants to make - I just found this particular boundary strange given the fact the OP would have been fine with a Leap Pad and already allows her DD to play on an ipad. I can see where the FIL would be equally baffled as to why his gift is not welcome.