Author Topic: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday  (Read 5232 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 02:07:47 PM »
I don't see it that way at all. If she wants walls that are painted to her preference or furniture of her choice, curtains she prefers, etc. then I don't think 11 is too young to learn it will cost dis,retionary funds or be in lieu of toys or other gifts. Her parents have provided a room, as they should. The idea that they are obligated to spend money desgning it to her tastes us a whole other matter though.

Yvaine

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 02:23:34 PM »
I don't see it that way at all. If she wants walls that are painted to her preference or furniture of her choice, curtains she prefers, etc. then I don't think 11 is too young to learn it will cost dis,retionary funds or be in lieu of toys or other gifts. Her parents have provided a room, as they should. The idea that they are obligated to spend money desgning it to her tastes us a whole other matter though.

Well, I suppose it depends on whether this is for "needs" or "wants"--I mean, sure, if daughter wants to outfit the place with a disco ball and a life-size Justin Bieber doll, that's "fun stuff" and getting into gift-y territory. If her sheets and pillows are worn out and she needs new ones, the mom shouldn't be outsourcing that, kwim? Even if the sheets are chosen to the daughter's tastes, as long as they're in line with normal sheet prices, I don't really see that as a luxury if she really does need sheets in general. Providing a room does include furnishing that room within reason, IMO. And of course there are gray areas between the two extremes.

Edited to add: And if the room is being redecorated to suit Mom's tastes--like, say, Mom has suddenly decided it would suit her decorating scheme better if Daughter's room was blue instead of purple, then it's really not much of a gift to Daughter. And we really don't know which it is.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 02:27:23 PM by Yvaine »

TootsNYC

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 04:22:03 PM »
I actually think that your *sister* could have called you and said,
   "I know you always struggle with what to give Niece, and her b'day is coming up. If you were stuck for an idea, I thought I'd let you know that she wants to redecorate her room. We don't have enough money to really let her go all out, so she's going to have to do it on her own. If you wanted to give her money toward a new paint color or something, I bet she'd love it."

And to the OP, I might suggest that you call Niece again in a bit and ask her about her decorating plans, etc., and then use that "intelligence" to give her a gift card to Home Depot along with some paint chips in the color zone she's talking about, or something. That would turn the whole thing into a sort of bonding experience for you two.

gramma dishes

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 04:28:18 PM »
...   I once gave one of nieces money for her birthday as I knew there was something very specific she wanted to save up for. A few months later she tells me that she gave all her savings to her grandmother because her grandmother had made her feel guilty about the fact that my niece had complained to her mother that she didn't like going to grandmother's house because when there, grandmother has her and her siblings do all of her housework for them. Niece gave her all her money to try to make amends. What's even worse, is that grandmother accepted it! And didn't give it back!!   ...


That's one of the most truly awful stories I've ever read on eHell!

If I were the mother of your niece, I'd make sure my child never EVER had contact with that Grandmother again.  What a horrible woman!!

(And shame on the mother too,  first for telling Grandma what her daughter said and then allowing her child to do this 'forgive me' thing.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 04:30:22 PM by gramma dishes »

Yvaine

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2013, 04:32:11 PM »
...   I once gave one of nieces money for her birthday as I knew there was something very specific she wanted to save up for. A few months later she tells me that she gave all her savings to her grandmother because her grandmother had made her feel guilty about the fact that my niece had complained to her mother that she didn't like going to grandmother's house because when there, grandmother has her and her siblings do all of her housework for them. Niece gave her all her money to try to make amends. What's even worse, is that grandmother accepted it! And didn't give it back!!   ...


That's one of the most truly awful stories I've ever read on eHell!

If I were the mother of your niece, I'd make sure my child never EVER had contact with that Grandmother again.  What a horrible woman!!

(And shame on the mother too,  first for telling Grandma what her daughter said and then allowing her child to do this 'forgive me' thing.)

I wonder if the mother initially said it to tell off Grandma or to explain why daughter wasn't visiting anymore, but then she should have had daughter's back afterward.

TootsNYC

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2013, 05:32:18 PM »


If no picture ever arrives, or if it's something like a blank but freshly painted wall I don't think you'd be in the wrong to pull niece aside next time you see her and let her know (gently) that you won't be sending her cash again in the future, but that you'd love to take her shopping and buy something within your price range that she really wants.

You wouldn't consider "2 gallons of paint in my dream color" to be an acceptable thing for her to spend her gift money on?

I know that a LOT of parents would say, "I'm not paying to repaint that wall just because you want it to be a different color. The paint that's on it will have to be good enough unless you're willing to buy the paint yourself."

I'd absolutely consider a couple of gallons of paint to be acceptable (in fact, that's why I suggested a gift card to Home Depot).

Yvaine

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2013, 07:09:22 PM »


If no picture ever arrives, or if it's something like a blank but freshly painted wall I don't think you'd be in the wrong to pull niece aside next time you see her and let her know (gently) that you won't be sending her cash again in the future, but that you'd love to take her shopping and buy something within your price range that she really wants.

You wouldn't consider "2 gallons of paint in my dream color" to be an acceptable thing for her to spend her gift money on?

I know that a LOT of parents would say, "I'm not paying to repaint that wall just because you want it to be a different color. The paint that's on it will have to be good enough unless you're willing to buy the paint yourself."

I'd absolutely consider a couple of gallons of paint to be acceptable (in fact, that's why I suggested a gift card to Home Depot).

But do we even know it's Niece's dream remodel? What if it's Mom who wants the room overhauled at someone else's expense?

oopsie

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2013, 07:25:45 PM »
...   I once gave one of nieces money for her birthday as I knew there was something very specific she wanted to save up for. A few months later she tells me that she gave all her savings to her grandmother because her grandmother had made her feel guilty about the fact that my niece had complained to her mother that she didn't like going to grandmother's house because when there, grandmother has her and her siblings do all of her housework for them. Niece gave her all her money to try to make amends. What's even worse, is that grandmother accepted it! And didn't give it back!!   ...


That's one of the most truly awful stories I've ever read on eHell!

If I were the mother of your niece, I'd make sure my child never EVER had contact with that Grandmother again.  What a horrible woman!!

(And shame on the mother too,  first for telling Grandma what her daughter said and then allowing her child to do this 'forgive me' thing.)

I wonder if the mother initially said it to tell off Grandma or to explain why daughter wasn't visiting anymore, but then she should have had daughter's back afterward.

I 100% agree. This grandmother is the mother of my ex-SIL/cousins' mom. That should pretty much explain it.

OP, I'm so glad your niece has you in her life.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:29:33 PM by oopsie »

gramma dishes

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2013, 08:37:51 PM »


If no picture ever arrives, or if it's something like a blank but freshly painted wall I don't think you'd be in the wrong to pull niece aside next time you see her and let her know (gently) that you won't be sending her cash again in the future, but that you'd love to take her shopping and buy something within your price range that she really wants.

You wouldn't consider "2 gallons of paint in my dream color" to be an acceptable thing for her to spend her gift money on?

I know that a LOT of parents would say, "I'm not paying to repaint that wall just because you want it to be a different color. The paint that's on it will have to be good enough unless you're willing to buy the paint yourself."

I'd absolutely consider a couple of gallons of paint to be acceptable (in fact, that's why I suggested a gift card to Home Depot).

In your scenario, the parents have repainted the room reasonably recently but the child would prefer a different color.  Then sure.  So yes, paint would be great IF that's really what the child wanted for her birthday. 

But the fact is, kids rooms need to be repainted once in awhile, just like other rooms only possibly more so because they're inhabited by young people who aren't always really as careful as adults about things like fingerprints, tape, little gouges from moving furniture, and so on.  If the room has never been repainted since before the child was born, then sorry.  I do think it's the parent's expense.  So if that's the case then, no.

But if she wanted some really lively decorations, or a specific set of bedding, or a big comfy funky chair, that would all fall into the level that maybe parents wouldn't necessarily feel obligated to indulge.  So a really cool lamp, or wall hanging or something like that would be a fine gift.

Sharnita

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2013, 08:43:18 PM »
Yeah, my parents never had to repiant our rooms.  I can't sy we touched the walls a ll that mouch, we never taped anything to them for sure.  Most of our waking hours were spent eslewhere.  i slept in my room and read there.  There also was not much moving furniture around.

Yvaine

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2013, 08:52:36 PM »
Yeah, my parents never had to repiant our rooms.  I can't sy we touched the walls a ll that mouch, we never taped anything to them for sure.  Most of our waking hours were spent eslewhere.  i slept in my room and read there.  There also was not much moving furniture around.

See, we had our rooms repainted once that I can remember, because my parents wanted them a different color, and I also remember at least once that our covers had to be replaced because they fell apart from normal wash and wear over many years. Our parents did incorporate some input from us about the colors of these new blankets, but we needed them anyway, just like a household might need new towels occasionally. I think that basic upkeep of the room, or changes in line with the parents' vision, are the parents' job and just part of house upkeep. But if I'd wanted a beanbag chair or a bunch of pop star posters, that would have been a different thing.

Miss Bee

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2013, 11:52:11 PM »
Thanks for the tips about the websites and maybe a Home Dept card. 

As for the room being ONLY re-painted - I know, for a fact, her room was re-painted about 4 or 5 years ago.  She was younger then, around 6 or 7, so I can see her wanting to make the room her own now.  I personally prefer the better paint so I'd understand if her Mom also went that route..

CatFanatic

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2013, 05:20:08 AM »
I feel bad for your poor niece. My mother forced me to do something similar at the same age (not directly asking, but writing a very obvious hint in a letter) and I still wince at the memory. I actually think the PP's ideas about gift cards and sending website suggestions are great because it makes it clear to your niece that you are interested in how she feels (and also not angry at her for what is essentially forced rudeness).

bopper

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2013, 09:05:11 AM »
I would use this as a teaching opportunity. 


OP: "Niece, it is polite to wait until someone asks you what you would like for your birthday. Or at least hint to them that if they need any ideas, you have some for them.  But calling up and just telling people what you want comes across as demanding.    So let's try this again...."Niece, do you have any ideas what you might like for your birthday?"

Her: I would like my room redone.

You:  That sounds awesome!  However, there is a limit to my budget for your birthday. So let's see how we can best use that.
Have you thought about what color theme you would like?  What new items do you need and how can we re-purpose old things. 



I would suggest that you think about how much time you want to spend on this, how much effort, and how much money.
You could offer to help her paint her room.
You could get her a new duvet cover to change her quilt (re-use existing quilt with a new cover). 
You could get a new throw rug.
You could get some decorations that go with the theme.


Autumn Rose

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Re: Niece asked me for money for her Birthday
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2013, 12:19:57 AM »

Call her.   Say to her something to the effect of:  I love you.   I am too far away to go shopping with you  :(
What can I treat you with?

I love the idea of offering her websites to choose what SHE wants.    Darlign niece - you have a budget of ***.   This includes shipping and tax  (11 is not to young to learn this...)

Home depot for paint?   Great!  :)
Money for the Mall?   Marvelous!

Let HER choose what she wishes her gift to be...and hopefully it does the following:

Shows her that you will get her what SHE wants.
You will not be "dictated'  as to what your gift may be.

And (doubtfully) your sister will eventually realize that you will not cave to "ransom".

(hugs)



teachers her that you will not be DICTATED regarding your gift to her.