Author Topic: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift, update pg 7  (Read 17861 times)

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Idlewildstudios

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Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift, update pg 7
« on: October 02, 2013, 01:00:53 AM »
For her birthday last year I gave my niece a very cute winter hat that I felt really suited her personality. Since she is very young I knew it would be a bit large but figured she would grow into it.  She appeared delighted with it when she opened it.

When I saw her again several weeks later, with her sister who is a year older, it was her sister wearing the hat.  It had also been damaged.  My IL's noticed my puzzled look and gave me the following explanation- the older sister wanted the hat and was initially denied it.  In her anger she damaged it.  Since she damaged it and caused a fuss, it was given to her to wear.

This fall it has become the sister's regular daily hat.  The niece it was gifted to never got to wear it and by the time she grows into it it will be well used.

Am I wrong to be miffed about this?  I know that once given a gift can used as seen fit, but this just rubbed me the wrong way.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 06:44:28 PM by Idlewildstudios »

Millionaire Maria

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 01:08:20 AM »
I would be mad too. Essentially, the older girl was rewarded for damaging the hat. If it was within my ability, I would buy younger niece another hat and skip giving older niece a gift for her next birthday, explaining to her that she had already gotten her gift: the hat intended for younger niece.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

Pen^2

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 01:32:42 AM »
It's theirs to do with as they wish, so I don't have an issue there. Unless you look at the fact that, technically, it was given to niece, not her parents, and so she can do what she wants with the hat, not her parents. But until she's old enough to really have a say in things, I think it really is up to the parents.

I would be much more upset about the fact that their response to their older daughter's unacceptable behaviour was to reward the naughty one and punish the younger one who did nothing wrong. That irks me to no end. What a good way to raise a special snowflake.  >:(

Next time, try to get a gift you know the older niece won't steal. How old is she? If she can read, maybe embroid/write/whatever younger niece's name on the next gift, so older niece almost certainly won't want it. But if it keeps happening, I'd just stop giving gifts, because if giving younger niece a gift results in her being punished (having her gift taken from her is hardly something she'd enjoy), then it just wouldn't be nice to keep giving her things. That would be pretty sad.

Bluenomi

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 01:34:14 AM »
I'd be miffed as well since a careful chosen present was ruined and stolen by an older sibling probably because the parents couldn't be bothered putting their foot down.

I'd be buying youger niece a new one if I could and be thinking about not getting the older niece anything for her next birthday/christmas. Would it be too PA/snarky to tell her she wasn't getting something because she'd already stolen herself a present?

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 01:43:54 AM »
I feel better it wasn't just me being grumpy.

They are only 3 and 5 so having the older one miss out on a gift for taking the hat won't really work, she won't understand.  I have noticed this seems to be a pattern, things given to them both to use are taken by the oldest and the younger one can only have them when  the older girl has had her fun and moves on.

I will say this year the younger niece gets a handmade gift with her name embroidered on it, so it is marked as *hers*.

Pen^2

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 01:52:46 AM »
I feel better it wasn't just me being grumpy.

They are only 3 and 5 so having the older one miss out on a gift for taking the hat won't really work, she won't understand.  I have noticed this seems to be a pattern, things given to them both to use are taken by the oldest and the younger one can only have them when  the older girl has had her fun and moves on.

I will say this year the younger niece gets a handmade gift with her name embroidered on it, so it is marked as *hers*.

The parents hopefully will understand, though. They might not immediately change their ways, but you'll at least communicate to them that what they're doing isn't normal. And a 5 year old isn't going to miss one gift at a birthday, so I don't think this would be punishing her or anything. She still comes out with the same amount of loot. You might be a straw that ends up breaking the camel's back. I hope so, for the sake of the five year old. And especially for her little sister, who, it otherwise looks like, will be punished unfairly quite a lot in her life because of her parent's lack of willingness to parent her older sister in this area.

Millionaire Maria

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 02:52:39 AM »
I feel better it wasn't just me being grumpy.

They are only 3 and 5 so having the older one miss out on a gift for taking the hat won't really work, she won't understand. I have noticed this seems to be a pattern, things given to them both to use are taken by the oldest and the younger one can only have them when  the older girl has had her fun and moves on.

I will say this year the younger niece gets a handmade gift with her name embroidered on it, so it is marked as *hers*.

Don't sell you niece so short! At five there is definitely the ability to understand. There is no need to be cruel, but I do think that you can say to her "well, I guess that will have to count as your birthday present instead" and then replace the one for younger niece. Absent of developmental delays, the message will absolutely sink in.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 03:32:04 AM »
I feel better it wasn't just me being grumpy.

They are only 3 and 5 so having the older one miss out on a gift for taking the hat won't really work, she won't understand.  I have noticed this seems to be a pattern, things given to them both to use are taken by the oldest and the younger one can only have them when  the older girl has had her fun and moves on.

I will say this year the younger niece gets a handmade gift with her name embroidered on it, so it is marked as *hers*.

No, you're not wrong to be miffed, I would be too.

And I'd still be miffed if the parents had simply decided to give the older sister the hat when she WASN'T behaving badly (unless there was some pressing need, like they couldn't afford a hat for the older sister this winter).

Next time, you could try telling the parents that the gift is clearly intended for younger sister, and you'd love to see her getting some use from it. You could even tell older sister that the gift is for younger sister, and that older sister is "too old" for it.

zyrs

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 04:36:32 AM »
This would absolutely miff me.  I hate when parents reward bad behavior.

I would get a new one for the niece, hopefully with her name embroidered on it.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 06:34:50 AM »
I think age 5 is plenty old enough to understand about not getting a gift because she stole her sister's gift.

flickan

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 06:48:07 AM »
I would be irritated at the parents for the way they handled it (reward the child for damaging the hat??) but I wouldn't try to deny any subsequent gifts to the kids because I think it's the place of the parents to deal with this as they see fit.

I would perhaps find some way of adding younger sister's name to any future gifts...

camlan

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 06:53:40 AM »
I'd be miffed, too.

What I'd do is, for the next couple of years, give the younger niece an "experience" gift, not a physical gift. A special day out with Auntie, for example. A trip to the zoo, a joint mani/pedi, a visit to the Children's Museum.

Which isn't to say that the older niece won't kick up a fuss and demand that her parents do the same activity with her. There's nothing you can do to stop that. But you *can* be a part of the younger niece's life, you *can* make her feel special for a day, you *can* show her that her older sister is not the one who gets to have it all.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


sammycat

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 07:02:53 AM »
I'd be miffed, too.

What I'd do is, for the next couple of years, give the younger niece an "experience" gift, not a physical gift. A special day out with Auntie, for example. A trip to the zoo, a joint mani/pedi, a visit to the Children's Museum.

Which isn't to say that the older niece won't kick up a fuss and demand that her parents do the same activity with her. There's nothing you can do to stop that. But you *can* be a part of the younger niece's life, you *can* make her feel special for a day, you *can* show her that her older sister is not the one who gets to have it all.

I like that idea!  The only drawback I can see is if the parents insist that older niece be included. Personally I'd have no qualms in saying no to that, but the parents sound like the type to refuse to let younger niece go if her sister isn't included.

Add me to the list of people who'd be very miffed at this.

OP, do the parents favour the older child in general overall?

YummyMummy66

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 07:20:12 AM »
I would be miffed also, but I would also be miffed at the niece's parents.

Sounds to me like they let the older sister get what she wanted without any repurcussions. Honestly, in my home, the hat would have been taken away and older sis made to buy younger sis a new hat.


shhh its me

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 07:41:59 AM »
    I think a 5 year may understand the concept but a lesson months latter isn't really appropriate.   I would be really upset with the parents.   I want to note I don;t think the 5 year old is bad she is acting like a child whose negative behavior is being reinforced, at 5 this is solely the parents "bad".

I think a pp suggestion of experience gifts is great.  I would do experiences for the older sis as well.