Author Topic: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts  (Read 11199 times)

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bonyk

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »
I know lots of mothers who might not like play dough or nail polish as a gift. Those preferences do not make them selfish and their children do not require the pity of strangers.  Some of then explore their creativity through dance, music,  writing, art classes.

 Parental devotion is not measured in play dough or nail polish. It doesn't sound like OP has a lot of data on their day to day dynamics and we certainly haven't been given enough information to determine what kind of parent she is or how much she values her kids.

I wanted to reply to this , I don't think not wanted to play with nail polish or sand was a parenting fail but saying it in front of her daughters was and IMHO it was rude to kids as well.  note: I think the sentiment could have been expressed politely to the girls but "great now I'm going to be painting their nails all day" in a sarcastic tone was rude to the girls too.

I agree.  "Honey, I really don't like painting nails.  Instead let's color/ bake cookies/ watch television," works great.  Getting snaky with your kids hurts self-esteem.

EllenS

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2014, 05:15:38 PM »
I know lots of mothers who might not like play dough or nail polish as a gift. Those preferences do not make them selfish and their children do not require the pity of strangers.  Some of then explore their creativity through dance, music,  writing, art classes.

 Parental devotion is not measured in play dough or nail polish. It doesn't sound like OP has a lot of data on their day to day dynamics and we certainly haven't been given enough information to determine what kind of parent she is or how much she values her kids.

I wanted to reply to this , I don't think not wanted to play with nail polish or sand was a parenting fail but saying it in front of her daughters was and IMHO it was rude to kids as well.  note: I think the sentiment could have been expressed politely to the girls but "great now I'm going to be painting their nails all day" in a sarcastic tone was rude to the girls too.

I agree.  "Honey, I really don't like painting nails.  Instead let's color/ bake cookies/ watch television," works great.  Getting snaky with your kids hurts self-esteem.

Exactly.  I may not like a gift - the gift will have a mysterious "accident" (when they were younger) or be set very certain limits on when it is used. (now they are older).

What set off my "eww" reaction was that the mom was rude to the giver and publicly, pre-emptively told her kids she is annoyed by them.  In principle.  Before they even did anything annoying.  It's the fact that her attitude conveyed in front of her kids that spending time with them is a burden.

Having kids is a lot of work.  They are messy, needy, demanding, and loud. (they are, of course, totally worth it!) But if I make them feel like their existence, or their desire to spend time with me, is a burden - whoa.  That's a whole lot of bad.


Sharnita

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #62 on: January 06, 2014, 07:59:46 PM »
Actually, her attitude might have conveyed thay spending an afternoon painting nails (as opposed to playing a board game or going on an outing with them) was a burden. 

daen

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #63 on: January 06, 2014, 08:03:33 PM »
Actually, her attitude might have conveyed thay spending an afternoon painting nails (as opposed to playing a board game or going on an outing with them) was a burden.

True, but as an eight-year-old, I wouldn't necessarily picked up on that subtlety.
I was a touch oblivious as a child, though.

esposita

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2014, 08:35:06 PM »
Actually, her attitude might have conveyed thay spending an afternoon painting nails (as opposed to playing a board game or going on an outing with them) was a burden.

True, but as an eight-year-old, I wouldn't necessarily picked up on that subtlety.
I was a touch oblivious as a child, though.

But if you knew that your mom treasured you (general) and loved you, it probably wouldn't even be a blip on the radar. I'm not saying this mom is like that, it sounds like she isn't, but it is possible to be honest with your kids (kindly, though) and still give them a wonderful childhood.

MamaMootz

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2014, 08:47:03 PM »
My stepmother bought DD a hair chalk kit this year, and I cringed. But I cringed INSIDE and smiled outside - and made sure that DD thanked her for the lovely gift. She knows DD likes to color her hair, but I'm sure she has no way of knowing that chalk rubs off on EVERYTHING and stains clothes & furniture. So I spoke to DD about it, and she's fine with my disposing/donating it. She already uses semi permanent hair color from Hot Topic anyway.

I'm in the camp of SIL in the OP is rude, rude, rude-ski. Instead of thanking you for thinking of her daughters, all she can do is complain.

It's part of parenting - also, what kind of example is she setting for her kids? She's certainly not teaching them to accept a gift gracefully and with gratitude at all.
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

CatOwned

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2014, 10:12:50 AM »
I think you shoud reconsider the gift card idea, at least until the girls hit their teens. The mother stikes me as one of those who would use the cards for herself. Maybe you could do a "coupon" for a day of "shopping with cousin."

acicularis

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2014, 10:36:28 AM »
My stepmother bought DD a hair chalk kit this year, and I cringed. But I cringed INSIDE and smiled outside - and made sure that DD thanked her for the lovely gift.

I've done the same thing with gifts. I will admit that I would have inwardly cringed at a gift of nail polish when my kids were about the same age as the kids in the OP's post. I didn't especially enjoy painting their nails. But my girls would have been absolutely delighted with such a gift, so I would have had to just grin and bear it.

OP, I don't think you did anything wrong. In future, do your best to consider whether gifts might be messy or require a lot of parental supervision, but don't worry too much. Maybe ahead of time ask for gift ideas. I'll often ask parents "Is there anything they have too much of, or don't want them to have?" But really, don't worry too much. This mom sounds impossible to please, so just do the best you can to buy something thoughtful that you think is appropriate.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 10:40:44 AM by acicularis »

peaches

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2014, 10:43:44 AM »
I think your gift was thoughtful and age appropriate. It sounds to me like the mother was rude and ungrateful. (She may be the sarcastic type, but that's really no excuse.)

I'd keep giving gifts to the kids, if that is what you are inclined to do. I'm not sure I'd want to get into a negotiation with this particular parent about what constitutes a good gift, but I might ask another mother of kids their ages.

As an aside, I think it's best to give individual gifts to kids. It's hard to share a gift. Often, the older child dominates the use of the gift and/or considers it theirs. I'd rather give two small gifts than one larger gift. And when I was a child, I would rather receive my own gift, even if it was a dollar or two, than to share with my brother.



blarg314

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2014, 11:00:59 PM »
I can see the mother's point with the nail polish. I don't think I'd let a 6 year old loose with a glitter polish set without supervision - nail polish is a real pain if it gets on clothing,  furniture, or the carpet. So the 6 year old loves the gift, but I have to be there, watching and helping, while she uses it - which might not be all that convenient for me, even if I like the kid.

The way the mother handled it was inappropriate though. She should have said thank-you, and at a later point mentioned that the kids are still too young for messy/craft type stuff without supervision.

One thing that occurs to me - is it possible to to give a gift that like for use at *your* place (ie, you live close enough). Then you can have the kids over for an afternoon, and do nail painting, or sand crafting, or paper dolls, or whatever, and you can deal with the mess and the supervision. That way the parents don't have to deal with the fuss, and you'll get a better idea of what these kids in particular can manage.

miranova

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2014, 12:32:32 AM »
I won't say that messy gifts are my favorite, but that's what the driveway is for.  Get messy out there, or in the back yard, or on even on the dining room table with newspaper spread out.  There are ways to deal with messy gifts without risking ruining your carpets.  I would never allow nail polish anywhere near carpets.  Call me a bad parent if you wish, but my kids will spill anything.  So they only do messy things where messy things won't do permanent damage.

However, this is neither here nor there.  There are polite ways of dealing with getting a gift that you know will cause you a hassle.  For me, it's large gifts. I don't like large gifts for the kids.  We have too many kids and only so much space.  I simply can't store a bunch of ginormous gifts. However, that doesn't mean I express my displeasure right as the gift is opened, in front of the giver and the child.  The way to deal with that is privately, later.  For instance, my husband has had to request that his mother PLEASE not make any more large handmade wooden items for the kids.  Rockers, for instance, are large and take up a lot of space.  We don't have the space.  He was able to do it in a diplomatic way.  In private.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2014, 08:35:36 AM »
I can see the mother's point with the nail polish. I don't think I'd let a 6 year old loose with a glitter polish set without supervision - nail polish is a real pain if it gets on clothing,  furniture, or the carpet. So the 6 year old loves the gift, but I have to be there, watching and helping, while she uses it - which might not be all that convenient for me, even if I like the kid.

The way the mother handled it was inappropriate though. She should have said thank-you, and at a later point mentioned that the kids are still too young for messy/craft type stuff without supervision.

One thing that occurs to me - is it possible to to give a gift that like for use at *your* place (ie, you live close enough). Then you can have the kids over for an afternoon, and do nail painting, or sand crafting, or paper dolls, or whatever, and you can deal with the mess and the supervision. That way the parents don't have to deal with the fuss, and you'll get a better idea of what these kids in particular can manage.

I've often heard that if one's relatives make a habit of giving undesireable gifts (loud electronics, toy guns, loud instruments) that one can say "Oh good, now you'll have a toy to play with at Nana's house!"  and there's a good chance the relative might either think to themselves "Oh carp, I'm going to have to deal with that?" and further toys from said relative become less obnoxious.  Course it doesn't work if the relative doesn't live close enough for the child to get much use out of it.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Runningstar

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #72 on: January 17, 2014, 07:08:22 AM »
I have had these way distant relations kids that we buy gifts for before.  Quit getting them anything and luckily was able to easily extricate myself from the parties that we used to see them at.  It is weird how judgemental they were about gifts given (and might I add that since we didn't yet have kids back then - these judges didn't even have to buy anything in return).  Their behavior was IMO atrocious. 
I agree with books, and I'd stay with the absolute classics (such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, etc.),  and be done with it. 
The mother, however, is another story.  I'm still learning how to deal with PA individuals, but I wonder how ignoring the emotions and just replying to her PA remarks would help?   Calling her out on the comments while remaining calm and direct.  Doing it at the time?  Later? 


Corvid

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #73 on: January 17, 2014, 07:55:49 AM »
I have my husband handle his family's gifts while I do my family.  That means his family tends to get certain things, like cash.  No one ever seems to mind and if they do, they can talk to him about it.

You can consider letting your husband handle the gifts for his family and if he decides he's not getting the nieces anything, he can tell his sister why.  Either way, it takes it off of you.

There seems to be some general cultural expectation that the gift-giving is supposed to be for women to do, and yes, some women enjoy it, but for some of us it can be too much to do it all.