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Grandparent visiting once a year: gifts... what would you do:


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I'm interested to know what others think of this: ETA: this isn't about *me* and my mom.. but about my brother and my mom...

 

Let's say your kids were already overindulged by you, friends, other *local* relatives...

 

Grandma sees your children once a year because of distance/location. She comes for a 4 day visit and brings with her a small gift for each day. (ie. book, coloring book, small Lego set) **Also, let's assume it is *your* mother and you don't have a particularly close relationship. **

 

As the parent, you know that your kids are overindulged and decide you'd really rather Grandma *not* have brought a little gift for each day of the visit to give to your kids.

 

Would you mention that to Grandma while she was at your house visiting, not mention it to Grandma, or wait until she returned home to find a way to work in the request? (basically, I'm interested to know if the Hive thinks it is appropriate to mention this while Grandma is on her once a year visit or not)

 

So..

** If you don't want Grandma to bring your kids a small gift for each day of visit because you know they are already overindulged, would you

A. mention it while she's there

B. decide it's not that big of a deal and not mention it

C. wait until Grandma returned home to find a way to work in the request.

 

Thanks!

Edited by lauranc
realized i should have been more clear!
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Why does Grandma have to be the only one who doesn't overindulge your kids?

 

I'm interested to know what others think of this:

 

Let's say your kids were already overindulged by you, friends, other *local* relatives...

 

Grandma sees your children once a year because of distance/location. She comes for a 4 day visit and brings with her a small gift for each day. (ie. book, coloring book, small Lego set) **Also, let's assume it is *your* mother and you don't have a particularly close relationship. **

 

As the parent, you know that your kids are overindulged and decide you'd really rather Grandma *not* have brought a little gift for each day of the visit to give to your kids.

 

Would you mention that to Grandma while she was at your house visiting, not mention it to Grandma, or wait until she returned home to find a way to work in the request? (basically, I'm interested to know if the Hive thinks it is appropriate to mention this while Grandma is on her once a year visit or not)

 

So..

** If you don't want Grandma to bring your kids a small gift for each day of visit because you know they are already overindulged, would you

A. mention it while she's there

B. decide it's not that big of a deal and not mention it

C. wait until Grandma returned home to find a way to work in the request.

 

Thanks!

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b--- Once a year and small gifts, indulge the grandparent. Perhaps state that one gift on the first day would be more than sufficient. (You don't want them to think that your visits are all about the stuff, do you Mother ?--We want them to look forward to you, not your presents)

 

If the presents turn to bribes or become too much (ipods and such) I would call a halt to it.

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My inlaws visit once a year or less and always bring a load of cheap toys. Ds really does not need or even want them, but I wouldn't dream of making an issue of it. It brings them such joy to be the bearer of gifts. It is their expression of love. (and since it only happens every year or two...I can deal with it)

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If she only visits once a year, I'd let her overindulge the kids. Just make sure they appreciate the gifts and their good fortune as much as you possibly can.

 

And that's coming from someone whose kids are WAY overindulged by a plethora of aunts, uncles, grandmas, step grandmas and mommy's friends. (DS2 raked in over $150 in gift cards alone on his birthday in June. Nothing I say makes a difference to these people! Who gives an 8 yr. old a $30.00 gift card?!?!? Sorry. Mini-rant on my part.)

 

My mom recently stayed here for a few days, even though she lives in town, and she is finally realizing what I mean when I say my kids have too much stuff and they REALLY DON'T NEED ANY MORE PRESENTS! Even though I told her this before, it didn't sink in and only offended her. I think you just need to deal with the presents, and then later when your mom is gone, sneak into the kids' rooms and start filling the donation bags! :lol:

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Agreeing with everyone. We only ever see any of our family once/year, and I know in that time they are wanting to pour as much love into the boys as possible. For some of the relatives, this comes in the form of gifts.

 

I'd work first on not overindulging my children, myself, before asking the long-distance relatives not to give gifts. If the type of gift is bothersome, I would maybe make suggestions such as "Oh, did you know, he's really into XYZ right now..." or "..he's hoping to get the rest of the books in this series.." etc. But I would definitely not tell this once/year relative that she's not allowed to bring small, (sounds like thoughtful) gifts when she visits.

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B

If the Grandparents see the kids once a year only, I would let them do as they please. I would address the overindulgence at the local end.

It must be hard for them to see the grandkids so infrequently. I would not want to rob them of the pleasure to give gifts.

:iagree:This is what I wanted to say.

 

Are you sure your feelings about the issue are more about saving your dc from too much stuff than your not so close relationship with your mother? Do you have resentment towards her for something?

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B- Don’t mention it.

 

My Mom way overindulges our kids. They also have other relatives who do the same. I have said something to her in the past and it was not a good thing. We also have a somewhat rocky relationship and I ended up hurting her greatly. I have come to realize that for her this is a way of showing love. And the more loving thing for me to do is to let her do it.

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One of my greatest joys is to give my granddaughter a gift.

 

One of the fastest ways to hurt me is to tell me my gift is unwelcome.

(Ask me how I know.)

 

If you want to get back at your mom for something she did or didn't do to or for you, do so directly. Woman to woman. Let her love your children.

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It's as important to learn how to receive gifts graciously as it is to give them.:001_smile:

 

It sounds like a lovely little tradition that the grandmom has started and no way would I try to put a stop to it. The gifts are modest enough that the kids will remember the act of giving at least as much as the gifts. It will be a wonderful memory for them when they're older.

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B

If the Grandparents see the kids once a year only, I would let them do as they please. I would address the overindulgence at the local end.

It must be hard for them to see the grandkids so infrequently. I would not want to rob them of the pleasure to give gifts.

 

:iagree:

 

 

For once a year I would not say a thing.

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Thanks for the replies so far!

 

This is actually not about *me* and my mom.. but about my mom going to visit my brother/his family and bringing a little gift for each day.

 

I wondered if I was way off base in thinking it was inappropriate for them to mention it to her while she was there visiting.

 

She only visits once a year, and she had really put thought into the little gifts she brought--- then was told please don't do it again.

 

It bothered me that they would tell her while she was there... I just thought it was insensitive.

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I'm interested to know what others think of this:

 

Let's say your kids were already overindulged by you, friends, other *local* relatives...

 

Grandma sees your children once a year because of distance/location. She comes for a 4 day visit and brings with her a small gift for each day. (ie. book, coloring book, small Lego set) **Also, let's assume it is *your* mother and you don't have a particularly close relationship. **

 

As the parent, you know that your kids are overindulged and decide you'd really rather Grandma *not* have brought a little gift for each day of the visit to give to your kids.

 

Would you mention that to Grandma while she was at your house visiting, not mention it to Grandma, or wait until she returned home to find a way to work in the request? (basically, I'm interested to know if the Hive thinks it is appropriate to mention this while Grandma is on her once a year visit or not)

 

So..

** If you don't want Grandma to bring your kids a small gift for each day of visit because you know they are already overindulged, would you

A. mention it while she's there

B. decide it's not that big of a deal and not mention it

C. wait until Grandma returned home to find a way to work in the request.

 

Thanks!

 

B. I'd be inclined to think that she **only** gets those 4 days out of the year while everyone else gets to see the kids regularly so I would just put my feelings aside and be grateful that the kids get doted on by the grandma that they rarely get to see. How's that for a run-on sentence?

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Thanks for the replies so far!

 

This is actually not about *me* and my mom.. but about my mom going to visit my brother/his family and bringing a little gift for each day.

 

I wondered if I was way off base in thinking it was inappropriate for them to mention it to her while she was there visiting.

 

She only visits once a year, and she had really put thought into the little gifts she brought--- then was told please don't do it again.

 

It bothered me that they would tell her while she was there... I just thought it was insensitive.

 

It definitely was. Insensitive and self-centered.:glare:

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Why does Grandma have to be the only one who doesn't overindulge your kids?

:iagree: Either everyone cuts back, or no one does. Grandparents who only get to see the kids once a year get a special pass even then. Those that are local get to treat all year, she only has 4 days.

 

ETA: Just saw the update. How rude!

Edited by DusksAngel
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Let Grandma bring gifts. Instead of being frustrated at how overindulged the dc are, teach them to manage their things. A week or two AFTER Grandma leaves (so they can enjoy Grandma and her gifts first), talk with dc about sorting out their rooms to eliminate anything they don't want anymore.

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It definitely was. Insensitive and self-centered.:glare:

 

Yes. Thank you... when I picked her up at the airport last night and she mentioned it to me on the way home, I thought I was just feeling tired (it was nearly midnight) and maybe I was off base.

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If one is concerned about their children being overindulged by family members, I don't understand why one would choose to call out a grandparent who only visits once a year. From what you've written, it seems terribly petty. (And by my definition, the small gifts mentioned are certainly not "overindulging.")

 

It's not a big deal. I'd never mention it to her; it's a non-issue. Please, let the children get whatever joy she chooses to bring, in whatever form she chooses to bring it.

 

You said there is a poor relationship with her. If at all possible, it shouldn't affect the kids' relationship with her. It's one thing to protect them from a cruel or toxic person, but we are often overly critical of those closest to us when they don't meet our expectations. The kids won't necessarily have the same expectations of her that the parent does.

 

If one feels their kids are overindulged in their every day lives with those who are closest to them, that might be a good place to start cutting back. A grandparent who visits for a short time very infrequently wouldn't be on that list.

 

(This makes me think of our WTM poster who mom? mil? brings boxes of old, used and broken toys to her kids at each visit, then doesn't understand why everyone isn't thrilled! :lol:)

Edited by ThisIsTheDay
changing context to reflect b/sil
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Thanks for the replies so far!

 

This is actually not about *me* and my mom.. but about my mom going to visit my brother/his family and bringing a little gift for each day.

 

I wondered if I was way off base in thinking it was inappropriate for them to mention it to her while she was there visiting.

 

She only visits once a year, and she had really put thought into the little gifts she brought--- then was told please don't do it again.

 

It bothered me that they would tell her while she was there... I just thought it was insensitive.

 

I would definitely not have said anything to her. I feel so sorry for your poor mother!

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:iagree:

 

B

If the Grandparents see the kids once a year only, I would let them do as they please. I would address the overindulgence at the local end.

It must be hard for them to see the grandkids so infrequently. I would not want to rob them of the pleasure to give gifts.

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Yes.... Thank you everyone.

 

I do appreciate the replies. My mom is definitely not 'toxic' or anything like that. She does have a difficult time trying to keep connections with my niece and nephew since they live across the country---

 

Small gifts when she visits is just one way she does that. But she also sends cards and calls/skypes etc.

 

The kids are still quite young.

 

My mom said she wants to honor my brother and sister-in-law's wishes-- I understand that she doesn't want to cause 'trouble'... so she'll probably stop bringing small gifts.

 

I just think it's a bit sad and totally inappropriate for them to have mentioned it to her while she was there (the day before she left)

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Stop indulging them so much if you think they are over indulged. That is within your power. And tighten up on local relatives.

 

The grandmother who comes once a year would not be restricted by me. She is trying to make this a special time because it is so infrequent. Maybe gifts is her love language. Either way, I would not mention it.

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B. decide it's not that big of a deal and not mention it.

You can't tell someone not to give gifts.

 

And she only gets to see them once a year. I'd work on the overindulgence the rest of the year and let her have her small joy.

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I don't think of a coloring book and Legos as overindulgence. Now if you said she was buying your kiddos a new car and a Disney cruise, then I'd lift an eyebrow or two.

 

Just another example of relativity. :)

 

So what did your brother decide to do?

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I would say that giving gifts is probably one of her "love languages," especially since she only sees the kids once/year and doesn't really get to know them like she would if she lived closer. It gives them an instant connection and a way to make the visit memorable even after she lives (i.e. "I'm going to color in the coloring book Grandma gave me.") I wouldn't say a thing and I would probably make a note of what things she gave them so I could remind the kids about the gifts (and the visit) after she is gone.

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Yep B. No need to mention it. She sees them 4 days a year, a few extra small presents that aren't needed can be dealt with after she leaves if it is that big of a deal. Though I don't see a coloring book or lego set as a big deal anyways, especially a consumable thing like a coloring book.

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B - Don't mention it. It brings joy to both the giver and receiver. Be thankful your mom loves your kids enough to think of this and is still able to do this. This is building memories for your kids. A little gift a day would be fun. It's only 4 days - not weeks or months. My kids had no grandparents by the time they were 8 & 10. It has been a big hole in their lives. Think of the alternative. Now if she was financially unable to do this, I would say something as I would never want anyone to go into debt for the sake of giving a gift.

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And that's coming from someone whose kids are WAY overindulged by a plethora of aunts, uncles, grandmas, step grandmas and mommy's friends. (DS2 raked in over $150 in gift cards alone on his birthday in June. Nothing I say makes a difference to these people! Who gives an 8 yr. old a $30.00 gift card?!?!? Sorry. Mini-rant on my part.)

 

The same person who'd buy a 8-year old a $30 gift.

So, say. Me on some occasions.

 

What's wrong with it?

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I'd do B.

 

And I'd be the parent and be the one to work at not over indulging my children and having the strength to say no so I wouldn't risk hurting my relationship with my mom and the kids relationship with their grandmother.

 

And if I were Grandma and my kid asked me to not give gifts to my grandchildren I'd tell my kid to grow up and be the parent and let me be Grandma.

 

I hate hearing about adult children wanting to control their parents gift giving. Most of the time when the adult kid says something to the grandparents I think it's the adult child's immature way of hurting the grandparent. I watched both of my older siblings pull this kind of stunt on my mom. They tried ot be all nice and sweet about it but it was anything but sweet. My mom was crushed and would cry and mourn the loss of the happiness she gained from spoiling her grandchildren. It was truly a loss from her and it caused her a lot of heartache and sadness.

 

My mom never met my children and my husbands parents are too broke to give my kids anything. It's a bummer to not have grandparents who can do this kind of thing and I don't get people not being able to let the grandparents enjoy being grandparents. I look forward to being a grandma and spoiling my grandchildren.

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You can't tell someone not to give gifts.

 

:confused: Uh. Yes you can. I've done it. The world didn't end. It didn't have much effect, but I've certainly done it.

 

I'm honestly a little surprised at the overwhelming response to let it continue. Maybe it's because I'm looking at this through the lens of the people in my life? The family members who insist on "goodies" for every visit (around 1 week total between their visits and ours) are the same ones who send large quantities of inexpensive gifts for all birthdays and holidays. Gifts for two children would fill a very large trash can, and we are about to have four children. If they weren't the type to shop at thrift stores, I'm certain there would be newer, expensive gifts instead. I really dislike the attitude it leads to. As a parent, I have the right to put a stop to it. Multiple small gifts during visits are a problem here, especially because they tend to come out at times when they exacerbate behavior issues.

 

That said, I don't feel we are particularly indulgent. I don't hold some family members to a different standard than others. I also believe that neither excessive gift-giving nor spoiling are "rights" afforded to grandparents. I probably wouldn't say anything in the middle of a visit, unless my words in the past had been ignored.

 

I'm clearly in the minority on this one though.

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I don't think of a coloring book and Legos as overindulgence. Now if you said she was buying your kiddos a new car and a Disney cruise, then I'd lift an eyebrow or two.

 

Just another example of relativity. :)

 

So what did your brother decide to do?

 

My brother and his wife told my mom to stop bringing small gifts when she came to visit (once a year) and to also please not send small gifts at Valentine's Day and Easter (she usually sends something like stickers in a card)

 

They told her this the day before she was set to come home.

 

I think it was insensitive of them to tell her while she was there, but also think it was wrong of them to ask her not to do it in the first place!

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I would say that giving gifts is probably one of her "love languages," especially since she only sees the kids once/year and doesn't really get to know them like she would if she lived closer. It gives them an instant connection and a way to make the visit memorable even after she lives (i.e. "I'm going to color in the coloring book Grandma gave me.") I wouldn't say a thing and I would probably make a note of what things she gave them so I could remind the kids about the gifts (and the visit) after she is gone.

 

This is absolutely true of my mom. Giving gifts *is* one way she expreses love... Not big gifts, and not every day. But just when she goes to visit once a year. (I believe she also sends small things on holidays like Easter, Valentine's Day.... ie. stickers).

 

She also calls/skypes with my brother's kids...

 

I was more upset than she was about the whole thing. She is accepting what they have requested as she doesn't want to cause trouble. I want to call them up and give them a piece of my mind. :tongue_smilie:

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:confused: Uh. Yes you can. I've done it. The world didn't end. It didn't have much effect, but I've certainly done it.

 

I'm honestly a little surprised at the overwhelming response to let it continue. Maybe it's because I'm looking at this through the lens of the people in my life? The family members who insist on "goodies" for every visit (around 1 week total between their visits and ours) are the same ones who send large quantities of inexpensive gifts for all birthdays and holidays. Gifts for two children would fill a very large trash can, and we are about to have four children. If they weren't the type to shop at thrift stores, I'm certain there would be newer, expensive gifts instead. I really dislike the attitude it leads to. As a parent, I have the right to put a stop to it. Multiple small gifts during visits are a problem here, especially because they tend to come out at times when they exacerbate behavior issues.

 

That said, I don't feel we are particularly indulgent. I don't hold some family members to a different standard than others. I also believe that neither excessive gift-giving nor spoiling are "rights" afforded to grandparents. I probably wouldn't say anything in the middle of a visit, unless my words in the past had been ignored.

 

I'm clearly in the minority on this one though.

 

I get what you're saying. My mom doesn't overindulge my brother's kids, but my brother and his wife do have family (my sister-in-law's family) near where they live; plus they have a lot of friends who give hand me down toys, clothes etc.. to their kids. So both kids have *a lot* of stuff.

 

I understand the feeling of 'oh my goodness.. not one more thing!' Although, they do not say 'no' to anyone else. That's something that bothers me. They accept everyone's 'stuff', but told my mom not to do it anymore.

 

I thought it was inappropriate to tell her while she was there. It embarrassed her, and she was their guest.

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Yes.... Thank you everyone.

 

I do appreciate the replies. My mom is definitely not 'toxic' or anything like that. She does have a difficult time trying to keep connections with my niece and nephew since they live across the country---

 

Small gifts when she visits is just one way she does that. But she also sends cards and calls/skypes etc.

 

The kids are still quite young.

 

My mom said she wants to honor my brother and sister-in-law's wishes-- I understand that she doesn't want to cause 'trouble'... so she'll probably stop bringing small gifts.

 

I just think it's a bit sad and totally inappropriate for them to have mentioned it to her while she was there (the day before she left)

 

I'd call my brother, give him a piece of my mind, and make him take it back :tongue_smilie:.

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I'd call my brother, give him a piece of my mind, and make him take it back :tongue_smilie:.

 

Ha! That's exactly what I want to do. I don't want to make things worse for my mom though.

 

Honestly, I think she is afraid to upset my brother as he tends to give the silent treatment if he doesn't like something someone has said. She wants to have a relationship with my niece and nephew and doesn't want to make any waves.

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Grandma only gets to see them once a year. Let her be grandma during that time and spoil them. Reign in the local friends and reletives, if they're a problem. MIL used to live with us. She had to take more of a parenting role and respect our wishes with toys and candy because she was here all the time. Now that she doesn't, she's free to spoil them a bit more.

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If she only visits once a year, I'd let her overindulge the kids. Just make sure they appreciate the gifts and their good fortune as much as you possibly can.

 

And that's coming from someone whose kids are WAY overindulged by a plethora of aunts, uncles, grandmas, step grandmas and mommy's friends. (DS2 raked in over $150 in gift cards alone on his birthday in June. Nothing I say makes a difference to these people! Who gives an 8 yr. old a $30.00 gift card?!?!? Sorry. Mini-rant on my part.)

 

My mom recently stayed here for a few days, even though she lives in town, and she is finally realizing what I mean when I say my kids have too much stuff and they REALLY DON'T NEED ANY MORE PRESENTS! Even though I told her this before, it didn't sink in and only offended her. I think you just need to deal with the presents, and then later when your mom is gone, sneak into the kids' rooms and start filling the donation bags! :lol:

 

We give $25. How is that excessive?

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I get what you're saying. My mom doesn't overindulge my brother's kids, but my brother and his wife do have family (my sister-in-law's family) near where they live; plus they have a lot of friends who give hand me down toys, clothes etc.. to their kids. So both kids have *a lot* of stuff.

 

I understand the feeling of 'oh my goodness.. not one more thing!' Although, they do not say 'no' to anyone else. That's something that bothers me. They accept everyone's 'stuff', but told my mom not to do it anymore.

 

I thought it was inappropriate to tell her while she was there. It embarrassed her, and she was their guest.

 

It wasn't inappropriate. It was mean.

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