Post # 152
It works well in our family because of the amount of gifts they get from other people in the extended family. Like for my sisters kids. They have gifts from their parents (4 each child) then gifts from my mom (4-5 each child) one gift from my grandma, one gift from a cousin, one gift from each of their aunts (there are three of us) and then there are gifts from their other grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins on their dad’s side. They get plenty of toys and clothes and books this way. The amount they get from other family members is why my sister and brother in law limit the amounts they give.
Post # 153
I am sure you would be surprised to learn that we only buy our girl one shared gift each year for Christmas. Extended family buys enough and we are not trying to raise spoiled, entitled children. We do so much for them a year long, numerous vacations, violin and piano lessons, Spanish tutoring, dance lessons, etc. They go to concerts, theater, and generally have a very blessed life. I just can’t muster up any guilt about our minimalist gift policy.
Post # 154
This issue has probably been talked to death at four pages, but I would suggest changing your traditions in your family by only putting out one or two small presents under the tree until after the kids have gone to bed on Christmas Eve.
As far as 11 and 13 year olds knowing how to behave and appreciate what they have – I know I did not always have behaviour at that age I was particularly proud of, and I don’t think their actions mean they are spoiled. Putting gifts under a tree with different amounts for each kids and all in different sizes seems like parents putting up a scoreboard with their names on it.
Also, if your children’s behaviour is causing you distress, give them the opportunity to do better by sitting down as a family and talking about your concerns. Tell them good things come in small packages, or that things in life are not fair and even, but they all work out in the end. You know, just something.
ETA I hate giving parenting advice since I don’t have kids. I do have a “baby” sister 10 yrs my junior and she has grown up to be a completely unspoiled rockstar of a person. Maybe try to look at this as being more general advice than parenting, hahaha.
Post # 155
The next time they act that way or make a comment about not having presents under the tree, I would flip my lid. I would make them come into the living room, open the gifts, and then I would promptly make them accompany me back to the store to return them. No arguments! Case closed. I wouldn’t even speak to them (aside from directions: Put on your shoes, get in the car, let’s go home!) until we got home and then we would have a nice sit down about their attitudes. And I wouldn’t buckle either, this would be a sad Christmas for them, but an invaluable life lesson of thankfulness and appreciation. To really drive it home, I would put the money (or part of it, since I know how much iPads costs) in a jar and set it somewhere they will see if often. Leave it there all year long and next year, use that money to buy things off an angel tree or use it to buy non-preishables for a food bank, make the kids be active in the whole thing and remind them AGAIN where the money came from and that they are now getting a first hand look at why they should feel fortunate, appreciate the things that they are blessed with and be thankful for the life that they have.
Post # 156
Just a little side note, my husband and I are honoring the 4 gift rule:
1. Something they want
2. Something they need
3. Something they wear
4. Something they read
Post # 157
I hadn’t thought about that. In my family, I get presents from my older sister and brothers sporadically at best; my grandparents did give me one or two gifts, but I didn’t have aunts or uncles or cousins to send me gifts (well, I had them, they just didn’t bother). 95% of what I recieved was from my parents. So I guess my comment was invalid because they are not only getting four gifts after all! My mistake.
I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty about anything. I’m not saying “Children should always get ____ amount of gifts” or anything- I was explaining what my past was and why Christmas presents were special to me
. My situation is no one else’s. I think shared gifts are fine; I simply never had siblings close enough to my age to share gifts with. If my children are close in age, I fully intend to do some shared gifts. I also never was able to do concerts or anything because not only did my dad not always have the money, but he worked six days a week, often 10 hour days. So he kinda tried to make up for it by going all-out for Christmas. I also didn’t get gifts from my aunts, uncles, or cousins; I can count on one hand the number of presents I’ve gotten from all of my siblings, and my grandparents could never afford much. So my dad also tried to pick up all of that slack. I wasn’t trying to make anyone feel guilty or berate them for not giving enough or expensive enough gifts; again, I was explaining my past and why what my dad did was special to me (and in fact, I mentioned I felt spoiled for the fact my dad did go all out). I’m sorry you took offensively. I also was not in any way trying to imply that parents who didn’t give their children so many gifts were depriving them in any way, or that parents who did were spoiling their children. All parents have their own style and traditions and that’s ok. But I don’t think I was entitled or spoiled because my dad didn’t limit my presents. I never got anything really expensive, aside from a collectible doll that I still have, and I was always told to say thank you and be grateful, even if I got something I didn’t want.
Post # 159
I am sorry, apparently the intention of my post was lost in the text. you didn’t offend me at all. I understood that you were explaining your experience. I was trying to say ( apparently not very well) that I agree with you that our gift policy will not be enough to keep them from growing up entitled. We work year round to foster gratefulness and good character, because like you said, one day does not a difference make. Again I am sorry if my post didn’t come across like this.
Post # 160
First, I would round up the girls and sit them down and very calmly talk to them about Christmas and the meaning of giving gifts and holiday cheer. I would then remind them that 20 families in Newtown, CT don’t get to watch their beautiful children open presents on Christmas morning, and we should all be grateful that we have that opportunity.
next, I would hide all the gifts. I think putting them under the three already leads to confusion and anxiety. Especially if they are mislabeled. Hide them and let them see everything Christmas morning.
Post # 161
It’s fine. I agree that one day a year doesn’t make or break good character, and your girls will grow up to appreciate the lessons you taught them, on Christmas and all year around. I can’t say my dad necessarily taught me any lessons by what he did for Christmas, but he did give me some of the best memories of my childhood.
Post # 162
haha, poor you! that must have been pretty boring! but you misunderstood… i’m not talking about a pile of 10 gifts all wrapped the same. we just got one or two wrapped under the tree from mom and dad. the rest were from Santa, unwrapped and placed strategically on various pieces of living room furniture on Christmas morn. i don’t think many children would get bored unwrapping a couple of gifts wrapped with the same paper 😉
Post # 163
I saw this this morning and found it appropriate for this post (also shared it on another post)
Post # 164
I think that’s terrible to do to a kid. Know what it will teach him? To resent his parents and ruin Christmas for him. What a nasty memory to have for just a normally happy occasion.
Post # 165
This could be totally off base, but you had daughters are with your previous husband, right…and the baby is from you and your current husband? I know that at that age I would be awfully, awfully hurt if it looked like there was nothing under the tree for me and lots of big boxes for the “new baby. Even if their two “big gifts” are wrapped up under the baby’s name, they don’t know that! I can tell you, I didn’t ever open a package but I snooped a little (just feeling the presents, etc)…and if I felt two packages of socks and underwear for myself and tons of boxes for another sibling, I’d be devestated. It wouldn’t be about the presents, it’d be feeling like I was not as loved or not as special as the new baby with the new relationship. I feel like although greed may be a part of your girls’ problem, this could be a factor too..
Post # 166
I think you may be on to something here.