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Do I just get over it? - Page 3

post #41 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
BTW, we have the Home Depot work bench (was a gift) and it is kinda cool. He has two wooden ones, wooden tools, etc - he loves the H.D. one because they look and sound more like the real ones Daddy uses. And while flimsy when compared to the wood ones, it hasn't broke yet - in fact, you use the toy bolts to put it together so I'm guessing that as he gets older part of the play will be taking it apart and putting it back together with his tools.
That is good to know that it has more uses. Such a pain with all toys being boxed up or ordered online ~ you don't get to really see the toy, the size, is the plastic/wood/paint sturdy, etc.

I was also thinking that the bench could be played w/ on the porch or in the basement. Somewhere that it will still get used, but you don't have to look at or hear it all the time.

I figure I will control the toys while I can. DD has bins of new, unopened Legos waiting in the basement, an American Girl doll on her dresser, and a whole giant bin of My Little Ponies waiting in the attice

And I really do watch out for those buying us gifts. If something got a lot of bad reviews or I saw a recall or something, I tell them so that they do not waste their money. I tell people if something is expensive so they dont feel obligated to buy it. I would hate to see my mother spend $100 on something that broke a month later & it turns out it got a lot of bad reviews
post #42 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
I disagree. People CAN buy whatever they want. I don't have to keep it, however.
But if I am going to get rid of something I would tell them ahead of time. I don't know about other people, but my parents and ILs are not delicate flowers who will fall apart if I tell them something isn't allowed. I don't want people buying toys we won't keep.

My mom tried to give my ds peanut butter and I said, "NO PEANUT BUTTER!!!" It's the same thing.

Some plastic toys are ok, like legos or those nifty knight toys. IMO it is all about being reasonable and meeting in some sort of middle.
post #43 of 89
Based on what you requested and what your mom bought--- where the things you requested all on line and she went and bought something in a store?

For many people a big part of buying a gift is physically going and picking it out. It doesn't matter how many online catalogs you send--- they want to go to Target or Toys R Us and actually pick the gift out. So, if that could be the issue I would encourage you to go the the stores you know your mom is comfortable shopping at and looking there. They might not have the *exact* item you were looking at, but they do have a lot of things!

For example, if you request a tool bench on line, and the person goes shopping they might not know the most important part:
wood?
lots of parts?
looking real?

Based on what they *thought* they might make a different decision (I can totally see someone hearing "tools" and seeing a Home Depot thing and thinking "Yea, real tools!").

So, try to be both more specific and more broad. Like WOOD Work Bench.

Heck, we've sent links to the Inlaws to SPECIFIC books and they pick one like it--- really helpful when we say, "DS loves his Eric Carle books, there is THIS new one" and then they say, "Oh this one was so cute" (yes, it was, but he also alread had it ). You just have to let a lot go.
post #44 of 89
What's so wrong with plastic? I get that wooden toys are in vogue right now, so if you're looking for toys that look cooler in your home, well...drop it.

Wooden toys are made from chemically-treated lumber and coated with resin (plastic) or paint (non-toxic chemical compound containing PVC-type elements). All of them. It's what keeps the wood from splintering in your kid's hands. I don't understand your issue with Legos either. My brother's are 30 y/o and still played with (unlike our wooden blocks which had to be tossed).
post #45 of 89
I am pretty sure the plastic ingredients are the issue. I dont have a problem with plastic myself but many do. The wooden toys they kids have are made by my dad I just dont care for wooden they can hurt to much when hit with them and they mildew easy with no real way to get it off
post #46 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
And I don't think it is a matter of "It must be wooden fashioned by magical gnomes with red beards in a purple forest at twilight!!!one11"


My MIL is all about the bells and light-up whistles. Seriously, if something lights up and speaks in an ear-splitting voice, she is all over it!

I accept everything graciously, though she cannot understand our desire for toys that don't make sound. She's starting to come around. She's buying DD a Radio Flyer bouncy horse for Christmas and wanted to get the one that whinnied sooooo bad. It whinnies, makes three different hoofbeat patterns and "eats" crunchy carrots. I flat out said NO noisy horse - that DD can have the horse that simply bounces. She begged and pleaded and finally we agreed it she could buy the one she wanted and it would show up with no batteries installed...(haha, yeah right!)

I do wish people would respect general wishes when they ask for ideas. Usually it doesn't happen and I write thank you notes and either return stuff or donate the non-negotiables.

FTR, I love Playmobil! Luckily I talked MIL into its virtues over FP Little People.
post #47 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
But if I am going to get rid of something I would tell them ahead of time. I don't know about other people, but my parents and ILs are not delicate flowers who will fall apart if I tell them something isn't allowed. I don't want people buying toys we won't keep.

My mom tried to give my ds peanut butter and I said, "NO PEANUT BUTTER!!!" It's the same thing.

Some plastic toys are ok, like legos or those nifty knight toys. IMO it is all about being reasonable and meeting in some sort of middle.
Well, if I yelled at my mom, "No peanut butter!" she'd probably be upset. My family doesn't like being yelled at. (Not that I never yell-- just something I avoid.) I'd have to think long and hard before I told her no PB. If it was an allergy issue, then of course (and I yell since it was an emergency). But beyond that . . .So, unless the no-plastic is a health issue, I can't see how it's the same thing.

When I was a first-time parent, I cared a lot more about these kinds of things. I had much more of a fearful attitude about so many issues--- you know, the kind of thinking that x, y, or z would somehow ruin my child. I have changed a lot, especially this last year, when we started unschooling. I see things very differently and moved away from a lot of black/white thinking. It has been very freeing, though I still have a long way to go.

The only thing I care about now re: toys is if my children will play with them. I cannot tell you how many gorgeous, amazing wooden toys they DON'T play with. So, if people ask (which I guess I'm lucky, since my mom generally does) I do tell them, but based strictly on what I think my kids want, not on what I want. My 4 yo is a total techie who wants an iPod (I don't even have one!) and a camera to make movies . . .so, that's what she's getting. I wasn't always like this. I read some quote on an unschooling board that said something along the lines of, "Playing with Barbies wouldn't damage me, but telling me that something I liked was wrong [Barbies] was damaging."
post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I would have probably redirected someone over a light up bench if they asked me.

If she asks for a list why doesn't she pay attention to it? Is she having trouble finding things? Could you maybe list where to find things in addition to what they might like?

You could have some natural toy companies send catalogs to her house.
I actually think that is a good idea- sign her up for some natural toy catalogues, as many people simply are not exposed to more natural and safe toys on a day to day basis in our society, in stores or online or in catalogues, unless they know where to look. If she has some catalogues on hand, chances are she will browse them and find equally or more appealing toys there, and still feel like she is picking something out. I also agree with the poster who said in terms of being asked for a list, to list websites or companies and then allow them to pick from there-- the issue is not that the parent is requesting a very specific item and is rigidly adhering to that, which I can see would seem rude, but more that, as a parent, you have a right to prohibit certain things that you do not feel are healthy or safe for your family or that do not correspond to your values. If you can say- these are my child's general interests, and these are all catalogues/websites/companies that have a multitude of great options, the gift giver still has that joy of picking out something and feeling like they have a role in it, but they are also respecting your household and your role as parent. I understand the whole etiquette and not wanting to hurt feelings to a degree, but really-- this is about items that will be going in your house, that you and your children will be dealing with. And you can say, give it to the child and donate it later-- but why do that if you can be upfront instead? That way, the gift giver is not wasting their time and money, your child gets something special from them, and you don't have to go through the trauma of explaining to a child who may not be to the age of reasoning yet why you are taking away a toy- I think it's just like offering a child anything else- a trip somewhere, a snack-- it is NOT okay if you do not have the parent's consent and you are setting them up for disappointment or openly challenging the parental authority by proceeding when told the child cannot in fact have (insert item or activity here).

Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I do think it is reasonable to have some say in what goes into your house. It isn't someone else's house, it is YOUR house and no, people can't just buy whatever for your kids and have it be ok.

I am an adult and I expect my parents and dh's parents to recognize that I am the parent here. Just doing whatever they want despite my wishes wouldn't be acceptable.

I don't allow certain toys and my ILs and my parents haven't gotten my kids those toys. If they did I would remind them that I don't allow those kind of toys. I wouldn't allow my child to have them.

I wouldn't make legos a hill to die on but it isn't irrational to have certain expectations, particularly when they ASK for a list.

It can be difficult to train the grandparents but it can be done. You just have to pick your battles. I would be ok with legos but NNOOTT the bench.
post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolablitz View Post
What's so wrong with plastic? I get that wooden toys are in vogue right now, so if you're looking for toys that look cooler in your home, well...drop it.

Wooden toys are made from chemically-treated lumber and coated with resin (plastic) or paint (non-toxic chemical compound containing PVC-type elements). All of them. It's what keeps the wood from splintering in your kid's hands. I don't understand your issue with Legos either. My brother's are 30 y/o and still played with (unlike our wooden blocks which had to be tossed).
Sources, please?

Most high quality wooden toys that I have looked at and/or purchased are made to be non-toxic (though not all, some are certainly still the made in China, chemical treated crap- I would agree that just because it is wood does NOT necessarily mean that it is fairly or safely made) BUT the higher quality companies and retailers seem to be very aware of these issues and state when describing a product what it is treated with etc. Maybe I am naive for taking that at face value but I do trust a smaller, naturally focused toy company more than say Toys R Us.

Even if wooden toys had some or all of the same chems as plastic as you seem to be asserting (which I will not necessarily agree with based on my current knowledge, though again I would be interested in reading more if you have sources of this info), I would probably still prefer the wooden because plastics are often made from petroleum and other non-renewable resources and do not always use fair labor practices. Again, I don't know as much about this issue as some others do, and am always interested in learning more, but that is my take on it. (And on the flip side, I know there are plastics which are BPA free, made from cornstarch resin, etc. A friend got us a rattle made in this manner and I let my son play with it, I don't have a full-on "plastic ban" in my home, but I do try to be cautious-- that said, despite my efforts, my son puts everything in his mouth and makes random objects into toys, which he seems to prefer over actual toys most days lol- so instead of his nice wooden blocks he can usually be found attempting to eat my cell phone or chewing on a plastic tupperware- so yeah, I try to limit his exposure and would never choose to buy him -or request others to buy him- something plastic if there are higher quality and safer options available- stuffed wool or cotton toys, safe sustainably made wooden toys, etc. But I do agree that there needs to be some flexibility when dealing with a child. I know there will be more hurdles to navigate when my son is older and can ask for specific items or discuss these issues and we'll cross that bridge when we get there- but for now he's not even a year and I feel like, since 1) he is at the put-everything-in-the-mouth phase, and 2) I control what comes into our come, I am determined to make the available toys high quality and as safe as possible.

We live in a world sadly enough where babies receive toxins starting in utero and through breastmilk or formula, I realize I cannot protect my son from everything or anywhere close to it, but I do believe that high quality wooden toys are much safer than the majority of the plastic junk in terms of materials, chemicals, etc. That alone is reason enough. But I also want to instill certain values- that it is better to have fewer number of high quality toys and to give to others who don't have as much as we are blessed with (it's all relative, and even though we are considered low income as a single student parent, I want him to see that we choose not to have more than we need, and that there are others who are not as fortunate and we can help others as a part of our value system), that it is better to support independent/small business and ethical companies than questionable corporations, etc. So that is another reason.

Others take issue with many of today's plastic toys with lights, sounds, stimulation galore, believing that this could be damaging to a growing baby/toddler's brain development at worst, and obnoxious and unnecessary at best.

So I really do not think OP or others with such concerns are wanting their toys to look "trendy" or being nitpicky. Although I am a first time mom, and a couple mamas have said that as their kiddo gets older or as they have a second or third child, they relax certain rules or standards. Me, I try not to make most things absolutes, but I am assertive when it comes to my choices, because I parent the way I do for valid reasons.
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In the case of the OP, I agree that since your mom seems to be asking for feedback and running this by you, the suggestions of several posters-- bring up the reviews and point out to her that you don't want her to waste her money on something that is not well made, and/or show her the wooden version and comment that you think it would last longer, etc. would be kind ways to go about it.

I do think it is odd that she asked for a list and now is not following it, but at the same time, the fact that she is running things by you seems to imply she is open to working with you on this. And for the future, I think maybe implementing some of these other suggestions (i.e. the list of general stores/companies/websites, and/or general interests) and make clear to her if there are certain things that are absolutely not allowed in your house, in a respectful but firm way. Good luck and keep us posted!
post #50 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by busymama77 View Post
Do I just get over this and let them get what they want to get for him? I guess I'm just not understanding her reasoning behind all of this.

Yes get over it.

Her reasoning? She wants to get her grandson something he will really enjoy.

Lego's are a really great learning toy, BTW.
post #51 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Well, if I yelled at my mom, "No peanut butter!" she'd probably be upset. My family doesn't like being yelled at. (Not that I never yell-- just something I avoid.)
My family doesn't really know how to speak quietly. It is something to do with our pallets, they are really high and everything comes out loud. My son was less than a year old at the time.

Quote:
I'd have to think long and hard before I told her no PB. If it was an allergy issue, then of course (and I yell since it was an emergency). But beyond that . . .So, unless the no-plastic is a health issue, I can't see how it's the same thing.
No, I was being hyperbolic it isn't the same thing. I am just saying I would take a stand on an issue I felt was important to my family.

Quote:
When I was a first-time parent, I cared a lot more about these kinds of things. I had much more of a fearful attitude about so many issues--- you know, the kind of thinking that x, y, or z would somehow ruin my child. I have changed a lot, especially this last year, when we started unschooling. I see things very differently and moved away from a lot of black/white thinking. It has been very freeing, though I still have a long way to go.

The only thing I care about now re: toys is if my children will play with them. I cannot tell you how many gorgeous, amazing wooden toys they DON'T play with. So, if people ask (which I guess I'm lucky, since my mom generally does) I do tell them, but based strictly on what I think my kids want, not on what I want. My 4 yo is a total techie who wants an iPod (I don't even have one!) and a camera to make movies . . .so, that's what she's getting. I wasn't always like this. I read some quote on an unschooling board that said something along the lines of, "Playing with Barbies wouldn't damage me, but telling me that something I liked was wrong [Barbies] was damaging."
My dd is also a techie

I don't think it has anything to do with fear or "ruining" a child but wanting something that encourages imagination in a world of TV and so much commercialism that some children cannot even ride their school bus without ads being blared at them.

It is nice sometimes to have some simple plain things that don't shriek, giggle, sing songs or make animal noises.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lolablitz View Post
What's so wrong with plastic? I get that wooden toys are in vogue right now, so if you're looking for toys that look cooler in your home, well...drop it.

Wooden toys are made from chemically-treated lumber and coated with resin (plastic) or paint (non-toxic chemical compound containing PVC-type elements). All of them. It's what keeps the wood from splintering in your kid's hands. I don't understand your issue with Legos either. My brother's are 30 y/o and still played with (unlike our wooden blocks which had to be tossed).


We spent a lot of time playing with my dad's tinker toys and Lincoln logs. There is something about toys that last for generations and never really lose what makes them special. That is why *I* like natural toys. Those tinker toys and Lincoln Logs. Not anything to do with gnomes, fairies or anything else.

My daughter was just recently playing with those same tinker toys. Those simple toys are nearly 60 years old now, and they are still fun.

That shrieking light up toy won't work for 60 years the way my dad's Lincoln logs have, but how long will it sit in a dump once it's usefulness is at an end?? I imagine my grandchildren playing with these wooden trains that are lying all over my floor.

It isn't about "majickial learning" or things "looking cool in your house" but responsible stewards and making choices that are better for my great randchildren. This *is* a NFL board.


Why would I use cloth diapers AND then be perfectly ok with all the plastic crap people want to buy? There just has to be limits. We have to take a stand now and then and ask people to do what is right.

Sure, my kid has some Barbies but she also sustainable toys as well. I don't think that dictating what our kids play with is very fun, nor do I want to be the parent that allows anything, there has to be a happy medium.
post #52 of 89
I try to accept all gifts graciously and keep them based on my children's interest in them. A lot of things end up in the donation pile when the kids stop playing with them.

My inlaws are absolutely obsessed with leapfrog toys. My kids do not really care for them. After a week, they are pushed aside and I put them in the donation pile with very few exceptions.

I also disagree with your stance on legos. As far as I have been able to find out about them, they are made of safe plastics. They are awesome toys for the imagination. Open ended. Great for fine motor skill development. All in all, a really perfect toy. My boys love them.

We have a wooden work bench and I definitely prefer it, but they've gotten a few Bosch tools from Target and they are good quality. Could be a compromise...
post #53 of 89
Yeah, I loved Legos as a kid and they can be a great toy, but your son is still rather young, and they can be also be a nuisance: tiny bright squares that are a bane to bare feet and that you are forever picking up. My husband and I bought ourselves Legos before we had kids, and then I hid the darn things for awhile because my kids just liked doing the dump and run. Even now, with two huge buckets, they'll dump them all over the floor, build for a little while, fight over the specialty pieces and then fight over who has to clean them up. My 6 year old will inevitably pick up very few and then walk away and refuse to do anything else. And then her answer is always, "I don't want to pick them up, you can just get rid of them." ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHH!!!!

I think my favorite toy is my husband's wooden nesting blocks from when he was a young child. You can build little towns with them, and the best part about them is they are actually fun to put away. They are probably the only toy my 6 year old will willingly put away.

Anyway, I don't think you really have to just get over it. I think there can be room to talk about it.
post #54 of 89
Y'know, it seems this debate totally depends on the personality of the giver. So many of you are talking about hurt feelings and I'm sure that's a big problem in some families. Mine? Not sensitive in the least. You kinda need to bash them over the head with things or they either don't remember or assume it doesn't matter b/c you didn't make a fuss. Subtlety is not a concept in their house So I can easily say "we don't like light up toys and this thing we saw at the store is HIDEOUS". I can yell "no peanut butter". In fact, if I said a wishy washy "we're trying to avoid pb due to potential allergies, so I'd prefer blah blah"...they'd hear that as "pb is OK in small doses". A flat "no pb allowed" is better.

My ILs are a little more subtle, but like to buy what will get used. They might be offended if they spent money on the tool bench and we gave it away, so they welcome suggestions and are interested in knowing what we like.

I guess when I buy gifts, I want to make sure it's something the recipient will want and get to use. So I need to know if someone doesn't like certain things, or if the parents don't allow it. Otherwise, I feel I'm wasting money and annoying people with my gifts. It's not about me (the giver). My niece is really into princess movies, and her parents are fine with it. So when she asked for a specific Disney princess-y thing, I got it. Going out and buying my preference of a less gendered, more open ended, princess-like thing, hopefully eco-friendly, would make ME feel better, but she wouldn't like it, and isn't her enjoyment the point?
post #55 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I don't think that dictating what our kids play with is very fun, nor do I want to be the parent that allows anything, there has to be a happy medium.
This is my take on it as well. I don't think you have to just get over it. There is a middle ground between allowing anything and everything no matter how much it doesn't fit in with your values and being completely rigid and intolerant of anything that you wouldn't personally buy.

I started out with the intention of only letting my kids have natural, handcrafted, heirloom quality toys out of concern for their health and the environment. And while we do have a lot of those toys, a little bit of less than stellar stuff (like the dollar store goodie bag junk that my daughter just loves ) has crept in as well as some quality ethically made (at least from a labor standpoint ) plastic things, and I'm okay with that.

That said, I really do have a strong preference for not only natural toys but for quality over quantity. I don't want people giving the kids dozens of toys every holiday. We have a small space here, and I don't want it filled to the brim with toys.

I've really not had a problem letting those very close to us, particularly my mom, know our preferences as well as why we have them. I can't imagine just keeping quiet about it all and then tossing stuff out or keeping things I'm not at all comfortable with.

BTW, we love Legos here.
post #56 of 89
if they live near you, adopt our rule. Whaterver my MIL buys the kids, she keeps at her house If she wants to b uy obnoxious & loud, then she can deal with it.t tell her we have no space (partial truth), and I don't want added clotter. So whether great or horrible, the things she buys are special for at grandma's house
post #57 of 89
I haven't read all of the responses, only page 1.

I have the same problem with my parents. I tell my mom she needs shoes, but have said MANY times we try to buy used stuff....so she gets her shoes from Target. I know she just sees something cute and wants to get it for her.

However, I feel like I need to draw a line. I don't want her buying my daughter Bratz dolls or Barbies, so I need to have boundaries somewhere.

It's bothersome to me when they ask, and I give them specific instructions, and they still don't listen. It's just disrespectful of them, IMO, but my family has a history of disrespecting me and my wishes so it's something I need to work on with them.

I don't agree with the phrase that giving is as much about the giver. It SHOULDNT be. If it is, I'd rather not have it. You shouldn't give because you feel gratified by doing it...you should give selflessly.
post #58 of 89
I say pick your battles. I also am really annoyed when everyone, after asking what we want, gives DS a bunch of made in China plastic crap that makes obnoxious noises.

The way I figure, people get our list because they ask for it, and so they know very well which kind of presents we want and appreciate (like donations to the Preeclampsia Foundation, or paying for swimming lessons, or a non-toxic, durable toy). This doesn't mean that I'm not gracious when they choose to ignore the list they asked for - I say thank you, and appreciate that they want to give us things. I often donate it, or sell it on Ebay and donate the profit. We're trying to teach DS frugality and not to value "things" too much (and hopefully keep a path in our house that ISN'T full of kid toys ).

Just because they gave it to you doesn't mean you need to keep it (or keep every single one like it)! I'm trying to stick to a "one-in, one-out" policy, and donate either the new toy/sweater/whatever or a similar, gently used one. I apply this to my own gifts, too.

We used to be very adamant about ONLY documented non-toxic toys, and we've let that lapse a bit. I've discovered the usefulness of picking my battles, and right now I'd rather battle over whether he's allowed to have potatoes with sour cream and butter! If you feel strongly that a toy is inappropriate, get rid of it, don't play with it. I personally think it'd be a shame to miss out on Lego, though!
post #59 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihugtrees View Post
I don't agree with the phrase that giving is as much about the giver. It SHOULDNT be. If it is, I'd rather not have it. You shouldn't give because you feel gratified by doing it...you should give selflessly.
I agree with this. I know that I'd rather give something that I don't really love that I know will be appreciated, like a nice tool set for my Dad. Knowing he wants it and loves it makes me feel better than getting him the soft, luxurious cashmere sweater that he'd never wear.
post #60 of 89
I think you are micromanaging.

As for the HomeDepot toy mention the reviews. Maybe come to a compromise mom I realize you want that work bench, its a great idea. But with those reviews why don't we do this -- link to bench. Maybe go 50/50 Your guy is little and your mom might not be aware of the reviews and how valuable they can be.

As for the Lego table....please evaluate your no plastic ideas. Plastics are a reality of the world today. I do agree limiting them but not with Legos, chest/check peices, dice, et. It is not necessary the plastic that is bad but the limiting nature of some plastic toys. Even at times "limited" nature toys can server for great fun and purpose -- like snap circuits.
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