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Unwanted gifts from relatives - Page 2

post #21 of 83
I think you are being over controlling.

A Snowwhite doll would mean the next book purchase I got would be The brother Grim's fairy tales with The Snow White story.

When the kids have no voice yes you have more control, but your child is six. It is her gift not yours.
post #22 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
When the kids have no voice yes you have more control, but your child is six. It is her gift not yours.
What if the next gift was a Bratz doll or a bb gun or... an ant farm?

My eldest child is 15 but if someone gave him a subscription to Playboy magazine, I sure wouldn't be saying, "It's his gift, not mine.".
post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
What if the next gift was a Bratz doll or a bb gun or... an ant farm?

My eldest child is 15 but if someone gave him a subscription to Playboy magazine, I sure wouldn't be saying, "It's his gift, not mine.".
BBgun is a true safety issue. I think it would be appropriate to say only with a gun lock stored else were. Then having a long talk with kids about gun safety and the reasoning.

Ant farm??the problem is?

Bratz dolls, I wouldn't say no but I would also later talk with my child why you don't like them.

My kids got dolls with bottles. At first I hated it! Then I got thinking how am I going to teach my child my opinions. What if they couldn't nurse? What if they expressed milk? What if relactating didn't work? Because I took time to talk to my children instead of being repulsed my kids learned a lot more. That is why I would get a Brother Grims book and why I would start talking about how movies (not just Disney ruins stories).
post #24 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
I think your mother is being passive aggressive. Next time she buys your kid something you don't approve of just ignore her. She's doing this to annoy you, not because she actually wants to buy your dd these toys. If you react you'll only feed the fire.
How do you know this? Have you met the OP's mother? That's a pretty presumptious statement to make.
post #25 of 83
Someone asked if this is the hill you want to die on.

I always wonder why people don't ask if this is the hill her MOTHER wants to die on?

SHE'S straining the relationship, and it's all on the OP to just suck it up and let her mother ignore her boundaries.

OP, maybe ask your mother that exactly. "Mom, isn't our relationship and your relationship with your granddaughter more important than winning the argument about whether she can have character toys or not?"

(In case it matters, we have a house full of character toys, so this isn't about my personal opinions on that subject).
post #26 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Ant farm??the problem is?
Hee... I just don't like ants (or any other bugs) and can't fathom bringing them inside my home. I'm usually trying to get them out!

Quote:
I always wonder why people don't ask if this is the hill her MOTHER wants to die on?

SHE'S straining the relationship, and it's all on the OP to just suck it up and let her mother ignore her boundaries.
Very good point!

Earlier I came down fairly hard on the grandmother, but truth be told, I'd have no problem with a Snow White doll.

What I do have a problem with is passive/aggressive behavior on the part of the grandmother. She has repeatedly been told that this is important to the OP.

Grandma doesn't have to agree. She is entitled to think that her daughter is overprotective... unreasonable... what have you. But she knows the issue and ignores it anyway, because she wants to.

There are many ways for her to have fun bonding time with her grandchildren without ignoring the mama's boundaries.
post #27 of 83
Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about this.

We don't do characters either & mostly if anyone gives DS something I just subtly give it away after a couple weeks (though he's only 1.5yrs so he doesn't notice). I do think it is quite inconsiderate of your mom to deliberately go against your wishes. I also wonder if this is "THE" rule or if there are many more "rules" you expect your mother to follow with DD (i.e. regarding toys/food/etc.) because if this is your only 'rule' I'd expect her to follow it but if you have lots of rules I can understand her not remembering every rule or wanting just a little leeway to 'spoil' her granddaughter.

What about something like... she can buy your DD gifts like this (although I'd continue to make it clear that you don't approve) but those gifts must stay at her house (and obviously must be safe, no BB gun as pp mentioned). I don't think you can control what people gift your child but I do think you have a say over what is in your house.
post #28 of 83
One of my SILs allows her daughter to watch TV but she has all these rules about it. MIL was telling me that when the girl comes to stay with her, she has this list of rules like only this channel and that one, and only between the hours of X and Y, and only for Z amount of time max.

MIL did seem to find the restrictions a little micro-managey (she probably would have dealt with "no tv" better than the long list of "ok" and "not ok" shows, etc.), and she thought so enough to share it with me.

But I'll tell you what, MIL respected it. My niece only watched the "ok" shows, and even if MIL lightly complained to me about it she did not consider it her business to override her DIL's decisions.

It's fine if the OP's mother - or if any of you - find the toy restrictions, well, too restrictive or silly or whatever. But purposefully disregarding them is a HUGE breach of boundaries and trust. Many posters are coming down hard on OP for her choices, but those are choices that she has every right to make, and I can't see how it could possibly have real harm on her child even if it's not a choice I make myself. But why not come down on the OP's mother for MAKING it an issue?

I don't tell any of YOU guys how to raise your kids...
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
I think your mother is being passive aggressive. Next time she buys your kid something you don't approve of just ignore her. She's doing this to annoy you, not because she actually wants to buy your dd these toys. If you react you'll only feed the fire.
Also I'm not sure I agree with this, that MAY be the case but I know my mom & I clash on many things (particularly TV/characters) and while she wouldn't intentionally undermine me, she does get a lot of enjoyment from TV, classic movies, etc. and I could imagine her giving a gift like Snow White because of HER genuine love for it & wanting to share that with my child. I wouldn't assume that the OP's mom is being passive-aggressive (though maybe she is!)
post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Someone asked if this is the hill you want to die on.

I always wonder why people don't ask if this is the hill her MOTHER wants to die on?

SHE'S straining the relationship, and it's all on the OP to just suck it up and let her mother ignore her boundaries.

OP, maybe ask your mother that exactly. "Mom, isn't our relationship and your relationship with your granddaughter more important than winning the argument about whether she can have character toys or not?"

(In case it matters, we have a house full of character toys, so this isn't about my personal opinions on that subject).
Well, I said that and honestly - the most important reason is because it's the OP asking. If the grandmother were on asking I'd probably say the same thing you posted above.

However I also freely admit that I think trying to control gift giving is a relationship mistake, if it's not totally over-the-top insanity (as there have been examples here from time to time).

Usually when people give gifts (not always, for sure, but usually) - it's because they want to share something. It might be fond memories of a particular film, it might be because their friend told them their kids love that stuff - whatever. Sometimes it's a bit thoughtless, or because they went for convenience or the pink aisle or whatever.

Basically I think when we treat our family as the enemy, it's actually being more consumeristic than not. If the sole badge of a good/acceptable gift is whether it meets our personal asthetic standards or is made in the exact manner in which we expect it to be manufactured, I think there is NO difference between that and someone who only accepts status symbols manufactured in sweatshops.

I do believe in thoughtful consumerism, but I don't believe the time to do the education is at the moment the gift is given to me or my child. I also believe that my child's strong, loving, caring relationships are the absolute antidote to mindless consumerism in the search of filling the void within.

Also, for me, attachment parenting means fostering an attachment to significant and important adults in the extended family and community and I just can't honestly see letting branded merchandise get in the way of that either way. A true safety issue or something really egregious, maybe it is worth it.
post #31 of 83
The reason the OP's behavior is what I talked about is because you can only control what you will do in a given situation, not someone else.

If character dolls are that important to the OP then sure, she can ban them. But I think that respecting her DD and mom in the process are important. The OP CAN control if the Snow White doll lives in the house, she CAN have it keep "disappearing", she CAN get all mad at her mom about it... but I personally believe that in the long run there are more important things to learn for the DD (and the OP herself) in this situation. I believe that the relationships are most important and being honest, but tactful, builds/maintains relationships.

Tjej
post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
What if the next gift was a Bratz doll or a bb gun or... an ant farm?

My eldest child is 15 but if someone gave him a subscription to Playboy magazine, I sure wouldn't be saying, "It's his gift, not mine.".
If someone gave your 15 year old a subscription to Playboy that would be illegal. Giving a child something that breaks the law is far different that a toy.
post #33 of 83
As some PPs have said, I see two different issues.
1) objectionable gifts
2) Grandma being passive/aggressive and not respecting your parenting decisions

As far the first one goes, your DD is going to be exposed to more and more things as she grows older - through gifts, through friends, etc. I think it would be better to talk with her about them than to "disappear" them. See what she thinks of the doll. To you, it represents plastic sweat-shop produced Disney crap, but she may see it as a pretty doll her Grandma got her. I would use this as a way to teach your values to your DD, because outside influences are only going to increase.

The second one is the much larger issue to me. One character doll would not be that big of a deal to me, but not knowing what other parenting decisions my mother might choose to ignore/disrespect (like car seat safety, discipline, etc.) would be.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
If someone gave your 15 year old a subscription to Playboy that would be illegal. Giving a child something that breaks the law is far different that a toy.
I think you know what I meant, but alright... Maxim magazine. Not illegal, but not going to be accepted into my household.
post #35 of 83
You know, when I was a kid, my grandma wrote me and my siblings $25 checks for each birthday. My mom frequently told us--and her mom!--how much she hated that gift, how it was so impersonal, how her mom didn't care enough to pick out individualized gifts, etc. Grandma kept sending the checks. I don't know why. Maybe she was being passive aggressive. Maybe she truly found it hard or overwhelming to pick out individualized gifts for a whole passel of grandkids.

The checks never bothered me--I loved having $25 to spend. At least, they never bothered me until my mom's constant complaining "taught" me that my grandma didn't care enough to pick something out. I don't resent getting the checks at all, but I do regret that my relationship with my grandmother was damaged because I was constantly told that her gifts were "wrong."
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElorasMama View Post
Again, I wasn't going to make a fuss about it with DD there, which is stupid of me because I know this is my mother's way of controlling the situation. She is very manipulative.
This isn't about the toy. It's about your mom being manipulative. Is she toxic-manipulative, or just annoying-manipulative? Sounds like THAT's what you really need to sort out.
post #37 of 83
When it comes to gifts no matter what unless its illegal, then I believe one should accept gracefully and do with it as they please afterwards. I put a lot of thought into the gifts, will ask for input as guidelines however bottom line is I buy what I want to give the person. The minute someone complains to me about it I stop buying for them. Its rude and I can't believe how many people sit there and request/demand things from those who are giving the gifts.

I know for a fact our DD will be getting crappy gifts from DH's family that are nothing but junk from dollar store or garage sale freebies garbage. However its who they are and not my place to say otherwise. And I don't want to put that image in my daughter's head to be ungrateful in anyway.

As far as it being Snow White, I really honestly believe its not Disney nor Barbie or anything like that, that puts the images in the child's head but its us adults who make things the way they are and cause them to become more of an issue in the end and end up doing exactly what one didn't want to happen.
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Hm.

From my perspective, unless you are planning to homeschool and choose your child's friends, this is about to become a non-issue. Because she will meet other people with those toys / movies and she WILL incorporate them into her lexicon.

That said, I agree that your mom knew just what she was doing. And my opinion is that an involved, loving grandparent has the right to share a special memory with a grandchild.

I also think six is way more than old enough to choose toys. My child is three and chooses toys. I have veto power, but I don't veto dolls unless they look like hookers. We've never seen a princess movie but my daughter likes the shiny dresses. At bedtime I tell her stories about how she and Cinderella saved all the animals in the forest (if she wants a Cinderella story), or how she and Dora helped Diego when he got lost (she has never seen Diego... just got the idea he was cool from pre-school, I guess), or how she and Snow White were racecar drivers and won the Indy 500.

It is really not that big of a deal to me if she knows about those characters. It is the obsession with the overall narrative (damsel in distress) and the advertisement of character/brand based identities that is the problem. And that's just not going to happen with a grandparent buying a classic (sorry, it's nearly a half a century old, it's a classic) character doll, in my opinion.

Now, my mom really tries to respect my wishes about not buying them MIC junk that is just polluting China, supporting a mafia and slave labor, and really not educational at all.

However, she is a compulsive clearance-aisle shopper.

Which is why my daughter is now the proud owner of 14 pairs of Dora underwear.

"Nobody will see it so she won't be a walking advertisement."

Oh, mom, I love you.

Because you forgot that EVERYONE is going to see my three-year-old's underwear if it has Dora on it.

(There is a great essay about this in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Kingsolver, btw... about how one time she walked in on her daughter saying to a small friend: "My mom won't let me have barbies but when I grow up I'm going to buy ALL THE BARBIES I WANT and she can't stop me!" Highly recommend the book and the essay.)
I agree and I love the way you worded this.
post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Well, I said that and honestly - the most important reason is because it's the OP asking. If the grandmother were on asking I'd probably say the same thing you posted above.

However I also freely admit that I think trying to control gift giving is a relationship mistake, if it's not totally over-the-top insanity (as there have been examples here from time to time).

Usually when people give gifts (not always, for sure, but usually) - it's because they want to share something. It might be fond memories of a particular film, it might be because their friend told them their kids love that stuff - whatever. Sometimes it's a bit thoughtless, or because they went for convenience or the pink aisle or whatever.

Basically I think when we treat our family as the enemy, it's actually being more consumeristic than not. If the sole badge of a good/acceptable gift is whether it meets our personal asthetic standards or is made in the exact manner in which we expect it to be manufactured, I think there is NO difference between that and someone who only accepts status symbols manufactured in sweatshops.

I do believe in thoughtful consumerism, but I don't believe the time to do the education is at the moment the gift is given to me or my child. I also believe that my child's strong, loving, caring relationships are the absolute antidote to mindless consumerism in the search of filling the void within.

Also, for me, attachment parenting means fostering an attachment to significant and important adults in the extended family and community and I just can't honestly see letting branded merchandise get in the way of that either way. A true safety issue or something really egregious, maybe it is worth it.
BRILLIANTLY well said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
This isn't about the toy. It's about your mom being manipulative. Is she toxic-manipulative, or just annoying-manipulative? Sounds like THAT's what you really need to sort out.
You're getting all that from a grandmother wanting to give her granddaughter a present?


The doll doesn't mean "Disney/ consumerism/ women's issues/ sweatshops/ etc" to the little girl. It means "This is the doll my Grammy gave me." The doll doesn't mean "I'm gonna show that freakshow daughter/ I do what I want/ I don't respect anyone/etc" to the grandmother, it means "This is something I want to share with my granddaughter."

I am firmly of the mind that if you trust someone to spend time with your child, meaning you trust that your child won't be harmed in any way by them, then you should do them both the kindness of staying out of their relationship. You (general "you," here, not specifically the OP) need to learn to keep your own emotional issues with your parents/ in-laws far, far away from their here-and-now relationship with your child. Again, barring abusiveness or safety stuff, it's simply not your business.



Is your child better off with a grandparent who is active in your child's life, but who buys them toys you'd rather they not, or just mom-approved toys and NO grandparent? I can't imagine telling a family member that their gifts to my child aren't good enough- you're indirectly telling that person that THEY'RE not good enough, and that's a pretty rotten thing to hear.
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Is your child better off with a grandparent who is active in your child's life, but who buys them toys you'd rather they not, or just mom-approved toys and NO grandparent? I can't imagine telling a family member that their gifts to my child aren't good enough- you're indirectly telling that person that THEY'RE not good enough, and that's a pretty rotten thing to hear.
Nobody talked about cutting the grandmother out of anyone's life over this.

But *I* can't imagine telling a family member that their lifestyle isn't good enough - and DIRECTLY telling the person that they don't respect their decisions as a parent. And not only that, but making repeated efforts to sabatoge them.

That's a pretty rotten thing to do to your own daughter. Makes you wonder if the grandmother values the relationship much, or maybe she just values getting her own way?
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