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Inlaws got her a Hello Kitty laptop for christmas - Page 2

post #21 of 78
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

hey linda, obviously I don´t wanna keep them off screen until they leave home, I guess that would be rather difficult, but she is 5! and they are having screen time because three different types of child care providers.... - so I am using the screen for like an hour, because otherwise bad things would happen. DH calls it survival mode, and I don´t think that this is the same as a double standard. ....


and - that might be a bit difficult to understand, it is for me, too - my DH is totally on my side, he doesn´t want them to be in front of a screen, but he gets overwhelmed and than kind of just gives in to whining, because it gives him a bit of peace of mind ykwm?



I'm sorry things are tough are your house right now and I hope they calm down soon. goodvibes.gif


I think it's really normal for parents to use minimal screen time to get through difficult things. I know I did when my kids were young.


I think that what makes it a double standard is to say that the toy is unacceptable because you guys are screen free when you aren't screen free. It's not the screen time that I think is the actual problem, but that you are trying too hard to be perfect.  I think you could relax about this just a little and things we still be fine.


post #22 of 78



Where do your parents and ILs live? Are they all in the area? Maybe if they want to give to your family so generously, they could help out with childcare during this pregnancy? It sounds to me like they are offering your children all these expensive, impractical things. 


Everyone on here who is answering the question, "what would you do about the Hello Kitty laptop?" is missing the point. I would allow my MIL to give my son a Hello Kitty laptop. (I mean, if she would do that. My MIL is an early childhood purist who used to complain if the grandchildren used markers instead of crayons, so a pink plastic toy that lights up wasn't something we were in danger of getting.)


The broader issue is, how to have a good relationship with the children's grandparents when they seem hellbent on giving your family crazy things, like candy and coke for a five-year-old and a satellite dish and a pony, and oh, yeah, a pink plastic Hello Kitty laptop. 



Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

She even mentions the pony that she wants more often, and MY MOM actually offered to get her one, but hopefully I got that out of my mom´s head. What would you do than, though? Graciously accept?


post #23 of 78

I want the pony... can I have your mom?  PUHLEASE?!

post #24 of 78

No kidding.  I think you're over-reacting.  Your DD wants a toy and they're buying it for her.  It sounds like she's a lucky kid with grandparents who act like grandparents.

post #25 of 78

I don't see grandparents that want to be generous as a huge problem.

Being excited to see the look on their grandchildren's face when they open the present isn't evil, it's confirming the idea it is better to give than to receive.

I don't read this as a case of the grandparents trying to manipulate the family into anything. What is their intent? To give a gift the child wants. What should the response be: Wow, cool - thanks Grandma & Grandpa!








post #26 of 78

But the OP specifically told the grandparents that she does not want these kinds of toys and they disregarded her wishes.

post #27 of 78

You are right, and grandparents will always find a way to do that!  Seriously this won't be the only battle.  My grandad knew I wasn't supposed to eat packaged foods or soda and he would give me hostess cupcakes and coke when I went to the docks with him.  I kept that secret and it's a great memory.

Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

But the OP specifically told the grandparents that she does not want these kinds of toys and they disregarded her wishes.


post #28 of 78
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

You are right, and grandparents will always find a way to do that!  Seriously this won't be the only battle.  My grandad knew I wasn't supposed to eat packaged foods or soda and he would give me hostess cupcakes and coke when I went to the docks with him.  I kept that secret and it's a great memory.


You mean it didn't ruin you for life?  And relationships with grandparents and IL's are more important than being annoyed with plastic stuff and junk food? 

post #29 of 78
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

But the OP specifically told the grandparents that she does not want these kinds of toys and they disregarded her wishes.

I didn't feed my kids meat when they were young (I'm a vegetarian), but my parents took great joy in feeding them salami (and watching them gobble it up). 


It really bugged me for a while.  But... when I managed to separate my own baggage with my parents from their relationship with my kids, I was able to let a lot more go. Ya, I didn't love them eating salami (and you can bet your bottom dollar it wasn't organic!) but in the end... no big deal. 

I love my grandmother, and I want my kids to have those kinds of nice memories with their grandparents, without me interfering. 

post #30 of 78

I think you need to check with them to be sure the Hello Kitty laptop isn't a real laptop computer before you make a final decision about this.  Dell has an option for customizing actual laptops with a Hello Kitty top and an actual laptop computer is not a cheap piece of plastic.  It may be one of those toy computers, like the Barbie one, but when I did a google search no toy laptops came up with Hello Kitty so I really encourage you to look into this more.  Even if you don't want her to use a computer much now, in a few years you probably will so I think you should just accept it and keep it.  I personally was fine with my dd playing on the computer for limited amounts of time when she was little.  Now that she is older she uses it to keep in touch with family more frequently, type lists, practice spelling words, and do research on topics that interest her.  To me, and possibly to your inlaws, a laptop isn't junk.


If it is a Hello Kitty computer it might also have a use.  My dd didn't use her Barbie one much after getting it because it was too difficult, but when she was a little older I was glad I saved it because the math and spelling games were very fun ways to get her to learn her  number facts (something she hated doing).  There were also some fun music games on there that she loves to play with still because she can create her music then hear it played back for her.

post #31 of 78

Sounds like the issue is not really the hello kitty laptop but deeper control and respect issues between the OP and her inlaws. Probably past history of feeling disrespected and not listened to that makes the OP now feel mad about the HK laptop...


In any case I would let the laptop go. Gifts aren't where I fight my battles. Gifts can easily be disappeared. My FIL is a very well meaning yet truly BIZARRE gift giver. Plus he rarely if ever takes suggestions as to what the kids would like. I'd drive myself nuts if I worried over this every birthday and holiday. I've stopped trying to exert any control over this and simply thank him and then donate whatever doesn't work for our family/house/child. I mean it's too much energy to worry about it and sometimes the kids really like whatever kooky thing it is (I may not like it, but that's not the point).

post #32 of 78
No three year needs a laptop. I'd find a way to drop that thing into the tub or something.
post #33 of 78

define screen time. Tv? video games? music? light?   A laptop is only what you let it be. heck it could be filled with van gogh slideshows.She will NEED to learn how to use one eventually to thrive in society.  There doesn't need to be internet on it at all. There's no need. If it's a child's laptop it might not even come with a cd player. No one says you have to buy cd's of video games or shows. What's wrong with her  learning to type? or clicking around on minesweep... or whatever... clicking until it blue screens and doesn't work anymore. Not to mention there is a volume control! Plus a mute button.  This is a gift for HER. It is not a gift for you. I think you are overreacting. You should be grateful your 3 year old is smart enough to ask for one and has the brain capacity to perhaps become the next computer genius out there. My daughter won't be able to blow her candles out at her 3 yr birthday and won't even be able to say hello to any guests.


Honestly, I'm jealous!  I would love for the complainers parents/in-laws to come buy my kid presents. She gets virtually NOTHING for christmas. She gets one small gift she has no interest in from each family of 4. Her birthday was beyond sad. 1 coloring book, 1 small pillow, 1 plastic toy that had one button on it. She can't color. But I bought her a cheap plastic laptop (not real) and it was the very first thing she learned to turn on because it was interesting to her. It was her first sign to me that she could do something besides rock. So sign me up for all the "cheap" (ie expensive) plastic crap you want! Can we trade PLEASE! I would love to lavish my child with gifts in the off chance one is going to trigger her brain into working in the direction society would like. *sigh* I'm sorry to sound like a b... but you guys sound so unappreciative and selfish. You have NO idea what it's like to have NO family.. NO help.. and to have that right taken from you. She only sees her in laws twice a year so I realize my expectations are high of them and they fall flat on their face but I say nothing (and they are very well off). I am kind and appreciative of what they do give her and keep anything negative to myself. Anything I deem literally unsafe goes into the closet until she's old enough but I don't resell their gifts or mock them to their face. It's hers not mine.. and someone loved her enough to use their hard earned money for them and I feel she should have some say in it.

post #34 of 78
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

No three year needs a laptop. I'd find a way to drop that thing into the tub or something.

The OP's daughter is 5 not 3.

OP - isn't possible that your husband approved the satellite and then when he saw your reaction changed his tune so that he wouldn't get in trouble with you? Is it possible that at they were just trying to ease your burden in entertaining your kids since you have had such a difficult pregnancy thus far by providing you with a way to entertain them?[/VIDEO] get in trouble with you? Is it possible that at they were just trying to ease your burden in entertaining your kids since you have had such a difficult pregnancy thus far by providing you with a way to entertain them?
post #35 of 78

Some screen time is fine.  A cute toy is fine.  Let this one go.

Screens don't magically mesmerize kids who are otherwise engaged.  Mine plays with his video game for a while, then turns it off and insists that we run around being the characters and imagining new situations for them to be in.  Active, imaginative - and from a screen.  It happens all the time


Don't be mean and throw away a harmless gift that your daughter opens and probably gets excited about.  It's unkind to her and to your in-laws.


This time of year drives me crazy on MDC.

post #36 of 78
Originally Posted by SneakyPie View Post


This time of year drives me crazy on MDC.


Me, too. 


People love to complain about being burdened by holiday gifts. GIFTS! It's like some entitled first world problem. 


Be grateful you have people in your life who want to celebrate you and your children.  They aren't out to 'get you' or inconvenience you or destroy your parenting values.   And, even if that is their true intention, don't let someone else's actions bother you and define you in a way that causes you stress! Just say a gracious thank you and move on. 


I promise, in the grand scheme of life these little things like a pink toy laptop at age 5 are not going to be a big deal at all.  It's easy to think so when your kids are still little, but Barbie dolls or flashing toys are not going to ruin the person you are raising. In fact, they just might bring joy to your little one and strengthen family bonds. 

post #37 of 78
Thread Starter 

So many replies, thank you girls, it really got me thinking. 


Sorry SneakyPie, I know what you mean shy.gif


TCMoulton, no it is not to help us. Okay, I might have a couple of issues with my inlaws, that is another story, and it is probably the root of the problem. They did not accept me from the very beginning, my MIL is highly manipulative with DH (as in : I am going to kill myself if you marry that woman - he did anyway and she is still alive) and they did not want our first baby (She is trying to get you to marry her, you need to make her end the pregnancy) - we lost that baby and I did not forgive - I am working on that - for my kids.) And now they are all over their grandchildren - but only on their terms. But I guess that´s a different topic. 

The satellite dish was purely because FIL can not stand it to not be able to watch tv while he is here, when we still had one the tv was on all the time when he was around. He tried to get tv for himself, not for us. They are not thinking about the difficulties of the pregnancy or our life at the moment, they never offered to help us with the kids or anything. They only want the fun part out of being grandparents. Which is in general fine, they already raised their son, it´s okay to have fun, but them visiting us would only add to my burden, so it´s just not an option at the moment. 


Babygirlie, I am sorry that you feel that way. And I am more than grateful for my wonderful spirited kids. I am not as much grateful for my inlaws though. 


Imakcerca, we have a huge yard, about an acre, that is where the idea is coming from, but obviously it is not very realistic. 


@captain optimism: I think that is the point, my inlaws just do crazy to us things all the time, and it´s always about them, never about anybody else. They are quite toxic, not yet to the children, but to their son (not even talking about me). And sometimes it´s even a health hazard for the kids (who have food sensitivities and are quite hyper anyway). Even when they want to visit us it´s all about them, it´s like: We have time the next weekend, after it we are going away or do this or that, and if we say, sorry, DH is working all weekend they are like: you never allow us to come. It is a quite complicated situation...I don´t like the way they feel entitled to their grandchildren, it´s not as if they "earned" them or anything ... 


I think I´ll take the advise and I´ll just don´t say anything about it anymore. Letting it go. I am not able to change them anyway, obviously, and maybe I am just overly hormonal at the moment. It is just a bit funny, in a way, because that HK Laptop (Plaything - not actual laptop) is kind of a symbol for their disregard of our values. They were talking about it for a couple of years already, and now they actually found one...

Edited by Triniity - 11/2/11 at 12:23am
post #38 of 78

Um, I'm sorry....did I bump my head and end up on babycenter or something???? I am absolutely shocked by some of the responses on this thread.




Who the hell here has a right to tell the OP that her desire to keep her kids faces out of screens is stupid?? Because that's basically what you people are saying. "It's stupid, not a hill to die on, let it go" - are you people feeling okay?


I'm sorry, a FIVE YEAR OLD does not need a laptop...and thankyouverymuch but "all the cool games" it comes pre-loaded with, for her to "learn with"...that's like, half the reason I wouldn't want this stupid piece of crap in my house in the first place. My kids are learning with tools, their hands and with guidance from their mama....they do not suckle at the teat of electronic knowledge...they are WAY too young for that. Five is WAY to young for that. It messes with kids visually and is not stimulating their brains in healthy ways for them to be sucked into these computer games....oh, and the glorious part of it...is the ads WITHIN the games that keep pushing "The Next Most Awesome Game" that your kid just HAS to have....it's gross. I've looked into these "learning games" and almost EVERY single one of them contains themes in the way the characters are modeled and the dialogue and voices that they use that I find offensive or inappropriate for my kids.


I don't care if the OP is currently using screen time occasionally  -picking a couple of shows that SHE thinks are OK-  to try and get through a rough patch...she is the damn MAMA in this situation and she has a right to deviate from her "ideal" from time to time when she's in a difficult place...the fact that she's doing so doesn't mean that it's open season for any and everyone to come in and trash her chosen mode of being with her kids.


These toys are made specifically to suck young kids into the trap of consumerism. The flashy games, catchy tunes and cartoon characters with cult followings are mass marketed for ONE purpose...and that purpose is to hook your kids into the feeding frenzy machine of modern day consumerism. That's it. That's the damn point of it. NONE of these jingly, plastic electronic noise machines are made for your kids true enjoyment!! Do you think big wig executives are sitting up in their offices all rosy cheeked and feeling warm inside because they brought ENJOYMENT to your children? No, they are specifically designing, creating and mass marketing for the PURE purpose of driving profits....they want your kid to love Hello Kitty so that they will go bananas for ALL HK stuff. Geez louise. They are not creating ENJOYMENT.....they are trying to create OBSESSION. There is a difference. One is fun and good for children...the other is very bad for them.



Many, many parents (myself included) try and limit the amount of gifts that are given because it's OUT OF CONTROL how much shit people will load up into their cars and drop off at your house. I


I am MORALLY, philosophically and spiritually opposed to the mindless consumerism, the practical enslavement of the masses of people in other places who have to MAKE this crap and the idea that children need a whole house full of plastic crap to keep them happy.


My kids don't listen to weird electronic music from plastic toys for fun....they hang out with their chickens...make things in the woods...cook things in the kitchen with me. That's not to say I never deviate. If we're sick, David the Gnome is probably coming on. There are some FINE movies and even a few shows out there that I don't mind them watching on a rainy day, after they come in from playing in it and want to get dry drink some cocoa.


But a hunk of plastic, made by desperately poor people in third world living conditions that comes preloaded with offensive, culturally sick games that are meant to "teach" my kids....yeah, HELL NO am I cool with that coming into my house.



This, to me, is not about Hello Kitty. This is not about her ILs wanting to give something to DD that they know will make her happy. They have repeatedly and actively sought to make known their disapproval of the lifestyle the OP and her spouse have chosen for their family. ORDERING CABLE for them?? Are you serious? The OP is not in a war with her ILs....the ILs are JERKS.




1. Thank them for the gift, then tell them it can be the special toy that DD plays with at their house.

2. After Christmas sometime, mention casually to your mother in law that while you appreciate the thought a lot and absolutely adore her for loving your kids so much....it's really important to you that certain gifts not be given to them because they just don't fit with the lifestyle you are trying to lead with the kids right now and the electronic toys just get them too jazzed up and it's tough, especially for her son, to get them quieted and calm after exposure to such toys.



You have a RIGHT to make decisions for your family. The decisions you are trying to make and the things you are trying to create limited exposure too are not weird...they are very understandable and actually based on pretty good science.


Look.....many of you who have known me for a while around here know that I'm often the first person to stand up and say "Humor your childrens grandparents and respect the relationship they form with them" - because I BELIEVE that grandparent relationships are special and that grandparents should enjoy their grandkids....but constantly pushing the issue and bending rules and boundaries that the parents are trying to enforce is not cool.


If this were a skateboard.....a doll, a book that the OP doesn't like...any number of other things, I would say "let it go, she'll grow out of it"  - but this specific kind of gift is PARTICULARLY disrespectful, given the nature of the toy and I would have no problem saying it.



For the record, it is well known that my preference is that my children are given only a few small, meaningful or fun gifts. No one on either side of our family has a problem with this and actually, after discussing the whole thing and why we feel the way they do, they applaud our choices and have more fun picking gifts because they are only looking for one, maybe two, special things and aren't breaking the bank every Christmas. On both sides of the family everyone "gets" what we're trying to do and is very cool with it and our kids, as a result, have ended up with some REALLY stellar, awesome toys that they treat well and will be able to pass on to other little children when they grow out of them. Kids don't need much!! Around our house, there are few toys that my kids (3 and 2) actually take care of and cherish, because it's not one thing on a heaping pile of plastic. My three year old could tell you what toys she has...she could actually name them...because she doesn't have too many. She plays with things that actively engage her imagination...and that's not to say she has no plastic toys. There are a couple here and there that are just TOO awesome for playing pretend to pass up. Everyone gets them something that is good for them and age appropriate and then the MAIN focus of the holiday is feasting and being together. My kids have more fun  and get more wrapped up in anticipation at the thought of being with everyone and eating all the food and baked good and seeing all of their family than they do with "gift anticipation".


I'm allowed to think consumerism sucks. I'm allowed to want to keep the cancer of needing new flashy things that make obnoxious sounds away from my small children. Five is too young to get them started on that kind of crap. Until my kids are old enough to have an actual, intelligent conversation and decide for themselves if they feel comfortable supporting what basically amounts to the modern day Slaving Industry....they are not going to have this crap around.


I don't like giving toxic toys to my kids, that are made by people who have no choices, no upward mobility and no way to provide their own children with basic medical care and proper nutrition. I'm all set with the blood, sweat and tears of mind bogglingly poor people in far away places tainting my childrens own little spirits and I have a RIGHT to feel that way.


Sorry for the novel and the ranting, but I am surpised, given the way these ILs have repeatedly mocked and challenged the OPs parenting choices, that you people would be all "get over it". Plus, it's not like she's saying "I don't want ANY ORANGE toys...NO ORANGE NO ORANGE" - like some sort of crazy person. She's objecting to something that MANY of the mamas on this site claim to be actively trying to keep away from their young children.


We're not talking about a 13 year old here, we're talking about a five year old. This is a ridiculous situation.




post #39 of 78

I still want the pony.

post #40 of 78
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I still want the pony.

That goes without saying. thumb.gif

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