Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas
The gifts that she receives from others have the characthers in/on them.. How do you handle this? I am in the process of completely revamping her toys/books, but how do you handle family/friends who do not respect your viewpoints and how you want your children raised? Even at my grandmothers, my dd walks through the door and they change their tv on to a "kids show"
and I just know when birthdays come up, the movie buying and plastic-character toys will begin to stream in..
It is getting harder as my son gets older, but generally I let those closest to me know the things we like in our home. If we still received gifts I did not want my children to have, I definitely thank the gifter, but then the items disappear. Only recently has Ds noticed, and only with one particular thing. I finally just had to tell him that toys like that do not live in our home. I told him I did not like the looks on the faces or the box, and I thought they were unkind. The person mostly meant well, but those toys do not live in our home. I did buy him something else similiar in exchange for it, that was similiar but more acceptable to me. Obviously I hope not to have that happen too often! If the gifter mails the gifts or gives them ahead and are notorious for totally ignoring whatever we want, my children never see those gifts. They are donated. I think these things deter from the carefully-selected items that we have placed in our children's lives. Sometimes they do stick around for a few weeks and then leave. I don't want my children to feel 'punished' by our choices, but I also know these things (that I'm thinking of in our life) are just junking up their lives. If Ds does have some kind of toy like that and it breaks (thinking of the sad string of remote-controlled pieces of crap he got this holiday season) I do at some point explain to him that is why Mommy does not buy them, they only break very quickly and then he's sad and then they end up as trash or junk.
As for television, our families just know it's not on when we are there. We did not come to watch TV. If there is a situation where others' desires are at stake we will just do something else and generally the other children will want to join in and then the TV goes off. I'm not going to impose our desires on them, just like I wouldn't want them to do it to us. However, if my children are the only children there, it goes off. Honestly, it's totally beyond my comprehension why people invite other children over to play with their children and then they all just get plugged in. I "get" using TV as a babysitter, really it can be a temptation, but when they've got friends over over to play? Huh? What's the point?
I think after a while they just get used to it (okay, my son is, I hope my daughter will too). For example, this weekend we went to a very mainstream party where pretty much every single thing there was unusual to our family. But we love the people and I don't want to not join in their celebrations. My son just knew that we don't eat the candy that came out of that pinata. He had fun participating and then was okay giving it away. He's never had it, so he doesn't know what it's like and didn't make a fuss about not eating any. I quietly thanked but no thanks for the ice cream store gift certificate the host wanted to give to him. My kids did each get a favor of a cartoon-character riddled book. They looked at them on the way home and have not asked for them since. Some child at the local shelter will surely enjoy them more than my kids who have plenty of books already.
With family I think it's okay to just ask them nicely. They, usually, want to make you and your kids happy, just let them know how to do it.
I figure no matter what I do in life my kids are going to end up in therapy, at least I'll know I did what I thought was best.