No, I am not cool with a $500 Christmas present (LONG and x-posted) - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a little miffed with DH. I wasn't sure if this was more blended or PaP, so I put it in both to get a variety of viewpoints.

Situation: DSD lives with us week on/week off. Christmas is a shared holiday with Santa going to both houses on different days.

DSD is a little obsessed with birds and flying. She draws a lot of bird pictures, pretends to be a bird, etc. It is cute. We have indulged this - we sent her to bird camp over the summer, I spent hours making her a very specifically designed by her bird costume for Halloween. She plans to ask Santa for the ability to fly for Christmas.

DH wants to give her what she wants and not burst her bubble (which is endearing), but the closest thing that an 8 yo can really do to flying is a hot air balloon ride. In our area, the cheapest rides (where you are in a group) are over $500.

Most years, our entire Christmas budget is about that. DH hates Christmas, always complains that it is too expensive, and is generally a PITA throughout the entire season. Now he wants to spend the equivalent of our entire budget (historically, anyway) on one gift from Santa?

Let me add another wrinkle: DH has been unemployed for a year now, and his unemployment just ran out. We are both full-time students, living off of student loans and food stamps, for pete's sake. We 100% absolutely positively *cannot* afford this. Not hardly. This Christmas was going to be a lean one in the first place, given the circumstances.

When I mentioned the prohibitive cost, all he said was, "I feel really strongly about this." I got a little upset, because I really needed to hear, "I agree, we cannot afford that this year. Maybe next year," or something to that effect. He says that I have no right to be upset at him exploring gift options. I feel like I do, because this is NOT an option. It is a fantasy. DO we have the money for it in the bank at the moment? Sure. But that money needs to go to other things. I am applying to pharmacy school right now (which is our chance to secure a stable financial future), and need to travel to interviews/put down deposits. There is no telling how much this process will cost. Between that and feeding the family, we do not have a spare $500.

Here is where the blended dynamic comes in: DH would never suggest a present that extravagant for either of the boys. DS1 is as obsessed with trains as DSD is birds, and he would never buy, say, a $200 train ride for him, let alone a $500 one! She often has big/multiple birthday parties and gets expensive gifts, which I have somewhat credited to the fact that she is older. But I don't necessarily want to match what she gets when the boys are older - I want them to have nice, but simple childhoods. I guess I would like her to have that as well.

The other issue - she is really unappreciative of gifts and things done for her. She doesn't get excited. She doesn't say "thank you." I will admit, I am still a little annoyed that she never once thanked me or even told me that she liked her Halloween costume. I tried to just let it go (as this is generally the way things go), but it took a lot of time. She told DH, but couldn't find it in herself to tell me. DH thinks I need to get over things like that. I think that at 8, she needs to be taught to receive things graciously and be appreciative. Or not receive them. A month ago (right after her birthday), I actually told DH that he could buy her Christmas gifts because I was so sick of putting time and effort into something that she doesn't care about. I did not mean that he could spend however much he wanted - if I have a budget, so should he. Although I suppose this one is win-win, because she doesn't have to thank Santa.

If you made it this far, thank you! Bottom line, I am looking for two things: how to handle this with DH, and a cheaper way to simulate flight.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:51 AM
 
2xand2y's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It could be cheaper to put her on an airplane to somewhere where you have a relative, have them take her out to lunch and fly her home. It all depends on your location and where they have direct flights too.

I think you should do a 4-6 month projected budget with DH, include the expenses for pharmacy school along with day to day stuff. Do not take about the holidays until the end. Then say "How do you see Christmas fitting in to this?" If he wants to come up with a way to make the money for her gift, then maybe. BUT. . . what does that cost the family (quality time)? and how would he feel if you took your time/talent/energy to earn an extra chunk of cash and decided to spend it all on one of your sons? If my DH did that I would be hurt and my other children would be hurt too.

I agree with you; DSD needs to be taught appreciation. That is ridiculous to let her get away with being blatantly rude and disrespectful of what you've done for her.
2xand2y is offline  
#3 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 02:43 PM
 
Mummoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 3,462
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
A month ago (right after her birthday), I actually told DH that he could buy her Christmas gifts because I was so sick of putting time and effort into something that she doesn't care about. I did not mean that he could spend however much he wanted - if I have a budget, so should he.
This caught my eye... it sounds like he doesn't like the burden of gift buying, especially since he usually says Christmas costs too much. Thinking of a gift she'd like that is reasonably priced takes more effort than he's willing to put into the task. Some people just aren't gift-buyers. He's just waiting for you to throw your arms up in frustration and say you'll do the shopping for DSD after all. Do you know of a few things DSD might like that are within your budget?

What about spending the money now on gift cards? Write each kids name on their cards and whomever is shopping for each kid can use their respective card to buy whatever it is they have in mind. You're tied to one store then, but you'll know that each kid is being treated fairly.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

Mummoth is offline  
#4 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Irishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with heartmama
Posts: 45,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Before you go any further, are you sure a balloon company will take her? Last time I checked, the companies wouldn't take under 12s. That would at least delay the issue.
Irishmommy is offline  
#5 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 06:39 PM
 
JudiAU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Where creepy facebook-featured threads can't find me
Posts: 3,605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I think it is fine to "explore" and even dream a bit for Christmas, even for an adult. Maybe that is what DH really needs regardless of whether he will try and buy it from the account with not enough money.
JudiAU is offline  
#6 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Before you go any further, are you sure a balloon company will take her? Last time I checked, the companies wouldn't take under 12s. That would at least delay the issue.
Good point. I never even looked into that!

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#7 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 08:18 PM
 
Teensy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
She could get an actual flying lesson in an airplane for less than that:

http://www.pilotjourney.com/pstore/buy-certificate.php

Your issue is obviously less about the gift itself, and more about your DH and you not being on the small page regarding such things and I don't have any good advice there. Best wishes though.

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
Teensy is offline  
#8 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 08:27 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
500 $ is a lot, I agree. I have an almost 8 year old and she sometimes doesn't have the best manners but noty because we dont teach her but from a lot of things I have read a lot of those behaviors I have been concerned about are typical of that age anyway. I also see that she is your step daughter? Maybe he feels like he has to overcompensate for some reason and maybe she isnt that comfortable with you and thats why she didnt thank you etc? I dont know but I would try not having hard feelings towards an 8 yr old though because they are still pretty young and still learning. ALso and its hard to judge by chatting on the computer but I would keep discussing this with him and telling him it would put you guys in a financial crisis. That's about all I can come up with, good luck.

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#9 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 08:59 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
I think 8 is by FAR old enough to know to say thank you when somebody goes out of their way to help/do something special. Your dh really should understand that you deserve that respect IMO, though I have no idea how to convince him of that

Dp and I have struggled with this sort of thing too, though not to that extent. To some degree, I understand spending more on the older child/ren-let's say our budget is $300, we might spend 150 on dsd, 100 on dd and 50 on ds and that is fine with me. But it sounds like if you spend 500 on dsd there won't be anything left for the other kids! Could you lay it out like that and decide on a whole budget first and then kind of portion out what goes to each kid? Maybe putting it on paper would help him understand where you are coming from. Or maybe he IS just dreaming and knows it but is getting defensive because you popped his bubble?

I dont' know if this would fit the bill, but we saw a zipline in a toy catalog and thought it looked really neat-do you or somebody near you have land you could use to put one one? They were still in the $100 range, but that is much cheaper than 500, lol, and your older boy could probably try it too. I am picturing your dsd with bird wings zipping down the line....!!!

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is offline  
#10 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 09:34 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
8 is of course old enough to say thank you, but lets not forget the fact that the child did thank the dad (even though he may not have been the one to make the item) and I think thats worthy of mentioning. I dont think it's appropriate to force the issue or the child to directly tell her step mother thank you because in the childs mind the thank you could have been at her comfort level and directed at them both. I think that shouldn't be something a parent or step parent should hold hard feelings over though or be resentful about especially at only 8 years old. I think her behavior is pretty appropriate age wise from what it sounds like from raising my own child at that age.

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#11 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 09:45 PM
 
PoppyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In my own delusions.
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Having read a lot of posts about your dsd over time...I do think she is rude and is indulged in her bad manners by her father. I have a much thicker skin to my kids behavior than their stepf does and I try to help him learn to let stuff roll off his back but if my kids failed to thank people or acknowledge work someone did for them on a regular basis I would be mortified and it would be addressed. 8 is plenty old enough to have learned manners and way to old to have the bad manners ignored regularly. I sometimes kind of wonder if 50/50 is good in your situation. I know her mom is flighty and often unavailable so it might be the only solution but it seems like she really wants her home base to be with her mom and not divided evenly. She could be venting her displeasure on you for this or she could just be a kid without a fabulous personality. I do want to mention that my ds NEEDS me to there for him but he doesn't do a lot with me. He's always out with friends, videogames, etc. He just wants to know that I'm close. As far as the present. I think it's a ludicrous amount of money to spend on one child who hasn't even said this is her dream activity. I would be really ticked he even mentioned it, personally.
PoppyMama is offline  
#12 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 09:46 PM
 
~PurityLake~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, US
Posts: 5,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't get how anyone can think that her thanking someone who had nothing to do with the gift as an acceptable display of appreciation toward the person who did give the gift. That's like bizarro world or something.

Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

~PurityLake~ is offline  
#13 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 09:49 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you've never seen a kid do that? well I have actually I've done it before as a kid myself maybe I was just some kind of mischievious lil demon seed I dunno actually I wasn't LOL...Its not like she's thanking the neighbor nextdoor she thanked the other parent her dad lol. Honestly she's 8 and I think its common for some kids to so stuff like this and to resent/hold a grudge on an 8 yr old for it is not something I will agree to. just sayin

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#14 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:06 PM
 
Bebe's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Queenstown, MD
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to chime in here, because I think that it sounds like the 8 yo DSD is probably conflicted about her feelings toward you, the stepmother..maybe because of things she hears from her mother? Maybe she finds it hard to be grateful to you because in a way she is being disloyal to her mother and her mother's feelings? 8 year olds are not mature adults, and do not know how to handle some of the feelings they have..Maybe she was hoping that she could tell her dad, and then he would tell you..I mean, she IS 8 after all. I also agree that $500 is too much to spend on a Christmas gift like that. Your DH is probably feeling guilty about something-maybe because she gets expensive gifts from everyone else, but not him, since he has been unemployed? Not having a job does strange things to your head. I think if you lay it out for him, he will see the sense in your position. After all, there will be plenty of other times for him to take her on a balloon ride. Besides, what if they got there and she was too scared to go up in the balloon?

fly-by-nursing1.gifSAHM living on the beautiful Eastern Shore with my husband the car nut banghead.gif, and bebe Eleanor, born 9/16/09 luxlove.gif plus two kitties! cat.gif
Bebe's Mom is offline  
#15 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:10 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bebe's Mom View Post
I have to chime in here, because I think that it sounds like the 8 yo DSD is probably conflicted about her feelings toward you, the stepmother..maybe because of things she hears from her mother? Maybe she finds it hard to be grateful to you because in a way she is being disloyal to her mother and her mother's feelings? 8 year olds are not mature adults, and do not know how to handle some of the feelings they have..Maybe she was hoping that she could tell her dad, and then he would tell you..I mean, she IS 8 after all. I also agree that $500 is too much to spend on a Christmas gift like that. Your DH is probably feeling guilty about something-maybe because she gets expensive gifts from everyone else, but not him, since he has been unemployed? Not having a job does strange things to your head. I think if you lay it out for him, he will see the sense in your position. After all, there will be plenty of other times for him to take her on a balloon ride. Besides, what if they got there and she was too scared to go up in the balloon?
I agree with that too!

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#16 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemommaof4 View Post
8 is of course old enough to say thank you, but lets not forget the fact that the child did thank the dad (even though he may not have been the one to make the item) and I think thats worthy of mentioning. I dont think it's appropriate to force the issue or the child to directly tell her step mother thank you because in the childs mind the thank you could have been at her comfort level and directed at them both. I think that shouldn't be something a parent or step parent should hold hard feelings over though or be resentful about especially at only 8 years old. I think her behavior is pretty appropriate age wise from what it sounds like from raising my own child at that age.
I agree. I also think that trying to force thank yous, or as an adult, being annoyed by a child not offering one freely, is like forcing 'sorry'. IMO that's a waste of time, as there is no genuine emotion behind it.

There are all sorts of complex relationship issues within a blended family, so if a child thanks one parent, but not necessarily the one who made the costume, she has shown gratitude, within the context of the relationships that are in place and within her own comfort level. By being irritated by her, no matter whether you think you show it or not, I think you delay that point where she will openly and genuinely come to you to express feelings of gratitude.

As for the gift, regardless of the budget or the relationships between the various members of the blended family, and regardless of whether she would be ultra polite and thank you profusely, I think it's excessive and unnecessary. My 8 yo dd is crazy about birds. She was thrilled on her birthday to get a good pair of child's binoculars and a bird watching book, then a class with a birdwatcher. I"m sure you could come up with something very cool that is bird related and please her. Flying is a fantasy, and she of course knows that. I can't think that she would expect her present to actually involve flying, and honestly, if she gets the hot air balloon, it may well still not satisfy her and next year she may ask for exactly the same thing - to fly like a bird!
Britishmum is offline  
#17 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:23 PM
 
~PurityLake~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, US
Posts: 5,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the record, I don't encourage or condone forced anythings. But I also don't fool myself into thinking a thank you to the father has any note of appreciation for the work her stepmom put into this, especially given this particular child's past behaviors that indicate she has a certain sense of entitlement and unappreciation for anything she's ever received.

Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

~PurityLake~ is offline  
#18 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:36 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I personally do a lot of extensive projects for my kids at times, they are too young to understand the kind of effort that goes into it at their ages including my almost 8 yr old, so they dont understand the level of appreciation that adults would they just arent capable of thinking that way.

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#19 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:42 PM
 
~PurityLake~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, US
Posts: 5,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll just have to agree to disagree on this issue, hippiemomma.

Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

~PurityLake~ is offline  
#20 of 30 Old 11-08-2010, 10:53 PM
 
Adaline'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just wanted to second the idea of a flying lesson being cheaper than a hot air balloon ride. Plus, she would get to have control that way.

As someone who has 2 younger sister that never say thanks, and always take everything for granted, I feel you on how obnoxious it is to spend your time buying for them and not even get a thanks or any excitement at all. Sorry mama. s

Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

Adaline'sMama is offline  
#21 of 30 Old 11-09-2010, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
I dont' know if this would fit the bill, but we saw a zipline in a toy catalog and thought it looked really neat-do you or somebody near you have land you could use to put one one? They were still in the $100 range, but that is much cheaper than 500, lol, and your older boy could probably try it too. I am picturing your dsd with bird wings zipping down the line....!!!
This would be *perfect* of we had a yard! We live in an apartment building at the moment. But if we do move into a duplex anytime soon (we may move before (if) I start pharmacy school), this will be on the list for the next birthday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemommaof4 View Post
8 is of course old enough to say thank you, but lets not forget the fact that the child did thank the dad (even though he may not have been the one to make the item) and I think thats worthy of mentioning.
Let me clarify (if it matters) - She told DH that she liked it. No thank you involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
I sometimes kind of wonder if 50/50 is good in your situation. I know her mom is flighty and often unavailable so it might be the only solution but it seems like she really wants her home base to be with her mom and not divided evenly. She could be venting her displeasure on you for this or she could just be a kid without a fabulous personality.
DH has a complex theory on this one. Because her mom is so wrapped up in her own personal life and unavailable, she is more desirable. DSD is always yearning for that attention. DH is pretty much available whenever at our house, so DSD's needs are met. Her sister told me last weekend (her sister spends a decent amount of time with us and has even hyphenated her last name on FB to include ours) that DSD is like two different people at her different houses. She said that she is much more expressive and emotional here. Granted, it might be because the dynamic is different - she is the baby and pretty much always gets her way there, she is the oldest and the expectations are higher on most things here. But it was interesting to here that, especially because it was completely out of the blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bebe's Mom View Post
I have to chime in here, because I think that it sounds like the 8 yo DSD is probably conflicted about her feelings toward you, the stepmother..maybe because of things she hears from her mother? Maybe she finds it hard to be grateful to you because in a way she is being disloyal to her mother and her mother's feelings?

Besides, what if they got there and she was too scared to go up in the balloon?
She might be. Her mom has referred to me as "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes" before, and has felt threatened by myself or our family. So that might be the original cause of this. I think that things have changed a fair amount recently - amongst parents we are comfortable in our roles - I think. The fact that DSD's mom is now in a combination of my position and DH's position (she moved in with her BF and his kids) a few years back has given her perspective. But the subtle nuances of this might be lost on a kid - when she heard her mom was annoyed with me years ago for something long-forgotten, it may have stuck.

Scared of the balloon after dropping $500 on it? My biggest fear.

It is helpful to hear that most people feel that an 8 yo should be at the point where she thanks people for things. DH makes me think I am crazy. The 3 yo? I'll prompt him. But I get a genuine response. It is different with DSD.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#22 of 30 Old 11-10-2010, 08:15 AM
 
bronxmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Seems like there are two issues worth separating here.  The first is the level of appreciation and its relationship to what gifts we get.  I'm of the unconditional parenting/unconditional love school of thought. Therefore, I try REALLY HARD (though of course I'm not always successful as I'm human) to separate what I give to my kids and partner from the level of appreciation I receive from them for it. I try to do and give things out of my own sense of love and desire to provide something meaningful for them. And if they don't express appreciation the way I want, I try to explain why I want appreciation, the effort I put in and the desire to have it recognized and talk honestly about my feelings. But I try not to change what I do for them and I definitely do not force thanks or anything else that either the other person doesn't feel or doesn't know how to express. I do want my daughter to appreciate what others do for her - and at 11 I still think this is a weak area for her.  I tend to think that it's not that she doesn't appreciate it, but is shy and awkward about knowing how to express it, in particular with people who she has a harder time sorting out the nature of her relationship with (e.g., stepdad, extended step relatives). I try to strike a balance between explaining to her the level of care and work they put into things for her and why she should show or tell them how she feels about what they've done or given; but I try not to force thanks.  I DO spend a lot of time communicating/translating thanks myself to these relatives - e.g., I will tell step-grandma what my daughter thought of the book or how she wore a particular shirt to school, etc.  Just because a kid doesn't express thanks doesn't mean they don't feel it either.  For ex., my daughter is frustrating in her inability/unwillingness to be appreciative, but I've heard her say many times things like "stepgrandma gets me the best clothes because she always picks out x" or whatever.  I think it's a process.

 

So that's a long way of saying that I wouldn't stop giving gifts because you don't get the feedback you want.  I'd focus on figuring out what you want to give and giving from the heart. I imagine it was really nice to see her trick or treat in a cool bird costume knowing how much she loves them.  Kids learn by example and you may see her someday give back more than you could imagine now.  BUT, I think $500 on a half-hour or hour hot air balloon ride is insane! There's no way, unless I were rich, that I'd spend that kind of money on something that's over and done with in an hour.  Especially at an age where it's unlikely to stick with her as this amazing experience.   I like the idea of thinking about alternatives: for ex., where I am there is an adventure course with a zip line - which feels way more like flying than a hot air balloon ride.  But I'd also think of other ideas related to birds.  Maybe a book about airplanes that talks about how humans learned flight and what the mechanics are.  I'm not sure, but I think you have to talk your husband down on this one.  

bronxmom is offline  
#23 of 30 Old 11-11-2010, 01:11 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

I wanted to add that you may want to point out to your dh that many kids (and it sounds like your dsd is probably one of them) do not really *get* the idea of getting an experience as a gift.  She may be really dissapointed to not really have anything else to open on Christmas morning besides a gift certificate for a balloon ride or other experience rather than a tangible gift. Just thought this might be another argument you could use to talk some sense into dh smile.gif


Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is offline  
#24 of 30 Old 11-11-2010, 08:41 PM
 
csekywithlove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I read you post and just had to comment some things that came to mind. 

 

I think the idea of a hot air balloon ride is not only extravagant, but riding a hot air balloon in the middle of winter? You could of course bundle up. But I see that you have a one year old who you probably don't feel comfortable with going and I personally wouldn't be comfortable with the three year old going either... So it would just be you, DH, and DSD. Not very fair to the other to kiddos. I remember weather really impacting my mood at that age as well. Hot air balloon rides are definitely a summer thing in my mind and I see you live in St. Paul, MN? Eh... I think you have more risk of her hating it than loving it.

 

Why not bring up the idea of taking her to say, Space Camp in **********, AL next summer to DH? I know that there must be a lot of options that I can't think of right now. But most of those that involve flying would need to wait for warmer weather.

 

Also, the fact that she is unappreciative to begin with I think has you upset enough. And after the Halloween costume, why indulge her so much? And if DH really wants to make this special for her, have him take her skiing for a day while you do something special with the other two?

 

I hope that was somewhat helpful! hug.gif


Artist wife to dh_malesling.GIF. Mom to DSS superhero.gif (3 yrs) and DD (04/12).  brokenheart.gif (2/28/10). winner.jpgcd.gif

csekywithlove is offline  
#25 of 30 Old 11-13-2010, 06:15 AM
 
Kiki Runs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: KS
Posts: 699
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemommaof4 View Post

8 is of course old enough to say thank you, but lets not forget the fact that the child did thank the dad (even though he may not have been the one to make the item) and I think thats worthy of mentioning. I dont think it's appropriate to force the issue or the child to directly tell her step mother thank you because in the childs mind the thank you could have been at her comfort level and directed at them both. I think that shouldn't be something a parent or step parent should hold hard feelings over though or be resentful about especially at only 8 years old. I think her behavior is pretty appropriate age wise from what it sounds like from raising my own child at that age.[/quot

I guess, from my pov, the "problem" is the dad, not so much the 8 yo. As you say, she did thank *someone*. And that is the time where dad can say "o, so glad you like it! But yk? I didn't make it, SM did. Remember all your instructions and how she followed them exactly? (O, that part may be overkill, but I would say it to my 7.5 yo ds in a similar situation. Bc I know there is no way that 8 yo really thought her dad made the cosumee. But I'm kinda pushy that way lol). Let's go right noww and tell SM thanks, she'll be so glad to hear how much you like it!" And then dad marches DWsD right over to tell the appropriate person thank you. This is an area where dad needs to step up and enforce manners and consideration, and not take credit for someone elses hard work, lol!


As far as the $500 present? Insa nity. Ridiculousness. Come back and talk to me about presents when you are ready to be serious, is what I would say (uh, I feel like I should emphasize that I am divorced lol. So probs not the person to get marital advice from!)
Kiki Runs is offline  
#26 of 30 Old 11-13-2010, 06:18 AM
 
Kiki Runs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: KS
Posts: 699
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, and I have no idea how I managed to get that all in the quotes. But I'm posting from my phone so there is no chance of me fixing it lol! Smart phones. Need to come with some sort of upgrade for the operator lol
Kiki Runs is offline  
#27 of 30 Old 11-15-2010, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, we solved the problem.  I had this thread going in two places and forgot to update it!  One of the posters on the other thread suggested flying trapeze lessons, I suggested that to DH, and he thought it was a way better idea than a balloon ride. Lessons are still spendy, but they take place over a span of time, so the cost doesn't seem so bad.  The only activity she does right now is Girl Scouts, so it isn't like we are already dropping a lot of money on extracurriculars.   Plus I am pretty sure that we can get family to chip in for something like this.

 

I think she will be okay with getting an experience, because she doesn't get all that excited about things.  The school has a great reputation, and it sounds like the lessons start at a really beginner level.  Maybe she'll even decide that this is an activity that she really likes!

 

I am going to try to mentally cut her some slack this Christmas because it sounds like things at her other house are going downhill fast - apparently her mom is pricing apartments because the relationship with the current guy is not going all that well (they moved in with him six months ago).  I doubt she'll move before spring (people tend to put it off because it really stinks to move in the snow), but things might be a little tense over there, especially over the holiday.


love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#28 of 30 Old 11-21-2010, 07:43 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post Especially at an age where it's unlikely to stick with her as this amazing experience. 


I took a trip with my grandmother at age 7 and it stuck with me as an amazing experience. What didn't stick with me was the fact it was a one time special thing. Until I was like 16 I thought it was going to happen again and was faintly disappointed that it kept not happening.

 

Which is yet another reason NOT to do a big thing for an 8 year old.

sapphire_chan is offline  
#29 of 30 Old 11-22-2010, 04:19 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: the Circle K
Posts: 5,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post Especially at an age where it's unlikely to stick with her as this amazing experience. 


I took a trip with my grandmother at age 7 and it stuck with me as an amazing experience. What didn't stick with me was the fact it was a one time special thing. Until I was like 16 I thought it was going to happen again and was faintly disappointed that it kept not happening.

 

Which is yet another reason NOT to do a big thing for an 8 year old.


Forum crashing but the lesson I get from your experience is to explain that it is a one time special thing, not that you shouldn't do one time special things with 8 year olds. In a way I lost my mom at the age of 9 (she became very ill and never recovered) and I still remember going to the Nutcracker ballet with her at 7. You never know where you will be in life in 3 years so as long as it is age appropriate and feasible now, do it now. That said, $500 is a lot. The lessons sound like a blast.

lalaland42 is offline  
#30 of 30 Old 11-22-2010, 09:38 AM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post Especially at an age where it's unlikely to stick with her as this amazing experience. 


I took a trip with my grandmother at age 7 and it stuck with me as an amazing experience. What didn't stick with me was the fact it was a one time special thing. Until I was like 16 I thought it was going to happen again and was faintly disappointed that it kept not happening.

 

Which is yet another reason NOT to do a big thing for an 8 year old.


Forum crashing but the lesson I get from your experience is to explain that it is a one time special thing, not that you shouldn't do one time special things with 8 year olds. In a way I lost my mom at the age of 9 (she became very ill and never recovered) and I still remember going to the Nutcracker ballet with her at 7. You never know where you will be in life in 3 years so as long as it is age appropriate and feasible now, do it now. That said, $500 is a lot. The lessons sound like a blast.


Oddly, the trip to the ballet at age 6, I did view as a one time thing (we had "box" seats practically on stage!) Yeah, come to think of it, the reason the trip felt like it would be repeated is that we saw relatives all over the country, and I thought we'd see them again some day. (Ironically, I now live only two states away from where most of them were, but I don't know if they're still there at all.)

sapphire_chan is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off