Thoughts on Gift Giving - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you think about giving presents?
Do you try to give your kids what you think they will really want, even if it's something you don't really want to get, or do you get them what you want them to have (of course, said item would be something you know they will like, just not the thing they're lusting after in the toy store)?

I want to get DD a present for christmas (she's never gotten one before), I saw something that I'd really like her to have, and I know she'll love it, and it's practical to boot. But I know there's something else she really really really wants.

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#2 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 05:26 AM
 
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The whole point of giving gifts is to make the person happy, so I would tend to say get her what she wants. However, as parents it is our jobs to sometimes use our judgement and say no to things.

It would completely deppend on how much you didn't want her to have the gift she wants, and how much she will like the gift you want to give her. If you feel that there is a safety issue, then the answer is easy; but if it is a less serious matter like worrying that she will out grow the item quickly, then it becomes a more difficult issue to decide. If in doubt I would lean towards giving her the gift she really wants.

If the real issue is that you really want to get the other gift, it certainly isn't unheard of to get more than one christmas present.

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#3 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, while I would like answers in general, I will say what this specific case is:
I thought of getting DD a Dora the Explorer Wall Clock that I saw pretty cheap. I thought, she'd probably really like that, and she's about of an age to start learning to tell time (she's shown interest already), and since we're buying a house and she'll get her own room, it made sense.
but
while I know she'll like that present,(she's into Dora), and it's what *I* want her to have, I know that what she really wants is a Bratz doll. okay, that wasn't entirely accurate. she really really REALLY wants a Bratz doll I personally don't like Bratz, but I'm respecting DD in her right to like them.

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#4 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 05:46 AM
 
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Bratz. Ouch.
I'd try to get her to "fall in love" with some other cooler doll thingie.

Has she explained why she wants the Bratz?
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#5 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Bratz. Ouch.
I'd try to get her to "fall in love" with some other cooler doll thingie.

Has she explained why she wants the Bratz?
she wants bratz coz she thinks they're beautiful.
and imo, getting her to like some "cooler" doll thingie would be cooler in my opinion. I don't really want to convince her that her opinion is wrong and bratz aren't cool. she knows how I feel about them, I know how she feels about them. we respect each other's opinions.

the point isn't the gifts themselves, but if you would try to get someone something that you want for them, or that they want to get.

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#6 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 06:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
the point isn't the gifts themselves, but if you would try to get someone something that you want for them, or that they want to get.
If it's really not about the Bratz doll, but about why we give a gift, then I think you already know the answer.

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#7 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
If it's really not about the Bratz doll, but about why we give a gift, then I think you already know the answer.
no, i don't that's the point of the thread. I believe the answer to this is a personal thing.
*is your focus on gift giving to give someone something that you want them to have, or giving them what you know they really want* (assuming it's not the same thing)

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#8 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
I believe the answer to this is a personal thing.
Which is why you know your answer.

If you would like to know my answer, then it is to give the gift the person wants. However, I do draw lines, like I am not buying clothing for my 150 lbs sister in her 40s from the childrens department no matter how many times she claims they really do fit her.

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#9 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks eepster I did just want to know how other people feel about it.
and at your sister. those must be some pretty big children

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#10 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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Can you do both?

The doll for the festive gift and the clock as a house-warming gift when you move into the house?

If not, as it is the first time she has been aware of Christmassy things happening I would go for the doll. I can imagine her screaming in delight at the Bratz doll as she unwraps it and that will be a great memory for her when she thinks about her first Christmas gift.
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#11 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I personally see gifts in general as being mostly for the recipient, but also about the relationship between the people. So for an adult in particular, I try to get them something they will want but which also fits within my value system - so I wouldn't necessarily buy them say, a really really violent video game.

With kids it is touchier both ways. For a child, a gift is a much bigger deal than it is for a grownup - both emotionally but also because young kids, anyway, don't often have the power to get whatever they want at the store (I guess unless they have a big allowance and a lot of freedom ). For that reason I try to be more careful. At the same time I wouldn't buy a gift that I was totally unhappy to have in my home. (I have relatives that take care of that )

For this particular one, boy, I don't like the Bratz dolls, don't want to support the company, etc. But I'm also not entirely convinced that they're so awful because they are after all dolls - imaginary play and all that. So I guess for me personally I might go ahead and get it. Another way to handle it would be to see if another family member would be willing to get it.

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#12 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
Can you do both?

The doll for the festive gift and the clock as a house-warming gift when you move into the house?

If not, as it is the first time she has been aware of Christmassy things happening I would go for the doll. I can imagine her screaming in delight at the Bratz doll as she unwraps it and that will be a great memory for her when she thinks about her first Christmas gift.
I like the idea of giving her something she would be madly in love with as a complete surprise gift at Christmas. I love that you have separated out your opinion of the dolls and hers. In this case, I think that if safety and cost aren't prohibitive, then you should go for the the Bratz doll. It is a great way to say, "hey, I know that you think these dolls are really cool and I respect that"...maybe you could make some clothing that is less revealing together - a nice green dress perhaps?

oh yeah - great thought on the Dora clock to celebrate the house-warming and getting her own room

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#13 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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Just an FYI. Bratz have to take all their product off the shelves after xmas because they are going out of business. Mattel sued them because the guy who designed Bratz was working for Mattel (Barbie) and had signed a contract. Not sure if this would affect your decision, but could be relevant to you??

Personally, I don't think I'd get my daughter a Bratz doll, but I have a son so its easy for me to say.

My son says he wants a new motorcycle. He has like 6 already, I'm not getting him another one. Sometimes I do know that he would like something else more, but he just doesn't know it yet.

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#14 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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majikfaerie - I agree with others that have said they would get the gift she wants. I understand not wanting to, I also object to Bratz dolls, and have already been through this with them. My dd wanted them a few years ago (she is now 14, so over them). We got them for her, then I sat down with her and we talked about how they look. It was a delicate conversation and I let her talk first - she said they had way too much makeup on and their clothes were too short and tight. She just liked the pretend play with them and the shoe thing (the feet come off). After that we were ok. My sil has a dd that got her first bratz doll when she was 3. I refuse to get any bratz stuff for her, no matter how badly she wants it. I think she is just too young for it. We just find something else to get her.

Back on subject, I liked the idea of the clock then as a house warming gift for her. That will make the move and her own room even more special.
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#15 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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As I see it, the point of giving a gift is to bring happiness to the other person, and you're generally going to bring the most happiness by giving the person what they want. (Though sometimes, as a PP says, you might be pretty sure your kid will actually enjoy something else even more, and then I think it's perfectly reasonable to go with your own idea as long as you don't think it will lead to lasting disappointment. I doubt that's the case here, though. Face it - a clock is a pretty boring present.)

Any time there's something one of my kids really, really, really wants, I'm likely to get it (whether it's Christmas time or not), as long I can afford it, it's not harmful, and it isn't going to cause any problems (like taking up too much space in the house.)
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#16 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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Personally, I would get her the Bratz Doll, or another doll you don't find as objectionable, over the clock. What about a Dora doll, since she likes that? The difference between a clock (which after all cannot be played with and is not a toy) and a doll for Christmas is huge to a child. JMO

To answer your larger question, I try whenever possible to get them what they want and sometimes to get things I think they would like as well, so a combination. But I wouldn't choose something I like for them over something they want if that were the only choice. My kids do know there are some things we won't flex on. We have a no video games policy in this house, for example, so they don't bother asking.

I think this is a good example of the difference between your two options: last year, my middle son (then almost four) really really wanted the Light Sketcher. I looked at it, thought the idea of an art toy that disappears the artwork in seconds was dumb and bought him something similar (Light Writer) that doesn't disappear. Well he never ever played with the Light Writer (to be fair it was hard to figure out), but still wants the light sketcher a year later. Guess what he's getting for Christmas this year?
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#17 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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I give gifts that I want the other person to have, not always what they want to have. DP's family used to give gift suggestions and we almost never bought anything they asked for and would get them other stuff. They were always (usually) surprised and delighted at our thoughtfulness (in that we came up with it on our own) and the orignality (that they didn't think of it themselves).

But I hate gift registries, and will not buy something off of one for someone, sorry if I'm giving you a gift its because I want to not because you asked for it. However, I am very attentive to details, so if its March and some mentions that they want/like X I'll remember it for the next holiday and get if for them (if I can).
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#18 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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my son is only 13 months old so i have yet to face him wanting presents that i don't like but what i plan to do for xmas time is to give him 4 presents something he wants something he needs something to wear and something to read (i got this idea from another mom who may be on mdc) and for the gifts he may want that i really don't like i may tell family members because i personally don't want to spend money on some things or i may give him money to get whatever he wants or in some cases maybe i would get him what he really wants. i kinda like this idea of giving him a bit of money so he can choose for himself.

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#19 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Well um... I am one who likes giving as many gifts to dd as I can . I try to give her things that i know will make her :, as well as more 'practical' or educational things. Is it in your budget to get her both things? If so, why not do that?
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#20 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Get her what she really, really, really wants! You and your daughter are good together and there is "plenty of room" for you to allow the Bratz doll. I read your blog so I know the Barbie deal makes the Bratz ok. Your daughter is wickedly cool. You are wickedly cool. It works out!
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#21 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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my dd wanted a "my size barbie" she was 4 years old. Now I just thought this thing was ridiculous (aside from being obscenely expensive) and did not buy it. I thought she would get over it and move on to some other interest. She did not.

I realized after 2 years she was never going to get over wanting this stupid doll and if I did not get it for her it would always be the thing she remembered into adulthood as having been deprived of.

So I got a 6 year old a my size barbie.. she was so very very happy and played with that thing for like at least a month or two .. lol.

bottom line, my opinion is give them what they want... especially if they really really really really want it

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#22 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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I try to honor my dds' toy wishes, with the exception of things that are just plain impractical and overpriced to me (i.e.-those huge powerwheel jeeps, or the large "lifelike" stuffed ponies that whrrrrrrrr mechanically.)
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#23 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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What I always did when they were younger (and we did Santa) was to have *Santa* bring them the one thing that they really, really, really wanted - but that Mom wouldn't buy. That way, at that time, I could still maintain the "not buying that" deal. Now that they know how Santa works, they appreciate the fact that I was able to be flexible enough to allow them their (at the time) dearest desire while still maintaining my standards for the most part.
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#24 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
Can you do both?

The doll for the festive gift and the clock as a house-warming gift when you move into the house?
that's a good idea
We are scheduled to move into the house on Christmas eve though (we take possession on the 23rd), so I got the idea to combine it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
With kids it is touchier both ways. For a child, a gift is a much bigger deal than it is for a grownup - both emotionally but also because young kids, anyway, don't often have the power to get whatever they want at the store
yah, that's why I'm giving this a lot of thought. We try to share our family's money as belonging to the family which is difficult, when at the end of the day, I control the purse strings.

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Originally Posted by basmom View Post
maybe you could make some clothing that is less revealing together - a nice green dress perhaps?
Oh that I will whip out my old Singer and sew the doll a bunch of clothes that aren't so sexy goes without saying. DD much rathers the frilly princessy dresses in the style of Barbie anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredmama View Post
Just an FYI. Bratz have to take all their product off the shelves after xmas because they are going out of business. Mattel sued them because the guy who designed Bratz was working for Mattel (Barbie) and had signed a contract. Not sure if this would affect your decision, but could be relevant to you??
yikes! really? Well, then yeah. If that;s really true, I'd want to get one for her before they become really expensive collector's items.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricemom3 View Post
We got them for her, then I sat down with her and we talked about how they look. It was a delicate conversation and I let her talk first - she said they had way too much makeup on and their clothes were too short and tight. She just liked the pretend play with them and the shoe thing (the feet come off).
the feet come off!? : That's weird
That's exactly what we did with Barbies, and with the Bratz videos. Like I said, she knows how I feel about them.

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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Face it - a clock is a pretty boring present.)
huh! wow, you're right. can you believe I actually didn't really think of that. It is boring. I just thought it's a good idea, since we don't have a clock of any form in the house - just what's on the laptop, and she like's Dora. geez I'm

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikat View Post
The difference between a clock (which after all cannot be played with and is not a toy) and a doll for Christmas is huge to a child. JMO
that's a good point, but keeping in mind that my family is somewhat unusual (for a mostly american audience) in that we have never done christmas before. dd only heard about the concept quite recently, and she doesn't know about santa, or anything. so she doesn't have that big built up expectation about xmas. she's not expecting to get any present xmas morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
I give gifts that I want the other person to have, not always what they want to have. DP's family used to give gift suggestions and we almost never bought anything they asked for and would get them other stuff. They were always (usually) surprised and delighted at our thoughtfulness (in that we came up with it on our own) and the orignality (that they didn't think of it themselves).
thanks for offering an opinion on the other side. DP is in the same POV as yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfroggy View Post
what i plan to do for xmas time is to give him 4 presents something he wants something he needs something to wear and something to read
nice idea
I just can't see us jumping in to christmas so deep as to start off with 4 presents! (we generally buy presents whenever we feel like, without connection to birthdays or holidays - I've never gotten dd a birthday present). I'm reluctant to set the precedent of presents for christmas. I really love right now that DD is excited about christmas, but has no expectation of presents (she just loves the decorations )

Quote:
Originally Posted by soposdedi View Post
Is it in your budget to get her both things? If so, why not do that?
sure. We could technically afford to buy her pretty much anything and everything she wants (at some point sacrificing the level of organic food we get). but I also don't want to just buy everything she gets a whim for and yeah, i do know that in this case it's just 2 things that aren't really pricey (though she does also want a telescope that *is* really pricey).

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd1amommy View Post
Get her what she really, really, really wants! You and your daughter are good together and there is "plenty of room" for you to allow the Bratz doll. I read your blog so I know the Barbie deal makes the Bratz ok. Your daughter is wickedly cool. You are wickedly cool. It works out!
aw shucks! thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
my dd wanted a "my size barbie" she was 4 years old.<snip>
bottom line, my opinion is give them what they want... especially if they really really really really want it
what's a "my size barbie"? is that a barbie the size of the kid???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
What I always did when they were younger (and we did Santa) was to have *Santa* bring them the one thing that they really, really, really wanted - but that Mom wouldn't buy. That way, at that time, I could still maintain the "not buying that" deal. Now that they know how Santa works, they appreciate the fact that I was able to be flexible enough to allow them their (at the time) dearest desire while still maintaining my standards for the most part.
nice but personally I can't see doing the santa thing.
and we don't have any family that could send a present, so that's not an option.

anyway thanks everyone for all those perspectives

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#25 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Has anyone checked out Tini Puppini? It's the stuffed dog version of a Bratz doll, IMO, and I can't tell you how often my dd has asked for it! I see a kind of trashy-looking dog, and she sees a stuffed dog she can dress that has lots of pretty clothing and DIAMONDS. (For the record, we're halfway between older girl and younger girl presents). I have been trying to wrap my head around this-I would love not to give this toy, and in most years past dh and I have been fairly strict about Christmas presents (handmade, natural, waldorf). But honestly, sometimes kids just love things for their own reasons, and the toy would bring joy for that reason. My oldest asked not to have anything made out of wood this year, lol.
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#26 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
that's a good idea
what's a "my size barbie"? is that a barbie the size of the kid???

lol ok i know this is really old school here is one for sale on ebay..

ok, granted this was 15 years ago - stupid doll ... that thing cost me
$100

eta: this thing was never the size of her though, not even when she was 4 - she was always very tall for her age.

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#27 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks cherie2.: dd would go crazy over that thing! and it would totally be her size too (she's always been small) i think dd is about 40" tall.
yah, compared to that thing, a bratz is nothing!

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#28 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Generally, I would get the gift she (or he) wants. There are some lines, but as much I dislike both Bratz and Barbie, I don't think either of those would be over them. (As an example, dh and I let ds1 play some violent videogames, but we would never buy him GTA, because we're both really strongly opposed to it, and don't want it in our house.)

If my kids fall for some really overpriced piece of plastic junk - the kind you just know is going to fall apart in three days - I generally won't buy it, but I'd try to steer them into other things well ahead of the occasion. I'd also explain that I thought the item would be too easy to break. So far, that hasn't been a big problem for me as dd is generally infatuated with glitz for only very short periods of time.

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#29 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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My mom frequently didn't give us the gifts we really wanted because she just didn't want to look at them (Barbie Dream House) or they might be messy (paint, chalk, markers, generally anything that required adult supervision or clean up). To me, these are cruddy reasons. However, when something actually bumps up against your value system, it's ok to say no. Really. I won't buy Bratz for my daughter or anyone elses. If one were given to her, I'd throw it out before I'd donate it. I find them THAT repulsive.

When my daughter was small, I could see our cozy home full of hand made, carefully selected wooden and cloth toys. There would be a Waldorf doll, playsilks, felt food, and lovely wooden toys to delight the eye and hand. Yeah, I've had to let that go. My daughter shows no interest in these things, even when other kids are playing with them and people (like HER FATHER) won't stop giving her junky plastic gifts and you know, I have to roll with it as best I can. But I draw the line at Bratz.

To me, it's the same as if we had a son who really really really wanted a relistic toy gun. Sorry, it's just no. A really sympathetic, I-know-it's-hard-when-you-can't-have-something-you-want and totally sincere no, but still no.
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#30 of 107 Old 12-05-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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I'd buy the Bratz doll in a heartbeat. We have toy guns at our house now too. And I'm a pacifist. Ds can choose his own moral compass. My morality doesn't include imposing mine on others.


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