Gifts I would not use, would you say something before hand? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is something I think I likely will get as gifts, but no way would I use. I don't NEED anything and in the past, I have always smiled and been nice if I got something I would not use or did not like (which really, does not happen often). 

 

Here is the thing, I have had a fair number of boys. EVERYONE else in my family and my dh's has had girls. Since they are girl only parents, they seem to put outfits on their children that might stuff like "I'm a princess" or "girls rule, boys drool." I have also seen "I'm a hottie" on a baby thing. NO WAY would I allow my daughter to wear those things. We have a rule, if we do not want our child to say it in real life, we won't have her wear it. 

 

I figure if anyone gives me things that say that (this baby is a girl!) then I can smile and be nice and give it to charity later. That has always seemed the right way to handle it. But, I am wondering if I am wrong in how I would handle that, if I should perhaps tell people early on that we will not allow our daughter to wear things like that. I know I see things like that on my nieces all the time. The major part of me feels like a gift is a gift (I do not even register) and that I should just be happy and smile and know its the thought that counts regardless.

 

What do you think?

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#2 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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My DH and I also have a rule that states no wording across the fanny of any pants or shorts. Period. I hate seeing little girls with "Hottie" on their behinds.

 

My response woudl be "Since this baby cant read, I would appreciate bears and frogs instead. I dont want too put too much pressure on early literacy" and smile like your joking.

 

 

 

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#3 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Well, I'm a very upfront and rather confrontational person, so take that into consideration.  I also don't really care about etiquette.  Anyway, when I was pregnant with ds I said, "no vehicles, no Disney, no sports, nothing that says 'BOY' on it, nothing with the words mommy or daddy"  And we didn't get that stuff (well not much of it).  I didn't tell EVERYONE, like I didn't tell my co-workers, but I told my family and my close friends.  

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#4 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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If this baby is a girl, I'll be pretty vocal about preferences like that.  HOWever....there aren't currently any baby girls in our immediate family yet, so I don't have to worry so much about offending anyone.  In your situation, I might not be so outspoken.

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#5 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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That's a tough one. There's some really obnoxious baby girl clothes out there. If it were me, I probably wouldn't say anything. Most people put gift receipts in, especially with clothing. Then I would just exchange them. If you want to get passive-aggressive about it, you could give them the gift of the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter. I just heard an interview with the author a while back (I haven't read the book) and she was talking about exactly the sort of clothes (and other products) you've mentioned. 

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#6 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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I'd just smile and nod and then donate or return the gift. If there are other parents in your family who dress their girls in those kinds of clothes I think it would be taken as insulting or judgmental if you told them that you will not dress your DD in those clothes. It's more gracious to just accept the gift and then dispose of it however you wish.

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#7 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Honestly, I think you are overthinking things.  Just because they put that stuff on their kids doesn't automatically mean they will give it to you. 

 

Also, especially since this is your first girl, it's likely that you will get A LOT of girl clothes.  People love to buy girls clothes.  Of all kinds-frills, lace, cutesy words, pink, purple, princesses etc etc etc.  And, as a result, parents are often stuck with clothes that their kids never get the chance to wear, or that they only wear once.  Because of that, for the most part, no one thinks twice about parents taking stuff back or taking it to goodwill or whatever. 

 

And, you know, even when parents don't have philosophies about what their kids won't be wearing ( ie "no Disney" or "nothing pink" or whatever.) there are times that a parent is gifted an outfit for their kid that they just don't like.  That knit jumper that grandma picked up at the garage sale for $1 that is obviously from 20 years ago that even though it's in good condition just makes you cringe (yes, experience)  Or, that specialty boutique outfit in brown and pink paisely that is just super trendy and was way expensive but really in no way fits ANYTHING that you might like (also experience.)  And, you just take it back or take it to goodwill, or just shove it in the back of the drawer and never put it in the kid.  Nine times out of ten, unless it's some family herloom or something that has really special meaning to the gift giver, it's really just not that big of a deal. 

 

I think saying something ahead of time is going to make a bigger deal out of it than it has to be.  If I bought my niece something with Disney Princesses on it, and I never saw her in it, it's likely I wouldn't even notice, and even if I did, I am not going to say anything.  BUT, if my brother came to me and said something like-Hey, we know you love Disney Princesses but we don't believe in the commercialism that represents so please stick to wooden toys (or whatever variation thereof,) I would be somewhat offended, irritated, and would be regularly rolling my eyes behind his back. 

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#8 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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It is never polite to tell people what types of gifts they can't give to you or or your kids. It's rude and presumptious. Just accept the gift and thank them then get rid of it or just don't have the baby wear it.


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#9 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
I figure if anyone gives me things that say that (this baby is a girl!) then I can smile and be nice and give it to charity later. That has always seemed the right way to handle it.



nod.gif that's still the way to handle it. There's just no graceful way to tell people (especially if they haven't asked) that you don't care for their taste in clothing for girls! If they ask what kinds of things you want, you can say "I really like Hanna Andersson/Carter's/whatever brand you like" stuff. If you see them often, they'll notice that you don't put your daughter in those clothes and may change. Or not. But once they give the gift, it's not their place to ask what you've done with it.


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#10 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is one thing I could say that would probably head off the shirts that say these things....our babies have had skin problems and cannot wear polyester. Currently, our 18 month old has such horrible eczema that we are getting little sleep as he wakes at night crying from the itching. Maybe if I just show the eczema and comment that he cannot wear polyester...just like the other children..maybe they will get it. I, myself, break out when I wear polyester so now I just never wear it.

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#11 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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OP I think you have to stick with your present philosophy on gifts.  Say "thank you" and later return (if there's a gift receipt) or donate.  Also, if you are out shopping with one of these relatives, or if you see one of their girls wearing something you actually would like to dress your dd in you can make a point of making positive comments about the clothes/stuff you do like (to give a hint that may or may not be taken).   Anything more than that would be too pushy and/or offensive (implying they dress their dds in an inappropriate way) IMO.


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#12 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

There is one thing I could say that would probably head off the shirts that say these things....our babies have had skin problems and cannot wear polyester. Currently, our 18 month old has such horrible eczema that we are getting little sleep as he wakes at night crying from the itching. Maybe if I just show the eczema and comment that he cannot wear polyester...just like the other children..maybe they will get it. I, myself, break out when I wear polyester so now I just never wear it.



They come in cotton too.

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#13 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

T

 

I figure if anyone gives me things that say that (this baby is a girl!) then I can smile and be nice and give it to charity later. That has always seemed the right way to handle it. But, I am wondering if I am wrong in how I would handle that, if I should perhaps tell people early on that we will not allow our daughter to wear things like that. I know I see things like that on my nieces all the time. The major part of me feels like a gift is a gift (I do not even register) and that I should just be happy and smile and know its the thought that counts regardless.

 

 



 



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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post





nod.gif that's still the way to handle it. There's just no graceful way to tell people (especially if they haven't asked) that you don't care for their taste in clothing for girls! If they ask what kinds of things you want, you can say "I really like Hanna Andersson/Carter's/whatever brand you like" stuff. If you see them often, they'll notice that you don't put your daughter in those clothes and may change. Or not. But once they give the gift, it's not their place to ask what you've done with it.


Ditto this response to your initial reaction.

 



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I'd just smile and nod and then donate or return the gift. If there are other parents in your family who dress their girls in those kinds of clothes I think it would be taken as insulting or judgmental if you told them that you will not dress your DD in those clothes. It's more gracious to just accept the gift and then dispose of it however you wish.



Yes, this too.

 

 

When our girls were born, I make some suggestions to close family that we did not want matchy-matchy for the twins (girls) and couched it in the fact that I worried about telling them apart.

 

By now, *almost* anyone knows that we dont do anything but basics (no rude sayings,no characters, no on-the- butt writing, no tween styles,no skimpiness, no bikinis, etc) for our 5 yr olds. My MIL complains that it makes it 'hard' to find clothes, but still complies. Other gifts we get at this age are mostly toys or books- which we have yet to have concerns with. We keep a running Amazon list, which gives suggestions--- helps make sure that they have an idea of what the girls like ( science, crafts, board games, etc).

 

BUT, when they were small--- I said nothing to friends/coworkers, etc....and yes, we got some matchy outfits. It was fine. Yes, we got some clothes I did not use or want to use. I donated them or took to resale shop. (and wrote a thank you note for thinking of the girls, but no mention of donation).

 

 

BTW: their girl cousins DO wear clothes that DH and I do not approve of. We dont say anything to their parents about clothing styles--- so it is possible they may/may not agree with ours. So far though, the gifts they have given us have been appropriate so I know they took what 'we' liked in consideration instead of what their DDs wear.  If people know of your boys clothing style, hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised that people will try to get something you like instead of what they would choose- KWIM?

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#14 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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There is only one person I would feel comfortable enough to tell our preferences to, and that person would also expect honesty and it isn't a big deal.  Maybe two.  

If people were nice enough to take their time to pick out and give gifts I would accept happily and thank everyone for their kindness.  Then later donate things that aren't wanted and I would not tell them. 

I have one relative who I donate near everything they have ever given me or my family, this has been going for years.  But I always am grateful for their thoughtfulness and tell them thanks in person or write thank you cards.  It really is the thought that counts.  


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#15 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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I would accept the gift, and be nice, then not use it, donate it, or exchange it.

 

But, hopefully most people would already know how you feel about it before hand.  My daughter was a dancer, and the school sold dance shorts with the name of the studio across the bum.  I happily let her wear that.  But, if they said "dancer", or "Jazz hands" or "Hot stuff", I said "no", and all my friends and family knew I felt like that... I wasn't even overbearing about it. I'd just mentioned it occasionally.  A few times, when she was older she got something from one of HER friends that said something inappropriate on it.  But, by that time, even she wouldn't wear them.  

 

Around Easter, my daycare boys seem to show up with T-shirts that say "Chick Magnet"... but, it's a picture of a baby chicken and a giant magnet.   I think that's cute.

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#16 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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To me a gift is just that-a gift.  It is not for me to dictate. In the case of receiving something I don't care for I choose to be gracious and to follow up with a sincere thank you note, usually one that doesn't mention the gift specifically but more about how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness/kindness. 

 

 


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#17 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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To me a gift is just that-a gift.  It is not for me to dictate. In the case of receiving something I don't care for I choose to be gracious and to follow up with a sincere thank you note, usually one that doesn't mention the gift specifically but more about how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness/kindness. 

 

 



Exactly. To do anything else shows ingratitude.

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#18 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Exactly. To do anything else shows ingratitude.


Eh, I just wanted to put out there that, personally,  if *I'm* buying gifts for someone, I really would appreciate and happily receive guidance and feedback.  I find the idea of someone politely accepting something they hate and then donating it far more offensive than the idea of someone mentioning to me (before or after) that they like/don't like x y z.  shrug.gif

 

But again, in the OP's situation, it's difficult to convey "I think what your kids wear is hideous and won't let my daughter wear anything like that" politely lol.gif

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#19 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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I agree with this.  Just take it and say thank you and give it away or something.

 

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I'd just smile and nod and then donate or return the gift. If there are other parents in your family who dress their girls in those kinds of clothes I think it would be taken as insulting or judgmental if you told them that you will not dress your DD in those clothes. It's more gracious to just accept the gift and then dispose of it however you wish.



 

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#20 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I would continue with your present method of graciously accepting & then donating to charity for the most part, BUT if there are close family/friends who will likely be regularly giving gifts to you/your child, then I would at least let them know. It doesn't have to be a big announcement or anything, just a casual/joking/venting/whatever worked into your conversations... but I know I'd hate to continually give someone gifts they can't or won't use.

One of my friends casually said something about not wanting her girl to wear all pink. She wasn't dropping hints or anything, just mentioning it, but when it came time to find a gift for her baby, I was really glad to know about the pink thing and selected the clothing very carefully...

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#21 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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I concur with the other posters. You can say "We are really looking forward to the pinks and purples and cute little ruffles of traditional girl clothes."  That eliminates a lot of the stuff with writing on it. You can mention the all-cotton needs. You can comment on brands you've seen and loved that were really cute. But you want to avoid commenting on anything you DON'T want specifically, especially if their girls do wear those things, and if they have given you something your child couldn't wear. I think that's the best you can do really.


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#22 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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I would just thank them for the gift, donate it later, and move on.  There are bigger fish to fry. 


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#23 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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I would just thank them for the gift, donate it later, and move on.  There are bigger fish to fry. 



Yup this. Plus those tops and stuff always come in handy when bubs has spit up on hirself for the 17th time in a row!

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#24 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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I would just say thank you and give it to someone who does like it or donate it. Unless the person asks for my choice in clothes. Or gifts. I would be very annoyed if someone I am not very close to in the first place were to tell me that that isn't something they would use for their child after the effort I put in, trying to find it. Someone close, yes, I would want to know, because I do very much care about their using things I buy for them.


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#25 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was only referring to family members. I would never be comfy saying anything to anyone else. 
 

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I would just say thank you and give it to someone who does like it or donate it. Unless the person asks for my choice in clothes. Or gifts. I would be very annoyed if someone I am not very close to in the first place were to tell me that that isn't something they would use for their child after the effort I put in, trying to find it. Someone close, yes, I would want to know, because I do very much care about their using things I buy for them.



 

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#26 of 43 Old 03-12-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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Well, even family members, only if they ask.


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#27 of 43 Old 03-13-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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I think what everyone is saying only works when the girl is a baby. As soon as she is old enough to have an opinion about her clothes, there's the possibility that she'll open something and LOVE it. Then you have a whole little power thing with your child. This can happen pretty darn young.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I know I went through this with my mother, and I know several other parents who have. But this isn't just a "baby" problem. In some ways, it seems simplier to be clear during the baby stage, because not doing so risks having the toddler drama of removing clothing from a child's wardrobe that they like, and then later having moments where they unwrap clothes and then they tell everyone that you, the mean mommy, aren't going to let them keep it anyway.  That's really not how any one wants to hear that you've been getting rid of their gifts for years.

 

 


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#28 of 43 Old 03-13-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, I forgot about this. We have had this problem in the past. We had things we said our children could not have, then they would give it anyway. Then I would have to be the mean mom to take it away. I did take it away. And eventually, they learned to stop giving those things. I would rather have nothing than have things I have to be the mean mommy to take away. This past year, it was over a new XBOX system. We said no. We suggested things our children would like and be interested in...like books and science and art things..and a membership to a science museum. Or even better yet..spend a day with my child! My child would love a day out with someone. But nope, they just wanted to buy things, but had no interest in spending even an hour with my child. They told me I was making my children in to geeks by giving them boring things like books and art and science stuff. So what! I think they are trying to make my children in to stupid drones by giving them a new game system every other year. (They have given Playstation 2 and Wii in the past).

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I think what everyone is saying only works when the girl is a baby. As soon as she is old enough to have an opinion about her clothes, there's the possibility that she'll open something and LOVE it. Then you have a whole little power thing with your child. This can happen pretty darn young.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I know I went through this with my mother, and I know several other parents who have. But this isn't just a "baby" problem. In some ways, it seems simplier to be clear during the baby stage, because not doing so risks having the toddler drama of removing clothing from a child's wardrobe that they like, and then later having moments where they unwrap clothes and then they tell everyone that you, the mean mommy, aren't going to let them keep it anyway.  That's really not how any one wants to hear that you've been getting rid of their gifts for years.

 

 



 

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#29 of 43 Old 03-13-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Yeah that. No reason to create bad feelings among family if you don't have to.

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I'd just smile and nod and then donate or return the gift. If there are other parents in your family who dress their girls in those kinds of clothes I think it would be taken as insulting or judgmental if you told them that you will not dress your DD in those clothes. It's more gracious to just accept the gift and then dispose of it however you wish.



 

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#30 of 43 Old 03-16-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shaki View Post

I'd just smile and nod and then donate or return the gift. If there are other parents in your family who dress their girls in those kinds of clothes I think it would be taken as insulting or judgmental if you told them that you will not dress your DD in those clothes. It's more gracious to just accept the gift and then dispose of it however you wish.



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