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#1 of 61 Old 09-23-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi friends!

 

i was wondering if i could get some advice on what to do.

 

i recently read the article, "no more junk toys" here at mothering, and was inspired to try to broach the subject with family for these holidays and my baby's first birthday coming up in february.

 

she's 7 months old. i haven't gotten to know her dad's family very well. just met them after she was born. of course they want to shower her with all kinds of stuff, and they already have, somewhat. 

 

her dad/my partner, feels that we should really spend christmas eve with his mom and her parents because it would mean a lot to them. neither he nor i are christians or very embroiled in christmas. he is ok with going with the flow, i want to create our own thing.

 

i agreed to see them for c-mas eve, and asked him if i could please talk to his family about what kinds of presents would be good to give the baby, and he's becoming increasingly resistant to me even bringing it up. he says he respects my world view but he doesn't think it's right to tell someone what kind of gift they should give our child.

 

his stepmother, who also loves the baby, is much more open to my ideas.

 

i haven't broached the subject with my own family yet, so maybe this makes me a bit hypocritical, but at the same time, i feel my family are less likely to buy a boat-load of plastic stuff made in china from wal-mart and call it christmas.

 

how have other moms/dads dealt with similar issues? any ideas out there?

 

thank you!

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#2 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hello... anybody? i'm sure there are parents out there dealing with this...

 

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#3 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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He's right that it's not proper etiquette to dictate what types of gifts others gives you. If they ask for suggestions, you can certainly say you prefer books or wooden toys or whatever, but don't let this stress you out to the point it interferes with your relationship with family. Family is more important than stuff. You can get rid of the stuff after the holidays if they don't fit your ideals, but there is no need to make a big deal out of it now.

With a 7 month old, you've got many, many birthdays and celebrations in the years to come. Might as well keep it peaceful, since it's about togetherness and love, not gifts. Also, remember that gifts are half about the giver and half about the receiver. If family members pick out flashy, plastic toys for your LO from walmart, it's because they think your LO will enjoy it - which brings them joy.

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#4 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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I do not know how you're relationship is with your DP's family, but for me... if I had only *met* them 7 months ago I wouldn't be up for making too many demands, kwim.    If they ask, you can definately give input, but otherwise I would at least stand back and see what happens.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

 

This is slightly off topic, but you mentioned that they want to spend Christmas with you and that you're not Christian but want your own celebration.  Why not make it on a day other than Christmas itself?  We always have our immediate family celebration on a different day--- then we get our own traditions and our families (both Christian) get to spend their special day with us, too.

 

Good luck!


 

 

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#5 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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right - it wouldn't be proper to dictate, but i was hoping there would be suggestions as to how to bring it up in a loving peaceful way, that's what i was looking for.

you're right that family's more important than stuff, but... i'm part of the family too, right? last time i checked, moms were part of the family.

i know there are many gift-giving opportunities coming up, which is why i wanted to begin with good habits and not slide down a slippery slope.

i've totally absorbed your wisdom on this, thank you... it just makes me kind of sad because we live in a city with so much cool local stuff that would be just wonderful for the baby, but i'm pretty sure that all these great alternatives are not even going to cross their minds. sigh.

 

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He's right that it's not proper etiquette to dictate what types of gifts others gives you. If they ask for suggestions, you can certainly say you prefer books or wooden toys or whatever, but don't let this stress you out to the point it interferes with your relationship with family. Family is more important than stuff. You can get rid of the stuff after the holidays if they don't fit your ideals, but there is no need to make a big deal out of it now.
With a 7 month old, you've got many, many birthdays and celebrations in the years to come. Might as well keep it peaceful, since it's about togetherness and love, not gifts. Also, remember that gifts are half about the giver and half about the receiver. If family members pick out flashy, plastic toys for your LO from walmart, it's because they think your LO will enjoy it - which brings them joy.


 

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#6 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the ideas.

 

if they ask me what i thought about some toy, for example, are you saying it's okay to say what i really thought? i mean, in a gentle way, of course... 
 

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I do not know how you're relationship is with your DP's family, but for me... if I had only *met* them 7 months ago I wouldn't be up for making too many demands, kwim.    If they ask, you can definately give input, but otherwise I would at least stand back and see what happens.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

 

This is slightly off topic, but you mentioned that they want to spend Christmas with you and that you're not Christian but want your own celebration.  Why not make it on a day other than Christmas itself?  We always have our immediate family celebration on a different day--- then we get our own traditions and our families (both Christian) get to spend their special day with us, too.

 

Good luck!



 

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#7 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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I have been dealing with the same problem. And I knew my inlaws for 8 1/2 years before the baby was born! Basically, you can make suggestions if they ask, but when they give you a bunch of crap just be polite and then keep it in the closet until she's outgrown the toy and then get rid of it. My husband it pretty much on the same page with me, and we thought that my MIL understood after she came to visit and we went to a toy store with her and picked out some nice things... but 2 weeks later she sends us a big ugly plastic electronic table toy... my husband thanked her politely with as little enthusiasm as possible, and she seemed a little... put out.

I did also (with my husband's approval) post an article on facebook for everyone to see: http://healthtakenseriously.com/2007/08/31/the-dangers-of-plastic/ 

Good luck!

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#8 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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well we dictate and it's a world of difference - for the better!

 

we wrote a letter right after our DS was born and spelled out very clearly what we did and didn't want - we also had made it clear that PRIOR there was to be no gifts at all- we don't do "showers" for babies in my family-never

 

having his family understand our reasoning behind this was the step in getting why we did our letter

 

if they have any clue what type of person you are both of you are- it should not come as a shock and you can word it nicely 

 

my DH had been dropping hints for years and his family "got it" after we sent them a letter

 

you can keep your mouth shut and end up with things you won't or can't use and give them away, sell, etc

 

some people get it- other's don't

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#9 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the article! there's no way i have the time or focus to finish reading it, but after getting about 1/3 through, i see it would definitely drive the point home about plastics :)
 

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I have been dealing with the same problem. And I knew my inlaws for 8 1/2 years before the baby was born! Basically, you can make suggestions if they ask, but when they give you a bunch of crap just be polite and then keep it in the closet until she's outgrown the toy and then get rid of it. My husband it pretty much on the same page with me, and we thought that my MIL understood after she came to visit and we went to a toy store with her and picked out some nice things... but 2 weeks later she sends us a big ugly plastic electronic table toy... my husband thanked her politely with as little enthusiasm as possible, and she seemed a little... put out.

I did also (with my husband's approval) post an article on facebook for everyone to see: http://healthtakenseriously.com/2007/08/31/the-dangers-of-plastic/

Good luck!



 

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#10 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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I don't think it is really appropriate to tell people what they can give your child as a gift but you can certainly make suggestions, offer to give them information and hint at what you would like to receive. If someone told me that I could only get their child certain gifts I would be a little insulted and I would feel like they think they are better and smarter than me. You can't really expect all your relatives, especially older ones who are set in their ways, to change their shopping habits but you can encourage them to do so nicely. Say you did tell them only certain gifts were acceptable, would you give unacceptable gifts back to them and tell them to try again? You probably would not do that so why not just be grateful for what your child gets from relatives and keep what you want and donate the rest to other children in need.

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#11 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jksmith View Post... but 2 weeks later she sends us a big ugly plastic electronic table toy... my husband thanked her politely with as little enthusiasm as possible, and she seemed a little... put out.


What did you expect?  I mean most times a gift is picked because the giver thinks it's "perfect" for the givee.  You will always receive gifts you don't like but you can deal with those.  If they ask, by all means tell them.  When my mom buys me an ugly shirt, I say thank you....I can't imagine how I could tell her what type of shirt to buy me next time out of the blue.

 

Save recipts and return or re-gift them.  One man's trash.....

 


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#12 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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I have learned, at least in my own family, that the only gifts that I really get to have input on are the ones I pick and pay for myself.

 

Sometimes, people ask for suggestions.  Even then, it's not something I would have picked myself. But that's the thing-- I didn't pick it myself.   For an upcoming birthday, MIL  asked what little sister would like. I provided a bunch of different ideas from different online shops, with the added line of "however, you might find the perfect thing locally". You know what? she felt good enough for the first time in a long time to actually leave the house and go shopping. So little sister is getting something I would not have picked out myself from the local Kmart, but she'll love it I'm sure, and I'm just glad grandma's feeling better.  And I'll save that great idea list for christmas, when I'm doing the shopping myself.

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#13 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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What did you expect?  I mean most times a gift is picked because the giver thinks it's "perfect" for the givee.  You will always receive gifts you don't like but you can deal with those.  If they ask, by all means tell them.  When my mom buys me an ugly shirt, I say thank you....I can't imagine how I could tell her what type of shirt to buy me next time out of the blue.

 

Save recipts and return or re-gift them.  One man's trash.....

 


I did absolutely expect her be that way, but I'm pretty sure she was testing us with the gift, it wasn't even a gift occasion. My husband had already told her outright that we were avoiding plastic toys, before she got us anything. When we went with her to the store, she bought him two nice wooden toys, and we pointed out lots of example great toys we like. She has done similar things in the past with us. For example, once she asked me if my DH needed sweaters, and I said no, he never wears the few sweaters he has, but hse bought him 2 for christmas anyway....  she just think she knows what is best, she also tried to buy me a wedding dress...

 

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#14 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i feel like if you're trying to be thoughtful by buying a gift, then you should be just that - thought-full. and if it gives you joy to give a gift, then wouldn't it give you even more joy to know that the receiver actually likes and enjoys and derives benefit from the gift you gave? instead of disliking it and feeling like it could be harmful in any way or an imposition?

 

i mean, i understand the perspective that it's not polite, etc, but if we're going to consider, we should consider all parts of the equation, right?

 

also, it's not like his family are made of money - i'd prefer one awesome gift that we could really appreciate than a pile of stuff we're not happy with and would consider getting rid of.

 

btw, i'm so surprised that i read the article here at mothering.com, and yet most of the responders do not seem to be in agreement with it. just an observation. i'm glad we can all feel comfortable to freely state our opinions in a safe space here.

 

i do appreciate everyone's input. i think, since i'm one half of a partnership, and the other half is not comfortable with outright stating our (my?) ideals, i'll find some sort of middle ground way to deal with it, like if they ask, i'll speak up.

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I did absolutely expect her be that way, but I'm pretty sure she was testing us with the gift, it wasn't even a gift occasion. My husband had already told her outright that we were avoiding plastic toys, before she got us anything. When we went with her to the store, she bought him two nice wooden toys, and we pointed out lots of example great toys we like. She has done similar things in the past with us. For example, once she asked me if my DH needed sweaters, and I said no, he never wears the few sweaters he has, but hse bought him 2 for christmas anyway....  she just think she knows what is best, she also tried to buy me a wedding dress...

 



 

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thanks for the ideas.

 

if they ask me what i thought about some toy, for example, are you saying it's okay to say what i really thought? i mean, in a gentle way, of course...  

 


I totally would feel comfortable doing so, ESPECIALLY if the gift had not yet been given.  You need to employ a lot more tact if they ask what you think about a gift and it has already been unwrapped, but if my in-laws call saying, "Do you think _____" would be a good gift (and they're at the store) I lay it out. 
 

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i do appreciate everyone's input. i think, since i'm one half of a partnership, and the other half is not comfortable with outright stating our (my?) ideals, i'll find some sort of middle ground way to deal with it, like if they ask, i'll speak up.

 



In your situation, that is where I would be uncomfortable.  In my place, DP & I had been together years and I knew his family well (we had vacationed together, spent numerous holidays together, etc...).  I *knew* what they considered appropriate and I also knew what I was comfortable with (they always had tons of gifts with no acknowledgement of who was from what--- I wanted my kids to appreciate the gift, and the giver, more).  But I still had DP bring up any issues with them and then I was happy to clarify.  We did actually spell this out before DD's first holiday, but my In-laws also *wanted* to know. They also didn't have a vested interest in how things were, they were just that way because they did it that way.  The things that are important to them, we are also willing to make happen.  Now, my parents, they already had lots of grandkids and their way of doing things and we didn't even try to impact their decisions (much, lol).

 

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#16 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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I don't think there's a polite or easy way to bring this subject up, but if it comes up on it's own, that would be the appropriate time to broach it. 

 

That being said, I do "direct" the grandparents (we have 3 sets) a bit around gift-giving occasions.  With my dad I will out and out send him a link and ask him to buy something.  Because I know that he appreciates not having to stress thinking about it.  But about a month before DS' birthday (last month), I sent out an email to all the grandparents, godparents and other family members that might gift us something.  We don't see any of them regularly.  I told them his current size of clothing and shoes, what we needed in that size and the next size (I get a lot of hand-me-downs and buy used when I find good prices).  I told them what he is currently enjoying doing, what type of play he is enjoying, and I told them what the assessors said/suggested for him with his delays.  And the grandparents all did really well.  One stuck with mostly clothes, and just a few toys she and I had discussed.  Another sent shoes and some building toys he'll grow into in another few months.  And my dad showed up with clothes and some great wooden toys that I hadn't suggested to him (you really can teach an old dog new tricks!).  All in all, it's not ideal, but it's a huge improvement over last year (when I didn't direct anything). 

 

 

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#17 of 61 Old 10-12-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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How often do you see these people? I keep a blog about my kids for loved ones we don't see frequently. I update about once a week with pictures, cute antics the kids have pulled, what we've been doing, games we've been playing, et cetera. One of the bonuses is that they see pretty clearly what the kids actually end up using/playing with, what we're truly interested in, and both kids have a wish list linked on the side bar, which is where most of our gifts come from. The people we see more frequently, I've discussed toys and such with on many occasions, because it's naturally come up in conversation, so I've had the opportunity to explain why I buy what I buy, why I don't buy what I don't, and that I feel uncomfortable with certain items coming into the home and why. When it comes to gift giving occasions, I usually don't have a problem these days. When something does come in I don't want around, I say thanks and then take it to Goodwill later.

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#18 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NinasMommy View Post

i feel like if you're trying to be thoughtful by buying a gift, then you should be just that - thought-full. and if it gives you joy to give a gift, then wouldn't it give you even more joy to know that the receiver actually likes and enjoys and derives benefit from the gift you gave? instead of disliking it and feeling like it could be harmful in any way or an imposition?

 


It's possible that even when relatives choose gifts for your child that you don't like or wouldn't have chosen, they are being thoughtful in ways that might not be apparent to you. We have had people give gifts to our DD that we weren't crazy about, but she loved them, and the person giving them had put a lot of thought into choosing something that would be really fun for her. I feel like it's important to remember that when people give my DD gifts, they are giving them to her, not to me. I certainly have preferences about what kind of toys we have in the house, and I really take those preferences into account--when I'm buying something for her. When other people give her gifts, I try to honor their loving intentions and appreciate the time and money they spend on getting something they think she'll love. If there were true safety concerns with a particular toy, I would step in (and for me, being made of plastic does not in itself constitute a safety concern, because plastic is everywhere and preventing DD from having plastic toys will not prevent her from being exposed to it). But other than that, I don't worry about it, and I would certainly never criticize something someone gave her or give them an unsolicited list of acceptable options or anything like that.

 

Of course, we are fortunate in having family members on both sides who respect our parenting choices and do not deliberately undermine us. They would never give her a particular toy just to annoy me. If that were not the case, I guess I might feel differently about the whole toy issue.

 


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#19 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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I posted a similar post on Life With a Babe today and then realized this might be a better forum. I am also surprised by the answers above. I *do* think there is a way to broach this with graciousness and gratitude, but what that answer is depends so much on the personalities and style in your family. If simplicity, fair trade items, etc. is an ethical or moral issue to you (it may or not be for you, it is for us) then it seems appropriate to gently share your position. One thing we've done pre-LO is to talk to the family about a Secret Santa arrangement with a budget limit. That way, only 1-2 people are buying/giving for each person rather than 7 people. We settled on a budget amount that is about what we were spending when we were buying for everyone, but now that money can be concentrated into 1-2 larger items (if desired). Another thing is that our family is big on wish lists--in both my family and ILs wish lists are actually "due" the day after Thanksgiving--so we will give a wish list of things that work for us. I am not sure what to put on it--hence my other post--because many natural toys are pricey enough that we would not put them on the list. All of that said, we don't have this navigated with LO. I think that everyone may want to buy for the babies (he has a cousin close in age). We are starting to talk now, though. I think that an open conversation starting with questions in the realm of, "Hey can we talk about Christmas? We can't wait to spend time with you. How do you think we should navigate gifts this year with a baby in the mix? (They share their vision, then you share what of that you think will work) Do you think something like that would work for you? If appropriate add "If you'd like some ideas of the things we think LO would like, just let me know.")

 

Also, think of it as a long-term thing. For example, my MIL knows that she can buy as many stuffed animals for LO as she wants, but they have to live at her house. That came up after she gave us several before LO was born.We recieved them with grace and set them aside for when LO is old enough to not eat them. We later told her that now we were all set on stuffed animals. Same thing with plastic toys, things with batteries, etc She knows that we would prefer LO to not have those, but if she just cannot resist, then they can be special treats at her house that she and LO play with together. We have a good ongoing conversation that has been evolving. This Christmas may only be 10% of your vision and goals, but maybe next year will get your 20% there and then 50% there.

 

My MIL is a dear woman who shows her love through giving gifts and we so appreciate her. But, we also want to have our home to the standards that work for our small space and lifestyle. It is a delicate dance of respect and appreciation and boundaries.


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#20 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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I agree. I also think that you have to keep in mind that some people have reasons for what they buy. Family bought my DD some Fisher Price Little People because they had bought ME some when I was her age. Yes, they're plastic but the characters are well made and sturdy. Other family members and friends have bought my kids Schleigh (sp?) animals because they look so much more real than wooden animals. Again, they are good quality plastic and last forever. And Duplos and Legos are classics, although plastic. And Magna-Tiles are our favorite toy EVER. And plastic.

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He's right that it's not proper etiquette to dictate what types of gifts others gives you. If they ask for suggestions, you can certainly say you prefer books or wooden toys or whatever, but don't let this stress you out to the point it interferes with your relationship with family. Family is more important than stuff. You can get rid of the stuff after the holidays if they don't fit your ideals, but there is no need to make a big deal out of it now.
With a 7 month old, you've got many, many birthdays and celebrations in the years to come. Might as well keep it peaceful, since it's about togetherness and love, not gifts. Also, remember that gifts are half about the giver and half about the receiver. If family members pick out flashy, plastic toys for your LO from walmart, it's because they think your LO will enjoy it - which brings them joy.


 

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#21 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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You can be concerned about what toys they're given, or you can be concerend about whether they're having politeness modelled to t hem and whether they're being raised to have a good realtionship with their grandparents. But there is no polite way to tell people what presents to buy your kid. If you don't like a present, say "thank you" anyway and donate it.

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#22 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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i was hoping there would be suggestions as to how to bring it up in a loving peaceful way, that's what i was looking for.

 

I don't think there really is a good way to bring up presents tactfully, unless someone asks you first. It might be a good idea to be prepared with something like an Amazon wish list (or I think there are websites you can use to make a wish list from anywhere on the web), or somehow spread the word through relatives - if there is one person you know who can tell others....


Good luck. I've tried for years and some relatives "get it" and others, no matter how directly I've asked them to please not buy battery toys or GIGANTIC TOYS THAT BARELY FIT IN OUR HOUSE - they still do. :( At least with a baby you can donate or return the gifts without her noticing.


Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#23 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks i really liked your response and suggestions. especially your wisdom about it being a delicate dance. and, about having your home and lifestyle to work for you - that's how i feel about it too, but much of what i hear is that i need to respect everyone else's standards and not expect any respect in return.
 

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My MIL is a dear woman who shows her love through giving gifts and we so appreciate her. But, we also want to have our home to the standards that work for our small space and lifestyle. It is a delicate dance of respect and appreciation and boundaries.



 

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You can be concerned about what toys they're given, or you can be concerend about whether they're having politeness modelled to t hem and whether they're being raised to have a good realtionship with their grandparents. But there is no polite way to tell people what presents to buy your kid. If you don't like a present, say "thank you" anyway and donate it.


Yes, this.  I would  MUCH rather my children learn grace and courtesy than to have the best toys.  I buy my children exactly what I want them to have.  Other people gift what they feel the child would like.  We accept every gift with the grace and courtesy I want my children to learn.  After all, it's far better to learn to be polite than to always get what you want.  I do let my child have every gift they are given unless it is really an unsafe choice (very very very rare...I'm talking about a gift meant for a school age kid, and I have a toddler or something like that)...eventually the ones they don't play with anymore get donated.  But I have no right to take away my children's personal property (by taking a gift immediately and not letting them have it) or tell someone else how to spend their money.  

 

It is far more important to teach your children how to be gracious gift receivers....

 

(And personally, I've found that it is far more likely that we'd receive a gift that was against our ideals if we outright mentioned that we didn't like something.  Oh, we don't like plastic toys that suck up batteries and make noise?  Well, here's this fantastic new toy that is just PERFECT...it's the latest trend...and a couple packs of batteries with it!  Not really to be spiteful, but because in someone else's eyes, the toys that are the "it" toys are exactly the ones that they believe all children like....and truth be told, most of them DO like those toys, even if one thinks there is little redeeming value to it... ;-) )

 


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#25 of 61 Old 10-13-2011, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But I would never teach a child to accept any gift with anything but politeness, courtesy, grace, gratitude, etcetera. That is so not an issue that I have.

Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a pretty polite person, something I learned as a child, and I know I would pass that on to my kid(s).

While it is important to consider the giver and receive gifts in a good spirit, I'm also considering a lot of other aspects of gift-receiving. 

And, yes, the gifts are given to the children and I'm so sure they do enjoy them, but isn't it the role of parents to decide what's good or bad in a kid's environment until they are able to choose for themselves? Also, a lot of these things don't just come into contact with our children - they affect the world we live in. I don't feel so great about my kid playing with something made, for example, in a sweat shop where children work. 

Anyways, I'm just discussing for the sake of discussion now. This has gotten kind of interesting philosophically.

 

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#26 of 61 Old 10-14-2011, 04:34 AM
 
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What they learn most is what you model, not what you try to teach them.

 

And no, you don't control your child's entire environment. Some people try to, but it's an illusion. You can control what toys you'll keep in your home, but you can't control what presents people choose to give your kids. If you find something is really awful, then take it to Goodwill. Trying to control how people give gifts will just lead to resentment, and I do worry that it can teach kids to become entitled. "I get to decide what gifts I get."

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#27 of 61 Old 10-14-2011, 05:07 AM
 
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And, yes, the gifts are given to the children and I'm so sure they do enjoy them, but isn't it the role of parents to decide what's good or bad in a kid's environment until they are able to choose for themselves?


This stuck out to me. I know to some, this is just an issue of simply not wanting plastic noisy toys... and I don't want them either... but I also found that DS cannot HANDLE being around noisy plastic toys. He gets overstimulated and jumpy. Maybe this is just because of his sensory issues, and other kids have no problem at all with them, but somehow I suspect that bright flashing noisy toys DO affect many children in various ways.

But I also agree with the majority here that you can't & shouldn't try to dictate what others give your kids. I feel like it's a bit of an issue for us still. Last year, one side of the family asked for suggestions & understood (and respected) our desire for simpler toys. We never totally discussed it with the other side of the family, though we did send along DS's wish list when we asked for theirs. He got a pile (HUGE pile) of noisy plastic toys. We kept maybe 2 of them (the ones that didn't make noise or anything) and returned or donated the rest. I don't know if I can do that this year because he's older now & might (though might not) ask for them if they disappear. Just because I know they are 'bad' for him doesn't mean he knows that, he still wants to play with them of course, so it puts us in a tough situation. All I can come up with this year is when that part of the family visits soon, we might subtly mention something about how the noisy toys affect him. It will have to be handled carefully so if the right opportunity doesn't come up we won't discuss it.

Also, what annoys me is that the pile of noisy toys weren't exactly chosen for him. They were the toys they thought his cousin would like, and since they are the same age, they felt they had to get oth kids an identical set of gifts. For some reason, that really bothers me... I guess because they didn't really get to know him??? IDK. But anyway. We did accept graciously and they don't visit often so never noticed we got rid of them all. But at some point I have to think of how this affects DS too, and how it will feel to him to have most of his presents just disappear...

And I think this whole issue affects parents of babies/toddlers/preschoolers more than those with school-age kids... By school age you've relinquished a lot of control and the kids' interests get more specific and the noisy flashing toys are more directed toward little kids (aside from video games etc.)
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#28 of 61 Old 10-14-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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But I also agree with the majority here that you can't & shouldn't try to dictate what others give your kids

 

 

I really don't get this?

Why is it except-able to have a baby shower and make a wish list (as with a wedding) and not once you have a child spell out what is desired?

 

by dictate I mean flat out- there are things we will not use on our child (when an infant) - we used disposables and only used one brand- we made it clear, same with other products we used (for medical reasons) this was all we were using, if we got something else it was donated- it was a dictate and people got it

 

this progressed on to toys as the child ages, given the size of our place, my DH's job (and that was clear to friends and family so they knew where we were coming from) these all factored into what we said we would and would not have in our home-----it is to us about respect for our form of parenting

 

make things clear-" thank you but this is simply not something we want for our child to have"--that doesn't mean it's rude to say it- there clearly are certain times we do this

 

 

we don't do random candy (everyone seems to want to give infants candy for some reason) we say no, same with gifts

 

we made a clear list of no's and it was easy to pick things we did want, what it spelled out was what we would not have in our home

 

 

 

if you are anti gun and someone gets your say 5 year old a play gun as a gift are you really going smile and say thank you?

 

we simply are not

 

making things clear from the start avoids a lot of problem gifts later on

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#29 of 61 Old 10-14-2011, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, since i am a polite person, i feel i would model politeness and all that good stuff without even trying. modeling is a form of teaching, right?

 

also, i never said i would try or recommend controlling anyone's entire environment. that's laughable. i can't even control my diet 100%, or a lot of things about myself and my environment - there are things that are just not in my hands. but i am a parent and i have the right and the responsibility to make certain decisions until she's capable of doing so for herself. i'm understanding that this is an issue where people can choose how much responsibility they want to take with it.

 

maybe the entitlement could become an issue. i hadn't thought of that, but i'm definitely thinking it through right now.
 

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What they learn most is what you model, not what you try to teach them.

 

And no, you don't control your child's entire environment. Some people try to, but it's an illusion. You can control what toys you'll keep in your home, but you can't control what presents people choose to give your kids. If you find something is really awful, then take it to Goodwill. Trying to control how people give gifts will just lead to resentment, and I do worry that it can teach kids to become entitled. "I get to decide what gifts I get."



 

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#30 of 61 Old 10-14-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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re: a couple of things people said:

 

1 - if someone gave your baby a pile of dog poo or an open bottle of corexit dispersant, would you smile and say thank you and take it home and let your baby play with it? 

 

2 - if your baby did play with it, and really really enjoyed it, would you continue to allow her to play with it because she was enjoying it so much in spite of the fact that there are very good reasons that you shouldn't allow her to?

 

these are, of course, very exaggerated scenarios, but i thought they would inject some humor into the discussion. orngbiggrin.gif

i'm not trying to be smarty pants.

(scenario #1 inspired by serenbat's last post smile.gif)

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