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#31 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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We censor and feel fine about it. Our oldest is only 6 1/2. We expect to not censor as much the older he gets. We built our own home and it's completely "Eco". Also, is only 500 sq ft, so we are limited space-wise. Before we had kids & started waldorf homeschooling, we lived a simple off the grid homesteading lifestyle. We know we aren't popular in the family for how we're raising our family, but it's our turn to be the parents. Gift-giving is merely a symptom of the relationship disorder. MIL would still be grooming dh and.picking out his clothes if he hadn't set limits with the IL's. We know our kids best. We definitely follow their interests and expose them to more too. And even with the censoring, we have more toys than anyone else we know. The kids' friends love to play here. LOL I think every family is so different that in some cases it works to censor and not in others. No right way for everyone! :-) Depends on so.many things. I say censor if you feel like it and stop censoring if it feels wrong, start again if.need be...just don't get that "stuck feeling" by doing it a certain way. Kids' lives should be full of love and beauty and laughterous fun, however each family can find there way there.
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#32 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Oh I know whenever this topic comes up I always rolls my eyes because it basically boils down to if the gift-givers care you won't have to tell them and if you do then you'll just offend them and not actually help anything.....



This. Thanks for the chuckle.

 

I don't censor, but that is because I have reasonable relatives who usually give OK stuff. Sometimes my mom even writes a note, like "it's purple and furry and glittery and DD will LOVE it and you will HATE it ;)" which makes me laugh. Because even with the warning, it usually isn't so bad. 

 

However, if I had the ILs or relatives that some of the people on this board do, then I would censor. When there is undermining and total lack of respect, then those people would lose the privilege of being able to gift-give without censoring. 

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#33 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Something someone said upthread a bit made me rethink what I said before.  In fact, I have censored a bit, although I didn't think of it that way.  For his bday my parents gave him a bunch of clothes and every single shirt had a Disney/Pixar character on it.  He doesn't know who any of these characters are (he watches movies, just not Disney movies).  Since I object on principal to using my kid as advertising space, all the shirts went into the appropriate size bin with the tags still on (usually I'll wash everything before storing them).  When I pulled out that bin this week, I set aside everything with tags on it, made sure that we had sufficient clothes without those items, and stuck them in the bin to be taken to consignment. 

 

As for the appropriateness of the gifts, not always.  We do have 1 set of grandparents who are big WM shoppers, their gifts are very mainstream, very "boy" and often very battery-operated.  Thankfully the number of gifts is reasonable.  Since these are chosen family and not blood family, I'm a little hesitant to say anything to them about it.  So I smile, thank them and move on.  And some of the things DS loves and some he ignores, at which point they get moved to the donate/regift pile.  Luckily the other 2 sets of grandparents choose more "appropriate" toys, they've both taken direction well so far.  And his godmother calls and asks me what to get him - she'll shop off a wish list, which the rest won't. 


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#34 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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We do, and feel fine about it.  That is because DP's grandparents (DD's great-grandparents) are hoarders and literally will send boxes full of junk they have trash picked.  (And I'm not a snob, I have trash picked stuff too... we live in a small apt, blah blah, I just don't want all that crap in my house.)  I used to feel bad about culling, censoring, etc, but DP says that his parents had to do the same thing.  It's just a tidal wave of stuff.  So yeah, we just throw it away.  Or sometimes, we let DD open the box and then a few days later the stuff disappears.   I do write them thank you notes, because DD enjoys the correspondance and I think it's polite. And I know they mean well.  But I'm quite sure that asking them not to send things would be completely ineffective.

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#35 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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No, my kids can have what they're given. And we do get way way way too much stuff, but within a pretty short while we figure out what are "keepers" and what doesn't get played with, and the stuff that doesn't get played with goes in bins in the garage for Goodwill. I don't take the stuff away - we discuss what she wants to keep and what she doesn't play with and doesn't want taking up space. She's even gotten Bratz dolls before, and I didn't censor them, and they were played with maybe two or three times. And if she'd played with them we would have talked about them and made them nicer clothing or something.

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#36 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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You know, one of hte things I am wondering is whether the age of the kids affects things.  My DD is two, so I feel perfectly alright censoring things.  I don't forsee I will still feel that way when she is ten.

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#37 of 52 Old 12-20-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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My kids usually hate what they're given from family unless it's from my mom.  If they get something from her holy heck they're done.  She's good at figuring out what to get them.  The inlaws stuff always smells like cigarette smoke and the DD's hate that!

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#38 of 52 Old 12-21-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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.

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#39 of 52 Old 12-21-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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DS is 22mo. We receive junk and character toys as gifts. As far as clothes go, if its ugly or branded, it goes in the only-wear-at-home drawer. We can never have too many okay-to-ruin clothes and no one will see them. If DS plays w the Thomas train ride-on even tho he has no idea who this ridiculous character is, it saves us buying a ride-on for him (but we didn't replace its batteries...).

I try to make a point to mention our values in non gift giving gatherings/conversations. Ex: "yeah, we try to avoid anything w major characters on it since he doesn't watch tv, but these cups only came w Disney on them, so we use them anyway." Or "We try to buy him creative toys rather than battery operated ones that only have one intended purpose...he plays w them more and are more worth the money." It's puts the thought in their heads, but may not work its purpose. These comments let them know what we prefer but lets them know their gift choices may still be used and gives them an idea of how their money is best spent.

I gave my mother a natural toy catalogue and told her its our fave store but she wasn't obligated to use it. Ppl have a budget, natural toys are pricier bc they're better, so less stuff given! My mom orders some from the catalogue and some on her own. So at least some things are kept. Cheap junk that's consistently ignored doesn't stay long.

As long as we don't receive guns or really cheap plastic or smelly toys of questionable manufacture, he can choose whether to play w it. If its that much against your values and you feel strongly, either talk to the child or the family members and further explain why its not ok, and why you can't keep it. And I agree w age influencing screening, but I vote go ahead if it makes you feel better. And you can always rewrap a present... wink1.gif

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#40 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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I have been all over the place with this.

My mom would always ask what the kids wanted, but when I took the bait and actually gave her a list of toy lists that I thought the kids would like (and would fit into our home) she got offended... I wasn't trying to milk her for gifts but she purposely refused to buy off of any list I gave her... Now she just gives a lot less stuff which is fine with me cos there's really nothing the kids want or need at this point. Yeah, we're at that point where I couldn't even figure out what to buy them because we don't need anything new. I got them some books that we enjoyed reading from the library over and over again, and a doctor playset, and that was about it.

My MIL on the other hand does not have a lot of money to buy with, so I really appreciate what she does give us. And although I try to give the kids as much of the things she does get them as possible, I just cannot in good conscience give everything to them... She shops mostly at the dollar store and while I'm not turning my nose up at that - I shop at the dollar store and thrift store all the time, albeit selectively - what she gets them, some of them are just dangerous IMO... cheap candy (they're sensitive to food colorings anyway! and we don't do candy, period), bubble baths (we don't use chemicals for them or us), MIC toys... etc.

I think a lot of the items are cute, and I want to support the ideas, I just, well, can't... like this year she got them a few cute hand puppets... Hey, I totally support hand puppets! But these ones are, I'm totally scared that they're full of lead or whatever. Oh well, I'll give them to the kids to play with for a bit and if it turns out they like them then we'll upgrade to some organic ones? I guess? It's a moral dilemma... They're given out of love and I don't want to be snobbish - and it's not snobbery, I think, but health issues... But the candy and bubble bath and such had to go, I justified that with "known health issues". I also let them have the (gasp!) toy gun and (gasp!) bottle feeding, talking baby doll and the (bigger gasp) ghetto hooker barbie or whatever she was actually called. Besides the Barbie the other toys "ran out of batteries" and when that happens that means they go to the back of the closet cos they're not that fun anymore. Shrug.

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#41 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 10:11 AM
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No, we don't sensor gifts. We are grateful and thankful for them and think that there are more important things to worry about.


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#42 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm way too selfish to do any censoring, as I really enjoy being surprised by what the kids get, too!

 

Also I don't really have issues about toys- DD1 is 2, DD2 is 3 months. Get 'em a gun. Get 'em a Bratz. I don't care. They're going to get played with just as much as all the other "toys," which is to say, not at all. (A box of pasta, on the other hand, is a huuuuuuge hit with tremendous replay value.)

 

It's also really easy to 86 toys you don't care for if you have a good toy rotation routine from the start. Cycling things in and out of play keeps things fresh and entertaining, so maybe Trampy McShootsALot can get lost in her rotation.


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#43 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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Screening gifts screams bad etiquette to me.  Someone spent their hard-earned money to give a child a gift...and it was rejected. 

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#44 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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Nope, Ive never screened gifts. But, I have "disappeared" them a few days later (just once, when it was a doll that had a bottle and made sucking noises when you put it in her mouth). My MIL always opens all the presents (takes them out of the packaging rips all the tags off) so that I cant take them back even if I wanted to, so needless to say a lot of the stuff she buys gets donated when the batteries run out of it. Personally, I think its not really up to me what people get for her, but its pretty telling when they give things that are so obviously something they know we dont really want her to have (like a container of cheetoes in a plastic pumpkin for Halloween or easter eggs full of skittles). I let her have those kinds of things while the relative is there, and it either stays at their house or it goes in the trash as soon as it comes home with me. IMO, gifts are something that reflects more on the person giving them than anything else. Im not going to stop gifts from being given because I find it to be deceptive to the child, plus I cant say that I dont find it hilarious when my kiddo is saying "this, nanny's" when we hit the plastic toy and junk food aisles at the store.

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#45 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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We don't censor. We have one side of my family who follows our amazon wishlist and is always asking what their interests are. My mom on the other hand always sends the craziest, most annoying, loud, not age appropriate toys. BUT even then we don't censor. It's annoying but my kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stuff my mom gives them. It wonderful to see that joy on their face.

 

We do donate things a lot, but only after they've grown tired of them. And some of the stuff we've pulled (the not age appropriate stuff) and have them saved. A gift my son got at one is now ready to be used at age 4, he'll love it.


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#46 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I don't screen the gifts, my family members generally gift by our guidelines.


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#47 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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We don't discriminate.  A gift is a gift.  It's the thought that counts, and all that. 

 

I don't stress about what my kids might be given; that seems silly and time consuming, to me. 

 

So what if they grow bored or we already own it?  It can be passed on or donated at another time.  Doesn't mean my kids won't get some joy opening the gifts others thought enough of them to send. 


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#48 of 52 Old 12-22-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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We don't screen gifts. I do what a pp said upthread - try to be honest with our kids about why we might not use a gift. As in, we can't use this bubble bath, see it has ingredients that aren't good for your skin.
For me, it would feel deceptive to hide a gift. I try to model gracious acceptance of gifts we can't use, for whatever reason, & also try to impart our family values in the process. But, I'm also dealing with older kids. It is more understandable with a toddler.
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#49 of 52 Old 12-24-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Nope, Ive never screened gifts. But, I have "disappeared" them a few days later (just once, when it was a doll that had a bottle and made sucking noises when you put it in her mouth).

 

 

I have a different take on this one. When my dd was a baby, I had to work full-time, as my husband's wages were not enough to pay the rent. So, I pumped at work, and my dh stayed a home. Now, she is almost 5, and still nursing, btw. We have talked to her a number of times about how when she was a baby, her daddy gave her nanas that mommy put in a bottle. She loves these stories, as it lets her know we both love her, and have done our best to take care of her. I think, depending on the child's age and understanding, bottle-drinking dolls can provide an opportunity to talk to children about the reasons that some mommies need to put their milk in a bottle or cup. 

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#50 of 52 Old 12-25-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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The DD's grandparents sent money this year.  A big haul!  I think they're unsure of what they'll really want and so they send money and pajamas.  I'll have to say the DD's are pretty happy about buying new clothes.  Seriously thats what they want.  NEW CLOTHES.  Boring!

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#51 of 52 Old 12-26-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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No, we don't sensor gifts. We are grateful and thankful for them and think that there are more important things to worry about.



And as a point of etiquette, I think it is important for kids to learn how to accept (even unwanted) gifts graciously.


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#52 of 52 Old 12-27-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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I have a different take on this one. When my dd was a baby, I had to work full-time, as my husband's wages were not enough to pay the rent. So, I pumped at work, and my dh stayed a home. Now, she is almost 5, and still nursing, btw. We have talked to her a number of times about how when she was a baby, her daddy gave her nanas that mommy put in a bottle. She loves these stories, as it lets her know we both love her, and have done our best to take care of her. I think, depending on the child's age and understanding, bottle-drinking dolls can provide an opportunity to talk to children about the reasons that some mommies need to put their milk in a bottle or cup. 


Thats awesome. Honestly, if she had gotten that doll this christmas, I wouldnt have disappeared it, but it wasnt age appropriate (1st birthday gift), it was batttery operated, and she had never taken a bottle. So, in my mind, it was just kind of a silly, thoughtless, gift that made me cringe everytime I saw it because it was bought by the one person in my family who was very unsupportive of breastfeeding (and had insinuated that I wanted to nurse so that I had control over where and when she got to see my baby). I think now she would be old enough to understand, "some babies nurse, some babies take bottles, and some babies have both" and Id be totally fine with it.

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