In-laws x-mas gift-vent! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-17-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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OP I totally understand where you are coming from. My MIL bought gifts that specifically went against our wishes that she knew about ahead of time(characters, batteries, etc) and she does it on purpose. Its her power play.

This year it was disney princess (a specific no-no) everything and a nativity set (we aren't Christian). I about over the nativity set.

Stand your ground. Its one thing to buy something inappropriate w/o knowing your feelings but a completely other thing to knowing buy something against your wishes. I also would take issue with thes afety and amount of storage you need for that car.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stellimamo View Post
OP I totally understand where you are coming from. My MIL bought gifts that specifically went against our wishes that she knew about ahead of time(characters, batteries, etc) and she does it on purpose. Its her power play.

This year it was disney princess (a specific no-no) everything and a nativity set (we aren't Christian). I about over the nativity set.

Stand your ground. Its one thing to buy something inappropriate w/o knowing your feelings but a completely other thing to knowing buy something against your wishes. I also would take issue with thes afety and amount of storage you need for that car.

Why not accept graciously, then allow the toys to dissapear? No power play involved, but eventually they may start *asking* for what you would like your kids to have. I don't understand why there is this need to "stand up to the MIL" That's your husbands job, not yours.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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Why not accept graciously, then allow the toys to dissapear? No power play involved, but eventually they may start *asking* for what you would like your kids to have. I don't understand why there is this need to "stand up to the MIL" That's your husbands job, not yours.
The issue here is that MIL was asked/told by dh that certian things are not allowed in our house for various reasons. SHe knew and understood this but still went against our wishes. That is a complete lack of respect on her part for our parenting choices.
The other issue is its a complete waste of money. If she's going to by toys that she knows we will not allow the children to play with whats the point. SHe might as well keep her money. This woman also removes all tags and packaging from gifts so that they are unreturnable.
As for the religious gift she had absolutly no buisness giving a gift of that nature, period.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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As for the religious gift she had absolutly no buisness giving a gift of that nature, period.
Because *GASP* your child could have a chance to learn about other people's beliefs and see something which is a huge part of the culture she is growing up in...

I got a Buddha from a friend in elementary school. I am super glad my parents did throw a fit about me getting a gift about something from a different religion. Instead they used it to explain to me that different people believe different things.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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I would say something like this: "Oh MIL! Oh, you really out did yourself on that one! You are just too generous! Unfortunately, it wasn't as safe as we would have liked / the children weren't safe with it / no where to ride safely / lead paint / recalled / whatever! and I *know* you wouldn't want anything to happen to your precious grandchildren. I love that you are as concerned for their safety as we are. That's why we donated it to a women's shelter/church/ preschool / synagog / etc. in your honor. The kids helped do it and it was as great learning experience for all of us!"

For the record, I have done this myself. What grandparent who loves their grandchildren can argue over their safety?
I'd do this... seriously. The situation could have been handled more more respectfully, graciously and maturely than it was.

I hate to say it, but you just can't hammer the respect out of your in-laws that you want when you argue about it in the heat of the moment. It takes more persuasion and less confrontation.

I've BTDT, not about toys or gifts, but about safety issues.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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To me it doesn't matter what the toy was. If I tell people that I don't want my kids to have things that are red, it doesn't matter my reasons, it is my decision to make as the parent. So if you persist in buying my child red things, be prepared to have them given back to you.

We tell our families no plastic. In truth we are not anit plastic, but it is easier to just say no plastic then explain to every member of our rather large families what is and okay amount of plastic or what brands are okay.

Well MIL asked if I wanted her to buy a plastic radio flyer wagon. I said that we don't do plastic and said that we would not use it and ds would not be allowed to play with it. A week later she asked if I would come look at the wagon and I said no, it was not something that we wanted. She bought it a week later. Now it sits at her house and my son is not allowed to play around it.

Some people, no matter what you say, are going to do what they want.

Good for the OP for standing up to her MIL who was rude, disrespectful and selfish.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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I HATE those cars. HATE, HATE, HATE. I hate that kids use them to run each other over. I hate that they are dangerous. I hate that kids want to use them to run over the neighbor's plants, or dart into the street. I think kids should be ridding bikes that they peddle.
I hate those cars too. I just find them incredibly tacky.

But the cars themselves do not make kids want to run other kids over. Or run over plants. Or dart into the street. Kids are capable of doing all of these things with bikes that they peddle.


OP, I would have a hard time with that too. But it sounds to me like you solved the issue the moment it happened.

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Old 12-17-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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I HATE those cars. HATE, HATE, HATE. I hate that kids use them to run each other over. I hate that they are dangerous. I hate that kids want to use them to run over the neighbor's plants, or dart into the street. I think kids should be ridding bikes that they peddle.
I have to laugh. DART into the street? More like roll along at a snails pace. It'd be far easier to "dart" into the street with a bike. If a kid wants to run over the neighbors plants or run over each other they will do that with a bike, skateboard or whatever else. It's a behavior issue not "the car made me do it".

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Absolutely agree with this. I would never purchase such an expensive gift for a child without asking the parents. The fact that the In laws did shows disrespect at the very least.

I also have a story...a friends' dd was given one when she was 3. she promptly drove it off the deck and flipped over - she wasn't hurt, thankfully, but we were standing right there and weren't quick enough.

So, to those picking on the the OP, she has a valid concern!
Nobody is picking on her. We are allowed different opinions, no?

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Old 12-18-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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I have to admit that we have one of the cars and we love it What worked for us is the only MY kids (and one on two friends) are allowed to use it. Otherwise it's put away. There are a lot of kids we know who would use it unsafely and not follow the rules.

But my main point is that I just read the OP again and it seems the the OP's dh didn't say a word. If he is on board with the idea of not having them he should have spoken up too IMO.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Because *GASP* your child could have a chance to learn about other people's beliefs and see something which is a huge part of the culture she is growing up in...

I got a Buddha from a friend in elementary school. I am super glad my parents did throw a fit about me getting a gift about something from a different religion. Instead they used it to explain to me that different people believe different things.
Actually it has a lot to do with the fact that dd is 2.5 (big difference between 2.5 and elementry age) and hasn't been exposed to anything religious because we don't believe that she quite ready for that. It's a parents job to introduce spiritual beliefs at an early age when we believe they are ready. Once they have somewhat of a foundation I will expose my child to different ideas but its not my MILs place to decide when and what my daughter is to be taught religiously.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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But my main point is that I just read the OP again and it seems the the OP's dh didn't say a word. If he is on board with the idea of not having them he should have spoken up too IMO.

Again, to me that's the problem. If the MIL is doing this as a power play, the OP immediately forbidding it and her son not chiming in unison enabled the MIL to win the power play. If the kids overheard their grandmother is now the fun one and the mother is now the one who takes fun away. And you've let the MIL know she can drive a wedge between the mother and father.

If it wasn't a power play, then take it in the manner with which it was given. MIL could be a better gift giver but the OP could also be a better gift receiver. The better actions to model is accept the gift graciously and then return it or get rid of it or let it run out of batteries (they do fairly quickly) and sit in the lawn unused or even better in a storage shed.
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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Actually it has a lot to do with the fact that dd is 2.5 (big difference between 2.5 and elementry age) and hasn't been exposed to anything religious because we don't believe that she quite ready for that. It's a parents job to introduce spiritual beliefs at an early age when we believe they are ready. Once they have somewhat of a foundation I will expose my child to different ideas but its not my MILs place to decide when and what my daughter is to be taught religiously.
Well, you could let your daughter do what I did with my grandmother's creche at that age... I played with it like a dollhouse, and got in trouble for it every year.
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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alot of GP think that the way to win the hearts of their gdc is to BUY them stuff. So I can see where MIL was coming from. We just accept the gifts, them give them away. When my mom asked about it I told the truth.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beka1977 View Post
I HATE those cars. HATE, HATE, HATE. I hate that kids use them to run each other over. I hate that they are dangerous. I hate that kids want to use them to run over the neighbor's plants, or dart into the street. I think kids should be ridding bikes that they peddle.
Those same kids would be using bikes crash into each other, run over the neighbors plants and darting into the street. It's the kids, not the toy itself.

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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I'd do this... seriously. The situation could have been handled more more respectfully, graciously and maturely than it was.

I hate to say it, but you just can't hammer the respect out of your in-laws that you want when you argue about it in the heat of the moment. It takes more persuasion and less confrontation.

I've BTDT, not about toys or gifts, but about safety issues.

I like the idea of graciously accepting and then donating the toy or selling it and pocketing the money. The gift is yours and your children's to do what you want with it.
And about how much money the IL's paid for those extravagant gifts? Hey, call it "natural consequence" training for the inlaws. You told them you didn't want it, they gave it anyway, you got rid of it.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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Gifts from gparents that you don't want at your house could 'live' at gparents' house, if you don't feel comfortable giving them away, selling them, or swapping them. Let granmother deal with the maintenance, supervision, storage, etc.

.02

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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OP -

You've got to go, to help figure out what the gparents buy - or else you'll be stuck with something else you didn't want (and may have told them you didn't want as well).

I don't know why we're supposed to just smile and nod over gifts we don't want, don't appreciate, and won't use - especially if they're something we've specifically said we don't want. That's not a gift, then, really, is it - if it's something we don't want and have been clear about? If I tell the waiter that I want a water and a salad, and he brings me a giant sandwich too as a 'gift' do I have to eat it to make him happy?

Ina has received several gifts which we loathe (we've been clear about not wanting plastic or 'battery operated' toys). We've managed to donate a few but honestly - I'm betting the OP wasn't comfortable graciously receiving the cars because her dd's would likely have loved the car (all MOM's concerns aside) - and then there'd have been a huge battle, tears and hurt feelings and Grandma comes out smelling like roses (big mean mom doesn't like the flashy fun toy, g'ma gave it to us cuz she loves us).

Gift-giving is a two-way street. Gifts are supposed to be thoughtful. If the gift-giver isn't being thoughtful and is in fact dismissing major concerns of the gift receiver - then is it really subject to all this subterfuge etiquette?

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Gift-giving is a two-way street. Gifts are supposed to be thoughtful. If the gift-giver isn't being thoughtful and is in fact dismissing major concerns of the gift receiver - then is it really subject to all this subterfuge etiquette?
Many times, I've thought about starting a thread about this very subject. Of course, it's the thought that counts, but what about when that thought is meant to be insulting, passive-aggressive, sneaky, dismissive, etc.? How exactly does that thought "count" in our lives? For example, I have a MIL who flat-out told me that she likes giving loud, messy gifts to children because she thinks it's funny to upset the parents. Yes, funny to upset the parents.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Gift-giving is a two-way street. Gifts are supposed to be thoughtful. If the gift-giver isn't being thoughtful and is in fact dismissing major concerns of the gift receiver - then is it really subject to all this subterfuge etiquette?
This is a really good point. If something is given innocently and with loving intentions, then even the most obnoxious, fifth-hand, too-small gift should be graciously accepted and the recipient can decide what to do with it later. But if someone intentionally gives a gift that they're well aware the parents will have a problem with (who knows if this is what happened in the OP, but I'm sure it happens in general), then I don't think the recipient should be held to the same etiquette standards.

It *is* possible to be a rude gift-giver. If I knew full well that you were philosophically opposed to weapon play but gave your DC a toy gun, I'd be acting rudely.

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she likes giving loud, messy gifts to children because she thinks it's funny to upset the parents.
Yes, I've seen that happen too, where gift-givers smile snarkily at the parents after the kid opens the huge, loud, obnoxious toy and say, "Have fun finding a place for that! Haha." I don't get it.

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Well, I can't stand my inlaws. They are catholic, which is besides the point except they try to push it here and there. I would NEVER leave them for 5 minutes alone iwth the kids, the one time I did they had both kids strapped in to the stroller wiht a loaf of bread to take them to the duck park WHILE I was getting our things ready to go to my moms (they obviously are not deaf and knew our plans)

I know they look for any chance to prove they are better than I am, etc. I relaly do try to give them the benefit of the doubt but I'm not stupid, I know the are a bit manipulative.

However, I try to not let this cloud my head. It is hard whne they visit, fortunately just twice a year but I also realize how much they love my kids to pieces, and really just want a part of our lives. I keep my mouth shut. I have had a heart felt talk with them and explained that sometimes I feel a bit "stepped in front of" and offended, on and on.....in a nice way of course and tried not to offend. This really cleared things up, and I also told them how much I appreciate everything they do, bla bla, but it would really help all of our relationships if we could respect eachother, and more importantly respect DH and I and our beliefs as far as our children. This has helped a lot, they still have tendencies but when I really look at it from their shoes and with a loving mind, I don't think they man harm. They are different from us.

I have a grandma who basically disowned us all because my parents didn't raise us Catholic. I knwo what that feels like and I wouldn't want that for my kids. No matter what we think grandparents are important for kids if they are alive and love them (not counting the obvious abusive behavior or soemthing extreme...but you get my point)

And about "standing up to someone"....I think that is over rated. I don't think teaching kids to just be nice and not cause a fight over something not worth it is a bad thing. I mean I could totally go off for ever on them, so could DH. I am better at talking about these things that DH is, and I know he is a bit uncomfortable with it. I don't see it as "not standing up for you wife, etc" it's just easier for me to, since I am the one with the problem and can better relay my feelings. Though he is perfectly willing and has when needed.

Moral of the story . We could all benefit from being a little gentle about things, and when it comes to inlaws simply asking "I'd like to have a talk about some things that are bothering me...." may go farther than you think.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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Many times, I've thought about starting a thread about this very subject. Of course, it's the thought that counts, but what about when that thought is meant to be insulting, passive-aggressive, sneaky, dismissive, etc.? How exactly does that thought "count" in our lives? For example, I have a MIL who flat-out told me that she likes giving loud, messy gifts to children because she thinks it's funny to upset the parents. Yes, funny to upset the parents.
The thing is getting upset about the gift in front of them and being rude about it is giving them exactly what they want. It's not like someone like that is giving you the gift b/c they think you'll like it they want to see you get upset. Like everything in life you have to choose your battles. To me I wouldn't want to give the satisfaction to someone like that. I'd rather be the bigger person, receive the gift graciously and then take it back or dispose of it by some other means.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been shocked to read how many people posted that I "threw a fit" about this present! I quietly asked MIL and FIL is I could speak with them, when we were in private I thanked them for the thought behind the gift , but said I could not except it because I feel very strongly that I do not want my children to have this gift. The kids never even realized that they had not recieved a present from inlaws and none of the other grownups that were there even knew anything had happened. Another thing is that I wrote in my op that I feel strongly against these huge motorized cars on so many levels, yes, safety is one of the top reasons, but I have lots of other reasons too. I realize that lots of you have these kind of toys for your children and love them, but I do not approve of them. Think how you would feel if something you were strongly opposed to was given to your children. I have felt strongly against these since before I had children, my dh has known how I felt about this since before we were married. If I would have accepted the gift and given it away or sold it later, inlaws would have been asking about it and wanting to see the kids on it when they visit. Their feelings would have been more hurt if I snuck around behind their back, than if I was upfront and honest about such an expensive gift. One of the reasons I feel so bad about this, is because I really don't feel right about asking someone to return a gift, but I don't see that I had any other option.
Also, it is very true that there is a power struggle going on with myself and mil. Last year at x-mas, she was nice enough to ask dh about a gift she wanted to buy, he said that it wouldn't work for us. She then asked me and I said the same thing. She bought the gift anyway, we accepted it, and it now sits in the basement. She asks the girls about it regularly and they are upset with me because of it!
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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You handled the situation well. Much better then some people would!
Your mil put you in a really difficult situation by purchasing a gift for your daughters that she knew you were against. You had 2 choices in a situation like this. 1- Take your mil aside and tell her she can't give that to your kids. 2- Let her give it to the kids and then take it away from them and get rid of it after Christmas. Then your kids are upset because you are taking their new toy away that Grandma gave them.
I would go with choice 1 myself.

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Old 12-19-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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I think you are back stepping a little here....and I dont' really think you painted the exact picture you are describing now
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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OP- I just want to offer my support to you.. Honestly I think you were probably more gracious than I could have been. I'm not sure why anyone would debate you on the safety of the vehicles. The point is you don't want them in your house or yard. End of story.

(My 2 cents is that I wouldn't want them either- I think they're nasty and unsafe as well- I don't give a darn however someone wants to "reason" with me that they're "fine").

As other people have said, there are definitely bigger issues with your IL's. I have clashed with my MIL as well and the only (best) way that it's been handled is by my DH supporting me and talking to her directly when she hasn't wanted to listen to me.

Good Luck to you

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Old 12-19-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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I did tell inlaws that I didn't approve of those cars when we walked by them in WalMart a few monthes ago and I told them my reasons. I would have been absolutely thrilled if they had bought a wood kitchen or any kind of playstand! I am not taking issue with the gift because of who it came from, even though I do have issues with them.
I haven't read past this post. However since everyone seems to be jumping on the OP I just wanted to jump in and give her a .

I think this is more about your IL's respecting your wishes with your family than it is so much about this toy.

You told MIL you did not what your children to have this type of toy and she ran out and bought it anyway. This type of disrespect I cannot take. Refusing the gift is the right move to make. If you accept it then your MIL will just continue with this type of behavior. You need to make her know that you mean business. If you say no, then you mean no!

It has take me 10 years but I finally think my MIL has got the picture.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you are back stepping a little here....and I dont' really think you painted the exact picture you are describing now
You are wrong. I am describing what happened and how it made me feel. After reading everyone's posts, I tried to clarify a few things that people seemed to misunderstand. Nothing has changed and I am not back stepping in the least!
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't read past this post. However since everyone seems to be jumping on the OP I just wanted to jump in and give her a .

I think this is more about your IL's respecting your wishes with your family than it is so much about this toy.

You told MIL you did not what your children to have this type of toy and she ran out and bought it anyway. This type of disrespect I cannot take. Refusing the gift is the right move to make. If you accept it then your MIL will just continue with this type of behavior. You need to make her know that you mean business. If you say no, then you mean no!
Thank You! You are right that I was upset and looking for a little support when I posted!
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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I know how you feel. My In-laws constantly purchase guns and loud battery operated toys although I've been saying "Please do not buy my son any guns or noisy or battery operated toys. I don't think guns are an appropriate toy for a child, my child doesn't enjoy loud noises and prefers things he that are kid-powered." Since he was 1 year old. And yet every year - there they are.

It doesn't matter WHY you don't want you kids to have them the point is you don't want YOUR kids to have them. You are their parent and along with your DH, it's your job to decide what's right for your family.

It's extremely rude to directly go against someone's wishes for their own children.

Breeder Mama: = wife to an amazing man + mama to J-Bear (07/02) and E-Train (06/08), nanny to Little Bird (07/10).

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Old 12-19-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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Just writing to offer my support. Same issues with MIL here. You handled the situation a lot better than I would have. I usually have DH deal with MIL and he does but guess what... it doesn't help. She buys stuff I don't want anyway. Her excuse "I just had to get it, it was cute. I couldn't help myself."

Wife to Daryl 5/98, Mama to Eve 2/07, Lilie 11/08 and Victoria 10/10 --- Our First Water Homebirth. New blessing, Mathias, arrived 8/12 --- Our Second WaterHomebirth. Waiting to welcome baby #5 in May 2014.

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