Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>I have been t.v. free since my older son, who is now 15, was 3 and 1/2.  We have an 8 month old and some family members are really into getting him licensed clothes and gifts (ie:  Mickey, movie-related stuff, etc.).  I am opposed to registering for gifts, so I could use some suggestions on how to gently request the use of local (not big-box) toy store gifts that are more in line with our values.  We'd prefer wood over plastic, creativity/inquiry-based as opposed to kind of canned stuff.  While we are grateful for any gifts, I know we will just donate stuff that we don't want, which is good to do...but I would like to guide mother-in-law towards some items that are a bit closer to our values than not.  I know we are fortunate to have folks that will get him things, but I don't want to support The Inglorious Christmas Machine.  Any ideas would be appreciated.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
How about a wish list showing the things you DO want to see for your child? Might give her idea in the right direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
<p>Hi Aimee--I kind of did just that!  I am not much into socializing with my mother in law, but I knew she would really appreciate it if we went to lunch.  We just went out and I got home and saw your idea.  We went to two local toy stores and I kind of explained our sort-of-philosophy about toy stuff (including avoiding things made by exploited children, use of reclaimed materials when possible, etc.).  She got what I was saying and bought a few things that were perfect.  We are fortunate to live in an area where there are two locally-owned toy stores.  They are pricier, but you get what you pay for.  Thanks for the suggestion and post!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
Awesome! I know that both my mother and my MIL have already bought holiday presents for Cecilia, but I wish I had gotten to them sooner. I just don't really want her getting junk. I want a smaller quantity of good quality toys, like wooden toys, that will stand the test of time. I guess next year, or for her birthday, I can start pushing for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
<p>We are also TV-free, and while I did email a "wish list" type email to folks we're close to, I didn't specify against cartoon characters because it's not really an issue yet for my 4 month old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My MIL lives nearby and she has a HUGE big screen TV.  I hate the fact that it's always on and how I feel like I have to talk over it when I'm there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, here's what I wrote in the email:</p>
<p> </p>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Please remember that Jim and I are choosing a natural approach to parenting and we would like to avoid the overuse of plastic toys.  If you can find wooden or cloth items for her to play with, that's awesome!  <i style="line-height:17px;font-style:italic;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;line-height:17px;">Items that might overstimulate her (blinking, beeping, or battery operated) will be returned or donated to Toys for Tots next year... you have been warned!</span></i>  ;)  Some websites that might interest you when it comes to natural toys are:</div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Article on why to choose natural toys -- <a href="http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html" target="_blank">http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">My favorite online toy place -- <a href="http://www.novanatural.com/" target="_blank">http://www.novanatural.com/</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">This site has a special section for toys made in America -- <a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp" target="_blank">http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">There are so many parents who work at home and make their own toys.  Etsy is a treasure trove for these items... check out this seller's puzzles!  <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched" target="_blank">http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;"> </div>
 
  • Like
Reactions: McGucks

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>FloridaBorn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16088435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We are also TV-free, and while I did email a "wish list" type email to folks we're close to, I didn't specify against cartoon characters because it's not really an issue yet for my 4 month old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My MIL lives nearby and she has a HUGE big screen TV.  I hate the fact that it's always on and how I feel like I have to talk over it when I'm there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, here's what I wrote in the email:</p>
<p> </p>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Please remember that Jim and I are choosing a natural approach to parenting and we would like to avoid the overuse of plastic toys.  If you can find wooden or cloth items for her to play with, that's awesome!  <i style="line-height:17px;font-style:italic;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;line-height:17px;">Items that might overstimulate her (blinking, beeping, or battery operated) will be returned or donated to Toys for Tots next year... you have been warned!</span></i>  ;)  Some websites that might interest you when it comes to natural toys are:</div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Article on why to choose natural toys -- <a href="http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html" target="_blank">http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">My favorite online toy place -- <a href="http://www.novanatural.com/" target="_blank">http://www.novanatural.com/</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">This site has a special section for toys made in America -- <a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp" target="_blank">http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">There are so many parents who work at home and make their own toys.  Etsy is a treasure trove for these items... check out this seller's puzzles!  <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched" target="_blank">http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;"> </div>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
We did the same thing for our parents - worked for mine, DH's family was insulted. MIL called us very snippy and said that if she couldn't go to Wal-Mart to buy toys then she wasn't buying any at all. <span><img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"> I was nice and patient and told her that that was fine, DD is still little and doesn't need much anyway. I told her if she'd still like to buy things for Christmas to focus on clothes and board books. We'll see what Christmas morning brings!</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span>On the bright side, my dad and stepmom ordered DD some beautiful blocks, a walker, and Ruskovilla woollies from Nova Natural</span>. Yay!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>FloridaBorn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16088435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We are also TV-free, and while I did email a "wish list" type email to folks we're close to, I didn't specify against cartoon characters because it's not really an issue yet for my 4 month old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My MIL lives nearby and she has a HUGE big screen TV.  I hate the fact that it's always on and how I feel like I have to talk over it when I'm there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, here's what I wrote in the email:</p>
<p> </p>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Please remember that Jim and I are choosing a natural approach to parenting and we would like to avoid the overuse of plastic toys.  If you can find wooden or cloth items for her to play with, that's awesome!  <i style="line-height:17px;font-style:italic;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;line-height:17px;">Items that might overstimulate her (blinking, beeping, or battery operated) will be returned or donated to Toys for Tots next year... you have been warned!</span></i>  ;)  Some websites that might interest you when it comes to natural toys are:</div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Article on why to choose natural toys -- <a href="http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html" target="_blank">http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">My favorite online toy place -- <a href="http://www.novanatural.com/" target="_blank">http://www.novanatural.com/</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">This site has a special section for toys made in America -- <a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp" target="_blank">http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">There are so many parents who work at home and make their own toys.  Etsy is a treasure trove for these items... check out this seller's puzzles!  <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched" target="_blank">http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;"> </div>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
Hey, FloridaBorn--this was extremely helpful.  I didn't even know there was a term ("natural toys") for what we believe in.  The websites are excellent.  I am considering forwarding your whole post to my mother in law.  Thanks so much for your time and your sharing of the email you sent out.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
<p>Hello Again, FloridaBorn...I sympathize big time about the t.v. issue...my ex-MIL had--no joke--seven t.v.s in her home, most of which were going on at the same time, loud, and frequently to different channels.  She did not have a hearing problem, just loved those t.v.s.  My current MIL "only" has two, knows we don't have one, and today told me to let her know when we decided what shows our son was going to watch so she could start taping them for him.  I know her heart is in the right place in that she loves our son and it's just that we have different ways of doing things, but it gets frustrating.  I think one of the big reasons there is so much tension between MILs and DILs is that both want the other to think they are competent parents.  Your MIL sounds rough for sure...wonder if she thinks you think she was a bad mom for allowing so many things you and your husband don't.  Who knows.  I love my husband for sure, but have had to really work on getting along with his mom...the MIL game is one I thought I was happily through with forever when my first husband and I divorced.  Ug.  Both of my parents have passed away, so my husband will never have to deal with this weirdness himself. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
Good golly, how can anyone hear themselves think with that cacophony??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cecilia's Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16088804"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Good golly, how can anyone hear themselves think with that cacophony??</div>
</div>
<br><br><p>They don't think.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NevadaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16088485"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>We did the same thing for our parents - worked for mine, DH's family was insulted. MIL called us very snippy and said that if she couldn't go to Wal-Mart to buy toys then she wasn't buying any at all. <span><img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"> </span></p>
</div>
</div>
<br><p>My MIL told me that she and her daughter like to go to Wal-Mart to "try out" the toys.  I didn't bother trying to let her know that just because you think it's cool the doo-dad makes a noise, doesn't mean the baby will get anything out of it or that it will help his/her development.  The in-laws think my husband and I are fruitcakes for not wanting our home littered with plastic baby junk.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
<p>Mmmm. I do think there are ways of expressing preferences for our children that don't come right out and say inappropriate toys will be given away. I don't find that very respectful of the gift giver-especially when most gift givers are trying to be kind and generous to the children in their lives.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We don't do much plastic, and do a lot of Montessori/nature based stuff, but I also know as my son has gotten older it is only fair to consider his likes and dislikes within the framework of my beliefs in regards to toys. It shouldn't be an all or nothing affair-my kiddo doesn't get every noisy plastic toy out there, but I also don't get to dictate every kind of toy he plays with. There are some really cool plastic toys out there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I always offer suggestions in my emails to the grandparents but also accept I can't really control what they decide to spend their money on.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My email this year talked about how crazy my son is about butterflies and we asked for a Zoo membership for the whole family. A gift the grandparents feel great about giving, and that can be enjoyed by us all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>oaktreemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16091127"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Mmmm. I do think there are ways of expressing preferences for our children that don't come right out and say inappropriate toys will be given away. I don't find that very respectful of the gift giver-especially when most gift givers are trying to be kind and generous to the children in their lives.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We don't do much plastic, and do a lot of Montessori/nature based stuff, but I also know as my son has gotten older it is only fair to consider his likes and dislikes within the framework of my beliefs in regards to toys. It shouldn't be an all or nothing affair-my kiddo doesn't get every noisy plastic toy out there, but I also don't get to dictate every kind of toy he plays with. There are some really cool plastic toys out there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I always offer suggestions in my emails to the grandparents but also accept I can't really control what they decide to spend their money on.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My email this year talked about how crazy my son is about butterflies and we asked for a Zoo membership for the whole family. A gift the grandparents feel great about giving, and that can be enjoyed by us all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
SOunds like maybe you have more understanding gift-givers.  I would like to think that it is always them trying to be generous, but I must wonder when we repeatedly say that DS sweats and is uncomfortable in polyester and yet he still gets it as a gift (that's just one example). I, too, am telling grandparents we will donate crappy, plastic "things" bc we live in a tiny apt and do not have the space or sanity for them;) Also, I understand not <em>dictating</em> what your son plays with, but for me (at only 7mo) it's <em>encouraging</em> and <em>redirecting</em>. This seems safer (there are still harmful substances in many plastics, just because DS might find them fun that doesn't mean I will put his health at risk, YKWIM?).</p>
<p>IMO, it is being respectful of the gift giver by offering suggestions. I hope they will be respectful of my family by taking the suggestions into account or forgoing gifts.</p>
<p>Zoo and other memberships are great and we've asked, but my mother is a shopaholic and likes to buy "stuff" just for the sake of it and has pretty much told us she won't be doing that (knowing very well we're liking off unemployment and could really use it more than crap)</p>
<p>On that note, we've told our families about the non-plastics, open-ended toys, wooden, etc. and it'll be interesting to see what happens! And, yes, I will donate the excess--hopefully it'll make another child very happy:)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div> but my mother is a shopaholic and likes to buy "stuff" just for the sake of it and has pretty much told us she won't be doing that (knowing very well we're liking off unemployment and could really use it more than crap)<span style="display:none;"> </span></div>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>Well that to me is an entirely different problem than just gift giving.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div> IMO, it is being respectful of the gift giver by offering suggestions</div>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>Of course-as I mentioned I do. What I said I did not find respectful was explicity stating that if the gifts did not match my expectations/values I would give them away. Whether or not I do that (and I have) I do not see the benefit of stating that outright and expecting it to not generate hurt feelings.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I guess my point is we can try to explain our different values to people and I feel you (general you) will get further if you offer respectful choices rather than edicts of giving things away if we judge them lacking.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Gift giving is a mine field of family dynamics. Doesn't mean we can't step back and try a different way of working through those dynamics.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>oaktreemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16091263"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"> </div>
</div>
<p>Gift giving is a mine field of family dynamics. Doesn't mean we can't step back and try a different way of working through those dynamics.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
Well said!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
<p>We tell our parents (3 sets) that we don't want plastic or battery-powered toys in our home. If they want to buy that stuff for our LO, fine--it just has to stay at their house. So far, that's worked well. Their homes are full of annoying toys, but we don't have to deal with it all the time. And they don't feel so constricted.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,006 Posts
<p>I guess I am old fashioned but to me a  gift is just that, a gift. They are not to be dictated and I would absolutely cringe if someone said point blank "if you don't give us what us want we are returning it/getting rid of it".  <img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/huh.gif"></p>
<p> </p>
<p>That is not to say that i don't make my likes/dislikes known if asked.  When someone asked what my son wants for his b-day or christmas I offer some specifics.  Ie right now he is into birding and world geography so when my SIL asked I told her he was getting binoculars. I suggested an atlas or globe. But if she gives him something I don't "approve" of it will be my son's decision to keep it or not.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>FloridaBorn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16088435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We are also TV-free, and while I did email a "wish list" type email to folks we're close to, I didn't specify against cartoon characters because it's not really an issue yet for my 4 month old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My MIL lives nearby and she has a HUGE big screen TV.  I hate the fact that it's always on and how I feel like I have to talk over it when I'm there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, here's what I wrote in the email:</p>
<p> </p>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Please remember that Jim and I are choosing a natural approach to parenting and we would like to avoid the overuse of plastic toys.  If you can find wooden or cloth items for her to play with, that's awesome!  <i style="line-height:17px;font-style:italic;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;line-height:17px;">Items that might overstimulate her (blinking, beeping, or battery operated) will be returned or donated to Toys for Tots next year... you have been warned!</span></i>  ;)  Some websites that might interest you when it comes to natural toys are:</div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">Article on why to choose natural toys -- <a href="http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html" target="_blank">http://www.superpages.com/supertips/natural-toys.html</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">My favorite online toy place -- <a href="http://www.novanatural.com/" target="_blank">http://www.novanatural.com/</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">This site has a special section for toys made in America -- <a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp" target="_blank">http://www.magiccabin.com/welcome.asp</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;">There are so many parents who work at home and make their own toys.  Etsy is a treasure trove for these items... check out this seller's puzzles!  <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched" target="_blank">http://www.etsy.com/shop/justhatched</a></div>
<div style="line-height:17px;"> </div>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>I can't help but envy family situations where this type of requesting/ letter would work. Dh and I tried something similar with our families last year and it backfired horribly : ( We didn't even go as far to suggest specific toys- just no plastic/ batteries. DH's family called us snobs (and bought DS whatever they wanted anyways- including things that I am pretty sure were from the dollar store- which just screams lead poisoning to me...) and my family now makes a game of it, going out of their way to buy the most ridiculous/huge/loud/plastic toys they can find, which  is a total waste of money because they are all returned/ donated. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>northwoods</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283062/how-to-ask-for-non-commercialized-t-v-related-gifts#post_16092263"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We tell our parents (3 sets) that we don't want plastic or battery-powered toys in our home. If they want to buy that stuff for our LO, fine--it just has to stay at their house. So far, that's worked well. Their homes are full of annoying toys, but we don't have to deal with it all the time. And they don't feel so constricted.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>That's a really good idea!<br>
 </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
<p>I have a friend who wants to be buy my son crap too. She brought to the hospital when he was born a small stuffed teddy bear. It's for a child 3 and up,so I know she didn't look at the label and it was one of those last minute see it at the check out gifts she grabbed. I also don't like most stuffed animals b/c they are hard to wash. I've told my friend that I'm not letting my son play with cheap plastic toys from the $ store b/c I don't trust that they took the unsafe plastic stuff off the shelves. I also told her not to get me anything big...she just told me her mother got me a gift thats "big". I told her to find out what it is and I'll let her know if I can accept it or not. I don't mean to be rude,but my apartment is a 1 room 225 square foot place and it's all ready very full. I've been putting hints on my facebook page that we don't want plastic and that anyone who wants to buy gifts to please check with me first. I do it in the form of my son writing a Dear Santa letter so it's cute.</p>
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top