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birthday gifts and spoiling children

so. my brother in law just called me to tell me that his daughter didn't like the outfit we bought her for her birthday and he wants to bring it back. she is 9 years old and wants us to shop at Ardene. We had called a week before her birthday to ask what she wanted and what size she was. Her mother didn't know the answer to either question and couldn't be bothered to find out. So I shopped and found a cute shirt and shorts, not cheap, not ugly. When we gave her the gift she tried it on and the shorts were too small. She said she liked the shirt and wanted to keep it even though it was a little tight in my opinion. So, I took the shorts back and got a larger pair. Her dad picked them up today and took gave them to her. Then I got the call. He said she was crying because she didn't like them and she didn't want to tell us. He said we can take it back and get her something from Ardene or just give her cash. Am I wrong to be offended by this? Since when are birthday gifts obligatory and on demand? I thought gifts were just gifts and that the person is supposed to appreciate them for what they are. Okay, I feel bad that she didn't like the clothes, but if she were my kid, this would be my opportunity to teach her that it is the thought that counts, that there's nothing wrong with the clothes, and that she doesn't have to wear them, she can give them to charity if she wants to. I can't even count how many awful sweaters I was given by my grandmother growing up, but I can now proudly and without regrets say that I always thanked her and appreciated the thought and the time that she put into buying me a gift. The fact that she remembered me meant more to me then and now. I am of a mind to ask people not to buy gifts for my daughter's second birthday because she already has too many clothes and toys and we can afford to get her more if need be. I would appreciate it more if people just showed up and family time was more valued than material things. Am I totally wrong to be offended by my this???what ever happened to not looking a gift horse in the mouth?
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replied May 11th, 2009
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I empathize with you. You have every right to be hurt, offended, whatever. But, in her defense, she is only 9. This would be a great time for her parents to sit her down and give her the talk about gifts and appreciation, even though the gift itself may not suit her likings. That it is the thought that counts. I think you have learned a lesson too. Kids are picky and hard to shop for. I have resorted to gift cards as there are usually no hurt feelings involved because I provided a gift and the child gets to pick it. I actually did that for my kids this Christmas. We all went shopping at Toys R US the day after and it was the best feeling, getting to see the smiles on my childrens' faces as they picked out what they wanted.
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replied May 11th, 2009
Most Diplomatic Poster
I understand that kids are picky sometimes but they still need to be taught that other people's feelings are important. People are more important than things. These people have new everything. New furniture and appliances, every new tech gadget you can name and new cars, flat screen tv, everything. It is NOT my job to clothe their child. If there is something particular she wants, they should talk to her and say "we will buy it for you but take the gift you are given and find it in yourself to appreciate the thought and time that was put into it by the person that loves you". That is exactly what I would do with my daughter if the shoe were on the other foot. To pick up the phone and call the person and tell them their gift made your child cry is just bad manners and bad parenting. Good manners is when you appreciate a gift as something that is given freely not demanded or obligatory. This isn't about giving her what she wants, it's about not teaching her what's right. She isnt my child but obviously her parents have never been taught how to treat people either. I don't blame her for doing what kids do, I just can't believe they would throw it back at me rather than teaching their daughter how to be a good person.
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replied May 12th, 2009
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I have to agree with you there. It IS the parent's responsibility to find out what the child wants and tell others. And, like I said in my previous post, when their child started crying, that would have been a good time for the parents to TEACH her about gratefulness. And about how its the thought that counts. I never meant to imply that being picky was excusable. Since I do not know her parents, I cannot judge them as being bad people or inept at knowing how to treat people. I do know that relatives have asked me before how my children have liked their gifts and I have always responded, "They appreciate them" or "They like them just fine" so I do find it tacky that the parents would tell you their child was crying and hated the gift you got her. My kids may not have liked EVERY gift they got, but they knew the bigger picture behind each gift. The socks from Oma they got for Christmas, those were because they NEEDED new socks and Oma wanted to pick out cool fuzzy ones. My kids have never cried over any gifts they have gotten so far. Maybe an exasperated sigh or two, but that is as far as "complaining goes". I'm sure there will be a time one of my two bursts into tears over a present (it happens at least once, I have to admit...I'm guilty of it)but when that happens, I will have the tact to tell the giver of the gift, "Kid appreciates it" vs "Omg, you made my kid cry". I know it sounds like a lie, but I know my kids, and despite not getting what they want, they value the thought put behind the gift, so they may not like it, but they appreciate they were being thought of.
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Users who thank motherofhighspiritedones for this post: kaerbear 

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replied May 12th, 2009
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She's only 9 and she DID consider your feelings because "she didn't like them and didn;t want to tell" you that. But at this point where a 9 year old child is crying because she's emotionally conflicted the best thing they could do for her was to explain appreciation for gifts and that it was OK for her not to like it yet appreciate the thought. The parents screwed up here not the kid.

They have gift cards now where instead of the recipient seeing a given amount they are given a catalogue with items their card can afford and they pick you of the items from the catalogue.
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Users who thank Phenicks for this post: kaerbear 

replied May 12th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
i think alot of times its the way a parent raises the kid...i NEVER as a kid complained about a present..i knew not to..my parents taught me that it was rude and you should be happy to be getting anything at all...its all in how you're raised..my cousin was really spoiled as a child...now every kid deserves to be spoiled every now and then but she was going with mommy for $50 haircuts HIGHLIGHTS and manicures at least every other week!!! COME ON! at 10?! ...so if i were you yes I would be offended as well...
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Users who thank worrywart01 for this post: kaerbear 

replied May 13th, 2009
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Kaerbear, when she tried on the shorts the first time, did she complain to you how small they were? Or did you decide on your own to get her another pair because you saw how small they were? Did you have a problem with getting her another pair? Why did you become offended the second time but not the first? Was it only because you heard she was upset? Whose idea was it to get her something else? The father's or hers?

It sounds like she just felt obligated to wear the gift. Some ADULTS feel that way, too. She is only nine! If you think about it, some people actually get offended if a person does not keep the gift or wear the gift for them to see. That is why many people feel bad about giving away or throwing away the gifts they receive. That is probably why she didn't want to tell you that she didn't like the gift.
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replied May 13th, 2009
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I think 1) this is why many people get gift receipts ESPECIALLY when gifting for children and 2) the parents should have simply gotten her something else and not bothered to call the gift giver because now she's offended. It isn't like she was a stranger, they knew how she would probably react.

NeutralUsername wrote:
Kaerbear, when she tried on the shorts the first time, did she complain to you how small they were? Or did you decide on your own to get her another pair because you saw how small they were? Did you have a problem with getting her another pair? Why did you become offended the second time but not the first? Was it only because you heard she was upset? Whose idea was it to get her something else? The father's or hers?

It sounds like she just felt obligated to wear the gift. Some ADULTS feel that way, too. She is only nine! If you think about it, some people actually get offended if a person does not keep the gift or wear the gift for them to see. That is why many people feel bad about giving away or throwing away the gifts they receive. That is probably why she didn't want to tell you that she didn't like the gift.
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replied May 14th, 2009
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you guys are missing the point. i wouldn't have been offended if she had come to me and complained about the gift. i can't fault her for being honest, she's only a child. the difference is, it was her parent who called me and told me the gift wasn't good enough. had it been my child, i would never have done such a thing. i would have done my job as a parent and taught her to be happy with the gifts she received and to accept them graciously and know that she doesn't have to have everything exactly her way all the time. it's not like this kid is wanting for anything; she received over $350.00 in cash along with her birthday gifts so she could buy herself an iPod touch.

there used to be such things as manners and etiquette that taught us ways to treat other people with kindness and respect and it seems like those lessons aren't being taught anymore. i don't have any problems with giving generously, i just have a problem with raising another generation of self-entitled children and then wondering where we went wrong.
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replied May 14th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
i agree with you kaerbear...and $350.00 in cash?! really??? and shes 9! does she even know HOW to work an ipod touch? the same cousin I was speaking of earlier received a cell phone when she turned 12...now I on the other hand received a phone when I got my LICENSE bc my parents wanted me to have one in case of emergency...at 12 why the heck do you need a CELL phone!? you dont..and now they're having problems with the bill bc shes texting too much...go figure...I just don't understand parents these days..like i said I think everyone was spoiled at some point especially by their grandparents but its just getting outta hand now...I work in a restaurant and I see parents everyday who cant control their screaming kid...let me tell you, when I was of age to understand how to behave if I put up a fit like that my momma threatened to take me to the bathroom and give me a reason to cry! its ALL about dicipline!
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Users who thank worrywart01 for this post: kaerbear 

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replied May 15th, 2009
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SPOILED wahhhh....

I think you buy a gift and thats it, the fact that parents are even going along with it, almost makes me sick to my stomach.

Kids pick this behavior up and continue on with it when the parents approve of it, hey some parent just don't discipline their kids. Personally I don't think cash is a gift to get maybe next time just bake some rice krispie squares.

At one point, every time I went shopping I would have to buy my kids something, dad had a part in this when we separated. Anyway, I tell them ahead of time they aren't getting something and I get the odd few tantrums, nothing like all the time before.

On the other hand I would have been offended and told them to deal with it lol or regift lol!
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replied May 15th, 2009
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WHere was the child self entitled? She didn't demand anything of anyone she simply didn't like something you got her, that's allowed. What was wrong was the parent's reaction. Had the girl cried and you never known about it and she eternally hated that outfit you'd have been just as happy thinking everything was fine. That was my point, they should not have told you. I think she WAS grateful that she got a gift but sad that it wasn't something she'd like and was conflicted about ever telling you for fear of hurting your feelings. She considered you, the onyl one in the situation who truly considered your feelings was the CHILD, a kid who should not be responsible for the feelings of adults was. This kid isn't some brat who ruined the gift, her parents response was wrong. If anyone felt self entitled it certainly wasn't the only person who considered YOUR feelings on HER birthday.

My kid has everything he could possibly want and then some at 7 months and as an infant he's selfish, like ALL infants are when he's older if someone bought him something he didn't like they'll get a smile that says thanks for thinking of me a verbal and written thank you and move along. If he doesn't like it he doesn't like it, I wouldn't force him to wear or use something he doesn't want to wear or use and never even asked for in the first place. No parent should force their children to do something to please another adult aside from be polite and respect, which includes respectfully and politely accepting a gift they will never use nor wanted.

kaerbear wrote:
you guys are missing the point. i wouldn't have been offended if she had come to me and complained about the gift. i can't fault her for being honest, she's only a child. the difference is, it was her parent who called me and told me the gift wasn't good enough. had it been my child, i would never have done such a thing. i would have done my job as a parent and taught her to be happy with the gifts she received and to accept them graciously and know that she doesn't have to have everything exactly her way all the time. it's not like this kid is wanting for anything; she received over $350.00 in cash along with her birthday gifts so she could buy herself an iPod touch.

there used to be such things as manners and etiquette that taught us ways to treat other people with kindness and respect and it seems like those lessons aren't being taught anymore. i don't have any problems with giving generously, i just have a problem with raising another generation of self-entitled children and then wondering where we went wrong.
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replied May 15th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
kaerbear wrote:
you guys are missing the point. i wouldn't have been offended if she had come to me and complained about the gift. i can't fault her for being honest, she's only a child. the difference is, it was her parent who called me and told me the gift wasn't good enough. had it been my child, i would never have done such a thing. i would have done my job as a parent and taught her to be happy with the gifts she received and to accept them graciously and know that she doesn't have to have everything exactly her way all the time. it's not like this kid is wanting for anything; she received over $350.00 in cash along with her birthday gifts so she could buy herself an iPod touch.

there used to be such things as manners and etiquette that taught us ways to treat other people with kindness and respect and it seems like those lessons aren't being taught anymore. i don't have any problems with giving generously, i just have a problem with raising another generation of self-entitled children and then wondering where we went wrong.


When the gift wasn't good enough the first time, why didn't you have a problem giving her a different size? Did ANYONE ask you to do what you did? Or did you on your own tried to get her a "better" gift? Maybe they just expected it again because you already showed that you were willing to get her something she truly liked!
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replied May 17th, 2009
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phenicks..your child is SEVEN MONTHS OLD...thats a completely different situation than what kaerbear is describing..at 7 months old the kid doesn't know what selfish is..it simply cries when it NEEDS something...the child kaerbear is talking about is 9...old enough to know how to respect their elders...when I got clothes from my grandparents from christmas do you think I threw a tantrum? NO..bc i was taught that gifts are just that..GIFTS...a child at 9 is old enough to know how to behave and simply say "thank you"...if you dont like the gift you keep your mouth shut and deal with it...the parents certainly should not have called and said the gift wasn't appreciated...sorry...too bad...

Phenicks wrote:
WHere was the child self entitled? She didn't demand anything of anyone she simply didn't like something you got her, that's allowed. What was wrong was the parent's reaction. Had the girl cried and you never known about it and she eternally hated that outfit you'd have been just as happy thinking everything was fine. That was my point, they should not have told you. I think she WAS grateful that she got a gift but sad that it wasn't something she'd like and was conflicted about ever telling you for fear of hurting your feelings. She considered you, the onyl one in the situation who truly considered your feelings was the CHILD, a kid who should not be responsible for the feelings of adults was. This kid isn't some brat who ruined the gift, her parents response was wrong. If anyone felt self entitled it certainly wasn't the only person who considered YOUR feelings on HER birthday.

My kid has everything he could possibly want and then some at 7 months and as an infant he's selfish, like ALL infants are when he's older if someone bought him something he didn't like they'll get a smile that says thanks for thinking of me a verbal and written thank you and move along. If he doesn't like it he doesn't like it, I wouldn't force him to wear or use something he doesn't want to wear or use and never even asked for in the first place. No parent should force their children to do something to please another adult aside from be polite and respect, which includes respectfully and politely accepting a gift they will never use nor wanted.

kaerbear wrote:
you guys are missing the point. i wouldn't have been offended if she had come to me and complained about the gift. i can't fault her for being honest, she's only a child. the difference is, it was her parent who called me and told me the gift wasn't good enough. had it been my child, i would never have done such a thing. i would have done my job as a parent and taught her to be happy with the gifts she received and to accept them graciously and know that she doesn't have to have everything exactly her way all the time. it's not like this kid is wanting for anything; she received over $350.00 in cash along with her birthday gifts so she could buy herself an iPod touch.

there used to be such things as manners and etiquette that taught us ways to treat other people with kindness and respect and it seems like those lessons aren't being taught anymore. i don't have any problems with giving generously, i just have a problem with raising another generation of self-entitled children and then wondering where we went wrong.
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replied May 17th, 2009
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???
How old are we here? I mean the CHILD didn't throw a tantrum she told her PARENTS she didn't like it, she didn't tell the aunt she didn't want to tell the aunt, the PARENTS told the aunt. You think the kid should have gone to school wearing clothes that made her feel like crap just to please an adult?

She didn't disrespect her aunt, she didn't ask her aunt for a gift, for the outfit for ANYTHING but the aunt took it upon herself to get a gift for someone, namely clothes without knowing 1) what size they wear and 2) what they LIKE to wear. The thought is what counts but how much are you really thinking about the person you're gifting when you demand that they pretend to like your gift for your feelings even though you knew the chances were high they wouldn't like it and certainly didn't need it?

THE CHILD DID NOTHING WRONG. My goodness you'd all be happy if this kid wore the outfit and cried herself to sleep that night because she felt as though she looked horrible in it. She's a kid but she's also an individual a human being who doesn't have to liek something just because you give it to her. She accepted it graciously but never liked it one bit. She told her parents who then should have made better decisions including not telling someone who was going to get this upset about a 9 year old not liking her gift.
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replied May 18th, 2009
My niece is the same age and shopping for her is a chore. I think it's just the age that kids are at. I sorta had the same problem last year when I bought her a ipod nano and she threw a fit because it was black and not pink. I just shugged it off, it hurt, I though that was what she wanted but I don't have kids, I don't get to have a say in how they are raised. I worry sometimes that she is too spoiled, we grew up with nothing and I think my brother wants to give her the childhood he was denied. Overall she is still a good kid and I still love her.

Maybe you should offer to go shopping with her and exchange the outfit with her. She can find something she like with you and spend sometime together. After the shopping trip if she neglects to say thank you, then I would worry about her being spoiled.
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replied May 19th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
Whoa! A fit? The girl in this post didnt throw a fit she cried because she was conflicted about saying she didnt like it. Thats bad she can paint the ipod black, u cant change the style of clothes @ 9
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