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4 Bumps

How do I tell my sister not to spend so much on my kids?

Two weeks ago was my Stepson's 13th birthday. All of our family members purchased gifts, gift cards, or gave checks to him costing approximately the same amount (under $40). We thought those amounts were reasonable, however, my sister sent him a check for twice what everyone else spent. I've been trying to think of a way to thank her for her generous gift, but also tell her that that his father and I feel this is way too much to spend on a child and to please stay within the range we provided. Any ideas?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:55 PM on Nov. 3, 2010 in Holidays

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • uhhh.....i think it's great that she gave him $80. I wouldn't say a thing. He's 13, not 6. My 8 year old DD gets $40-$80 checks for her birthday & Christmas all the time. I always make her put a certain amount in her special savings account though that she is not alloud to withdraw from. She can see how much money is in there, but she can't spend it until she is an adult. I never tell anyone how much they should spend on my child. A gift is a gift. It has nothing to do with you. It was a gift from your sister to him. I would let it be. Maybe he can save up & buy something cool.

    Maybe you can encourage him start a savings account, or start one for him. This is a great way & a great time to show him how finances work.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 2:00 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • Let her read this post.

    Answer by older at 1:57 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I don't personally see what the big deal is. It wasn't $800 just $80. And when all his other stuff added up it would be around a couple hundred any way wouldn't it? Instead of hurt feelings and resentment, if you feel it was too much, why not take it and buy him some clothes he needs or save it for something he needs, like sports uniforms or something?

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:59 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • Just say thank you and move on--


    Answer by dullscissors at 2:11 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I'd just accept the gift

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 2:14 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I never tell anyone how much they should spend on my child. A gift is a gift.

    Samurai's words made me think. You would never tell someone that the gift they gave you cost too little and that they needed to spend more next time, right? Well, it is nearly as rude to tell someone to spend less, and it seems ungrateful. If it was being done intentionally to buy something specific you didn't approve of or something like that then you would have a case, but otherwise I think you just have to be grateful and appreciative of your sister's generosity and leave it at that. I think you do reserve the right to expect your Stepson to save a portion or to put some sort of limit on how he can spend that much money, within reason.

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:42 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I wouldn't say anything. It's nice she wanted to spend so much. Does she have her own kids? My sister was very generous before she became a mother. Just say thank you and move on. It's not like she gave him $1,000.

    Answer by mompam at 2:08 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • My sister does things like that for my grandchildren... she did the same for my dd's when they were much younger
    She has no children and enjoys doing it...
    I see no reason for your to limit the gifts given to your children from relatives if they love doing it and they can
    afford to...

    Answer by gmasboy at 5:40 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • It may be best just to allow her to give what she wants. If you are concerned with your son having so much money, have him put half in a savings. Most of my aunts/ uncles give me gifts or money worth about $20-30 but I have one aunt and uncle that make a great deal more money then others and usually spend over $200. If you are worried that she is spending more then she can afford and maybe doesn't realized she is spending morethen everyone else, that is different. If so, perhaps next time you talk to her you can causally mention some of the other things he got (not money ammounts, that would be tacky) but something like "he had such a great birthday, Carol got him a DVD he had been wanting and Andrew bought him a new video game. This way she gets the idea about how much people are spending, and if she can't really afford to give what she usually does, she will not feel bad about giving less.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 1:25 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • just be gracious. The way I see it if I have more to give I will and if I don't I will do what I can but I don't want someone telling what kind of gift to give. Whether it's money or clothes or gift card. Don't feel guilty about accepting something that was giving from the heart. It's family.

    Answer by cuteness13983 at 1:54 PM on Nov. 4, 2010