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Should I take Christmas presents for my own kids to the in-laws?

Posted by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:29 AM
  • 34 Replies

Would that be awkward and weird? I ask because when we do Christmas with my in-laws, they get each kid a ten dollar gift. Of course, I have no problem with that, people should gift to others as they see fit, or not at all, if they like, but my five year old has gotten upset about it over the last two Christmases.  This past Christmas, after opening his one present he asked "That's all?" And when we told him that was, indeed, it, he started crying. When he did that I told him immediately to stop, that he was being rude and that it's never polite to tell someone that what they got for you is not enough. He wouldn't stop crying so I took him to the car and made him sit for a minute to calm down and talk to him about how he is hurting his grandparents feeling about the gifts they gave. I told him he should ALWAYS be grateful and happy with what anyone gives him, because it means that they thought about him, and wanted to get something special just for him. I want him to learn how to be a  gracious gift receiever...but at five, how much can I really expect? It really seems to be more about quantity than quality at this age, and I don't know what my expections should be here. I know I can tell him that I expect him to say "thank you" and not criticize the gift, but not being disappointed about only getting one present seems like a stretch. 

So, what do you think? Should I just keep reminiding him that it's not the number of gifts, or the gift itself, that matters.....or should I start taking presents from under out tree each year so that our boys have several gifts to open, and not just one?

ETA

Thanks to everyone that replied, you helped me see that bringing extra gifts would probably do nothing but set him back in learning to show gratitude, and teaching him to be grateful for what he has is more important than making sure things go more smoothly on the visit. 

I am working on teaching him to be grateful (as my post clearly outlines), but I just wanted to make sure my expectations weren't too high, and I wasn't punishing him for something he's really not capable of controlling yet. That's why I asked other moms. I didn't THINK I was be too demanding (by expecting him to not make a fuss when he doesn't get as much as he wanted) and expecting him to be polite and grateful. This just reinforces my own ideas. As it is, I remind him before we get there to show gratitude, to say thank you, and to NEVER make the person giving the gift feel like it's not good enough. If he fails to do this, I take him to the car for a time out (as I said before), explain to him that his behavior is hurtful to his grandparents, and tell him that if he continues acting that way people will choose not to give him anything at all. 

We also buy presents each year for children who are in foster homes, it's part of a local charity we support. We make our five year old the focus, as in have him go to the store with us, go up to the charity organizer that's there for the event and ask for the Christmas list of a little boy or girl, his choice. Then HE goes and looks for the stuff on the list, with our help, of course. We've been doing this since he was three. But maybe he hasn't grasped yet that if not for that charity, those kids would have nothing. We'll work on that aspect. 

Again, I ultimately agree with everyone that bringing extra presents isn't a good idea. I'd rather he learned to be happy with what he has instead expecting more. but again, I just wasn't sure if I was expecting too much. I've seen MOST kids in our familiy, on both sides, at one point or another express disappointment over not getting as much as the other kids, or not liking what they got, or getting something they already had. Yet I've NEVER seen another parent correct their child for this behavior at all, as we did. So I wondered if I was being too harsh. Heck, the very MIL I'm referring to (the MIL that only gives one small gift) is NOTORIOUS for throwing a gift back in your face if she doesn't like it, or if it wasn't EXACTLY what she asked for. She does this all the time, did it this past Christmas, in fact,  and she's 58! And I DEFINITELY want my son to be better mannered and better behaved than she is, even at five years old. 

Oh, and yeah, it's a weird time of the year to ask, I know, but it was only a few months ago, and it was brought to mind because the BIL's kids are now calling and demanding we send them their presents, demanding that the gift be this or that, (or a certain amount of money) since thier birthdays are around the corner, and that just made me think of it, lol. Needless to say, I want my son to have better manners than MOST of our family....

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
wintermermaid
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:31 AM
I don't understand... Do you do Christmas at your house too? Are you just spending a couple hours with the inlaws?
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Bookoholic
by Silver Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:32 AM
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Personally I think he should learn that grandparents only give one gift, leave your presents at home. It hard to learn that but Ds grandparents give one a year Ds will deal.
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frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:33 AM
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Just stay firm and tell them when they can not be grateful and thank the gifter, the gift will be  given to someone who will appreciate it.   We taught dd from a young age to be happy with whatever she recieved from others since we did not have the money for alot of gifts.  Perhaps see if the grandparents would want to spend that money at a dollar store so they can stay within the budget yet more gifts can be bought.

bi-polarmommy
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:33 AM
4 moms liked this

 DO NOT TAKE YOUR OWN PRESENTS!!! that will completely undermine the values you want to teach him

spotsmom
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Yes, we spend Christmas at our house, and then drive to the inlaws the following weekend. 


Quoting wintermermaid:

I don't understand... Do you do Christmas at your house too? Are you just spending a couple hours with the inlaws?



RiotPixie
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:36 AM
Couldn't agree more.


Quoting frndlyfn:

Just stay firm and tell them when they can not be grateful and thank the gifter, the gift will be  given to someone who will appreciate it.   We taught dd from a young age to be happy with whatever she recieved from others since we did not have the money for alot of gifts.  Perhaps see if the grandparents would want to spend that money at a dollar store so they can stay within the budget yet more gifts can be bought.


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sadeyez11
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:36 AM
Don't take any gifts because it will leave the other grandkids with only that one gift and seeing your kids open more than one they may think they are not loved as much.

explain to your son that grandma gives each child one gift and something she thought to give them. tell him he should appreciate that he is getting something at all because there are some kids whose grandparents can't get them anything. i think at age 5 they would understand.
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kgsharber
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:37 AM
3 moms liked this

You should not cater to him, he is being an ungrateful brat. He needs to work past it. You said to him its about quantity, and he needs to learn that its not about quantity OR quality. Its the thought that counts.

elzmnsf
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:51 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm sorry but that is disgusting. At 5 that child should and could understand that gift giving is not a rite. No you don't take gifts from your tree. You let him know that he is to be thankful and gracious. And if he refuses you take him and most of his gifts to the local homeless shelter to show him exactly how lucky he is. He is not to young to learn that others are way worse off than him. My girls knew that at way younger than 5. And they knew to be grateful for any act of giving and kindness. Don't allow him to keep on this path or you will wind up with a horribly bratty little person who has an entitlement complex!
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spotsmom
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:54 AM

I think you misread. I never told it was "about quantity." I told him that he should never show that he is displeased with the anount of gifts or the gift itself, because he needed to realize that the present means that the person thought about him and wanted to get him something special. What I DID say was that typically at age five, it's more about quantity than quality for them. It was a generalized statement that I've observed in most other kids, his is certainly not the FIRST Christmas meltdown I've seen because they (not my kids) didn't get what they wanted, didn't get what they expected, didn't get enough, etc. And all of those kids got more than one present. So in that regard my question was more one of how much should I expect a five year old to not get disappointed over this? Mind you, if he makes a fuss, it will be IMMEDIATELY attended to, he will get a time out in the car, and reminded that it hurts others when he seems so ungrateful. 


Quoting kgsharber:

You should not cater to him, he is being an ungrateful brat. He needs to work past it. 

You said to him its about quantity,"

and he needs to learn that its not about quantity OR quality. Its the thought that counts.



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