Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

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

Posted by   + Show Post

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?


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
Replies (11-20):
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:56 AM
Its only March.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Mom2boys on Mar. 24, 2013 at 4:02 AM
I would have been disgusted if my children to act like that . You have a long while to decide on this.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 4:05 AM
Xmas is at my house so everyone brings everything here ....butt since its only march. Arent we supposed to be fighting about easter ?
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Amber on Mar. 24, 2013 at 4:44 AM
So they've already had their big day by then?

Definitely move on then. Go and enjoy the time, don't make it about the presents.

Quoting spotsmom:

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?

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Ruby Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM
He needs to know that is all he gets from them and deal.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Silver Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:34 AM
At 5 unless he has some sort of disability there should be NO comprehension problems. Prepare him before hand explaining that he will get on gift at their house and if he complains that you'll send back the gifts you got him too.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:38 AM
At 5 he is old enough to learn and know how to act. If you bring your own gifts your going to teach him to be ungrateful. My 6yr old has never acted like that and cried because she only got 1 present. Honestly I can't even fathom thinking about spoiling a ungrateful child for his bad behaviour.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM
Definitely do not take your own presents over there. I agree with app who said if he isn't grateful fire what he did get then give it to someone who will be.
Maybe start taking him to donate some of his old toys to the needy this year. So he can see how good he has it that he gets one gift
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Let him bring gifts to an orphanage or children's hospital or to a shelter. Some kids don't even get ONE gift. Some get fruit if they're lucky. It's a privalege to be given a gift, not a right. I'm sure even at 5 he can understand how sucky it would be to see another child not have any toys, right?

by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM
If you are concerned about your inlaws' feelings, I would leave the gifts at home. I have a five year old, and we have the whole "you never complain" about gifts before any event where she may receive a gift.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)