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

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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
Replies (21-30):
LucyHarper
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I would definitely not be taking presents to their house. That's rude to your inlaws, as if you as well are saying that what they give is not enough, and its just enforcing and pacifying your children's rude spoiled behavior rather then teaching them that they need to stop. I have a five year old son and they can in deed be taught manners and how to appreaciate what they get. We take our kids to volunteer often, they know that a lot of kids don't have Christmas gifts, or homes, or parents, or food, so they should never throw a fit over a present. If they did behave that way, they would be losing the present and it would be donated to a child who appreciates it, I would have them apologize to their grandparents, we would have some serious talks about appreciating what we have and how rude that behavior is, and I would consider downsizing how many gifts they recieve so they can learn to really care about what they do get, not what they don't.

angelachristine
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:19 AM
1 mom liked this

my mil sometimes buys the kids gifts and sometimes not and they have never complained. I wouldn't put up with that. Honestly if he complained I'd make him donate the gift from grandparents to a shelter or something and if he kept it up I'd start in on gifts my dh and I got him.

It's Cassandra Cat! 

Roo1234
by Bronze Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 9:19 AM
2 moms liked this
it would be more helpful to all of you if you were to talk to your son immediately prior to arriving there and remind him of your expectations. be proactive and give him the tools to deal with his disappointment, rather than waiting until he is already worked up and everyone else is uncomfortable.
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MamaSnaps
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM
1 mom liked this

NO! You should be teaching the child to be grateful for what he got, not making him think he should get more and taking more will cause him to think he's supposed to get more-in turn making your in-laws feel that they aren't good enough. And what about the other kids? Are you going to take gifts for them too? Because if you take stuff for your son then they should also get more. 
This is the one thing I HATE about Christmas. We've changed Christmas here (mainly because we have 5 kids and 2 grands) to one large gift at Christmas and the majority of the gift money we'd spend on them is done for birthdays instead.
A couple reasons: buying $$$ gifts for 7 kids and a spare is EXPENSIVE and we put money away each month for it because otherwise? HOLY HELL. So instead of spending that huge chunk of money one time a year, we spend a little chunk of it each month. Second we've made Christmas about giving and the true Christmas meaning. Even my 4 year old granddaughter is able to understand the traditions of Christmas instead of the "gimme gimme gimme" that kids get into. We also have a bit of a challenge among us to give hand/heart made things. The kids have a thing about 'who makes mom cry' with their gifts and it extends to the entire family. They know they can make me cry by giving something really special to anyone (I have a watering fountain for things like that) and so they work really hard at finding ways to keep me in tears all day. 

Every year when the kids were little they got to choose a salvation army angel and then THEY bought the toys and things THEY wanted for that angel. Now my kids are older and we have a charity here that does something like that, but amazingly well, so we donate to that instead. When they were little the actual buying of the presents was important-the giving of what they wanted part.  

Bmat
by Barb on Mar. 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

MamaSnaps has a good thought- that taking more will teach them to think they are entitled to more. I hadn't thought of this aspect of it.

Quoting MamaSnaps:

NO! You should be teaching the child to be grateful for what he got, not making him think he should get more and taking more will cause him to think he's supposed to get more-in turn making your in-laws feel that they aren't good enough. And what about the other kids? Are you going to take gifts for them too? Because if you take stuff for your son then they should also get more. 
This is the one thing I HATE about Christmas. We've changed Christmas here (mainly because we have 5 kids and 2 grands) to one large gift at Christmas and the majority of the gift money we'd spend on them is done for birthdays instead.
A couple reasons: buying $$$ gifts for 7 kids and a spare is EXPENSIVE and we put money away each month for it because otherwise? HOLY HELL. So instead of spending that huge chunk of money one time a year, we spend a little chunk of it each month. Second we've made Christmas about giving and the true Christmas meaning. Even my 4 year old granddaughter is able to understand the traditions of Christmas instead of the "gimme gimme gimme" that kids get into. We also have a bit of a challenge among us to give hand/heart made things. The kids have a thing about 'who makes mom cry' with their gifts and it extends to the entire family. They know they can make me cry by giving something really special to anyone (I have a watering fountain for things like that) and so they work really hard at finding ways to keep me in tears all day. 

Every year when the kids were little they got to choose a salvation army angel and then THEY bought the toys and things THEY wanted for that angel. Now my kids are older and we have a charity here that does something like that, but amazingly well, so we donate to that instead. When they were little the actual buying of the presents was important-the giving of what they wanted part.  


nurse1997
by Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM

YOU DID THE RIGHT THING MAYBE YOU CAN REMIND HIM A MONTH IN ADVANCE A FEW TIMES  REMBER GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ONLY GIVE ONE PRESENT BUT SANTA COMES TO OUR HOUSE WITH LOTS OF PRESENTS

jrmo4
by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 4:37 PM
Meh. I'd just stick to it. If it were me, I'd tell my children that they can be greatful or they will go without any presents at all. 5 is plenty old enough to deal with it. :)
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atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Mar. 24, 2013 at 4:41 PM
I hated when we would go to a birthday party and the kid was opening gifts and said "I have this already" or acted like they didn't like it. Mine knew early on to be greatful for anything and never say they have something already.
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spotsmom
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:48 AM

Quote: "And what about the other kids? Are you going to take gifts for them too? Because if you take stuff for your son then they should also get more."

Well, that's part of it, too. We take presents for our neice and nephews, and we always take them at least four or five things, so they already have more to open than my children do. 

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. 

Yes, ultimately I 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. 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 at all, as we did. So I wondered if I was being too harsh. Heck, the very MIL I'm referring to with this 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, 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. 

Quoting MamaSnaps:

NO! You should be teaching the child to be grateful for what he got, not making him think he should get more and taking more will cause him to think he's supposed to get more-in turn making your in-laws feel that they aren't good enough.

Quote:

And what about the other kids? Are you going to take gifts for them too? Because if you take stuff for your son then they should also get more.

 
This is the one thing I HATE about Christmas. We've changed Christmas here (mainly because we have 5 kids and 2 grands) to one large gift at Christmas and the majority of the gift money we'd spend on them is done for birthdays instead.
A couple reasons: buying $$$ gifts for 7 kids and a spare is EXPENSIVE and we put money away each month for it because otherwise? HOLY HELL. So instead of spending that huge chunk of money one time a year, we spend a little chunk of it each month. Second we've made Christmas about giving and the true Christmas meaning. Even my 4 year old granddaughter is able to understand the traditions of Christmas instead of the "gimme gimme gimme" that kids get into. We also have a bit of a challenge among us to give hand/heart made things. The kids have a thing about 'who makes mom cry' with their gifts and it extends to the entire family. They know they can make me cry by giving something really special to anyone (I have a watering fountain for things like that) and so they work really hard at finding ways to keep me in tears all day. 

Every year when the kids were little they got to choose a salvation army angel and then THEY bought the toys and things THEY wanted for that angel. Now my kids are older and we have a charity here that does something like that, but amazingly well, so we donate to that instead. When they were little the actual buying of the presents was important-the giving of what they wanted part.  



Pukalani79
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 2:16 AM

 I was going to comment about working on gratitude but from your update I gather you got a lot of that.  (I haven't read all of the comments.) Good luck

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