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Old December 17th, 2008, 08:17 PM
madcow madcow is offline
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Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Hello there,

New to this but I really need advice on this. I am the youngest of my 3 sisters by 7 years and I have always felt that i got the wrong end of the stick.

Here goes,

When I was a teenager and had a part time job it was expected of me to buy for all of my newphews and nieces (6) christmas presents. But then when I got married and had a child my eldest sister decided for everyone that we should just buy for the family. (My child misses out on presents) My parents have bought christmas presents for their grandchildren every year up until the child turns 16. My mother passed away 5 years ago, and now it is my dad's responsibility.

My sisters (who have now got grown children who have left home) have decided that maybe the dad should not keep buying for the grandkids anymore as they are too old. Great that their children have received presents from their grandparents while they were growing up, but my youngest is only 9. It just doesn't seem fair and I feel that my children are missing out.

My question is, do i say something to my dad and sisters and start an argument or am I just being silly and a bit of a martyr?
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Old December 17th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Welcome.

First off, I know how you feel. I am the youngest of 4 girls, the oldest 11 years older than me. I was an aunt by the time I was 7. I, too, had the same standard. By for the nieces and nephews until I had kids and then bam, buy only for your kids.

But I have a lot of questions that follows. First and foremost, what is your dad's financial situation. As unfair as it may seem, buying for 3 kids is a lot easier than buying for 10. Is he of retirement age and living on a fixed income? The difference between his income between the time your sister had kids and the time you had kids can varying greatly, so that is a factor.

Also, how does your dad treat the kids? Is he involved? I would much rather have a grandparent involved with my kids than a boat-load of presents that just get trashed.

My mom passed away 2 years ago, right before Christmas and presents was left up to my step-dad. Poor guy, he was in for a culture shock. My mom had done all the shopping before now and he just did not have a clue as what to buy kids, letalone a 5-year-old little girl. He was just completely out of his element.

My final question is about your kids? Do they really notice and get upset (kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for) or is this more you being upset (which, again, I understand). If this really does not bother your kids, then I might let it go.

This is something I have decided to let go myself. To me, I would rather spend my money on my own kids anyway. As for my kids missing out on presents, I guess I just don't see it that way. My kids have everything they need and most of what they want and I take pride in the fact that I didn't need my sisters or parents to buy it for them.

As I said before, there are a lot of factors at play here, but if this is something that is truly bothering you, I might mention it to dear ol' dad and maybe suggest token gifts. As for your sisters, if they are anything like mine, they just won't understand.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:32 PM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Hi madcow! Welcome!

I am also the youngest (of 4) and I have two older sisters just like your older sisters. I completely agree with you that it isn't fair and it isn't right. HOWEVER...

I firmly believe that "Win or lose, when you fight with skunks you end up stinking". Your older siblings are skunks. Greedy, selfish little skunks (oh, am I projecting my sisters on them? ) There is no way, no how you're going to make them agree with you. They just won't. If you say anything, you're going to hear such hurtful B.S. lines and you'll get drawn into defending yourself (when in fact there is no defense necessary):

* Mom and Dad spent waaaaaay more money on yooooooouu growing up because by the time you came around they could afford more.

* You're just being greedy; so WHAT if our kids got all of those presents?

* Nobody said you HAD to work a part-time job to buy gifts for nieces/nephews. You're just a bitter person.

* Well OUR kids were Dad's FIRST grandkids. By now it's not special anymore.

* It's not fair if Dad just buys for YOUR kids.

etc., etc., etc.

Here is what I see as the main problems. First, your Dad is presumably a competent adult. Your siblings can't dictate his behavior. If he could afford gifts and genuinely wanted to be fair, he'd ignore them and buy anyway. The fact that he doesn't tells me that he either can't, or he agrees with them () If you have to ASK him for gifts, well... are those gifts you really want your kids to receive?

Second, I hope your D has an iron-clad will stating very specifically his wishes. You might find yourself holding the short end of the stick when he dies.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Thanks for the replys,

I just needed to vent. Answer to your questions, my Dad is retired but he has retired well money wise, so there is no problem with finances. The thing that really bugs me is that he did stop buying for my sisters kids when they did turn 16 (as stated), then why is it an issue for my sisters that he should still be buying for mine who haven't turned 18.

I think both of you are right, it is not worth the upset in the family, but i just needed to get it off my chest. Being the youngest, you never really have valid input anyway. I maybe a grown woman with kids of my own, but I will always be the 'baby' of the family. Even with my mums funeral, i never had any input, so i will just put it down to 'that's just the way it is'

Thanks for listening.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

((((hugs))))

My DS is younger than all of his cousins by 5 yrs (or more- if fact one cousin has a daughter closer in age to him than she is), so I can relate.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Quote:
Originally Posted by madcow View Post
Being the youngest, you never really have valid input anyway. I maybe a grown woman with kids of my own, but I will always be the 'baby' of the family.
This is one of the truest statements I've ever read. That's exactly how it was in my family (my Evil Sisters and I no longer speak).

Here's a story from my past. I was in my 30's with a CPA certificate and over 10 years of work experience in public accounting. Evil Sister #2 wanted to buy a home but didn't have the money (she had declared bankruptcy and couldn't get the credit, plus she's notoriously bad with money). My Dad was trying to wipe off my sisters on my brother (D was getting "up there"... his comment was "At what point do my middle-age children start acting like adults?" He wanted my sister to make it without him.) So my brother, who consulted me for accounting advise and whose tax work I did, asked me what I thought about him going in partnership with my sister to purchase a home with an apartment rental (my sister's idea). I was honest (and ethical - part of the CPA thing) and told him that with his financial situation (he was doing very well), it didn't make sense to do what Evil Sister #2 was proposing. HOWEVER, I told him, I understood his intent and there were other options for Evil Sister to get money from him... via loan, via gift, etc. My brother ended up loaning her the money (at extremely favorable terms), but every year making a gift to her of the amount of the loan payments.

You can't even imagine the blasting I got from *BOTH* Evil Sisters for that. *Clearly* I didn't know what I was talking about and how *DARE* I say that they had their facts wrong (about setting up a partnership and tax law) etc. I never understood that. Evil Sister 2 GOT the dang house... pretty much as a GIFT from my B... and got 100% of the rental income. How dare I?

Did I mention that my sisters and I don't speak anymore?
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Old December 19th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Re: Grandparent not buying present for grandchild

Quote:
Originally Posted by madcow View Post
Thanks for the replys,

I just needed to vent. Answer to your questions, my Dad is retired but he has retired well money wise, so there is no problem with finances. The thing that really bugs me is that he did stop buying for my sisters kids when they did turn 16 (as stated), then why is it an issue for my sisters that he should still be buying for mine who haven't turned 18.

I think both of you are right, it is not worth the upset in the family, but i just needed to get it off my chest. Being the youngest, you never really have valid input anyway. I maybe a grown woman with kids of my own, but I will always be the 'baby' of the family. Even with my mums funeral, i never had any input, so i will just put it down to 'that's just the way it is'

Thanks for listening.
go directly to your dad and ask him if you could buy your daughter a gift and put his name on it, stating she isn't going to understand...he just might see the issue at hand himself, but at least even if you purchase it and put his name on it for her, she will have that.

I wouldn't talk to your sisters about this at all...it really isn't their business what your dad does.
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