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Thread: sibling gifts at a birthday?

  1. #1

    Default sibling gifts at a birthday?

    When your child has a bday, do any of the siblings ever receive gifts?

    DS2 is having his 2nd bday next month, and there was talk with MIL about getting DS1 something for DS2's bday.

  2. #2

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    No. Never.

  3. #3

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    Nope...however, my 4 year old does have a lot of fun going to the store with me to pick out a gift for his brother from him. He gets so excited to see him open it!




  4. #4

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    No, never. Though whenever I bring a gift for a new baby, I always bring sibling gifts for the other children in the family.

  5. #5
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    Never

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    Not quite the same, but when DD was younger, she'd get a small something (from my SIL) when she went to her nephews' birthdays, to keep her widdle feewings from getting hurt. Maybe MIL is thinking along those lines (and I think you've said before that she favors him over DS2, right?).

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    My mother and my BFF usually get sibling gifts-usually a coloring book or the like, just something small-but that's because my girls' birthdays are 5 days apart so they like to give the other one something small to occupy them with that would otherwise be added into their birthday gift.

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  8. #8

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    Growing up, whenever my siblings had a birthday, my grandparents would give the rest of us 5 dollars. That's it though, no "gifts". Can't say I will do the same when I have more than one though.
    DD 05/14/2013

  9. #9

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    so would any of you all say anything if someone was asking the sibling what he wanted for his sibling's bday?

    I am having a lot of trouble with MIL giving too many gifts. DS1 is already getting the attitude that a gift is expected from MIL all the time. There were "vacation" gifts just this past week (which DH told her to tone down, and it ws still a ton). DS is saying things like " I like MIL better than [my mom]. She gives me things" "Why doesn't BIL give me as much as MIL?"

    DS1 would not be upset AT ALL about DS2 getting all the gifts at his bday in a month. That's not his personality at all.

  10. #10

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    My dad often does get gifts for everyone on one child's bday.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    My dad often does get gifts for everyone on one child's bday.
    My MIL does the same. Typically the Birthday boy's gift is wrapped, and the other boy's gift is given at the end of the party, unwrapped. I think the idea behind it is to prevent arguing? The gifts are always identical. I'm not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. I know their intentions are good, but I don't feel that it's fair to the Birthday boy, and they need to learn how to share. Besides that, it doesn't matter if they both have identical toys, one always wants what the other has.




  12. #12

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    I don't love it either as I also don't want my kids expecting stuff like that but it's one of those things I chalk up to grandparenting and leave it alone. I always tell my kids that grandpa is very very generous and that we should never expect gifts on someone else's birthday but be very grateful when it happens.

  13. #13
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    No, and it would likely irritate me.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
    No, never. Though whenever I bring a gift for a new baby, I always bring sibling gifts for the other children in the family.
    Same thing here.
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  15. #15

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    Nope, and I would actually tell someone (kindly) who tried to give one of my other kids a gift, "thank you, but they can't accept the gift at this time, please save it for their Birthday". Kids need to learn that the world isn't always "fair", and when it's they're siblings birthday, they don't also get gifts, JMHO.

    *Kimberly* Mommy to Hayden (7), Alexis (5), Makenzie & Brooke (18m)!
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
    No, never. Though whenever I bring a gift for a new baby, I always bring sibling gifts for the other children in the family.
    Me three.

    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    so would any of you all say anything if someone was asking the sibling what he wanted for his sibling's bday?

    I am having a lot of trouble with MIL giving too many gifts. DS1 is already getting the attitude that a gift is expected from MIL all the time. There were "vacation" gifts just this past week (which DH told her to tone down, and it ws still a ton). DS is saying things like " I like MIL better than [my mom]. She gives me things" "Why doesn't BIL give me as much as MIL?"

    DS1 would not be upset AT ALL about DS2 getting all the gifts at his bday in a month. That's not his personality at all.
    In your situation, I would ask that she stops giving too many gifts. DS1 is very much into getting gifts and I see it as a problem. If my MIL is to give him gifts for every little occasion, I would ask that DH talk to her; if he can't, I will talk to her directly. DH is her favorite and she takes any criticism well from him.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJorn View Post
    No, and it would likely irritate me.
    and it does irritate me. Even if DS1 did throw a fit over not getting presents, I think it's important for him to learn that birthdays are celebrations for the birthday child, not him. He has his own special day. Additionally, it puts the focus on birthday parties as simply gift-giving parties, which I don't like. The ILs have different values when it comes to material things than we do, and it's hard to teach children that material possessions don't mean anything when they are constantly talking about gifts from the ILs and constantly getting gifts from them.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    Me three.



    In your situation, I would ask that she stops giving too many gifts. DS1 is very much into getting gifts and I see it as a problem. If my MIL is to give him gifts for every little occasion, I would ask that DH talk to her; if he can't, I will talk to her directly. DH is her favorite and she takes any criticism well from him.
    We already asked her to stop it. This weekend, I overheard MIL talking to DS1...she was listing all these different toys, asking DS1 "would you like this? how about this one?" of course he said yes to every one. When I was listening in, I heard that it was a present for DS2's bday. Then, DS1 was telling me about it when it was just the 2 of us. I think I will pretend that I didnt hear MIL talking to DS about it and just tell her that DS1 was talking about getting a gift for DS2's bday and ask her please not to give anything as we are teaching him that only he gets a present. We are doing favors, and that will be what he gets. (I'll try to have DH do it)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    We already asked her to stop it. This weekend, I overheard MIL talking to DS1...she was listing all these different toys, asking DS1 "would you like this? how about this one?" of course he said yes to every one. When I was listening in, I heard that it was a present for DS2's bday. Then, DS1 was telling me about it when it was just the 2 of us. I think I will pretend that I didnt hear MIL talking to DS about it and just tell her that DS1 was talking about getting a gift for DS2's bday and ask her please not to give anything as we are teaching him that only he gets a present. We are doing favors, and that will be what he gets. (I'll try to have DH do it)
    That's a good plan. I would be so irritated.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    That's a good plan. I would be so irritated.
    I'll talk about it with DH tonight too. And the more I think about it, the more irritated I get. Like, there is ONE day a year that is just for DS2. The world does not revolve around DS1! I want this to be a day just for DS2!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    so would any of you all say anything if someone was asking the sibling what he wanted for his sibling's bday?

    I am having a lot of trouble with MIL giving too many gifts. DS1 is already getting the attitude that a gift is expected from MIL all the time. There were "vacation" gifts just this past week (which DH told her to tone down, and it ws still a ton). DS is saying things like " I like MIL better than [my mom]. She gives me things" "Why doesn't BIL give me as much as MIL?"

    DS1 would not be upset AT ALL about DS2 getting all the gifts at his bday in a month. That's not his personality at all.
    Yes I would say something if it was my mom and have DH say something if it were his mom. He would likely do it without my asking because he would also be irritated by it.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  22. #22

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    No way. It doesn't make the sibling feel special, it makes the birthday kid feel less special. Birthdays are supposed to be about the person having the birthday. It is not at all hard for kids to understand that, so it should be even easier to explain to an adult. Just tell her it's DS2's special day and you don't want to take anything away from that by giving gifts to DS1. His birthday will be coming up and then it will be his special day. When they get gifts all the time, it makes them less meaningful. Fwiw, my mil went way overboard for Christmas the first year dh and I were married. We had 2 kids that year, and mil bought the kids twice as much as what we got for them. We told mil she couldn't do that anymore and she agreed. We set a limit of 2 gifts per child and she has stuck to it for the last 13 years. It doesn't have to be said in a disrespectful way, just tell her that there need to be boundaries and then make some clear rules.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
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  23. #23
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    I think Mary Jane said it really well. The only way I can see NOT being annoyed at someone buying a present for a sibling on a birthday is if it is for a membership (like a zoo or a museum, so the entire family benefits), or a class that the birthday sibling really likes and it would be more convenient to attend if both siblings were registered. I try to really talk up the memberships and classes, because research shows that experiences count a lot more than possessions as far as happiness is concerned, and I tell my relatives that we get a lot of use out of them and I always talk up the gift from whichever relative every time we go, so the enjoyable experience is associated with the benefactor. It has only helped with a few people, and otherwise we are swamped with too much stuff (I told my dad before Christmas that we had gifts from last July in our storage area still, as yet unused).

    If it really comes down to it, I would have no qualms about thanking someone for a gift, and saying we would put it away until the next occasion, whatever it is, birthday or Christmas or other special occasion.

    I do agree with getting the older sibling a gift when purchasing a gift for a new baby, though. I think that is important.


  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryJane View Post
    No way. It doesn't make the sibling feel special, it makes the birthday kid feel less special. Birthdays are supposed to be about the person having the birthday. It is not at all hard for kids to understand that, so it should be even easier to explain to an adult. Just tell her it's DS2's special day and you don't want to take anything away from that by giving gifts to DS1. His birthday will be coming up and then it will be his special day. When they get gifts all the time, it makes them less meaningful. Fwiw, my mil went way overboard for Christmas the first year dh and I were married. We had 2 kids that year, and mil bought the kids twice as much as what we got for them. We told mil she couldn't do that anymore and she agreed. We set a limit of 2 gifts per child and she has stuck to it for the last 13 years. It doesn't have to be said in a disrespectful way, just tell her that there need to be boundaries and then make some clear rules.
    Thank you! You are so right. I think she gave something to DS2 in October when it was DS1's bdaym but I dont remember. I get the feeling that DS1 is the favorite, and I really want this one day to be all about DS2, DS1 gets enough of the attention from the ILs...I want the focus to be on the baby. (he'll always be my baby )

    You are right about them being less meaningful. DH told MIL that last time. DS is already done with his new toys he just got last Wednesday. He plays with them for a day and that is it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3andMe View Post
    I think Mary Jane said it really well. The only way I can see NOT being annoyed at someone buying a present for a sibling on a birthday is if it is for a membership (like a zoo or a museum, so the entire family benefits), or a class that the birthday sibling really likes and it would be more convenient to attend if both siblings were registered. I try to really talk up the memberships and classes, because research shows that experiences count a lot more than possessions as far as happiness is concerned, and I tell my relatives that we get a lot of use out of them and I always talk up the gift from whichever relative every time we go, so the enjoyable experience is associated with the benefactor. It has only helped with a few people, and otherwise we are swamped with too much stuff (I told my dad before Christmas that we had gifts from last July in our storage area still, as yet unused).

    If it really comes down to it, I would have no qualms about thanking someone for a gift, and saying we would put it away until the next occasion, whatever it is, birthday or Christmas or other special occasion.

    I do agree with getting the older sibling a gift when purchasing a gift for a new baby, though. I think that is important.
    I don't mind it when MIL gives us a membership for a birthday. She actually does that for both..and it's not like a gift the kid gets to open. I really do appreciate those gifts because those types of "extras" arent really things DH and I can afford right now. Right now, it's been for family classes, but a museum or zoo membership is a great idea!


    I also dont mind sibling gifts when a baby is born.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
    No, never. Though whenever I bring a gift for a new baby, I always bring sibling gifts for the other children in the family.
    This.

    Though, when I was little I do remember my parents gave me a little something on my sister's birthday. It is not something we chose to do with our kids though.
    Lindsay, DH - Matt and 2DDs

  26. #26

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    Well, I came downstairs while DH was on the phone with MIL and I overheard him saying "that's not necessary. THey are happy just to spend time with you all. With all the books and toys, we really dont need anything else." They are paying for a new bed for DS2's birthday gift and getting a small gift for him to open. I thought that was what he was talking about.

    Later on, I brought up how DS was talking about his gift for the birthday party, and DH said that was what he was talking about...and he completely agreed. He said he would really discourage any gifts for DS. Apparently she said she feels bad coming empty-handed....IDK..I dont think she is...she is bringing a gift for the birthday boy! So, we'll see!

  27. #27

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    I loathe the idea of presents for the other kids on their siblings bday. My sister's husband does it for their oldest child..... in fact she even got to open up all of her sister's presents at her 1st bday party even though the baby was trying to open them herself, and yes, her dad let her do it Soooo, a few weeks ago I bought the baby a present when it was her sister's bday Fair is fair, right? Drives me batty but I can't stop it, so I'm going to make sure they both get treated equally.

  28. #28

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    I Will say that I do not think a grandparent buying g gifts for a child on the siblings bday is not going to teach a child to be selfish or ungrateful and that we as parents have plenty of opportunities to instill good values in our children despite what goes on around them. Also,eventually they will be too old for the grandparents to spoil with gifts. I admit that it used to bother me as much as y' all but I have learned that there is Grace in being simply grateful and that perhaps that is a better lesson for our children than trying to control the gift givers around us. Just a thought, not trying to argumentative. This perspective has been helpful to me in our lives.
    Last edited by Bridget; 01-22-2013 at 07:05 AM.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I Will say that I do not think a grandparent buying g gifts for a child on the siblings bday is not going to teach a child to be selfish or ungrateful and that we as parents have plenty of opportunities to instill good values in our children despite what goes on around them. Also,eventually they will be too old for the grandparents to spoil with gifts. I admit that it used to bother me as much as y' all but I have learned that there is Grace in being simply grateful and that perhaps that is a better lesson for our children than trying to control the gift givers around us. Just a thought, not trying to argumentative. This perspective has been helpful to me in our lives.
    I wholeheartedly agree with this. IMO, your MIL has written the script - your boys will know her as someone who showers them with gifts, and I assume they will also know her as someone who showers them with love. I don't think this will affect their values or character at all. I do think they will come to see how you react to her and sense there is tension in the near future. Even though I also think it's very odd to give sibling gifts on a birthday, I would just explain that grandma is the exception, and let it go.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I Will say that I do not think a grandparent buying g gifts for a child on the siblings bday is not going to teach a child to be selfish or ungrateful and that we as parents have plenty of opportunities to instill good values in our children despite what goes on around them. Also,eventually they will be too old for the grandparents to spoil with gifts. I admit that it used to bother me as much as y' all but I have learned that there is Grace in being simply grateful and that perhaps that is a better lesson for our children than trying to control the gift givers around us. Just a thought, not trying to argumentative. This perspective has been helpful to me in our lives.
    But he is already equating love with gifts. He says he loves MIL the best because of gifts. He complains when other family members don't give him gifts. He tosses the gifts after a day, and I just had to buy 2 huge bins to store toys in the garage because we have too many. Plus, he is the clear favorite of the ILs, and DS2 deserves a day all to himself.


    DH agrees that the boys have too much, and he agrees that DS's attitude regarding gifts needs to be stopped/changed right now, and it really stems from MIL because no one else showers him with excessive gifts.

    ETA: She sees DS about 1-2/week. If she isnt bringing a gift, she is talking about gifts. She is constantly telling him that birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's, and even Easter are times we give gifts to each other. Meanwhile, we teach DS that birthdays are to celebrate a person, we celebrate Christmas and Easter for their religious significance, and just that V-day is a day for love. lol. We do not place the emphasis on gifts for anything. I do not tell her to not say these things or that she cant bring gifts for these holidays. We really don't need ANOTHER reason to give a gift..just because your bro has a party.

    DH is very kind when speaking to his mom about this and really emphasizes how much DS loves to play and spend time with her and that gifts are really not necessary.
    Last edited by i.<3.cheesysmiles; 01-22-2013 at 11:46 AM.

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