Grandchildren's gifts...should I still keep sending them?

kmttsmomOctober 19, 2008

Like the rest of us here, I am also not allowed any access to my grandchildren. I have been sending gifts, but as of yet, have not been invited to any parties, nor have I received any acknowledgments of the gifts received. The children are 4 and 2 years of age, so I know they alone cannot acknowledge the gift.

I am afraid that if I continue to send gifts, it will only give my daughter more satisfaction. I don't want to look like I am trying to buy my way back into these children's lives. At the same time, I want these children to grow up knowing, that even though I didn't see them, I still thought about them on their birthdays.

Knowing my daughter, she has never told the children where the gifts come from. Because she nor her husband will work, and are living off of welfare, it wouldn't be too far fetched that she either claims the gifts are from her OR takes them back to the store and keeps the cash for cigarettes. This is something I will never know for sure.

The last thing I want to do is give my daughter more power. She is enjoying having the upper hand immensely. She told my youngest daughter that I deserve it.

I hate the relationship between me and my only grandchildren has to suffer.

Does anyone have any thoughts, comments, or advice about this?



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If you get gifts from Toys R Us and do not send a receipt, she cannot return them. I would continue to send them, personally. Christy

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Kmttsmom, I stopped sending gifts to the younger children the first year we were estranged and I learned that my daughter was throwing them out, not giving them to the children.

I do continue to send checks to the older children but I know they are not getting them as they are never cashed.

On another site, I received a suggestion to keep sending cards to the little ones but keep duplicates of the cards to be saved for the younger ones to be given to them when they turn 18. I copy the sentiment I wrote on the card I send to the duplicate card and then put the duplicates in a package in my safe deposit box with instructions the packages be given to the younger ones when they turn 18.

The older ones will soon be 18 and I will be able to contact them directly, but there are several years before the younger ones reach that age.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 1:30PM
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I think the suggestion of a duplicate card is a good idea. Perhaps you could take the money that you would spend on a gift and set up a savings account with it for you Grandchildren. You could put it in a CD when they turn 18 that doesn't mature for a while so that maybe they could have a nice little amount in a few years.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Duplicate cards is a nice idea. Things will change when they are older, they will start to see their mother for who she is and think about you.

If they have "evidence" that you thought of them all those years, via the saved cards, then they will know they were loved and cared for.

Everyone starts to think about where they came from at some stage or their lives, its important to know these things.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 5:34PM
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These all sound like wonderful ideas. I think I will do the duplicate card.

Also, instead of sending gifts, I will take the cash and set up a trust fund or CD. Something that I know their mother won't ever be able to touch. I can't wait until they turn 18 and see how their mother deprived them of loving grandparents because of her own selfish pride. I am a big believer in "what goes around, comes around" and someday my daughter will get what's coming to her.

Sorry if I sound bitter and vindictive, but it is hard to get past the hurt and anger. My daughter recently got remarried, and everyone in my family received an invitation and went knowing that I was intentionally left out. THAT HURT! It was like they approved of how she was treating me.

My own parents were the ones who told me that I did the right thing by telling her to stand on her own two feet. (She was mooching off of family members to pay her bills because neither she, nor the deadbeat she was living with, would hold a job for more than 90 days) They kept encouraging me to talk to her about it. They would not shut up until I took action because they were tired of it. They told me that, as a mother, it was my responsibility to take care of it.

As a result, I became the family scapegoat who is taking the brunt of what "the family" wanted taken care of. Does the words "dysfunctional" ring a bell here?

My daughter hates me now and my family claims they are innocent bystanders who are "caught" in the middle of a mother/daughter battle.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 6:39PM
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Perhaps you could take the money that you would spend on a gift and set up a savings account with it for you Grandchildren.

That's the first thing I thought of when I read the post. This, along with the duplicate cards, will certainly tell them that you love them and have thought of them often.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 6:41PM
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Another suggestion is to publish messages in their local newspaper. I know during the holidays, our paper runs ads for you to wish someone a Merry Christmas or you can buy Happy Birthday ads in the personals. Clip them & add them to copies of cards & I think the savings account is a great idea.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 9:12PM
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But... if you think your gifts may be the only ones your grandchildren are receiving on their b-days, you may want want to continue to send gifts even knowing that you may never get any credit for them. It is your grandchildren's b-day and it's nice to think that a child will get some sort of toy on their birthday especially if, as it sounds, there may not be money there to buy presents otherwise. It shouldn't just be about who takes or gets the credit, but about making a child feel happy on his/her birthday.

Kids need a gift or two on thier b-days. A $10-20 toy every year is not going to amount to that much. Of course, if you have the money to really invest/save something for them, do that too, but don't skimp on their childhood.

Send a gift. If the mother doesn't give it to them or passes it off as her own, that's her fault and you can't really control that. But, at least you did your part as a grandparent of sending a gift.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 11:18PM
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You're thoughts are the same as mine. It continued to be heart breaking when I mailed my Grandson packages and my daughter wouldn't even let me know when they or if they arrived. I also worried me about "what was said" about me at the time. It seemed a great opportunity for him to ask about me and I didn't want her to have that as a time to talk about me in a derogatory manner. Not that any time would be good-it's just that I started thinking about the possible "scenes" and how they could be playing out. Also ,same as you, he might not even know they were from me...So, I decided not to mail any more gifts. I started a savings account for him and put money in for birthdays and holidays that I usually had brought presents. Then, I sent a card addressed to him saying "happy whatever" and that for his present I had added money to his savings account.
that way, even if she doesn't continue to let him have his cards, he will know I do get him something and love him. Plus, it makes me feel better than giving a gift that I never even know if he gets or who she says it's from.
That may work for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't make us feel better about the loss of those memories being made...
For me, the really sad part is I hate to see my children make mistakes that may come back later and "bite them." Explanation: when he sees her treating me this way he has got to wonder if that is the normal way to treat your Mother...which is very, very bad and I hate the thought of her going through that...examples we show our children are so easily followed, especially the "bad ones."
I hope this idea helps you ...I do know how you feel and I am so sorry.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Oh wow! Love the message in the newspaper idea! I will add that to the list.

I cannot continue sending presents/cash not knowing for sure that it is being used for the kids.

I'd rather wait until they are 18 (unless she poisons them against me) then I can make contact and give them all their cards, clippings, and "gifts" I've been saving over the years.

Ladies, just remember the old adage "what goes around, comes around" It will happen to our children someday. Just wait and see.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 6:42PM
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Gosh, have to admit, I don't have any of your problems (I talk to my mom and my kids talk to me, etc). I thought this post was going to be about grandkids who don't send thank you notes.

I'm sure you may not like to hear this and I'm sure there is sadness in your heart, but I can't believe the selfishness and bitterness that goes through some of these responses. It's no doubt that your children are as selfish as you make them sound.

Why do some of you seem to worry so about how you are being perceived, or how your money or presents are going to be used? And, wishing the same on your children "what goes around comes around"... It seems like you are hoping that your grandkids won't speak to their parents (your kids); is that right!?! Gosh, to wish that sort of pain on your own children even if you don't get along with them seems just wrong.

Quit worrying about yourself and who in your family sides with you and who is to blame and on and on. If people thought and wanted to side with you, they would have. They didn't; probably for a reason. Your hatred is going to tear you up inside. Learn to forgive even if you daughter doesn't ask for forgiveness or if you think she deserves it, it will help you. Carrying around so much hatred and bitterness (and selfishness) will only bring you more heartache.

I can't foresee that if you remain with the same perceptions and thoughts that you will ever have a decent relationship with your child or probably, their children. Giving them a check when they are 18 is not going to change anything. Think about it. Life is too short to hate so much. And, remember you raised your kids. Maybe there are a lot of traits that didn't fall too far from the tree. And, you may have put it best when you said, "What goes around comes around". Start spreading some sunshine and maybe you'll get some sunshine back.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:37PM
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I understand your initial thoughts, it's probably like reading a vindictive horror story where you wonder how the criminal could be so mean and cruel...after all what did the victim ever do to deserve that?!?
There are not a lot of things in life that I can honestly say you have to experience to understand. Most can be observed, and with empathy understood. This is so painful, so intertwined with your entire being that the pain cannot even be adequately described much less understood without experiencing it.
The reason it is important how we are perceived is because we've already been so misunderstood that now we are super aware of anything we say or do that could possibly be misconstrued by our children. Who by the way, in my case and I image most of the others, are extremely critical of their mothers (for whatever reason. There again in my case it wasn't because the apple didn't fall far from this tree, but it did fall really close to their father's tree.
Which I do take some blame for because I stayed with him until they were all grown and out of college. My mistake.
Why do we hate the fact our families continue their life and relationships with our children that we do no get to's not that we don't want our children and family to have a continued relationship, it's that they have no concern for our pain or how we feel being left out. I worry about that a lot because my extended family has always been so dysfunctional. They have always had an honorary scapegoat to dissect at all gatherings where one or more people did not attend. So, my children are aware of that fact and the fact I never participated in their gossip. So, once again it appears my impact didn't have the influence their father's did.
About the "what goes around-comes around." You are right -often it does, and often that is the way some people seem to learn and the only way they seem to learn. I think what was meant was not intended to be cruel however, it was meant once again as; you only know how it feels when you yourself experience it. No, we don't wish any of our children any pain, but we do wish there was a way they could understand how much we hurt. The damage my own children have inflicted to my heart can never be repaired. Honestly, I have missed so many important moments because I didn't have an invitation, that and their ability to be so cruel just amazes me-who are they? Yes, I did help raise them, but they are nothing like me.
Why do I see them as cruel? Because they know when one of my daughters died a big part of my heart died with her and I was never the same. When I lost my daughter my other children saved me, I went on for them. They saw first hand the encompassing, unconditional and undying love I have for each one of my children, and now I am faced with the loss of all of my children. Yes they have and continue to be cruel to me...
I hope you can keep an open mind when you read this, a lot of people who respond can't

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 7:59AM
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So, it really is all about YOU? And, you wonder why your kids are the way that they are?

I do have a friend whose one kid doesn't talk to her, and I know how she handles it, and what she says is nothing like you guys. It's not about her. And we've all been misjudged by people, some very close to us, so it's not like I can't relate to that at all. But there are always two sides to a story and usually a lot more going on than anyone realizes. I'm sure if your children were on these boards, the impression of your estrangement would change, right or wrong.

There are some mothers that don't want to air their kid's dirty laundry to other relatives to make them pick their side... soem mothers may seriously hide/protect negative traits from others that know the kids and not pass along the bad stuff to others. Wanting others to be on your side because you 'need it' usually shows a deep insecurity. If you are right, you're right, there should be no need to bash and get everyone else against your child just so you feel proved right. It may be human, but it's immature and kind of controlling to act this way, IMHO.

A mother's love should be unconditional and I see bitterness and bashing and wishing bad on children. Is that good mothering? Did these personalities traits start only after the estrangement?

No, I don't know what you are going through, but I do have a perception from these posts... Blaming everyone else, hardly taking any responsiblity, selfishness, worried about how you are portrayed, Condiditonal love and wishing real problems on your own kids, is not usually considered great parenting. I don't need to have experienced what you are going through to see that.

And, I am seriously trying to help. Cowtowing to these comments is not going to benefit you guys at all. Someone needs to throw a bucket of water in your face and tell you to quit acting the way you are. Sorry you don't like my opinion and don't agree with it or think I understand, but maybe hearing things from a more objective opinion is what you need. It may not be all that wrong. (So, I hope you can keep an open mind to that).

Good luck to you. Sometimes it's pride that stands in the way of happiness.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:47AM
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A bucket of water in my face?
and I just bet you would too. You sound like you have some "anger issues" that get physical...
I think you might want to seek some help there before your words and actions become more violent.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:52AM
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I will put this as politely as I can:

I hope you move on to another board because you know nothing about this one.

Goodbye to you.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:16PM
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A mother's love should not be unconditional. My sister has unconditional love for her children, but I don't for mine. Unconditional covers to much, things like molesting/raping a minor daughter, allowing the molester back in the home, emotionally abusing toddlers. These are the things my sister has allowed because of her unconditional love. My son had 3 sweet little babies, then stayed with the mother after she threw one of them across the room because he cried to much. I don't know if I still love my sons or not, but I sure don't respect them as men. I love those sweet babies I had, but I don't know the men they are today and I never want to open the front door and find one of them standing there.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:39PM
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I really don't think that your sister has unconditional love for her children. I think she is lazy...Love means setting healthy boundaries and protecting and insisting they also protect their children. I think we can love our children unconditionally without approving of everything they do or say, after all no one is ever perfect but the idea I thought was to set those limits and boundaries and protect the little ones while doing so with love.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:44PM
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