Dont know what to do!

hoakie2601December 30, 2008

I tend to post long messages to get everything out. So thank you for reading in advance and helping me to understand.

I am married and we have a very extended family of kids both minors and adults. We have 2 of my husbands grandkids living with us also (not kids of the adults I am talking about). So in all we have 8 kids. The only kids we have living in our home are my husbands 2 grandkids.

My husbands daughter who is 27 and married got upset with my husband after our gift exchange. She told him that she was offended by the gifts that we got them and her brother (also married with a child). She told him that it was insulting that they opened gifts from linens and things while the 2 kids that live with us opened Ipods and my 16 year old daughter opened a necklace that I got her on a deal.

The grandkids have no one else to buy for them (in quanity) and we are pretty much their parents now. So they got more than anyone else. Even my kids who are bother minors children also.

I have always thought of Christmas more for the kids and not for the adults. But she is very upset with my husband now therefore he is upset also. He feels that we should do something specials for them (like take them to dinner or something like that) But I feel that it is just putting a bandaid on the problem here.

Am I right for being upset by this? I know my husband needs to talk to her about this, but I am upset also because I dont know what to do here.

So my question here would be. Where we right in buying more for the kids that live with us than the adult kids that we have? And any ideas on how to come to truce with this!


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this happened in our extended family, but a little differently. when my 2nd husband and i married we bought for everyone. his step daughter brought over several gifts for her children so they would have more to open. that left the rest of the grands wondering why we bought so much for her kids. you probably already know you should have given the expensive items privately. i can see why it would cause a problem.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:36PM
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I gather the two children living with you are basically being raised by you?
In my opinion, you did exactly the right thing. Heck, I would've done what you did. I agree with you, Christmas is so much fun when there are children there....quite frankly, I wouldn't care what the adult children thought about it!
I wouldn't feel I had to "make it right" with them, because they are "insulted."
Let them get "un-insulted," on their own. I wouldn't buy into this B.S. They sound quite childish and petty.
Ignore them and go on about your day...
I commend you for taking the children into your home, and raising them. The adult children need to STFU. LOL.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:38PM
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sorry forgot to answer your question...i would have the adult children over for lunch and explain. it may just be one person who is complaining, she may feel foolish if it is discussed by every one.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:40PM
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My husband has 2 grown children from a previous marriage and so do I. Together we have 11 grandchildren. I have always spent the same amount on my children as I do my grandchildren but my husband and his children very seldom exchange gifts. I always have my family over at a different time than I have his because I don't want his children or grandchildren hurt by the amount of things I buy for mine. This may sound strange but my husband has never bought anything for my kids or grandkids, I work and it is my money that buys their presents. I can't see spending less on them than I always have in order to buy for his kids and grandkids, although I did buy his daughter a refrigerator this year because theirs went out and they needed one and did not have the money for it. We have been married for 10 years now and having separate gatherings has worked out well for us.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:47AM
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sirens i totally agree with you.happy new years everyone xx

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 5:28PM
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She told him in this letter that the only good Christmas was the couple years between the death of his last wife and me. That there was no thought put into the gift giving for his children and she was tied of being second fiddle to other people.
The year she is referring to is the year that he had the insurance money from his deceased wife and Christmas was HUGE for the entire family. (before I knew them)

But what she fails to remember that last year when she was starting her masters degree (already married too) she came to us to borrow money for her books. We gave her 200.00 without even worrying about it. And also that year her brother needed help and we gave him 300.00 +. Neither one of them ever said I will pay you back. And I might add she makes in 2 weeks what we make in a month. We struggle with these grandkids with minimual help from the state in assistance to raise them. If she keeps them for us for any amount of time she feels that we should give her money to entertain them because we get 800.00 from the state a month for 2 kids. Who can feed, cloth and raise 2 preteens on 800.00 a month.

I am not worrying myself with her. I just can not believe that she would do such a thing. It is my husbands job to talk to her since the letter came to him. But if it effects him it effects me.

Thanks for all the responses

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:32AM
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Sounds like she a spoiled brat who needs to grow up!

In our extended family, gift buying stops when you get married.

I think you did the right thing. I wouldn't worry too much about her hurt feelings. She's old enough to know better.

I'd remind her that she's married and an adult. Christmas is more for kids and you are raising two kids on a limited budget. If she's not adult enough to understand where you're coming from, then it's her problem!

Sorry for sounding so harsh. It's just that I have no patience for such "adults" that act this way!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:48AM
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Yep, I think she is immature and should just let it go.

Should the value of a gift come between a father and daughter, it is ridiculous.

Ask them over for lunch, good idea, and just reassure her that she is loved and valued.

You sound like you and your husband are doing the best you can.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:21PM
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I'd buy her another present and before I gave it to her, I'd make it perfectly clear that I put a lot of thought into what I got for her, because it was important for me to buy something that I thought she either could enjoy or truly need.

And then I'd tell her that since whe was an adult with so much to her benefit, a loving family, child care, a chance to study, youth, her health etc., that I opted on what I thought she needed, because I thought she already had a lot to enjoy.

Then I'd give her the present.

A book on how not to be a spoiled brat, and how to not be toxic, and how to respect boundries.

For example: Nobody's Baby Now

And then I'd see if she got the message.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:57PM
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I think it's ridiculous for adults to exchange gifts. Xmas is for the kids not 27 year olds! She can buy herself whatever she needs - a 16 year old can't do that.

27 year old sounds like she needs to grow up and get over herself!

I have the same situation with my DH's aunt who is in her 50's. She keeps tabs on who opens what and how much each costs, then talks behind people's backs if she feels slighted. Quite unseemly behaviour for someone in her 50's.

For myself, I'd like to just go into a coma from mid-December until Jan. 1 and avoid it all :)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:45PM
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I can't help but wonder if she wasn't raised to think the money value of the gift is proportionate to the love you feel for her. I'd reassure her the reasons the grandchildren get more expensive gifts so that she know she is loved. Sounds to me like she is insecure.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 11:16AM
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I have 17 grandchildren and 6 bio children and 2 stepkids-i have a 30 dollar limit for each grandchild-buy a family gift for adult kids and thier spouses-ie tickets to a comedy club-toaster or coffee maker or slow cooker. The mistake i had made in the past was not getting an idea from the parents what the children were interested in-now I do and there is not problems. We have our family get together a week or so before xmas and they do their family thing at xmas with inlaws or travelling or whatever-no hurt feelings. I had them when they were growing up and now it is their turn to have xmas with their kids and inlaws. I never feel slighted or left out or criticized about gift giving. There is a whole other issue I am facing right now that has nothing to do with xmas gift giving. Take care and god bless

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:14PM
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