DS is So Smart! If only his dad knew that....

ashley1979February 26, 2010

I swear my kid amazes the heck out of me at how perceptive he is!

DS's birthday is 1 month and 1 day after Christmas. Well, he wanted a certain new game system for Christmas, but we couldn't afford it. Surprise, surprise...X get's him one for over at their house (X's GF's mom's house).

Q: Who buys their kid a $400+ game system for a place he spends 4 days a month?

A: Someone who wants the game system for themselves, but uses the kid's Christmas gift to justify it.

Anyway, DS saved all birthday and Christmas money he got from my family and, about 2 weeks after his actual birthday, traded in his old system and got a portable system he had been wanting (not the same thing he has at X's). That day, X called and told DS "remember the (insert name of store) gift card you got for Christmas". This insinuated to DS and myself that he could use the gift card for either the game system at X's or the portable one.

This morning, I asked DS if he ever got that game he wanted for his portable system. He said "No, because my dad is still being selfish. He wants me to save it to buy NCAA Baseball 2010 when it comes out for his house and I don't even want that game." So I said "Let me see if I understand this correctly: Your dad gave YOU a gift card for Christmas, but is making you wait to use it until a game comes out that you don't even want?"

If X wanted that stupid game, why didn't he just buy it? Basically he bought a game system for HIMSELF and is making DS buy him a game, too. Expensive one at that. Those were supposedly DS's Christmas gifts.

On the other hand, maybe DS is telling me he doesn't want the game, but hasn't actually told X. Maybe he doesn't want to tell him for whatever reason. DS always acts a little afraid of confronting X with anything. I don't know why.

I was thinking of talking to X about it. He never seems to have a problem talking to me about things. Once when I was having problems with my sister, DS told X some stuff and X told me that DS was afraid I wouldn't take care of it. Maybe I should tell X what DS told me and clear it up instead of DS thinking X is "selfish".

Or should I just leave it be. After all, it's only video games.

What do you all think?

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You might call ex & tell him you're just giving him a heads-up that son doesn't want that game, he wants fill-in-the-blank, & he thinks his dad is hounding him to get what dad wants.

& then disengage;
don't discuss, don't listen to rationalizations, don't argue.

just tell him you're only relaying info & that you gotta go now ta-ta.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:52PM
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You might take son to store to buy the game he wants, & tell ex before son's next visit.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:54PM
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I like both of Sylvia's suggestions --

And yes, kids are VERY smart that way! My DS was on to his dad's selfish BS and "for you" Christmas presents ages ago!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:02PM
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hmmm irritating, yes...but no, I wouldn't do anything. I'd encourage DS to say something to Dad himself, but I would personally stay out of it. IMO, this would fall under the other household/their business. As much as it would bother me, I would try to let it go. I wouldn't take Son to get the game, it would probably just cause more problems at that household. The last thing DS needs.

I think it is obviously stinky of Ex but I don't think it is so abnormal. People do a lot of stupid stuff with Xmas gifts and Bday gifts. The past few years I've been tempted not to buy anyone anything (except DD) I despise all this gimme, gimme around Xmas/bday times and wonder where it has come from. We have a problem in my family with people giving you a gift (obviously not a well thought out one and it is too long to post the backstory) just to get your gift to them. I don't understand it. (I am not saying your DS is gimme, gimme. I understand he is justifiably hurt. I think his Dad is gimme, gimme and that is what I'm referring to)

I think this would also open up Ex to cross more boundaries with you, problems you've had in the past with him and his GF. So, probably not a good idea. When he brings up stuff to you, I'd squash it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:07PM
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Oh, goodness! I'm still confused! LOL! Great suggestions and great reasons for both talking to X and not.

@Sylvia - what you suggested was what I was thinking. I was planning to take DS to the store to get the game this weekend, but I wasn't going to buy it for him. He has 2 gift cards left from his b-day so I was going to let him use those.

For the record, I would not use my own money to buy a game for DS when he has gift cards at his dad's house that belong to him. That would be petty of me. But if DS wants to use his own money or gift cards, that's another story.

@Sweeby - why do you think your X did those "for you but really for me" gifts? Was it to justify spending the money or do you think it really was the thought of DS, but didn't realize he'd get more use out of it than DS?

@Nivea - you make some really, really, really good points! I hate the gimme mentality, too. I found out X got it for him AFTER I told him we were "thinking" about getting it. So what would an 11 year old need with 2 $400+ game systems???? He wanted it for himself. The sad thing is that X's entire family went in on this "gift" for DS, so he got nothing else from that side of his family. DS now knows that the game system was really for his dad and that his dad conned the other family members into helping him pay for it. And you're right that if I say something it might open up the boundaries I've been trying to re-set for a while now.

I am totally amazed at how self-centered X can be. He lost his job and now DS doesn't have health insurance (he said he was going to get COBRA, didn't, and wasted away the time limit to put him on my insurance). He swindles DS out of his Christmas gifts. On top of that, he's not even looking for a job!

He didn't come to his basketball practice the other day because "it's finally a nice day so I need to clean and polish the bike". Seriously??? He NEEDS to clean and polish a motorcycle instead of be at his own kid's practice??? My heart breaks for DS every time he has to listen to some stupid excuse like that.

You know, if I were to do any of that, I'd be the worse mom ever.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:57PM
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google narsissistic personality disorder.

I think your son's got one of these for a father.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:28PM
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"Sweeby - why do you think your X did those "for you but really for me" gifts? Was it to justify spending the money or do you think it really was the thought of DS, but didn't realize he'd get more use out of it than DS? "

I was going to answer that, but Sylvia already did!

"google narsissistic personality disorder."

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:54PM
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You guys are right! I can see it with BM, but I've never seen it with my X! That explains so much!

I always thought it was just being a loser. I guess being in the middle of it I couldn't see it. He's not as severe as BM so I didn't see it.

There's no way to gain anything when going against someone with NPD. EVERYTHING is a losing battle. I guess no matter what I do DS will be unhappy.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 3:39PM
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I would not say anything to ex, but I would encourage DS to buy whatever HE wants with and teach him to tell people what he thinks/feels. How bizarre, give him a gift card and then demand to get a game DS doesn't even want.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 5:10PM
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It may be bizarre, but that's life with an NPD... If someone ever does anything they don't like, it was done delibertely to hurt them and now the offender must be punished.

If DS has gift cards and wants X game for Y gaming system (whatever it is he wants), he should be able to buy it, and the only way to make that happen is for you to take him to the store and make it happen. Of course, Dad will throw a hissy fit...

The thing with narcissists is that if nobody ever stands up to them (because of their hissy fits) then they always win, and that is SO unfair.

DS may be able to back Dad into a verbal corner with a good series of questions and 'selective deafness' --
or take the passive-agressive approach of 'losing' the gift cards --

But bottom line, he can either 'bend over', 'stand up' or 'weasel' -- because a well-reasoned rational argument is unlikely to work if Dad really is NPD.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Yeah I agree with a lot of what you say Sweeby, but this is the same guy who plotted with his girlfriend to take DS away from Ashley. By planting drugs on her and calling the cops. They are not people I'd want to tangle with. And Ashley isn't the one going over there every other weekend.

This imo is just one of those lessons that DS is going to have to learn about his Dad. A gift is not really a gift from Dad. No amount of sugar coating or encouraging him to stand up to him for a video game is going to change it. It's just going to have to be one of those things he accepts, I'm afraid.

I'd save the big battles and standing up to Dad when he is a little older and has a little more time to develop skills in handling difficult people. This can just be the start of your lessons with him.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 7:45PM
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I'd call ex:

I'd *much* rather have him mad at me than mad at my child.

I grew up with a narcissistic mother, & I still have the emotional scars.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:13AM
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