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does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

Posted by ess1 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 2, 07 at 9:51

I may be wrong but,
this past year our son divorced (wife's decsion). we are all 300 miles apart most of our contact is by email. in the last month or so we have not heard much from our grandchildren, who are in elementry school and able to email, except for a christmas wish list sent by their mother to their father and she asked that he forward it to us.
I feel all we are good for is to send gifts, although I don't wish to hurt or make the kids feel guilty for their parents divorce. does anyone else have the same feelings or am I being petty?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

No, all grandchildren don't want gifts, all children want gifts (though I guess they are someones grandchild). At the age of your grandchildren, yes they do want gifts, and apparently don't see much of you.

I think it reflects more on their parents than on your grandchildren.

Instead of spending money on things, why not try and spend more time with them during the year. Three hundred miles isn't so bad, you can drive it in less than 3 hours. My grandchild is 1700 miles away and you couldn't keep me away.

Stay in touch by email, and expect a response from them and write back, immediately. Of course they won't be able to write much, and not much happens to them at their age, but try and keep up a conversation. Write letters and send them by snail mail, kids love to get mail. Find something that interests them and write about it, and do a little research on your end.

I adored my grandparents, and they lived 500 miles away. I never sent a Christmas list. My kids adored their grandparents, and they lived 20 minutes away. They never sent a Christmas list, either.

Good luck.

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

It's up to you to maintain the relationship that you have with your grandchildren. Not theirs, not even their parents. This one is all yours!

It's never up to the child to be the one that has the up keep of the relationship!

And elementary aged children don't have much experience with phone calling, letter writing or emailing to begin with! Email is still just letter writing, even if you don't need a stamp!
Gee Whiz!
You didn't mention how often you call the grands? How many letters do you send them a week? A month? Do you write to them? Kids love getting mail! It doesn't have to be much. A few lines, a joke or two, a funny picture thay you saw in a magazine maybe! Always signed with lots of XXXX and 000's!
Maybe a good gift for your grandchildren would be a big box of letter writing and picture drawing supplies! Envelopes of all sizes and stamps too! You might also include a throw away camera for each child. Let them know that you will be responsible for developing them if they send them back to you! You could then do double prints, keep a set for yourself and have lots of things to "chat" about in your next few letters or phone calls! Maybe webcams would be a good investment too!
Make sure that "you" stay in constant contact!

Our family always did the Christmas list thing! I have 3 sisters and between the 4 of us we have 10 children and all of us live with in 8 miles of each other and our parents. It was always so much fun to go to my Mom's during the Christmas season and see 10 lists on her fridge! We always knew exactly what to get the nices and nephews!

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

I wouldn't feel bad. I'm not a grandparent (just stumbled here looking for the investment forum which must not exist anymore). I still remember being a little kid and I really wanted gifts! Keeping in touch wasn't on my mind at all. Kids are self-centered and that's part of being a kid. Just send your letters or e-mails and do your best. I think they may be really excited getting real snail mail. Maybe put in the cheapest little gifts you can find, a fun pencil, stickers, whatever. Just getting that in the mail will be a fun treat and keep you on their mind.

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

ess, some busy grandparents appreciate getting a Christmas list. Frankly I was surprised that my 7 year old grandson wanted playstation 2 disks. I had planned to get him a stuffed kangaroo, which I thought was really cute. My son (his uncle) got him one of the disks (or whatever they are called) and they played together.
Divorce is so hard on kids you cannot imagine. Toys or games are distracting and its clear somebody loves them and is thinking of them. It doesn't mean you have to get really expensive things. Include photos of you, and a little note. When I was a kid, I was always surprised just to get a wrapped gift and no note. A funny story about where you got it is cute.

: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

I think children aren't good about initiating a letter or an e-mail. I say that because when my mom was living out of state half the year I used to make my kids write to her. They were good kids but they did not initiate letters (well just a couple of times because I got them in the habit). Her only other grandchildren were my brothers kids. Again, good kids, but they would never think to write her a letter. (Neither of us had computers back then.) When my neice & nephews would visit me there'd come a time when I'd say, okay, let's write Grandma a letter. I would help them by reminding things they had mentioned during the day when they thought they had nothing to say. I must admit I was on a letter campaign because her husband had passed away very suddenly and I was worried about her being lonely so far away from home.

So I'm not trying to pat myself on the back. I'm just agreeing that it is not a characteristic of the average kid to write a letter without an adult standing and encouraging over him or her. BTW, my kids really liked the post cards she would send from Texas with armadillos or cowboys or such on them that we don't see up here. A post card can be a fun old fashioned way to keep in touch. Just a thought.

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

The little ones just want attention... and the easiest way to get attention in quantity is through money and gifts. It's as much the fault of the grandparent and parent as it is the child.

I give my little ones gifts that are both modern and classic. For example a classic book in ebook form... I'll supply the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes

RE: does anyone else feel all grandchildren want is gifts?

I think it is natural for children to be materialistic thanks to television and commercials, but there are the extreme children who ask for things. My grand children did not ask for gifts and as far as I know did not complain about our $20 gifts/money for birthdays. We asked them for a Christmas list and they supplied us with one. The only indication I saw of this behavior was the look in their eyes when we started giving them money instead of gifts. Their eyes lit up. LOL I had great grand children.

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