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Old 11-20-2015, 06:10 PM
 
13,793 posts, read 14,612,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGHKChance View Post
My son married a woman who had a 6 year old daughter 5 years ago. Since that time I have bought many very nice gifts for the little girl and tried hard to treat her as if she were my grandchild. Nothing I have ever bought was appreciated and most was either given away or sold or thrown down. Her birthday was last month and upon her Mom's request, I purchased a very expensive gift card for a local salon for the now 11 year old. One month later and she still has not used the gift card and when I asked if she has an appointment yet she says no. Now it is almost Christmas and I am dreading the thoughts of spending more money on gifts they neither use or appreciate. Also know that every gift I have bought was with her Mother's approval and I was told each time that this is what her daughter would love but I am yet to see one piece in the last 5 years used. How would you handle gift giving in this situation without causing a major war between us and my daughter in law?
give the kid an envelope with cash in it and call it good
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:59 AM
 
213 posts, read 206,172 times
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I understand why the OP is frustrated. I would be too. It would be one thing if she were just buying them bad gifts they didn't need or like- but she is specifically asking the mom for things they want/need and these items are still not being used. That is so odd to me. Is mom not telling her daughter about the gifts and taking them back for store credit/cash or in the case of the salon gift card using it for herself (which would explain why she can't tell you when granddaughter's appointment is)? Mom may be asking specifically for rather pricey items for daughter to get more cash or credit when she returns them.


I would start with a couple of things - ask the child directly for some ideas of things she likes. Give all gifts directly TO THE CHILD both items or cash and I personally would reduce what I'm spending on said gift. Even if you have to drive out of your way - I would make it a point to do so vs. sending all gifts to mom.


Kudos for trying with these people!! I would have made up an excuse to not buy for them at all by now. One idea is to take the entire family to dinner at the holidays vs. buy gifts. You care to spend time with them but you don't have to put up with the gift crap.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,498 posts, read 35,964,225 times
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I also understand why the OP is frustrated.

I have some questions for the OP:

1. What does your son have to say about this?

2. When you are about to buy a gift for the girl, what does SHE say that SHE wants?

3. When was the last time you spent one on one time with this child?

4. How often does this family come over to your house?

It sounds to me as if you need to build a deeper relationship with this child, the type of relationship that does not revolve around gifts. If you have talked with your son, talked with your DIL and tried to talk with the child about spending more quality and one on one time with her, to no avail, then I'd say cut the gifts back to a $20 bill in a personal card for special occasions. And keep trying to reach out - on the phone, in person, email, snail mail, etc. This child needs you, whether she or her mother realize it or not. You can be a wonderful asset to her but it may take years of keeping that door propped open before she really comes to appreciate you.

I have a stepson who was 11 when I met his dad, and 12 when we got married. He is an only child and his mother is extremely possessive with him. She has undermined me for over a decade now, as well as undermining his dad. But I have just kept on communicating with him, hugging him, reaching out to him in gentle ways, supporting him with my presence, my honesty, my cheerfulness, etc. He is 22 now and while he is still totally tied to an overly protective, overly fixated mother, I know he respects and appreciates me. I think he knows that his dad and I will always give him honesty and love. I won't ever be his mother or take her place - and I will always have the role as "stepmother" and not "mom," but that's OK.

Your son's stepdaughter is entering a very difficult, gnarly age for girls. She is going to "get worse before she gets better." I encourage you to simply keep the line of communication open with her. Reach out to her regularly, even if she doesn't respond cheerfully, or at all. Continue to invite her over, or include her in invitations to events, even events such as "planting the herb garden," or "making cookies to take to a nursing home," that sort of thing. One day, she may look up and realize she has a true friendship just waiting to bloom with you.

Or maybe not - but at least you've been an example of love and class to her for years. It sounds like she's really going to need good role models in her life.

Good luck.
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