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Old 10-19-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
718 posts, read 1,478,356 times
Reputation: 1636

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I know it's very common to spoil the grand kids and I accept it but lately it's gotten to the point where the gifts are just getting out of control.

Christmas is around the corner and this is usually the time of year that kids try to behave their best because Santa is double checking his list and making sure kids are still being good however my two boys aren't that concerned because no matter what Santa may or may not bring the grandparents consistently shower them with gifts almost weekly.

My boys, ages 5 and 7, have so many toys that I could seriously open up a very well stocked toy store right now. They have every conceivable piece of Thomas the Train item (I recently counted their inventory and was shocked to see well over 100 cars and hundreds of pieces of track). They own hundreds of Hot Wheels, Cars, action figures etc....anything boys are into for the past 7 years. Every weekend they go to their grandparents and inevitably on monday morning they show me whatever their newest toy they got that weekend. It's gotten to the point where they are constantly BORED at home because they have too many toys. It's like what happens with super rich people who can buy anything and everything and they just live their life bored and unfulfilled because they desire nothing since they own everything. Keep in mind that this is just at our house. This doesn't include the even more impressive inventory at the grandparents house.

Sometimes they get in to fights over specific toys and I take the toy away until a later time when they have forgotten all about it. Well this last week I took away a toy after another fight and guess what he got from grandma? A replacement for the one I took away.

I've already caught wind of what the grandparents are getting the boys for christmas this year and it just sickens me. Right now they already have hand held Nintendo DS, they have a Kindle and a tablet. This is just on top of all the other toys I mentioned. They have already told their grandparents that they want a Wii for christmas even though I have already told them that they are too young for a gaming system plus they already have tons of other electronics to play with. They literally only play on their gadgets for a few minutes at a time before exclaiming that they are bored which is precisely why I don't think having a gaming system would be a good idea. Well since they told the grandparents that i didn't want to get them a Wii they are already looking at them while shopping so I already know that they are planning on getting them the Wii for christmas.

Don't get me wrong. I love my parents and appreciate everything they have done for my son and I and I also know that grandparents tend to spoil a little here and there but it's getting to the point that enough is enough. They don't seem to realize that they are spoiling their grand kids to the point that they are feeling entitled to every little desire and want and that's not good. Obviously I want the best for my kids and of course I want them to be happy and have nice things but not in the way that things are going.

I know that I should obviously discuss my concerns with my folks but that's where it gets tricky. They are old school types that as soon as you question their good natured intentions they over react and shut down immediately. I saw it happen with my brother and his kids. A couple of years ago he mentioned the excessive spending on the grandchildren to my folks and they became deeply offended and as a result they no longer send any gifts to his kids at all and have since considered him to be ungrateful. That's just how they are. You either be gracious and accept the way they are with their gifts or risk getting on their bad side by questioning it.

Sorry for such a long post but I really, really need some advice on what I should do.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:37 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,251,791 times
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Here is what I would do. Cycle the existing toys. Have some out and some away in a storage area. And cycle them say monthly. For Christmas, do nothing. Let your grandparents do what they are going to do. Then those items get cycled with the rest.

I would talk to Grandma about replacing removed toys. Don't tell or ask HER to change. Simply tell her that if she does that, that toy gets put away as well.

My 2 cents.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:01 AM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,471,518 times
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Ditto what SomebodyNew said. Having grandparents that like to over-spoil a bit isn't a new problem. And frankly, I think you are taking for granted that even though you have a bio-son and a girlfriend's son, they seem to be spoiling both boys fairly equally, right? I mean, the second one isn't even a step-grandson, and it sounds like they are being extremely generous to him. You could have a lot worse problems that we often read about where the grandparents dote on the bio kid and don't even blink at the other kid in the house. And given your situation, I think they're being more than generous and kind towards the boy.

They are acting like the grandparent: spoiling, so you need to act like the parent: setting rules with your kids in your house. Right now it almost seems like you're afraid to really act as a parent, so instead you're trying to control your parents instead of manning up and setting limits for your kids. Are you afraid they'll be mad at you if you discipline them? Make a family project out of going through their toys twice a year to decide which ones they no longer play with much and can be donated to needy kids in your area. With the toys they still actively enjoy, have some out and cycle the others through, switching them out once a month so they have time to "miss" them a bit. If there are too many gaming type devices then set controls and limits on those too such as you can have a half hour per day after xyz is completed. Making sure they donate things they have outgrown will help teach the lesson not to get greedy over so much "stuff" and not having free access to everything all the time will help them to value what they have more.

Last edited by Jaded; 10-20-2013 at 09:45 PM.. Reason: removed unnecessary comment
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Pa
42,565 posts, read 42,494,164 times
Reputation: 24874
My brother's family and mine are having similar problems to yours. I know with my son being preteen over time he got tired of certain toys and characters, so we would donate them to a daycare, a charity for the poor (which you can get money off of taxes for), and the Salvation Army. Many poor kids will enjoy your items. I know my son's old clothes were welcomed.
I think it's a mine set for the babyboomer generation.They came out of an era where they had little money and had to hoard what they could get. Now with grandchildren they have social security money, pension, ect.comming to them.They now can spoil the grandkids of what they couldn't afford growing up.
Ithink many grandparents do it out of love but there is also neediness.
The over stepping the discipline would tick me off. And it has happened. Unfortunately I did blow up and got my point across.
Again the grandparents got the point when we kept donating the toys over time.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,760,864 times
Reputation: 5220
My grandparents were encouraged by my father to give me one gift and invest for me, at the time, savings bonds were the way to go, today, perhaps they could add to your children's college fund.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,232 posts, read 7,421,045 times
Reputation: 17899
It might be a really good idea to get this ship righted now, before a 10-year-old comes home with a motorcycle and a 12 year-old drives up in his new car.

This is a conversation to be lovingly held over a nice lunch without the children.

"Mom, Dad, we know you love giving the boys gifts, but sometimes, we'd like to be able to give them things, too. It would be nice if you could check with us before you buy expensive items to be sure that we haven't already ordered the same thing from Santa. Besides which, we're running out of room, so if you don't stop buying for them, you'll have to buy a bigger house for us." All said with a smile and a lot of hand-holding.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:40 AM
 
4,541 posts, read 9,510,817 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollydo View Post
My grandparents were encouraged by my father to give me one gift and invest for me, at the time, savings bonds were the way to go, today, perhaps they could add to your children's college fund.
This was the first thing that crossed my mind. Is it possible that you can have a conversation with them about donating to a college fund? It's great they have the money they enjoy spending on the kids but having some of it go towards their future rather than a bunch of stuff would be an even greater gift.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,154 posts, read 22,157,419 times
Reputation: 35659
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcoop View Post
This was the first thing that crossed my mind. Is it possible that you can have a conversation with them about donating to a college fund? It's great they have the money they enjoy spending on the kids but having some of it go towards their future rather than a bunch of stuff would be an even greater gift.

Yep this...absolutely.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:29 AM
 
Location: california
5,491 posts, read 4,571,069 times
Reputation: 6423
This is an influence compitition, and there are several ways to deal with it .It is necessary to know why they are doing this .Mortality makes people do things noble but wrong.the kids are equating gifts with love , but some time in the future the gifts stop, love stops as well. More importantly how is the dicipline ? because this often is the grandparents way of governing them . I am concerned that my grand son is going to be one serious mess living with his grand parents ,(My son and his wife insist on living with them.) There is no dicipline in the home and my son is not allowed to do any correction period. The baby has too many toys and only my son has his respect . They need to move out but the daughter inlaw loves the gravy train letting her parents carry them along. My son works but not quite enough incoke to be on their own. I have offered them to live with me but she doesn't like my dicipline. though she can't argue how well our son turned out. A really good man, loving father and husband. Thing is, if gifts replace dicipline ,one is raising petulant liberals
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
9,870 posts, read 8,034,455 times
Reputation: 11237
Children are very wise. I had a grandmother who both loved me and spoiled me. I only remember taking advantage of her once in my life and she gave me a very direct and factual tongue lashing I will never forget for going over her borders. I never did that again.

My mother never resented the fact that my grandmaother could afford to give me things that my mother could not. In fact she was grateful. Even at a very young age, I never tried to play them off against one another. That is a child's wisdom in the presence of wise adults.
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