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Old 12-29-2019, 10:33 AM
 
Location: CA, heading to AZ...
1,673 posts, read 285,664 times
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This young man has more issues than just the Xmas gift thing....he's a spoiled brat. You'd be doing him a favor by calling him out, or cutting him off......
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Old 12-29-2019, 10:36 AM
 
1,517 posts, read 485,904 times
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I made my kids choose Christmas presents for each other. In high school, they were responsible for purchasing Christmas presents for each other.

This year, I have one 23 year old son who didn't purchase Christmas presents for anyone. On Christmas Eve, I asked him what he was giving. It was like he was in a fog and forgot. He spent the rest of Christmas Eve shopping in a frenzy.

This has nothing to do with how he feels about anyone or how self-centered he is. He is a kind young man who didn't think ahead. He needed a reminder. Not a big deal. With my son, it is more being at a loss of what give than anything.


OP, Let it go. Have his father talk to him next December about gift giving - giving him a few ideas of what to buy.

Stepmoms have to be careful, but OP why not say something? You have nothing to lose. Call him and say "your father would like a shirt" or "your Grandparents could use a gift card to Macy's" or gee whiz , "please bring a bottle of wine or dessert to dinner." At dinner say "hey, Charlie, please help clear off the table." Basic, assertive words. See what happens. Could it be worse? You are teaching him manners that his mother neglected to do. It will help him in life.

Never make gifts into a tit for tat. It is a terrible way to go.

Frankly, I like giving and receiving gifts. Nothing outrageous, just gifts that are nice to get. Nightgowns, PJ pants, warm plaid shirts, etc. A couple of stocking stuffers like some Christmas candy and socks.

Last edited by YorktownGal; 12-29-2019 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Canada
9,323 posts, read 8,688,200 times
Reputation: 20373
This is such a parenting failure.

Although it’s not your responsibility, I would have addressed it with his father years ago. Despite the many issues I had with my ex-husband, he didn’t raise his kids to be takers and non-contributors in their own family. Sure when they were young, it wasn’t money out of their pockets that paid for the gifts, but they were taken out shopping to find small gifts for their siblings, for me, for their grandmother. They never would have been allowed to show up anywhere, let alone grandma’s house, and sit around not lifting a finger like divas being waited on by servants.

I don’t believe anyone is too old to receive a gift but you can definitely be too old not to give as well as receive, and help your elders.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:07 PM
 
Location: I live in reality.
1,101 posts, read 1,029,439 times
Reputation: 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoxTerra View Post
This has been an ongoing situation over the years, and I finally said something this year. When he came over to his grandparents (where we have dinner and open gifts) I said "Hi! Hey, where are the presents?" And he said "What presents?" and I said "Presents for your dad and grandparents." His response? He just kind of looked down, shook his head and gave me a pissed off look.

He has a job, and he is leasing a brand new car. He has a girlfriend, who he buys gifts for.
He'll sit there on the floor by the tree and happily rip through gifts from his dad and I, and from his sweet and very generous grandparents - but never EVER gives anything in return. Even if he brought a bottle of wine, asked to help clean up the kitchen, or help cook - anything. But he does nothing. not even a freaking CARD! I've never seen anything like it. His girlfriend also received gifts again from us this year, yet she brought nothing for anyone else. My gosh, at least bring flowers for the table. Wow. She also never asks to help with cooking or cleanup. His sister and her boyfriend arrived and brought little gifts for everyone. She is a sweet, appreciative young woman.

The grandparents have been so generous over the years, taking him on trips, giving nice gifts on his birthday and holidays, etc. His dad and I welcomed him into our home rent-free for about a year, when he didn't want to live at his mom's house. He has since moved back with his mom (yes, at 26, almost 27), but was selfish even when living with us.

I made that comment to him and am done with it, but am just still so angry and frustrated at his blatant selfishness. His grandmother and I had a conversation about it and she just sighed and shrugged her shoulders. His dad is upset about it too, but won't say anything to him either. Guess it's easier to just keep cranking out gifts to him than to have a real conversation. As the stepmom, it's not really my place to come right out and have that conversation, and ask him why he never gives gifts to his family. But no one else will say anything. That's why I just finally was like "Hey - where are the gifts?!"

I am at the point where I feel it's ridiculous to continue giving him gifts when he does nothing. Am I overreacting?
He is 26 and has been doing this for his whole life without anyone showing him different. WHY would he DO anything different? You ALL keep rewarding his behavior by continuing to buy him gifts! Stop the madness and give him zero gifts next year. It will either open his eyes or he just won't come around again at Christmas. You teach kids gifting ettiquate from toddlerhood on. Somebody slipped up here. As his stepmom I would MMOB and let Dad & grands deal with him unless you have had that role since he was a small child.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:11 PM
 
1,969 posts, read 3,048,485 times
Reputation: 2621
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoxTerra View Post
This has been an ongoing situation over the years, and I finally said something this year. When he came over to his grandparents (where we have dinner and open gifts) I said "Hi! Hey, where are the presents?" And he said "What presents?" and I said "Presents for your dad and grandparents." His response? He just kind of looked down, shook his head and gave me a pissed off look.

He has a job, and he is leasing a brand new car. He has a girlfriend, who he buys gifts for.
He'll sit there on the floor by the tree and happily rip through gifts from his dad and I, and from his sweet and very generous grandparents - but never EVER gives anything in return. Even if he brought a bottle of wine, asked to help clean up the kitchen, or help cook - anything. But he does nothing. not even a freaking CARD! I've never seen anything like it. His girlfriend also received gifts again from us this year, yet she brought nothing for anyone else. My gosh, at least bring flowers for the table. Wow. She also never asks to help with cooking or cleanup. His sister and her boyfriend arrived and brought little gifts for everyone. She is a sweet, appreciative young woman.

The grandparents have been so generous over the years, taking him on trips, giving nice gifts on his birthday and holidays, etc. His dad and I welcomed him into our home rent-free for about a year, when he didn't want to live at his mom's house. He has since moved back with his mom (yes, at 26, almost 27), but was selfish even when living with us.

I made that comment to him and am done with it, but am just still so angry and frustrated at his blatant selfishness. His grandmother and I had a conversation about it and she just sighed and shrugged her shoulders. His dad is upset about it too, but won't say anything to him either. Guess it's easier to just keep cranking out gifts to him than to have a real conversation. As the stepmom, it's not really my place to come right out and have that conversation, and ask him why he never gives gifts to his family. But no one else will say anything. That's why I just finally was like "Hey - where are the gifts?!"

I am at the point where I feel it's ridiculous to continue giving him gifts when he does nothing. Am I overreacting?
He wasn't raised right. Even if he doesn't have any money (like my brother usually), there are still ways to "give" without spending a fortune, and he wasn't taught this growing up. Sounds like you should've been the mother and could've solved this at an early age.

That being said, I think you're awesome for confronting him with it. He sounds like a slug, and needs to be called out. The two greatest things missing from society today are integrity and accountability. It's time somebody restored it and you made a small start. Good job!

SS
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
553 posts, read 120,518 times
Reputation: 366
He may be someone who wants to give you something but doesn't know what. I fall into that frustrating dilemma every year for most people. However, it doesn't sound like that's the case for your stepson, so I recommend telling him your frustrations. Cut him off if he doesn't take it well (which he probably won't).
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Northern Minnesota
30,520 posts, read 2,700,143 times
Reputation: 10070
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
It seems like it is this generation who it seems does not understand the concept of giving and getting. You must give in order to get and this seems to have skipped a generation . They are clueless young people and I fear for them when they get older . What are they going to raise in the way of kids ? almost makes me shake. I would tell him well since you don't think you have to buy gifts for anyone else we will not be getting you gifts next year or your gf either . see how that goes over and if he does not attend family Christmas then so be it .He will hopefully grow up one day .
Hmm... Let's see here. WHO raised that 26 year old? The dad and the bio-mom? Did they instill in him any sense of what is appropriate or how to treat those people who love him? Or did they just continue to spoil him and coddle him?

I have some grandchildren in "this generation" and they are respectful and responsible adults. I trust they will be fine when it comes to raising their children because they were taught well.

I'm not trying to place blame here, but I am really tired of people bashing a whole generation for the short-comings of some. Every generation has their morons. If I were the step-mom I'd be wondering what part her husband contributed to his son's behavior. I mean, come on!
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,079 posts, read 4,297,206 times
Reputation: 13647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
This young man has more issues than just the Xmas gift thing....he's a spoiled brat. You'd be doing him a favor by calling him out, or cutting him off......
I agree! This was probably in part in how he was raised too. His father needs to have a talk with him. As another poster mentioned, one should not expect a gift in return of giving one, but it seems like this young adult feels entitled and someone needs to have a talk with him.

My advice......cut him off!
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:26 PM
 
27,344 posts, read 34,235,496 times
Reputation: 35153
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoxTerra View Post
This has been an ongoing situation over the years, and I finally said something this year. When he came over to his grandparents (where we have dinner and open gifts) I said "Hi! Hey, where are the presents?" And he said "What presents?" and I said "Presents for your dad and grandparents." His response? He just kind of looked down, shook his head and gave me a pissed off look.

He has a job, and he is leasing a brand new car. He has a girlfriend, who he buys gifts for.
He'll sit there on the floor by the tree and happily rip through gifts from his dad and I, and from his sweet and very generous grandparents - but never EVER gives anything in return. Even if he brought a bottle of wine, asked to help clean up the kitchen, or help cook - anything. But he does nothing. not even a freaking CARD! I've never seen anything like it. His girlfriend also received gifts again from us this year, yet she brought nothing for anyone else. My gosh, at least bring flowers for the table. Wow. She also never asks to help with cooking or cleanup. His sister and her boyfriend arrived and brought little gifts for everyone. She is a sweet, appreciative young woman.

The grandparents have been so generous over the years, taking him on trips, giving nice gifts on his birthday and holidays, etc. His dad and I welcomed him into our home rent-free for about a year, when he didn't want to live at his mom's house. He has since moved back with his mom (yes, at 26, almost 27), but was selfish even when living with us.

I made that comment to him and am done with it, but am just still so angry and frustrated at his blatant selfishness. His grandmother and I had a conversation about it and she just sighed and shrugged her shoulders. His dad is upset about it too, but won't say anything to him either. Guess it's easier to just keep cranking out gifts to him than to have a real conversation. As the stepmom, it's not really my place to come right out and have that conversation, and ask him why he never gives gifts to his family. But no one else will say anything. That's why I just finally was like "Hey - where are the gifts?!"

I am at the point where I feel it's ridiculous to continue giving him gifts when he does nothing. Am I overreacting?
You are not overreacting. He's a moocher. Stop giving him gifts. I would have stopped long ago.
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
48,104 posts, read 38,637,619 times
Reputation: 68816
Quote:
Originally Posted by andherewego View Post
So I am in my 30’s and from the outside may be described the same way about gifts (but not about cleaning up but with that said I don’t visit often).

The gift giving at Christmas can get completely out of hand. We have everything we need as do our family members and friends. Our children have a modest Christmas as do my husband and I. I haven’t gotten around to getting my mom a Christmas present yet and I get my grandmother a few chocolate bars. She loves it. The neighbors all exchange which surprised me at first. The shopping, wrapping, mental effort of trying to get something thoughtful is stressful. Then people end up exchanging fancy body lotion and gift cards. It all took away from being present with my children during the season and I bowed out. Instead, I spend my limited resource of time with husband, children and close neighbors and our financial resources that would go to buying crap that people don’t need/want to buy gifts for foster children off of an amazon list.

We should be giving gifts because we want to not out of obligation. It is not necessarily a lack a manners, it can be a deliberate choice on how to allocate resources. With that said, I do not expect gifts nor do our children. If I am given a gift and do not have one in return I accept it gratefully and thank the giver.
I understand where you're coming from. But I don't think your behavior is what the OP is describing in her stepson. I mean, you already said something that inferred that you help with cleaning up - would you also bring a side dish or a bottle of wine or SOMETHING to a big family dinner? I hope so! A pie, a bowl of fruit salad, a can of cranberry sauce, SOMETHING.

If the step son isn't going to exchange gifts, he should make that clear in my opinion. For instance, I have a good friend. We exchanged gifts for years but one day I said, "Hey, why don't we go to lunch or something together without the pressure of a gift this year?" and she LOVED this idea. We discussed it. It's what adults do generally.
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