Author Topic: Gifts & Toys for Kids, Cartoon Characters  (Read 173 times)

Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Gifts & Toys for Kids, Cartoon Characters
« on: March 13, 2019, 09:18:56 AM »
Looking for some advice regarding toys and gifts.

I am generally of the opinion that kids should have less rather than more.  Where the line is drawn is hard to say.  How many gifts do you all give your children for birthday & Christmas?  My mother would always give 10 or so presents to me, and so in my mind a birthday has to be a flood of gifts.  But I'd like to give just one toy and maybe some books to my children.  What do you all think, what do you all do?

And this gets to the other problem, which is the mega headache inducer, years worth of headaches from this one.  As I just mentioned, my mother loves to give gifts, and she has continued doing this with my children, much to great dismay.  Its not just the flood of birthday & Christmas gifts but also the seemingly weekly gift of some new small train or car.  Her house is overflowing with toys.  In my ideal world she would give one gift for birthday & Christmas, as my grandparents did to me, and nothing else during the years (except for books / crafts etc).  I've made comment of this before to her and its been a blowup each time - what do you all think of this situation?  I've heard some people say grandparents should do as grandparents do (i.e. spoil grandkids), and others say grandparents need to respect the decisions of the parents.

Another thing in a similar vein, I banned all cartoon character things in our household.  In other words, no Mickey Mouse, Spiderman, or what not.  I told this to my mother and she's generally followed except that she has given my kids a hundred Thomas Train gifts.  My eldest sings and dreams about Thomas Train all day long, every day, endlessly.  Its precisely these addictions to branded junk that I was aiming to avoid.  Its again another source of conflict in the family - what do you all think?  Am I crazy for banning this, should I make this one exception, or should I stand firm?

Looking for advice here, its been this constant source of headaches for me.

Thank you!
 

Offline Josephine87

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Re: Gifts & Toys for Kids, Cartoon Characters
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 12:27:50 PM »
I would tell her, "Every time you buy a bunch of toys, you keep them at your house, Mom."  Certainly there will be a painful argument about it, but if she refuses to respect the boundaries you set as the parent of your children, then she will have to learn to accept it.  If she continues to bring items over, tell her they are going straight to the Salvation Army.  You can also send her articles about how kids having too many toys stifles creativity and actually makes them play with their toys less overall. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/12/05/many-toys-bad-children-study-suggests/

See, even SCIENCE! agrees with the principle of less is better.

This is a great book about setting boundaries if you need help with that.  https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Updated-Expanded-When-Control/dp/0310351804

I struggle with this too.  Occasionally I will just throw out a bunch of toys and tell my parents they broke to avoid an argument. 

Maybe you can also suggest other things she can buy, like tickets to the zoo or movies (good luck finding a decent one hah).  But you know what I mean, something experiential instead of another piece of plastic junk.

Also, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!  My mom still complains sometimes about her mother being interfering and guilt tripping.  I fight the urge to give her the "oh yeah, and you don't do that?" expression.  :laugh:
"Begin again." -St. Teresa of Avila

“My present trial seems to me a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first. I now want to accept and to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ. My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me. May it become a prayer and an act of reparation." -Elisabeth Leseur
 
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Offline The Curt Jester

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Re: Gifts & Toys for Kids, Cartoon Characters
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 11:10:43 PM »
We give our kids two presents at Christmas and one on the birthday/feast day.  Grandparents are limited to the same.  Do they follow it exactly? No. They try to get around it and they give more, but it certainly decreased the amount they give our children.  Then there are the uncles and aunts and friends and acquaintances.  We will let the kids play with them for a little bit, and then they get put away and donated at a later point.
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"
 
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Offline Traditionallyruralmom

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Re: Gifts & Toys for Kids, Cartoon Characters
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 09:39:17 AM »
have 9 kids, and they wont have the $$ to spoil anymore  ;D

My mother in law would come over and look for the things she had given the children.  To me that is just rude.  You give a gift, and it has left your hand, what the receiver chooses to do with it is their business. 

We have very few cartoon characters in our home.  A tigger stuffed animal, a Frozen Anna barbie size doll, and 21 year old Thomas trains,  that's about all I can think of.  I like more basic classic things.  Open ended generic toys.  Blocks, dress up, kitchen, lego, tools, ect.  I am an expert thrift store donator, and I have absolutely no qualms about it.  Any toy or book that I don't want to look at on a regular basis, its gone.  If said relatives had to manage all the crap I have to manage for such a large family, they would totally understand.   

I was raised with a flood of presents as well.  It has taken me YEARS to get rid of this mentality, and I still sometimes mess up on this one.  Then I am the one who has to pay, since I am the one who has to manage it all.  I would encourage you to keep the less is more attitude.  Not in an angry Calvinistic sort of way, but rather in a "joy of the poverty of the Holy Family" way.  The less kids expect, the happier they are.

My parents recently took a large cut in income.  My mom was worried and wanted me to explain to the children that Christmas would not be "big" this year.  I told her "mom, the children will be fine with whatever you get them.  A little arctic toob of animals is perfect!  They would rather have you come and play with them with the animals, then receive a pile of toys and no time with grandparents!"  And it was.  When I talked to them out of respect to my moms wishes, they shrugged their shoulders and said "that's fine" and carried on with their lives happily.

But I get where they are coming from.  Its so prevailing.  I was at the library and had the misfortune to overhear a very loud conversation.  A woman was complaining about her husband (yet she was on her way to pick up her new car...) and saying how he "only got her an EMPTY jewelry box for Christmas!!!"  and he was like "honey, I can still get you something"  and she was indignant "Christmas is over (swear word!)"...so that is the mind of our prevailing society.  Stuff equals love, or some messed up thought process like that....
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 09:49:20 AM by Traditionallyruralmom »
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