Author Topic: Daughters B-day  (Read 8806 times)

Mr.Macinstache

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Daughters B-day
« on: August 12, 2013, 12:54:44 PM »
Hello folks. My sweet little girl is turning 5 soon and we are throwing a little party. How would you handle the fact that other family might get her toys that will be ignored in 2 weeks or not even played with at all? Is there a polite way to suggest money for her savings or something other than a disney princess object that she has no interest in?

I don't think it's polite to tell people what to give her, but I don't want another toy dump. And she has admitted she doesnt even like Disney princesses. I asked her what she wanted and said Ninja turtle toys. LOL

Advice need here. Thanks.

jpo

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 01:04:20 PM »
Could you just do a "no gifts requested" with the invitations?

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 01:06:14 PM »
Could you just do a "no gifts requested" with the invitations?

A 5yr old on her b-day with no presents to open?

Another Reader

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 01:10:18 PM »
She might be a little young for this, but how about involving her in a "request for donations to a charity in lieu of gifts" party?  For example, does she love dogs and/or cats?  Maybe you and she could request whatever the local animal shelter needs on the invitations, and take the donations there as part of the celebration. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 01:10:32 PM »
You're right that you technically can't tell people what to spend their money on. What you can do is if the people are family members (like your parents), tell them that your daughter doesn't want or need tons of new toys and would be happier to get one small gift and or contribute to her college/savings fund. And you could also ask them to spread the word to other family members.

If it is friends or extended family, I'd not bring it up at all, other than "you don't have to go all-out; she's got plenty of toys and things and really doesn't need anything!" There is no nice way to phrase "we'd rather have money" without looking like you're sticking your hand out.

If I was in the same situation, I'd probably do a party with a very small amount of people invited, and any gifts that the child didn't want, would be donated or returned for store credit at a later date. This is after having the child thank EVERYONE politely with no other comments about how they don't like this thing or they already have one of them - I would hope to teach them that the only acceptable response to a gift given is "thank you!" and then you can decide after the fact what to do with an unwanted gift.

As nice as the idea of getting cash for a birthday or other event may be, expecting others to fund your accounts isn't a good idea or something I'd want to teach a child to expect/demand. A gift is just that - something freely given to celebrate an event in a person's life. It would be a shame to turn it into an expectation of cash on the barrel.




prodarwin

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 01:21:17 PM »
Suggest a X$ maximum gift value, so you don't feel bad throwing them all in a bag and dropping them off at goodwill in 2 weeks (or putting 1/2 in a box and keeping for the next kid)?

I know when I have a kid I'll be requesting relatives keep toys to a minimum.  If they are feeling generous they can donate to a College Savings plan/Trust fund.  My girlfriend's nephew (now 3) at X-mas is showered with gifts that he forgets about/destroys within days and all they do is clutter everything.  He loses interest in them before he finishes opening about 1/2 of them.  Dealing with that as a parent has to be a nightmare - just watching makes me cringe.



Also, your daughter has good taste!

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 01:26:22 PM »
You're right that you technically can't tell people what to spend their money on. What you can do is if the people are family members (like your parents), tell them that your daughter doesn't want or need tons of new toys and would be happier to get one small gift and or contribute to her college/savings fund. And you could also ask them to spread the word to other family members.

If it is friends or extended family, I'd not bring it up at all, other than "you don't have to go all-out; she's got plenty of toys and things and really doesn't need anything!" There is no nice way to phrase "we'd rather have money" without looking like you're sticking your hand out.

If I was in the same situation, I'd probably do a party with a very small amount of people invited, and any gifts that the child didn't want, would be donated or returned for store credit at a later date. This is after having the child thank EVERYONE politely with no other comments about how they don't like this thing or they already have one of them - I would hope to teach them that the only acceptable response to a gift given is "thank you!" and then you can decide after the fact what to do with an unwanted gift.

As nice as the idea of getting cash for a birthday or other event may be, expecting others to fund your accounts isn't a good idea or something I'd want to teach a child to expect/demand. A gift is just that - something freely given to celebrate an event in a person's life. It would be a shame to turn it into an expectation of cash on the barrel.

I hear what you are saying... it certainly is a fine line. I'm trying to avoid a made in China material toyfest, that doesnt teach her anything either. And I'm trying not to forget that she is 5 and 5yr olds love toys! I dont want to suck the joy and life out of her special day.

That is a good idea, maybe I can request to the grandparents about giving some to her savings account while the cousins will get her toys.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 01:31:19 PM »
We do need to better link up with some local charities in need. Self face punch here is needed. Those would be great gifts for her.

Suggest a X$ maximum gift value, so you don't feel bad throwing them all in a bag and dropping them off at goodwill in 2 weeks (or putting 1/2 in a box and keeping for the next kid)?

I know when I have a kid I'll be requesting relatives keep toys to a minimum.  If they are feeling generous they can donate to a College Savings plan/Trust fund.  My girlfriend's nephew (now 3) at X-mas is showered with gifts that he forgets about/destroys within days and all they do is clutter everything.  He loses interest in them before he finishes opening about 1/2 of them.  Dealing with that as a parent has to be a nightmare - just watching makes me cringe.



Also, your daughter has good taste!

You have no idea. We only have so much room here. We do have garage sales and donate toys to the local resale shops, but it gets out of hand with 2 kids. It just sort of makes me sick... the kids really don't want half the stuff they get, but open it anyway because its in a neat package. So its really such a waste.

Samsam

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 01:31:53 PM »
This is nostalgic, when I was about that age I told all my relatives I did not want Barbies for my birthday and...they all got me Barbies.  There were Doll parts all around the house the next day!  I would have rather gotten nothing than Barbies.  I was just so mad that they didn't even listen to me.  I am a girl so I should get Barbies...just never sat well with me. 

At least to your relatives I would say something about your daughter's interests and if they care in having their present around for more than 2 weeks they might actually listen to what those interests are.  I think you are a great parent for letting your little girl like something other than "what she should be liking" and taking a proactive approach to make sure your relatives aren't just stereotyping (as in boys have to get toy cars and girls have to get princess gear).  I certainly would have appreciated that growing up.

NOTE: Note sure if you were asking how to tell people what presents to get your little girl or to tell them no presents at all, but my take is that you want them to just give her something she will like.

Also, TMNTs rock!

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 01:41:15 PM »
This is nostalgic, when I was about that age I told all my relatives I did not want Barbies for my birthday and...they all got me Barbies.  There were Doll parts all around the house the next day!  I would have rather gotten nothing than Barbies.  I was just so mad that they didn't even listen to me.  I am a girl so I should get Barbies...just never sat well with me. 

At least to your relatives I would say something about your daughter's interests and if they care in having their present around for more than 2 weeks they might actually listen to what those interests are.  I think you are a great parent for letting your little girl like something other than "what she should be liking" and taking a proactive approach to make sure your relatives aren't just stereotyping (as in boys have to get toy cars and girls have to get princess gear).  I certainly would have appreciated that growing up.

NOTE: Note sure if you were asking how to tell people what presents to get your little girl or to tell them no presents at all, but my take is that you want them to just give her something she will like.

Also, TMNTs rock!

Thanks spedleysam. I totally encourage her to be herself no matter what. It just so happens the Ninja Turtles kicked barbie out and they are using her furniture, cars and house.

And I feel your frustration. When I tell my parents something, they ignore it too. They do what they want in regards to pretty much anything. I'll request a gift for her savings, but they might do something else just because. What can you do.

jpo

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 01:48:28 PM »
Could you just do a "no gifts requested" with the invitations?

A 5yr old on her b-day with no presents to open?
No presents except from close family?

Trinitysmom

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 01:50:14 PM »
What would your daughter like? If TMNT are the only thing then I would let people know that, I love when parents give me a couple different ideas for gifts especially at a few price points. I would rather be given suggestions then waste money on unwanted gifts for someone and talking to the other moms most of them feel the same. Family listening is a totally different matter.

olivia

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 02:05:58 PM »
Could you set aside some of the toys she's not likely to play with and regift them for other kids' birthday parties?  I read that in another thread here and thought it was genius. 

I have nieces and nephews and the amount of gifts they get is incredible.  They literally open something, throw it to the side and reach for the next present.  We actually implemented a no gifts from aunts/uncles/cousins rule because it was just SO MUCH STUFF.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 02:09:44 PM »
She is only going to have a family b-day party. She doesnt really have close friends at this point as it turns out... Still in pre-K. and other friends' kids are a little older.

I'm going to suggest the TMNT and maybe see if there's anything else she would like. And then offer to the g-parents to gift to her savings.

She will open any gift she gets and I can't regift an opened toy. I will suggest to her that if she doesn't want it, maybe we can exchange it and get something else. To which I will heavily influence her to get something practical. lol.

olivia

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 02:19:15 PM »
She is only going to have a family b-day party. She doesnt really have close friends at this point as it turns out... Still in pre-K. and other friends' kids are a little older.

I'm going to suggest the TMNT and maybe see if there's anything else she would like. And then offer to the g-parents to gift to her savings.

She will open any gift she gets and I can't regift an opened toy. I will suggest to her that if she doesn't want it, maybe we can exchange it and get something else. To which I will heavily influence her to get something practical. lol.

Oh true, didn't think about that.  Could you have her wait to take everything out of the boxes until after everyone leaves?  Maybe distract her with opening just 1 toy you know she definitely wants?  That way she could decide to exchange certain presents or save some for gifts.  My siblings do this with my nieces and nephews just so they don't have to deal with losing toy parts at my parents' house.  Or maybe they're doing it so they can save some to regift, too!  :P

Blazin

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2013, 04:32:08 PM »
For a party with other kids we have done a book exchange and it has been a big hit.   Each child brought a gently used, wrapped book. Then during the party the kids got to pick which one they would like and open it up.   This seemed to satisfy the need to unwrap a present and then we didn't do any party favors since each child already got something.

MrsPete

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2013, 05:56:32 PM »
You cannot politely say, "I'd rather have money.". Even if people ask, they probably aren't going to bring your kid a check.  It's just so much more fun to give a kid a toy!  Other people don't have to be logical and reasonable about your kid's stuff. 

If people ask what she wants -- and only if they ask; this isn't something you can volunteer politely, you're most likely to get some cooperation if you mention something practical:  She's really into art these days and would love paints or play dough, or She has loads of clothes but almost no pajamas -- size 7 would let her wear them a long time, and she's into all the cartoon characters, but especially the Ninja turtles, or She loves books. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 06:28:29 AM by MrsPete »

impaire

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2013, 06:24:15 PM »
What about you go with a Ninja turtle themed party, or any other type of detail that would make it clear what your kid likes? Or indicate "second-hand present appreciated"?

The problem with money for her savings is also that I think it's not the most joyful gift for a 5 year old to receive.

skyler

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2013, 06:31:51 PM »
Amazon has a wish list. Maybe pick up some items with your daughter and send the link to the relatives??
You get to return the gifts if you don't like/use them...Just my 2 c...

englyn

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2013, 07:13:34 PM »
How about suggesting experiences instead of stuff? Zoo tickets? Tickets to a kiddy concert or community play? Maybe ask one person if she wouldn't mind getting a group present together to buy one nicer item or ticket?

Dee18

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2013, 09:05:34 PM »
Two options:  "No Gifts Please" on the invitations or say nothing.  I think it is inappropriate to ask for money (especially for a 5 year old!) and coercive to ask for donations to your charity of choice.  She will be fine with not opening presents if you make clear in advance that is the plan.

gooki

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2013, 01:17:42 AM »
For our daughters 3rd birthday we are requesting no gifts, and instead guests bring a plate (of food).

1. It cuts down on what we have to prepare
2. It will be consumed
3. She will still get plenty of presents from those who ignore it, but will avoid the overload

steveo

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2013, 01:32:25 AM »
I have 3 kids ranging from 2 to 12. I have always struggled with this. I don't like a tonne of presents and I don't really feel right asking for money especially when I would just spend or save it myself.

Typically I state don't give them anything or something small but I think all they hear is blah, blah, blah.

We just gave my 12 year old daughter $120 for her birthday plus a $20 itunes card plus got her ears pierced for $40. We took her out for lunch to McDonalds and then my wife cooked her a carbonara and bought an ice cream cake for dinner. My daughter requested all of this for her special day. She was bitterly disappointed with her day and basically tantrumed over it.

There is actually no point to my post because I have no idea how to handle this situation but I did like to whinge about my daughter's behaviour when in my opinion we spoil her. We did actually confiscate the money after that. In a month or two when I calm down I might give her the money back.

I do actually have some advice - don't celebrate their birthdays. Become Muslim or whatever to stop these events from occurring because the payback later on isn't pretty.

brand new stash

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2013, 06:44:27 AM »
You can't tell people what to get unless they ask for suggestions.  But if they ask, I always suggest one of the following:
1) Local family or close friends: I suggest that they give my kids an outing instead of a gift.  A trip to an aquarium with an aunt is better than any toy.
2) Long use toys...some toys just have more play potential.  The standard box of legos is going to get a lot of play over the course of years, compared to a flashing princess whatever that will be broken soon.
3) consumable toys.  My kids go through sidewalk chalk, bubbles, etc.  So those are always great to get.

Otherwise once you get the gifts establish a rainy day shelf in a closet.  More than half the toys at birthdays and Christmas go there.  Then when it is lousy weather and the kids are bored I pull out a new toy.  The toy that would have been discarded quickly on the afternoon of their birthdays is super special on the third rainy day in a row when the kids would otherwise be climbing the walls.

madgeylou

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2013, 07:24:58 AM »
For a party with other kids we have done a book exchange and it has been a big hit.   Each child brought a gently used, wrapped book. Then during the party the kids got to pick which one they would like and open it up.   This seemed to satisfy the need to unwrap a present and then we didn't do any party favors since each child already got something.

this is a great idea. heck, i might like to try it with adults! :)

Joshin

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2013, 10:30:40 AM »
I know Miss Manners disagrees, but I tell people (especially family) exactly what they can get my kids. I honestly had to train my in-laws. They went overboard and not only did my kids not appreciate the gifts they chose, we had no room for the mass amount of stuff they wanted to buy. But then again, I've never been one to worry about tact. I'm the one that has to worry about what to do with the stuff and the fallout of an overstimulated kid, not the gift giver. A gift should never be a burden. Most people want to give gifts that are appreciated and will overlook a little breach in tact from an overwhelmed parent (let them think you're overwhelmed). Those that still insist on buying inappropriate things are doing it for their own selfish reasons, so I don't worry about insulting them too much.

For example, my youngest wasn't into the normal superhero movie tie-in toys, which is what everyone wanted to get him. He liked things he could build with from a very young age and he had advanced fine motor skills. I point blank told everyone to get him Legos, Thames engineering kits, K'nex, and the like, and to just ignore the recommended ages on the side of the package. Sets that you can add on to are the best gifts IMHO.

Currently, we send out requests for money toward big events. One son is saving up for a trip to Space camp, which will probably run near $1,500 with airfare. I let the kids tell the relatives when possible, that way their excitement makes the relatives want to buy the right thing or donate the money. His request was met with a huge box filled with astronaut ice cream, a NASA t-shirt, some space-themed books, and a check for $200. Sure, a lot of little things but they were all things that were consumable, useful, or wanted. I can deal with that. A Zoo or museum membership is an awesome gift to suggest, especially if the person giving it can take the kid there a few times.

Amazon wishlists are awesome for people that are internet savvy. Kid-written or dictated wishlists (with kid drawings on the paper for children who aren't yet writing) work great for non-internet relatives.

Be apologetic when people insist on getting stuff your kid doesn't like. "Oh, that was so generous of you to get little M that Barbie dreamhouse. Unfortunately she just wasn't into it but she loves the TMNT pizza play set she exchanged it for!" They'll get the hint eventually.


Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2013, 11:10:12 AM »
Joshin, I totally hear you. I have a sister in law who sort of does this and it kind of rubs me the wrong way only because she requests material stuff OR money for the kids. I do not plan on doing that.

But I do appreciate directing them into useful items. I like your honest, frugal and practical approach on requesting practical gifts the kids want and can use.

Joshin

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Re: Daughters B-day
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2013, 11:32:02 AM »
Joshin, I totally hear you. I have a sister in law who sort of does this and it kind of rubs me the wrong way only because she requests material stuff OR money for the kids. I do not plan on doing that.


Yeah, it can sound greedy if done wrong. The trick is still giving plenty of options or very open-ended suggestions that forces the gift giver into creative thinking mode. "She's really into ninja turtles so there's an idea, or maybe a trip to the aquarium to see the real turtles!" That seems to get people started on the brainstorming process so they actually think about the gift they are getting, instead of buying the easy stuff that looks popular at Target.