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What to do.... ungrateful nieces and nephews ?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
We're not sure what to do. We have quite a lot of nieces and nephews on the one side of our family. Every year we ask their parents for advice and try and buy them something nice and every year they seem disappointed, they just leave it on the floor, never saying thank-you and go back to watching TV in the basement. We are so discouraged! Last year, we again asked their parents and one family suggested gift certificates to EB Games. So we got them $25 each. Again, they opened them up said , "hmph" One even said, "That won't even buy me a game", and they went downstairs. They are seriously spoiled and our $25 seems like nothing to them but it's a lot to us (considering how many gifts we have to buy in total). I "feel" like buying them a donation to an organization that needs it more than they do but I know that wouldn't go over well. Dh says we should continue to give what we do and not take it personally that they have no mannners.

What would you really do? (Not what would you like to do? haha)

(edited to add: the range in age from 9-14)
post #2 of 32
That is hard! I have a niece and nephew very similar sounding to yours. They receive so much all the time that our gifts seem like no big deal. They never send a thank you card, (which I know is more the parents doing)but, thank-you's mean so much! I tend to agree with your DH. Buying them a gift card for 25.00 is so nice, and I'm sure they use it Your heart is in the right place!
post #3 of 32
Unfortunately this problem is with the parents. I would be so ambarassed if my children acted this way after opening someones gift.
Anywho, I personally would either group the family kids together and buy one nice family gift, or just continue what you have done in the past. It doesn't seem they will be pleased with anything you do. What a shame!
post #4 of 32
Buying $25 dollar gift cards is very nice. Maybe if you ask their parents this year what they would like/need you can mention that they don't seem to enjoy what you are buying for them. I also like the idea of donating the money to a charity, in their names.
post #5 of 32
We have a lot of nieces and nephews and honestly can't afford to give them each $25. The younger ones get a toy that is $10 or less and the older ones get a book that is $10 or less. Still ends up being almost $100 combined. I try to pick the toy and book that I think fits each personality or at least their age group. I figure you can't please everyone but we do at least get thank yous for the gifts - even if their parents have to make them say it. Our kids receive gifts they have duplicates of or that don't interest them and still they say thank you. Then later we'll take them back to the store to trade for something they want or donate them somewhere. And for my kids, any amount of cash is always appreciated!
post #6 of 32
I can't even imagine. All the years we've given gifts to the nieces/nephews, they always got up, made their way across all the paper & gifts & folks sitting on the floor to kiss us & thank us for the present! Then we would get a written thank you a week later!

The problem is that the parents haven't taught these kids how to be gracious. You don't say how old they are. If they are very little yet, I would pipe up with a "I'll take that as a thank-you", or "Didn't you mean to say thank-you?" or something "prompting". The parents should also get the hint with a "Bobby, what do you say to Aunt Kathy?" or something like that.

If the kids are teens, time to just stop giving gifts.
post #7 of 32
Wow, how rude. I guess your husbands idea is the only way to handle it. Have you thought of talking to each kid personally and asking them for some ideas? Ask them what their hobbies are, what is their favorite store. What kind of clothes do they like to wear? Around the holidays you can easily buy a 50 dollar clothing item for 25 dollars.
In our family we set the limit at 20 dollars, and we try to get the kids to fill out a list of what they want. I make sure to let my kids know not to ask for anything that costs more than that.
post #8 of 32
Wow, I wish we could spend $25 on each of our nieces and nephews! I think that is very generous.
We always buy them books or puzzles (I can't get the teacher out of me!), I try to put a lot of thought into finding ones that involve their interests. They also throw them on the floor and don't say thank you. These kids get so many presents, their parents can't fit them all into the suburban on the way home!!
It used to hurt my feelings (my BIL has even made the comment to us that we're such "teachers"), but DH just lets it go. He feels like we're not the kind of folks who "keep up" with others and we should be proud of that.
After a few years, I am starting to agree with him, I'm not going to scrape together extra funds to buy bigger presents that probably won't be appreciated anyway.
Plus, I know I'll raise my kids right and thankful for gifts of any size! We'll just have to be the good example
post #9 of 32
Unfortunately I guess I agree with your dh. I have three grown nephews, one of which makes WAY more than my poor dh trying to support 4 people (including 2 money-sucking children) and I'm expected to give him a gift he barely looks at each year, and he doesn't even get us a card. I mean that was okay when he was a child, but he's over 30 years old now. You'd think with all the money he makes, he could at LEAST do a card. BUT.....I grumble to myself, and then I go ahead and buy him a gift card every year anyway. It just is worth it to me to not have family conflict. I guess I do it for my brother (his dad) more than I really do it for him. I wouldn't want to hurt my brother's feelings or make him angry, so a GC once a year is a small price to pay I figure. But I's really the parents fault.
post #10 of 32
My niece is that way ... and the funny thing is, I recently learned, she thinks she is grateful! So I just ignore her and remember not to expect anything. Sometimes you're just buying because you are related! I also hope that I am teaching my children different than my brother and SIL has.
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