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Old 06/06/12, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 3,398
Ungrateful Niece

I've got a 10 yr. old niece & when I go to the thrift stores I keep an eye out for things for her. Last week I saw her & her mother & her mother urged the girl to "tell her what you've been telling me". She said that she didn't like the boot cut jeans & only liked straight legs. I actually think what I have bought for her were straight.

I was really taken aback, especially that the mother was encouraging what seems to me to be a rude & ungrateful attitude. They are Christian churchgoers and have a hard time making ends meet--had a recent bankruptcy so I felt a little help would be good.

I simply said that I didn't care for the flared legs either She did thank me for the last items I gave her.

Now I am at a loss--feel strongly insulted especially since the mother encouraged this. This kids birthday is Saturday & of course they expect us to turn up bearing gifts.

I am thinking of giving her a card with just some money & a note for her & parents to open later. It has a cartoon of a horse with a guy looking in its mouth & explains why we don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

What to do?? I know I won't buy for her anymore.
Old 06/06/12, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,641
Sounds like it is more her Moms fault than hers. Young girls can be particular about fashion, but it sounds like she could have been guided into better manners. Sure it was rude but she is only 10. Is there any way this can be an opportunity for something positive? Perhaps a special thrift store day where you take your niece out for some special time, just the two of you shopping. Then she can look things over and enjoy your company.
Old 06/06/12, 12:24 PM
Shygal's Avatar
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Location: New York
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I don't even know the difference between boot cut jeans and straight leg jeans

I thought there were bell bottoms and straight and thats it.
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Old 06/06/12, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 23,496
Maybe they just don't want to you to spend money on things that she doesn't like? My kids were all picky about clothes, I never bought them anything if they weren't there to agree. I don't think that is a bad thing because I am pretty particular about what I will wear also.

And since she thanked you for the items, it doesn't seem rude to explain what she doesn't like. I would rather know what people like than waste money on things that they don't...
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Old 06/06/12, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: rural south
Posts: 418
Teach her to cut down the boot cut into straight. I've done it a million times. Also made straight into "hippie bells" by inserting a triangle of fabric.
Nah, on the other hand, I probably wouldn't buy anything more at all. I think it was rude as well.

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Old 06/06/12, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,353
I'd buy her a birthday gift. It is not her fault she is being trained to be rude. Then I wouldn't help anymore until I was asked. =0) Just because people need help doesn't mean they are ready to recieve it it. Poverty is emotionally hard. (understatement!) There is probably a lot of guilt on the part of the mom that she can't provide what her dd really wants, when she percieves other kids do get what they want. It simply may have been that this guilt led to a moment of weakness. It is hard to know what this is like until you have walked in these shoes. You could look at it this way, at 10, if she were to go shopping with you, you would probably allow her some choice in your purchase. She's a tween.

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Old 06/06/12, 12:37 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kitsap Co, WA
Posts: 3,025
About presents, I always taught my son that "You get what you get and you don't have a fit". And you don't put in "orders" for presents: they're called gifts because they are given, otherwise they would be called demands.
Old 06/06/12, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 8,830
I was really taken aback, especially that the mother was encouraging what seems to me to be a rude & ungrateful attitude. They are Christian churchgoers and have a hard time making ends meet--had a recent bankruptcy so I felt a little help would be good

Now we know why these folks can't manage money There is some can toss money out the back door with a spoon faster than you can toss it in the front door with a corn scoop
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Old 06/06/12, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,103
I remember a spoiled little family member screaming at her great aunt at a birthday party over the gift jeans. The young aunt's face turned bright red, and just said they were the ones grandma said to get. A tantrum followed. Big mistake. Auntie has a very good job with a huge corporation, and has no children of her own. She is probably the coolest family member and little brat would probably have received very nice gifts from her had this not happened.
Old 06/06/12, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 23,496
A birthday gift is one thing and in that case I agree, you politely receive whatever someone chooses to give you, but this sounds like an ongoing thing where the op is picking up things for the child regularly. Maybe at 10 she did not verbalize it well however it is better to know what the child likes and purchase items she will enjoy wearing rather than something that is not going to be used. I can see if you simply have a bag of clothes that someone has outgrown and she doesn't like some of them, but if you are purchasing them (and even thrift stores add up) then why not know what she likes???
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Old 06/06/12, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Missouri
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I'm having a problem where she was rude and ungrateful. I don't know, I'm sitting here shaking my head in wonder about your attitude.
What if someone was doing shopping for you, and they kept buying you nylon granny pants, when you liked wearing cotton? Or they bought you nothing but blouses, and you'd like nothing better than some good old fashion tee-shirts.

From what you're saying, she's doing a GOOD thing in telling you what fashion she likes wearing so your not wasting your money.
Good for her mom for teaching her to stand up and politely telling someone how they feel. Good for her for learning to be her own voice.

Going back and reading your post again....she THANKED you for the clothes.

To send a gift horse card would be VERY RUDE and ungrateful at her simply voicing her thoughts and feelings.

And 2ndly, what does being a Christian have to do with bad money choices, and where is it the childs fault that the parents aren't managing their money well?
Old 06/06/12, 01:18 PM
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Location: MS
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I'm with Melissa and mommathea on this one. I think you're taking it wrong. By telling you what she prefers, the little girl is HELPING you.

My kids were a tad picky when they were young too...they want to wear what the other kids are wearing so as to fit in a little better. Being from a financially challenged family, this is probably even more important to this little girl.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6,825
When they were little I used to pick out clothes for the nieces and goddaughters and thought I was doing a great job because I always got a nice thank you note. Then one day we were sitting in a restaurant and a little girl walked by in the cutest dress and shoes and I said "isn't that just the nicest dress. I would love to get you each one like that".

My Goddaughter and niece exchanged a look and then my Goddaughter said with such disdain "oh Auntie Em, PUUU-LEEESE!!!".

I got the message. It wasn't that they did not appreciate my gifts they just didn't like them. And fundamentally the gift is for them so it should be what they like.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:20 PM
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I agree. This girl was not rude, she was honest. She has thanked you but honestly told you that you might be wasting your money buying something she might not wear.

Stand in her shoes for just a minute.
Old 06/06/12, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: middle GA
Posts: 16,654
I'm looking at this from the mother's point of veiw. Maybe the girl was complaining to the mother about the pants and the mother made her tell you why she didn't like them instead of just complaining about them. She may have been trying to teach the girl that you either accept the gift as is, or if you aren't happy you don't complain, but if you insist on complaining, tell the person who gave it to you as politely as possible. I think it would have been hard for me to approach someone who had given me a gift and tell them they got something I didn't care much for. I would have nagged my Mom about having to wear it, but wouldn't have gone to the one who gave it to me. Just another perspective.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:37 PM
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The card and note on your part seems petty. The girl was simply letting you know her tastes so you would get what she likes.

I'd actually suggest that instead of not buying anything for your niece you should take her to a few thrift stores with you. She might learn how to shop and I'm sure both of you might enjoy the time together.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:41 PM
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Location: True Northern California
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I don't how things were said or meant- I wasn't there. But I can tell that Wanda1950 was seriously hurt by this. She was doing good and it came back at her.
A person can not be blamed for their feelings only what they do in response. I would hate to be sitting at this young girl's wedding with a snowball accumulation of hurt over these things. Which is something that can happen.
The best thing I can think of is to ask the girl to go with her to a store to shop for her next present. I would explain to the child that it made me feel badly that she did not like her gift. No personal accusation. Tell her the spending limit and have some time together, hopefully giggling over the choice and a lunch. Build some good feelings if you possibly can- it's money in the bank. Teach the child that she maybe should treasure somethings not because they are the right things but because they mean love.
It is best to not let such painful feelings fester to the loss of so much future happiness.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:47 PM
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Comment on the post by where I want to. This is not confrontational, but an explanation that has helped me deal with the behavior of other people.

What I learned in counseling is that other folks do not "make" you feel bad. You choose how to think, feel, and respond in answer to what the other person says or does. Blaming one's feelings on a ten year old isn't helpful.
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Old 06/06/12, 01:54 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: south central Kentucky(finally out of all the snow)
Posts: 4,991
I'm with some of the others. I don't really see it as being rude. This is your niece and sister or SIL, maybe they feel close enough to you that they can be comfortable saying something without thinking it being offending.

Really, wouldn't you rather know that the clothes you pick out for her is something that she can't wait to wear?
Old 06/06/12, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,964
I don't think she's really ungratelful - I'm sure she has been telling her Mother "I don't like these certain jeans." Mother probably had her tell you (rather than her telling you and you thinking "Niece hasn't said anything - maybe Mother doesn't like those jeans."

The niece is telling you what she prefers.

Family is important - don't cut the niece out just because she has told you what she PREFERS.

Many jeans LOOK the same, but they aren't the same. And as somebody said - try to make it a shopping day by taking your niece out. Give her Mother a little break and you can find out what your niece likes and doesn't like.

I really don't think she meant any hurt feelings.
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