Gifts for Siblings at Birthdays?
Berkeley Parents Network >
Gifts for Siblings at Birthdays?
We have two kids, a little girl who'll be 3 in a few months and a boy who'll
be 1 in a few weeks. We've been trying to have a less is more approach
to toys and gifts. But, I'm not sure how my daughter will react to my son's
birthday party. It's a small, no present event, but I'm sure even though we
ask people not to bring presents, someone will. My question is, should I
get something small for my daughter so she doesn't feel left out? I'd rather
not... But I also don't want a major meltdown. Anyone have a similar
situation that can offer advice?
I would absolutely not get the sibling a present. Kids need
to learn the lesson ''it's not all about you.''
Sometimes at that age, not only do siblings want in on the
action - the guests do, too. My solution was to prepare
the birthday boy/girl in advance and extol the virtues of
sharing and being polite. For example, there's bound to be
a guest who will want the main cake decoration or to play
with a toy first. I told my children that should this
happen, they should politely allow the child to have the
decoration or play with the toy - their party was not the
time or the place to educate someone else's child.
Unfortunately, often the parent is not paying attention or
doesn't mind this type of behavior, so it's up to you, the
host, to ensure that a temper tantrum doesn't ensue.
Hopefully, you can talk up your son's party to your
daughter but in the worse case scenario, at age 1 your son
is not likely to mind too much if she opens his present -
will he? We also never opened gifts at the party.
My advice would be what you do this birthday will set the
precedent. You say you don't want to, so don't. if she has a
big meltdown, let her have it, love her all you need to
through it, but don't give in. These are your morals and
values and the sooner you decide to stick to them, the
easier everyone's life will be in your family. trust me, buy
her something this year and when junior turns 2 she'll
expect it and it would only be harder to deal with then. You
are the parent, you set the rules, and it's her job to
adjust. And as your babies get older, this practice will
serve you well, when they start to ''reason'' with their teen
logic, you'll have it in the bag!
The only other idea i have is to DO something special with
her. A sort of ''big sister'' treat, and stick to your less is
more approach. a simple walk out the door but she decided
which direction you go. Only she's old enough for that, work
that part up. Celebrate her but in a nonsuperficial way. Or
even take her out for ice cream or something. This doesn't
have to be thought of as making up for jr getting presents,
simply to tell her you appreciate her part in the family.
Then at her next birthday do the same for your son! Everyone
can remember that you all work at being a family and have a
(p.s. those 'no presents please'' birthdays? they just don't
work. Our society is too set in their traditions. the only
way I've ever heard of making that happen is to give an
alternative. Please donate to the sfzoo in his name, etc.
Try it next time)
Three is not too young to understand that one day of the
year is someone else's special day and her brother will be
getting presents and you won't. You are setting yourself up
for a major pattern of giving in because it's easier if you
go down this route. Explain in advance to her what to
expect, and that the consequences will be spending the
birthday party in her room in a time-out if she cannot be
the ''big sister''. If you give her a job to ''help'' with the
party, that would allow her to be involved but not receiving
a present for no reason.
this page was last updated: Sep 24, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network