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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Sep 12, 2013
Dear Amy: In the nine out of 10 birthday parties that my daughter, 5, attended last year, presents were not opened at the party. Often at a party facility, there was a large bin at the entrance for us to deposit the present in. At some point during the party, the bin is quietly wheeled to the car, and the trunk is loaded with the gifts.

Sometimes the gift is acknowledged, other times we are forever left to wonder if our gift ever made it to the trunk. After the party my daughter will ask me if her friend will like the gift we gave. I tell her we hope so and maybe we'll find out.

As an elementary school teacher I think opening gifts at the party is a wonderful learning opportunity. It encourages a child to make eye contact with the gift giver as they thank them for the gift. It also helps children learn how to deal with moments such as receiving two of the same or similar gifts with grace.

My husband's co-worker recently attended a bridal shower in which the guests nibbled on finger sandwiches for three hours while the gifts sat untouched in the corner of the room. The guests were thanked for attending and sent home.

I used to feel strongly that it was always better to give than receive. Now, I'm wondering. Bewildered

Dear Bewildered: I see this trend, too and have the same reaction. I wish all of these events could be kept smaller and more scaled in human
proportions, partly because today's over-gifted 5-year-old becomes tomorrow's demanding, entitled and ungrateful Bridezilla/Frankengroom.

Let's start a new trend: proportional partying.

Dear Amy: I am the mother of a 10-year-old boy. My best friend "Mary's" son is the same age and the boys enjoy each other.

Mary gave her son "Peter" a large flat-screen TV for his room. Peter plays "Call of Duty," "Black Ops II," "Halo" and other violent "mature" rated games constantly. No kidding, this kid played these games for hours every day this summer.

When Peter doesn't have a gaming console in front of him, he cries and says he's bored within just a couple of minutes. I have mentioned to Mary that she should not allow so much time with violent games, but she doesn't listen. I have suggested other activities, and she says she's too lazy.

I love the whole family, but cannot allow my son to continue to be exposed to that interactive violence. My son is starting to complain because he doesn't have a TV in his bedroom.

Apart from not going to her house anymore because I do not want my child playing these games (and her son will not stop playing them), what can I do?

What can I say without causing a rift? Concerned Mother

Dear Mother: Your words or actions will not cause a rift with your friend unless you judge her and tell her how to be a parent. She could definitely use some instruction, mind you but a mother who declares herself to be "too lazy" to do the right thing is not going to be receptive to you. All you have to do is say, "You know I don't let 'Walker' play violent video games so if the boys want to do something else together I'd be happy to host."

Concentrate on your son. You are doing the right thing. Do not apologize to him or anyone else about your commitment to restrict his diet of interactive violence. And keep the television out of his room!

Dear Amy: I'm responding to the letter from CO. After their baby was born with health problems, he and his wife separated. Wow these people seem to have a totally unrealistic view of marriage. There are great times and not-so-good times and some really bad times, but you use the memories of the first to hold on through the last until the wheel turns and you are on fire again! Lali

Dear Lali: Many people agreed with me that this couple gave up on their marriage way too easily and too soon.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Sep 12, 2013
1- Ten birthday parties? Ten?

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#3 Sep 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- Ten birthday parties? Ten?
In kindergarten? Yeah, I went to at least that many. Probably more, since there were close to 30 kids in my class, plus all the cousins that had a party. I think 10 is completely realistic.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Sep 12, 2013
L1: Miss Manners would side with the parents who choose to not have their kid open gifts in front of each other. " I think opening gifts at the party is a wonderful learning opportunity. It encourages a child to make eye contact with the gift giver as they thank them for the gift. It also helps children learn how to deal with moments such as receiving two of the same or similar gifts with grace." No, "it" doesn't do anything. PARENTS teach this. Just the mere act of opening a bunch of presents doesn't teach a kid anything.

L2: If you can't be an effective parent, don't blame that on your friend. Your kid is complaining because he doesn't have a TV in his room? Nip that in the bud NOW. Hellz to the no. Quit telling your friend how to parent. Deal with your own kid.

L3: Oh stop patting yourselves on the back. It was a no brainer that this couple called it quits early on and should have tried harder/tried counseling.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#5 Sep 12, 2013
1. I only can agree that thank you notes must be sent. My kids hated birthday parties where gifts were opened. They'd rather have been playing than sitting watching gifts be opened.

2. Your child, your call as to what material you want him exposed to.

3. That was a marriage doomed from the start.
liner

Patchogue, NY

#6 Sep 12, 2013
L1: Try this: don't give a gift. See if they respond.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#7 Sep 12, 2013
L1: Opening the gifts at the party means everyone wants to play with them at the party. Which leads to things getting broken and/or left behind. I don't blame them for not opening them there.

My mom's rule of thumb was that we got birthday parties at 5 and 8 years old, and the number of guests invited was the same as our age. Every other year it was just a couple kids over for a sleepover or a movie night. There were parents who were a lot more adventurous and would invite all the girls in our class. F that.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Sep 12, 2013
Nick's kids' birthdays are a day apar,t so family bday parties cover both kids' birthdays in one party. They do get their own parties with their own same-age friends.

But a guy at work, his wife has the same thing with her sister -- one day apart -- so they had to share bday parties growing up, so now she's doing the same thing to THEIR kids, whose birthdays are a month apart. It really bothers him. I told him it doesn't matter now, but when the kids are 8 and 6, it might to them.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 Sep 12, 2013
LW1: I dont like gift opening at the party. I dislike it even more when someone else is doing it and I have to just sit there and watch ... as if Im really interested.

LW2: Sux to be your son. My kids play those games and have tvs in their rooms. I cant attributed any bad behavior to those things. If your kid cant tell the difference between a video game and real life, youve obviously fd up somewhere outside of video games.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Sep 12, 2013
L1: Whatever. Depends on how many kids are there. I would think the kids would like to play games and win "prizes" more so than watch the bday kid get a bunch of stuff they wished their parents would buy them.
L2: You really do have to concentrate on your own family and how you want to do things.
L3: Well, that was the burning questions on all our minds. Who agreed with Amy. Phew. Glad we got that burning question ansswered.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#11 Sep 12, 2013
1 I always enjoyed watching the kid open the gift I gave, and am the same to this day.

2 Yanno, their is a compromise between "no tv" in the bedroom and letting the kid play "Slaughter House Five" all day in there.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#12 Sep 12, 2013
RACE wrote:
2 Yanno, their is a compromise between "no tv" in the bedroom and letting the kid play "Slaughter House Five" all day in there.
As a practical matter, with young kids, the only time they will probably ever watch tv in their room is before they are going to bed. Mine watch cartoons and they are almost always out a half our to an hour once we tuck them in. My one son (my youngest) used to like to watch the 24 hour time-warner news channel, before bed, but that was before we switched to directv. I don't think young kids are even into Slaughterhouse 5. Mine would be scared shyteless to watch it.

I find that much preferable to what I had as a kid. We were forced to go to bed, with no tv, and if we weren't tired, we'd be running all over the place, playing with shyte, and driving my parents nuts. My 2 other bros and I shared a room when we were very little and I can't tell you how many times my parents would have to come up and tell us to go to bed. We'd even get whacked after the 3rd or 4th time. We have no problems, in contrast.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Sep 12, 2013
LW1: You like having the presents opened, then you get to do that at YOUR party. Stop telling others what to do, judgemental a-holes...

The last couple of parties I've had for my kids, especially Nunu's ice skating parties, there isn't time to do the activity, have cake AND open gifts. Just the way it is.

LW2: Do what you feel is best for your family, but try to not be as judgemental as the advice columnist you wrote to.

LW3: Shut up.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Sep 12, 2013
liner wrote:
L1: Try this: don't give a gift. See if they respond.
I would not care if the invitees to my children's parties did not bring gifts. IMO, their attendance at the party is enough of a gift, and honestly we don't need any more cr@p.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#15 Sep 12, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
As a practical matter, with young kids, the only time they will probably ever watch tv in their room is before they are going to bed. Mine watch cartoons and they are almost always out a half our to an hour once we tuck them in. My one son (my youngest) used to like to watch the 24 hour time-warner news channel, before bed, but that was before we switched to directv. I don't think young kids are even into Slaughterhouse 5. Mine would be scared shyteless to watch it.
I find that much preferable to what I had as a kid. We were forced to go to bed, with no tv, and if we weren't tired, we'd be running all over the place, playing with shyte, and driving my parents nuts. My 2 other bros and I shared a room when we were very little and I can't tell you how many times my parents would have to come up and tell us to go to bed. We'd even get whacked after the 3rd or 4th time. We have no problems, in contrast.
If we put a tv in the girls' room, they would NEVER go to sleep. Nunu in particular has a real problem separating herself from the tv, so much so that I've taken to calling the Lord God TV because she will pay attention to it at the expense of everything else. They would stay up for hours, like little zombies, mindlessly watching Disney Jr.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 Sep 12, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
If we put a tv in the girls' room, they would NEVER go to sleep. Nunu in particular has a real problem separating herself from the tv, so much so that I've taken to calling the Lord God TV because she will pay attention to it at the expense of everything else. They would stay up for hours, like little zombies, mindlessly watching Disney Jr.
Yes, all kids are different.

We let them stay up as late as they want usually on the weekends now and most nights during the summer (we started that this summer, they are soon to be 9, 10, and 11 ... so a little bit older than yours), but come Sunday night and during the week, it's back to bed by 7-7:30. They are really good with handling it all.

We don't care if they stay up during the week until 8 or 8:30 watching tv quietly in their rooms, at their ages too.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#17 Sep 12, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, all kids are different.
We let them stay up as late as they want usually on the weekends now and most nights during the summer (we started that this summer, they are soon to be 9, 10, and 11 ... so a little bit older than yours), but come Sunday night and during the week, it's back to bed by 7-7:30. They are really good with handling it all.
We don't care if they stay up during the week until 8 or 8:30 watching tv quietly in their rooms, at their ages too.
I forget your kids are a little older. We're still in the "need as much sleep as they can possibly get" stage. They just act better when they're well rested and tv would definitely inhibit that.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#18 Sep 12, 2013
itser wrote:
<quoted text>
In kindergarten? Yeah, I went to at least that many. Probably more, since there were close to 30 kids in my class, plus all the cousins that had a party. I think 10 is completely realistic.
But do people normally go to the bday parties of their kindergarten classmates? I must have been a loser then, I only went to a few every year, and those were the people I was actually friends with. But no one ever came to mine
:(

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#19 Sep 12, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
I forget your kids are a little older. We're still in the "need as much sleep as they can possibly get" stage. They just act better when they're well rested and tv would definitely inhibit that.
We've been doing it for probably 2 or 3 years, tho. I think boys just are so active they get tuckered out. They've always been really good about going to bed, but we've been really disciplined since they were babies. This summer is the first time we've allowed them to not have a bed time. It had always been 7 or 7:30, in bed, unless we were out and about and not at home. I think that kind of consistency goes a long way.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#20 Sep 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Nick's kids' birthdays are a day apar,t so family bday parties cover both kids' birthdays in one party. They do get their own parties with their own same-age friends.
But a guy at work, his wife has the same thing with her sister -- one day apart -- so they had to share bday parties growing up, so now she's doing the same thing to THEIR kids, whose birthdays are a month apart. It really bothers him. I told him it doesn't matter now, but when the kids are 8 and 6, it might to them.
OMG, I HATED that growing up! My stepsister was a month older than me and we had to have "joint" parties on HER effing birthday every year, never mind that she lived in a different town, she didn't even live with us. So none of my friends could make it and I didn't know most of hers. And it was really more her party, anyway, since she got most of the gifts and attention and mine was just an afterthought. I HATE HATE HATE it when parents pull that shyte on their kids.

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