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Do you buy gifts so Skids who refuse to be part of your life?

Totheend12345's picture

SD12 does not have anything to do with us, BM and SD have both told us to back off. BM said SD hates us, and wants nothing to do with us because we are mean to her and we don't treat her right. Which is a lie but what ever I can't help how some one "feels". 


SD talkes to us two time a year,

1. her birthday

2. Christmas


Last year we bought her Christmas gifts, and she didn't show up to christmas like she was suppose to, she hates us and we are mean so she didn't want to. But she did ask if we could mail her gifts to her.  Which we did or I dropped them off its been a year I forget.


Well last week BM writes me and ask what we got SD, I tell her nothing, I said she hasn't talked to us once this year, and when we reached out were told to back off she hates us. BM got mad and called DH, DH doesn't deal with the drama so he asked me what was going on and I gave him the run down. We have yet to call BM back.


I am to the point SD hates us, she doesn't want to see us. BM tells everyone how awful DH and what a deadbeat he is, so why buy gifts? SD honeslty couldn't care if we all dropped dead tomorrow, and BM would be more than happy. BM can't handle anyone else being happy and SD is the same way.


I know it seems awful that I don't want to buy this kid anything but ever since BM has went over the deepend this child is a stranger to us. 


So what should we do

1 Buy gifts and give in

2 Not buy her anything we should be seen as more as that.



Siemprematahari's picture

I would not give this child anything. She may be alienated by her mother but in my opinion, shitty behavior doesn't warrant gifts. If she doesn't care to pick up a phone to talk or even visit her father, why should you both make the effort to shower her with gifts? SD probably thinks this is acceptable behavior (treat people like crap and still get rewarded). 

I wouldn't entertain it. She'd probably get a card at best but nothing more and nothing less. 

Jcksjj's picture

Is she the only kid in this scenario? Just going on how I would feel in this scenario I'd want to say buy her nothing. But I think the smartest thing would be a small gift. Not enough of an incentive to show up just for that, but she cant say you got her nothing either. Or rather just have it be from DH.

Totheend12345's picture

DH has two kids this is the youngest by two BM. The older one has gotten alot better, she somes over, hangs out, helps she really has turned around from a few years ago. DH is hurting for money right now I paid for all of older SD christmas so she would have something. I used what I would spend on DH on SD.


Older SD will get nice gifts but she comes over and treats us like people and isnt just there for gifts.

ndc's picture

I wouldn't buy her a thing. I give gifts not from obligation but because it gives me joy. I would derive no joy from giving a gift to a kid who hates me and ignores me all year.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

How is it that a 12 year has decided not to see her father? Is there no court order?

Nevertheless, I would not buy her any gifts. And I would text BM back once telling her to take all issues up with your DH. There is no reason for you to be in contact with BM.

tog redux's picture

Stop communicating with BM.  Let DH deal with her. You don't have to get SD anything - let DH decide if he wants to.  If he does, it shouldn't be much.

Everyone needs to go radio silent on BM, entirely. 

hereiam's picture

I, personally, wouldn't buy her anything.

If your husband wants to get her a gift (not plural) just because it's Christmas and she's 12 (still a minor), that is on him.

Your husband doesn't want to deal with the drama that is HIS ex-wife and daughter? Well, that is just too damn bad, I would take myself right out of that equation.

SM12's picture

I wouldn’t buy gifts for someone who said all those mean things to me. She needs taught that she is now owed anything.   No gifts what so ever.

my OSs and MSS stopped talking to DH for no real reason.  The first year they started talking to him the week before Christmas just to get the gifts.  The second year DH got them gift cards and they didn’t bother coming over to pick them up. Last year we didn’t even bother getting them gift cards.  

I can honestly say I half expect MSS to show up unexpectedly one year looking for his gifts just so he can blast DH for not getting him any.   MSS seems to get pleasure out of hurting DH.   That will be the second I physically remove him from my home since he is now 18.   

Cover1W's picture

OSD left our home at age 14 and has barely spoken to DH since (she's now 16), and nothing from her at all since April.  She does not acknowlege his birthday, father's day or Christmas.  Nothing of course, for me either - but she never did.

I have not got her a gift since she left.  DH used to, but this year for her birthday he sent a card, nothing more.  I think he's doing the same for Chirstmas (esp. since he discovered she never used the gift card he got her last year). 

If she, and BM, condone treating people like they do, I personally don't give them any sympathy or patience.  DH has about had it too.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

"Hope your husband's finances pick up soon. Please don't get into the habit of paying for everything all the time. He needs to get a job and contribute."

 ^^This, so much^^

A card would be appropriate. BM can't say your DH ignored her baaabieee if he sends that.

If he could afford it, I would suggest also making a donation in SD's name to a charity (perhaps for orphans or foster kids - you know, kids with real problems), but since he can't afford it, a card would do.

ESMOD's picture

Would I buy a stepchild a present if they didn't have much to do with me?  Nope.. shoot.. I might not even buy them a present if we see them more often. 

But. .my spouse could choose to still give his child a present. that is his choice.. though I not be happy if it was too expensive.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Yep, have DH pick a charity and donate in her name.  

However, I might suggest to DH that he also buy SD this book (or one like it) as it may be helpful.  She is obviously getting PASd because no 12 year old decides on her own to ignore her father for a year.  "Getting Through My Parents Divorce, A Workbook for Children Coping With Divorce, Parental Alienation and Loyalty Conflicts."

hereiam's picture

BM would show up on her doorstep for sure!

It does sound like a good book, though.

still learning's picture

DH doesn't deal with the drama ...

So he prefers not to deal with the mess he made but lets you deal with it instead.  Your DH is a wimp!  He should be dealing with his ex, he was the one who was married to her and he should be dealing with his child. The kid is 12 and wants to talk to her dad not the stepmom who has been thrown into the role as intermediary.  No wonder she hates her dad, and no he's not treating her right by checking out of her life and sending you in to fix it.  

As a parent I would never exclude my child during the holidays no matter what a little sh*t they were being.  That being said, I am in charge of getting gifts for my kids and DH for his.  I used to do gifts for skids but it was unappreciated and gifts were returned so that stopped very quickly. It's completely DH's responsibility now.  

DH really needs to step up and be a parent. Tween girls can be moody, emotional, and say things they don't mean.  So she hates him, oh well. I've been hated by all my kids at one point or another but being the adult I suck it up and keep parenting.  Remove yourself from their dynamic. Take the "we" and "us" out of his relationship with his daughter.  If he wants to get her something for Christmas that is his decision not yours.  

Saints Are Back's picture

You sound a bit too involved. Do yourself a favor and back off. Don't respond/communicate with BM and let your husband decide if he buys or not anything for his daughter. 

My husband's son stopped coming to our house one year ago. I don't know and I don't care if my husband buys birthday/Christmas gifts. I don't ask and I stay out of it. It's irrelevant to me if the kid gets something or not and what his mother has to say about it. That's non of my business and I let my husband deal with it.

The way you ask sounds like you got to say how it should be handled and I think it's wrong. Your SD has two parents and you are not one of them. Step back and mind your business.

notarelative's picture

When we married all the kids (mine and his) were adults and out of the house. DH suggested that since we have separate finances, I buy for mine and he buy for his. Sounded good to me. I may suggest, but I don't buy.

For the first few years that worked well as both skids showed up. Then OSD stopped coming and DH started mailing her a check in a card. First year, there was a thank you call. Second year, she wrote thank you on the back of the check. Then the check was cashed with no acknowledgement. DH got upset after a couple of years of this and just sent a card.

SD received the card and called (first time in over a year). I answered the phone as DH was not home. She wanted DH to know she received the card but he forgot to put the check in it. I told her I'd tell him, but that she should call back to talk to him. She never called. At this point DH doesn't even send a card.

YSD will show up, kids in tow, for gifts. We usually get one non gift visit a year.

hereiam's picture

Oh, wow, your SD has some nerve.

The first year that we stopped buying for SD, she and DH had gotten into tiff, and as usual, she used that to then go off on him about what a horrible dad he's been, blah,blah,blah (that is not why we didn't buy Christmas gifts, that had already been decided). Anyway, a couple of months go by and SD doesn't call, DH doesn't call her, either.

When the middle of January had come around, and she still hadn't heard from us about giving her Christmas gifts, she finally called him. She didn't have the guts to mention the gifts (like your SD)...but we knew why she was calling. Imagine her surprise when DH never said, "Hey, when can we come by and give you your gifts?"

Animegirl's picture

So you're not good enough to spend time with, but you owe her birthday and Christmas gifts? 
Absolutely not. 

Are you sure SD really feels that you're awful to her and it's not just BM causing a rift? 

If you're sure that SD really doesn't like you and DH and really feels those things, then the little darling can very well do without presents from people she abhors. 

However, if you feel that perhaps SD is being manipulated by BM and does want to have a relationship, perhaps a small, inexpensive 'big girl' bracelet or necklace along with a handwritten note about wanting to build a better relationship in 2020 might be a nice way to put the ball firmly in her court - however, in order to get her gift she should visit you. If she doesn't, you can return the gift and you'll know she's a grasping, devious little vixen who can very well leave you and DH's pockets alone. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

12 year old child may think that she hates her father and may behave  in a less than mature fashion.

There is no reason for her father to do anything other than let her know that while he is very disappointed in her behavior , it in no way makes him love her less.

Xmas gifs are not generally merit or performance awards. Generally these are gifts that , at least with family, we give out of love 

What does dad gain by not giving a gift to  the daughter that loves?

The child will remember as she ages that even though she at times was  a pill, her father never wavered in his treatment  and commitment to her.

Dad could use Xmas gifts to make a point, but a far better point is that dad is unmoved by her childish behavior.

Parenting is the single most important thing that most of us will ever do in our lives. Getting it right is much more  important than being right on minor issues.




twoviewpoints's picture


Well of course this would be your response. You would not want your niece to miss out on free and in your opinion, much  deserved presents..... Even if she treats Dad as a drive by mall. He, last year requesting Dad just mail the gifts.

This kid stole $300 this summer from OP with nothing ever being said to the girl over it. I'd say tha covers quite a few Christmas presents.


Curious Georgetta's picture

Dad is supposedly a mature adult. There is a bit of a difference in maturity and perspective.

You do not get a do over on your child's childhood. It matters that you get  it right the first time.


tog redux's picture

This is your new favorite dig, isn't it? That people on here aren't "getting things right" unless they do it your way.

Pandering to and buying an alienated child's love is the WRONG way to help that child.  Exactly the wrong way.

Jcksjj's picture

Whoa she stole $300 from OP? I missed this somehow. I take back what I said above. CG is right - its important to get things right while they're children. Teach her stealing is wrong and results in not getting gifts that she would have if she had been honest.

Thisisnotus's picture

My own DD17 is the same way....since her father and I divorced 3.5 years ago she has taken sides with him and turned her back on me. Keep in mind I was a stay at home mom who raised her and spoiled her and did everything for her.....

She hates me , my DH and wants nothing to do with her toddler sister.....she shows up with a fake smile and kindness on her birthday and Christmas....

that being said....I buy her an equal amount of gifts that all the other kids get (dd12,DD14,sd12 and SD16). I don’t feel that I want to but I do it because I feel it’s right...

but I don’t buy her anything else over the year and I don’t invite her on family vacations.....or to anything else. She spent the last 2 mother’s days with her step mom and not that has sealed it for me.

tog redux's picture

Your daughter has been alienated - deep down she does love you. At some point she will recover that. It's good to keep the lines of communication open with an alienated kid, without trying to buy their love. She will be back. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I wouldn't. If my DH wanted to, he would need to spend his own money. If he didn't have his own money, then I guess no gift. He'd owe me first for his half of expenses before going out and buying presents.

I do think, if he can scrounge up $5, that a card would be appropriate. A simple "I love you even if you don't like me" gesture would be good.

Though, I have to wonder how an 11 year old last year go to decide not to visit any longer and why your DH has allowed for non-visitation? If he has equally given up SD, then he should just walk away from her. No need to send anything if he doesn't actually want to be in her life.

Totheend12345's picture

Long story short DH was in a different place in his life when BM announced baby was on the way. BM for many many years was awful, it was either DH leave me and be with her or not see his kid. At that point sadly he did not care enough to fight for the kid. He was happy with the little that he allowed her to see the kid, because he wasnt the dad type. Some years she would be fine with DH keeping SD overnight and having regular visitations with her, then all the sudden it would be BM telling her DH was mean, awful, was going to hurt her, (this was at a young age 4-5) and SD started to be scared to come over. BM made sure SD needed her and only her. She created a very unhealthy attachment issue, SD wouldn't even go to school because she couldn't leave BM


Then BM got in an abusive relationship, ignored SD and ruined her (ANOTHER STORY Social Services Didn't care) She would leave SD where ever she could and not tell her when she would see her again. It made it harder for SD to leave BM.

Totheend12345's picture

THANK YOU EVERYONE! DH told me last night he would buy her a gift card and some make up kit she wanted. But it would stay at our house until she started to come back over. His parents have gifts from 3 years ago for her still, they just buy her one thing every year and keep stacking them up. 


My anxiety had the best of me yesterday for some reason I was all tore up over this nonsense. Now I have calmed down and DH is taking over. 

Harry's picture

With a $20:gift card.  It's worth $20:to be the big person. 

1wonder woman's picture

Hey I feel your pain trust me... My SO and I are going through the same crap with his three children.... he has a son that is 24 years old and a daughter that is 22 years old and a 12 year old daughter.  Now mind you his son disowned him 4 years ago just months after the divorce all because his mother is narcissist and she controls and manipulates her children into alienating their father, His ex has one goal she loves making their father look like shit in her children eyes and she wants to hog her kids all to herself and she loves to hurt her ex-husband she gets off on it she knows he loves his kids. She has brain washed her childrens.  He is a great father and he still buys all three children gifts may it be their birthdays or Christmas..HE GETS NO THANK YOU'S FROM THE TWO OLDER KIDS!. His two adult children have good paying jobs and not once have I seen these kids so much buy their Dad anything not even a card.... No text messages no phone calls wishing their father a happy birthday or a Happy Fathers Day... NOTHING!! He will text his son but gets NOTHING back.... He reaches out to his oldest daughter and she will text him back sometimes but really ignores him and if he invites her to go out and eat or just get together she always turns him down making up excuses after excuses... he does try!! He will drive by her house and drop her gifts off to her in person she will hug him back but that's about it and he will only be there maybe 5 minutes if that you can feel the friction. His daughter has disowned her father... she really has... The only difference is his son had the balls to tell him to his face "Dad I you must exit my life no more I can;t handle the drama this divorce has caused me"... after that day his son disowned his father he was not even invited to his sons graduation... his daughter will except his gifts but she is just using him for the gifts...These two older kids treat my SO like shit! HE NEVER GETS A TEXT OR PHONE CALL SAYING HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD OR HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD... Now his 12 year old is doing the same thing she has her own cell phone. She ignores his phone calls and text messages and she stopped texting him all together he reaches out to her and she ignores him. His last Birthday he got nothing from any of his kids no text messages NOTHING! SAD! PISSES ME OFF... then he gets all sad and depressed... in he will be in tears and then he gets all angry and then I have to deal with his mood changes... NOT FUN!... it breaks my heart! He is missing his kids really bad and he deserves so much better! 

The past two years have been hell... his 12 year use to come and spend the night with us two days per week... the past two years she refused to come and spend the nights with her Dad making up some excuse she was having anxiety issues the truth is her mother is narcissist and she doesn't want to share any of her kids with anyone especially their father.  This is parent alienation at it's best! Suddenly a few weeks ago his 12 year old calls my SO up on his phone and she wants to come stay with us two days per week all because she now suddenly hated to be a bus rider.... grrrr..WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ANXIETY?.THERE WAS NONE IT WAS ALL A LIE!! The kid is just using her father and controlling him and manipulating him all because she suddenly does not want to be a bus rider now mind you the bus drops the kid off in front of her house... talk about spoiled rotten!! Again the children that are raised by a narcissist mother become just like their mother...SPOILED ROTTEN WHAT THEY WANT THEY SEE TO IT THEY GET NO MATTER WHAT Now the kids are a reflection of her... they too have become narcissist.  So what do they do... they disrespect you... use you... control you and HURT YOU ON PURPOSE and they lie too and have ZERO EMPATHY!! They have one goal to use you and cause you pain!

Like I have told my SO STOP THE ABUSE... when my SO buys his kids gifts and he gets nothing in return this causes him and I great pain it hurts... so why buy the kids anything at all all you really are doing is giving his children the ammunition to hurt us both .  SO WHY DO IT?  I tell my SO you are stepping right into the mouse trap that will cause you pain.... STOP IT! NO MORE BUYING GIFTS FOR YOUR OLDER KIDS IF THEY BUY YOU NOTHING! Mail them a card and let them know you love them and miss them and that's it nothing more!! I told him tell your kids we have your gifts here at our home but you must come to our home sit down and have dinner with us and then we will give them their gifts but not until then. Trust me his adult kids will not stop by our home. As for his 12 year old we told her you want your gifts you gotta spend the night or you get no gifts...  my SO is seeing now his 12 year old is turning into her mother she is just like her mother she lies, manipulates and controls him to benefit herself... and she is a user a taker and she has zero empathy too.

If I were you two I would not buy that kid a gift unless you guys get to see her. I'd mail he a card with a simple we love you... love to see you miss you and leave it at that... tell her we have you gifts but you must come and stay with us for a few days or you do not get the gifts.  At least my SO does get to see his kid maybe 3 hours a week or every other week. This is parent alienation at it's best this is what you two are going through sadly... sounds like his ex-wife might be narcissist too! Sad! Sometimes you must redirect the love and the gifts to someone else that deserves that love and those gifts!! Someone that will apprecate the gift of you being in their life!! 

shamds's picture

Gifts are for people you like, respect and are nice to you. If skid(s) have been rude, disrespectful and caused your marriage to fall apart because of their antics etc why on earthwould you want to give a present just because its the holidays??

Rags's picture

So here is what you do.  Buy SD a Christmas card and you and DH sign it with your names only.  No sentiments. only your signatures.

Enclose a print out of an Excel spreadsheet providing in detail every penny that has been spent on CS and anything else to do with supporting the Skid.   SD needs the facts regarding what DH has done for her support to counter BM's toxic bullshit.

Mail the card addressed to SD.

When BM or SD calls to rant and wail inform them both that effective immediately SD will visit as stipulated in the Custody/Visitation/Support order or BM will be smacked each and every time with a contempt motion.  If DH does not have a CO, he needs to immediately get an attorney and get to court. Close any call from SD/BM with the clear message that there will be no gifts or anything else other than CS unless SD visits per the schedule and is present to receive gifts in person.

Keep it simple. Bring the pain.

Until then, enjoy your Skid and BM free life.

And... buy DH some balls for Christmas.