Gifts for difficult child children (adult children)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    What do you do for your difficult child children who are adults on their birthday or on a gift-giving occasion? Do you still purchase gifts? Refuse to? Buy them necessity items, etc.?
  2. jal

    jal Member

    Hi Bean,

    I don't have an adult difficult child, yet....but maybe a Walmart, Marshall's, TJMaxx gift card or a phone card if that's what their phone plan is like. Something to help out with-o giving them straight out cash and only if you want to.
  3. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    My difficult child has come to depend on my gifts of socks for Christmas, Birthday, etc. In fact, one year I skipped it and he was kinda bummed! "Mom, I was countin' on you for those fresh new socks!" :tongue:

    Yes I still buy gifts. I do try to avoid cash, but will give Gift Cards or Gas Cards. If I've just recently paid off bills for him, then I'll go pretty small with any gift, hence, the socks tradition. :whiteflag:
  4. judi

    judi Active Member

    Some ideas I've done:

    1. Fast-food gift cards
    2. Phone cards
    3. Gas cards
    4. Jeans, socks, underwear
    5. Gift card for haircut

    I have to also state that we have only had contact with our son once in well over 2 years so I have many of these just laying around my house.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It depends upon what they deserve and what they need. No one is going to stop by my house on Christmas to pick up gifts. If they want to invite me to a Christmas celebration, I will celebrate with them with a gift. They're always very keen to tell me how busy they are with their other families and my family and if coming to my house is a problem, it's one they can avoid.

    For birthdays, I tend to do something that they need that can't be sold. I'm glad you brought this up because M's 24th is coming up soon. Last Christmas we did get him a cell phone so he could avoid that bill and we could stay in touch. L got a book by an author she always reads, and brunch for her and her now ex for her last birthday. I refuse to get them "status" gifts. But if they're being awful to me, they can go without. It won't kill them.

    Judi's suggestions are all very good.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    When Rob was in full difficult child-mode I would get necessary items, never cash. As he's gotten better my purse strings have expanded to gift cards and sometimes even cash!

  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    My difficult child just turned 19 and she is living with me. I still buy gifts and probably will continue to. I'm fortunate in that my X will chip in on the gifts and let me shop! I don't buy her a lot througout the year, so I do buy clothes - fun things and necessities - for holidays. I also try to throw in a "fun thing" that she's not expecting. If she was selling things or using money for drugs, I would rethink. I guess I've been lucky so far.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I absolutely do give him something. Christmas and b-days aren't about deserving or earning gifts in my book.

    Gift cards to a book store or Target/K-mart or local grocery store. Never ever ever cash. Clothing comes in handy since he tends to lose whatever isn't on his back. Shoes. Occasionally a CD to download on his phone (which I also pay for). Mostly necessities and nothing of great cash value because of the pawn factor.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    With my difficult child, we tend to select "experience" gifts.

    Tickets to the auto show
    Passes to Medieval Times
    A trip to the Art Gallery or museum
    Tickets to a hockey or soccer game
    Movie passes

    Usually he is taken to the event by a trusted family member or friend, or one of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff goes along if he wants to take along a friend his own age.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lets see. I tend to do what they have done for me plus remember I am doing a ton for their kidlets!

    Jamie is horrible about doing anything for me other than sometimes remembering to call me on my birthday...sometimes a day later or a day sooner saying he cant remember the date. I hate that. He was living with me for 18 years. Make an effort kid. Write it down, put it in your cell or on the computer...something. Im your mother. I got him a shirt. I didnt call him. The shirt was on sale and I will give it to him when I give Hailie's

    Cory does better with gifts even if he cant afford much. Flowers from the supermarket and a card. A book he thinks I might like. I do more things for him. This year we are taking him to a concert and dinner. Plus we will probably give him a walmart card for a month of his cell phone.

    Billy is the best. He remembers both out birthdays and mothers day and fathers day. He attempts to get Jamie and Cory to go in with him on nice gifts. Cory will attempt to but Jamie promises then fails to send the money. I have received nice books and book lights and Tony got a grill. Billy likes stuff for his computer and we also give him specialty items.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For Oldest, generally I give gift cards, necessities or occasionally a DVD or two (inexpensive ones). I make sure that whatever I give, if it's not taken care of or discarded, it won't have a painful affect on me. Interestingly enough, this has made it harder to shop sometimes.. I see something I know Oldest would love, but then think, will she take care of it? And I skip over it for something less meaningful. Sad, really. Last year Oldest got a winter coat for Christmas, something she needed badly. I bought her a new cell phone for her birthday becuase hers had died. I put both under the "necessity" category. I think I gave her a journal and a Target gift card, too.

    Youngest has gotten much better, and I can again put thought into her gifts, I don't worry as much about what she does with the gifts or money.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I know it feels strange to give someone who isn't always the nicest person a gift. But in my humble opinion a birthday is a celebration of a life and I refuse to pass the day without some sort of acknowledgement. Just because my difficult child (or easy child) behave poorly at times, I won't allow that to take away MY joy in celebrating their day. After all, I had some involvement in their birth as well, lol.

    That said, I will admit that I've toned it down a bit as they've gotten older. Mostly, I give gifts that are necesseties rather than frivolous. I will usually put a cap on cost and try to work within those parameters. Something they need and then something small I think they may enjoy. We do the same thing at Christmas. And I was just thinking that for Christmas this year we will be scaling waaaaay back and I am planning on giving them a heads up real soon because I just don't have the resources to go crazy.

    I say go with your heart. For me, gift giving brings me pleasure.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For the most part I go by whatever list Wiz gives me. There are some things I refuse to purchase, like much of his music. He likes music with very dark messages and then has to fight depression. I won't play into that. Esp not when he still needs 3 medications that work on various things and also have antidepressant benefits, basically 3 a/d's with side effects that help other things. I don't think it is kind to do things to exacerbate the depression, Know what I mean?. I also try to keep in mind things he would use but not remember to write on a list.

    If he was in difficult child mode again he would NOT get gift cards. I don't know about where all of you live, but here there is almost always someone at Walmart or the gas station who wants to pay for your stuff with their gift card and have you give them cash. One guy even wanted me to use the ATM to get cash to pay him when I wasn't using cash to pay for gas. I won't do that and I won't give a gift that can be turned into cash easily. In my area gift cards are pretty much like cash because so many people see no problem in giving someone cash if they have a GC to use.

    I do go to Wiz' gaming place and get gift certificates there, but I know that there is NO WAY the owner will let anyone do that and no way he will let the kids use drugs or alcohol there. He calls the cops if the kids come in drunk, high or otherwise messed up. For some reason it doesn't drive any of the kids away.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I don't do gift cards anymore for Onyxx and Jett - and they're not even adults yet!!!

    One reason is the fact that Jett forgets them. So... They lose value, or I end up using them. Gee, then he loses his gift (though I try to spend it on him). Onyxx uses hers to buy stuff that Wal-Mart shouldn't sell unless they can prove they're 21. Or maybe 40!!!!!

    I love getting gift cards - but I like having them to Kroger, honestly...
  15. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Because of the way husband is, we have a double standard in our house. easy child gets the short end of the stick. His B-day is in July, our tightest month. So, for the last 5 years, he really doesn't get anything for his B-day. And being a easy child, he understands we are broke and he's fine with no gift as long as we give him a hug for his B-day. And husband thinks this is just fine because easy child handles it so well. Yet, for husband, when it comes to the difficult children.... the sky would fall if we didn't get them a gift, even if we can't afford it. They have to have something or they may think we don't love them.

    And Christmas goes along a simular path. easy child gets money to help deferr the cost of the his college books. And husband wants to go all out on the difficult children. It was really a yucky Christmas last year when difficult child-Ant shows up long enough to open gifts but disappears before dinner and difficult child-Step doesn't even show up for another two days to collect her gifts. And husband the softee that he is, had to give them to her. I've gotten to the point that I let husband do as he pleases when it comes to B-days and Christmas. It isn't worth fighting over anymore.
  16. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    Perfect timing for this thread. My easy child is turning 21 in a few days and I wanted to do something special. Unfortunately, because she is in school full time and does not work (our agreement with her), we paid to fix her car and had recently let her use my upgrade for an I-Phone, which still cost a bundle. So husband says - "that's plenty", which it is........, but, those were done weeks before her birthday.

    I would feel so aweful if she couldn't open up something special on her big day. Let's face it, 21 is a HUGE birthday.
  17. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'm also of the camp that birthdays and Christmas are exempt from behavior. The extent of my/our generosity might have varied depending upon what was going on but he always got something to honor those days.

  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I like to give my neice and nephew Amazon gift cards, but neither are difficult children despite my M being a super intelligent Aspie and AR being both Aspie and ADD. For them, Amazon is great because there's such a huge variety of things to purchase. AR has a horse and gets books on training and that sort of thing. M is a voracious reader (AR is too, but has a reading Learning Disability (LD) so goes for audio books). He saved up his gift cards and got a Kindle. I put him on my Amazon Kindle account so I can send him books that I've gotten or that I think he might like.

    For my mum, I get gift cards for her favorite stores and the kids take her shopping if I can't (I live 250 miles away)

    When I've been dirt poor, mum used to get us gift certificates from grocery stores which were greatly appreciated.
  19. Bean

    Bean Member

    We ended up getting her hair cut (her choice), an outfit, take-out from her choice of place. The next day I made dinner with her favorite foods. We don't have tons of money, but I like to cook each kid a birthday dinner at least. She was a bit upset at not having a cake on her actual birthday, or having a bit more fanfare, but I think all in all she was pleased.