rift between my son and I is growing wider,

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
rift between my son and I is growing wider,
6
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 9:44pm

Am I being petty by not giving my son a gift plus he almosts never gets me amything but manages to buy for his friends and co workers. For the first time in the 29 years he has been in world I have always gave him gifts for xmas. I don't know if I am acting petty or not, I have alway brought him a I gift and now  not shopping for him a gift based on his ill  treatment of me I can;t bring myself to buy him anything. After all what do you buy  for someone who is not speaking to you? Gifts should come from the heart and I am just not feeling it at al.

 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

I don't think you're being petty. He has been and is treating your poorly and it sounds like he takes you for granted. You are not obligated to reward that behavior. Use your money for gifts for the people who make a positive difference in your life. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

If you've always given him gifts, and you don't give him one this year, you are making a BIG statement.  As he seems to be taking advantage of you, you might want to make a BIG statement...but you know yourself and you know him.  I certainly wouldn't expect things to get any better because you don't buy him a gift...I can only see it being viewed as revenge.  Or, is he the kind of person who would learn the lesson from this sort of wake-up call?  How important are your gifts to him?  How important is it, in your heart, to give him something even when he's behaving inappropriately?   Will the lack of gift giving come with an attached lecture about irresponsibility and lack of respect or will you just quietly not give him a gift? 

He's your son, you're mad at him for his behavior, and you feel bad.  If not giving him a gift make you feel petty or guilty or if you are doing it as an eye-opener for him, then I'd give him a smaller gift this year.  If you are truly at your end with his behavior, and would feel vindicated by not giving him a gift, then don't give him one.  Just be sure you aren't burning bridges you don't want burned or giving him an excuse to "prove" you're the bad guy. 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

I'm reading over Sadie's very good advice and wondering, what is your usual manner of gift exchange with your son? Are you even together on Christmas? I think you said he lives in a different state....so do you ship him a gift and talk on the holiday and he says thank you and that's it? If you are together and there is a time when gifts would usually be given, then when there is no gift or a token gift he may notice the difference, and it may open the door for a conversation...or not. So you would have to think about whether you are ready to have such a conversation.

If you don't even see him then it will be less obvious, a lack of gift may never be discussed unless you point it out, or unless he asks why he didn't get anything. In that case you have much more control over whether a discussion of your action takes place, as you can always hang up the phone if you don't like how a conversation is going.

If a 29yo man chooses to resent you and consider you "the bad guy" because you don't give him a holiday gift then there's probably not much that you can do right, except cave to his wishes all the time. If somebody wants to find fault then they will percieve it in the most insignificant actions, not just big statement actions. 

I think that his age plays a big part. When my kids were teens and were being awful, I sometimes thought about not giving them Christmas presents or just giving something small---to make a statement. I never went through with it, because I realized that I would be hurt in the long run as much or more than they would. They were still kids, still learning about how people ought to treat each other, and about forgiveness; and I was the person who was supposed to be teaching that. And for as bratty as they sometimes acted, I don't think they were as disrespectful to me as your son has been to you. Your ds is old enough to know better, to understand the consequences of how he treats other people including you. He seems to want to act like a child in relation to you, and you have to decide for how long you want that kind of relationship.

I still feel that it would not be petty of you to forgo a gift for him this year. But for your own peace of mind, make your decision based on how you will feel on Christmas morning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

He is not coming home for Xmas,  he said he just got a promotion and could not take the time off. If he had came home he would have gotten something from his brother and  aunts; but not from me this year. He did call me last week and asked me if I was still mad at him, then told me he did not want to discuss the situation and made a whole lot of excuses for his behavior and never apologized. To make a log story short he pissed me off even more and we are not speaking again because I refused to just sweep the whole thing under the rug and go on as if nothing ever happened.

I have no fear of burning bridges with my son, if anything he is the one who should be worried about burning bridges with me. He and his father stopped talking years ago and were never close. I am all the family he has any tie to and until this blow up we talked almost everyday. I advised him on how to handle situations on his job as I had been a supervisor for years and even had owned my own business. He was always calling me and telling me how I was right and how valuable my information had been to him. The information I was feeding him his bosses thought  were my sons ideas and earned him many brownie points and helped earn him his promotion. Don't get me wrong my son is very smart and intelligent  and very deserving of his promotion; but he is not very people savvy and still has a lot to learn in the business world and about how to supervise people.

I just think now is the time for me to send  an important message to him; that I am the last person in the world he needs to be disrespecting. He still loves Xmas like a little kid; when I gave him a kindle last year he was soo excited, when I came down stairs he almost knocked me over huging and kissing me and kept saying it was the best gift ever. He has always loved to read so I knew that gift would be perfect for him.  So when he does not receive a gift from me this year he will know he has really torn his pants with me and hopefully give him something to think about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004

Hi, I think that when we make changes in our relationships, people resent not receiving what we used to give. But if you are tired of giving and not receiving, It shows it is a time to stop. Not receiving a present for Xmas, musn´t be an enough reason to finish a son mother relationship. Try to continue with him as you have always been except for the Xmas present.He need to change and grow up. Can´t be a kid forever.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

My son and I had a conversation the other day and he finally apologized for his behavior. He said he had thought about what I had said and realized that while he had not meant to be disrespectful he now knows that he was and  he was sorry for how he had treated me. We had a long talk and I think we resolved some issues and we agreed he will not be asking to borrowing anymore money. The mail person just delivered a package from him so that in it self is progress. I think going forward we will have a better relationship since everyting has been put out in the open and he accepts that his behavior was wrong and disrespectful.