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Woman Looking For Gift Ideas For A Child’s Birthday Party Is Asked To Buy A Specific $70 Item – ‘We Usually Only Spend $15 On Gifts’

Photo: Pixel-Shot / Dean Drobot / Shutterstock 
woman, child, birthday party, gift

Children’s birthday parties are a fun-for-all for the kids. For the parents, not so much. Even if they are not the ones hosting the party, or sending out the invite list, it is stressful for the parents of the party guests.  They are the ones who have to drag their children to a different birthday party most likely every other week and have to scramble for a different birthday gift each time. 

When one mother asked the mother of the birthday boy for a party that her child was attending for gift idea inspiration, she was stunned by what the mother sent in response. Now, she is wondering if it was a reasonable request. 

The woman asked the mother to buy her son a specific $70 birthday gift. 

Sharing her predicament to the subreddit, r/Parenting, the mother revealed that the request took her by surprise since the gift went far beyond her usual birthday gift budget. The birthday party was for a child who was “acquainted” with the woman’s own children. While the children like each other and get along well, the woman claims that they aren’t close friends due to their age differences. 

“The parents are friends of ours. Not close friends, but we've known each other for a long time,” the woman wrote. 

Over the last few months, the woman helped out the child’s family after he became sick with a serious illness. “I ended up helping out with caring for his siblings off and on for a little while while the child recovered, as did a couple of other mutual friends,” she shared. Thankfully, the child made a full recovery and is doing fine just before his birthday. 

To get an idea of what she should buy him for a birthday present, the woman texted his mom asking what he liked. 

“They responded with a photo of a specific item. The item was $70,” she wrote. While the woman managed to find the item on sale for $55, she was dumbfounded that the child’s mother would make such a request. 

RELATED: Mom Refused To Let ‘Uninvited’ Kid Into Her Daughter’s Birthday Party — Even Though The Child Was Visibly Upset

kids at child's birthday partyPhoto: M_Agency / Shutterstock 

“Normally for kids' birthday parties, we spend $10-$15 on gifts for friends, and $40 for cousins, etc,” she wrote. “We attend parties for my kids' school friends regularly and I feel like that's pretty normal for where we live.” 

The woman added that the child’s parents both work as shift managers at local retail stores and seem to be financially well-off. Still, the woman and her husband believed that the mother’s gift request was inappropriate. 

“The parent should not have asked for a specific item especially one that cost that much,” she wrote. “Whenever we plan on attending a kid's birthday party, I text the parent for gift ideas and they usually suggest general things like dolls, Hot Wheels, a favorite color, or movie or sport or hobby.” 

The woman claims that she likes the child’s mother “well enough,” but that she is overly sensitive and easily offended. Therefore, she decided that it was not worth the hassle and bought the child exactly what his mother had asked for. However, her husband disagrees with her decisions. “My husband thinks I should have just gotten a different gift that was within our regular price range for gifts,” the woman revealed. 

The woman then asks other Redditors what they would do if they were in her shoes. 

Most parents said that they would not buy the specific gift, instead opting for something within their price range. 

“Nope, I wouldn't go out of budget for something like that. Especially that far out of budget. Essentially 4-5x what you'd normally spend?” one Redditor commented. “I'd pick up a completely different gift.” 

“I would not have bought the gift. That's excessive. And to ask a friend. Hell no. Buy a gift card for the store they can buy it at,” another user wrote. 

“As a parent, I have always sent several gift ideas and vague suggestions of interests…and ALWAYS SAY, ‘What matters most is that you’re here with us,’” another user shared. “It’s very inconsiderate to send one item with such a huge price tag. I’d return it and do the gift card idea.”

Other people suggested that the woman just purchase a gift card from the store where the child could buy the specific item as a birthday gift, but certainly not spend $70 on it! 

RELATED: Woman Refuses To Pay For Birthday Cake That Her Son Smashed During His Cousin's Birthday Party Since 'Kids Will Be Kids'

young girl holding birthday present at party Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock 

So, how much should you expect to spend on a child’s birthday party gift?

According to party planners and etiquette experts, the amount should be significantly less than $70.

“When it comes to buying birthday gifts for other kids, experts agree that $25 is the sweet spot — no matter the relationship. You can’t go wrong if you spend around $20 to $30,” Jennifer Porter, a Seattle-based etiquette coach and party planner told USA Today. “Opt for an active gift that will get used—a STEM kit, board game, or a fun sports game." 

It is important to remember that when children are in elementary school where it is common courtesy to invite the entire class to their birthday parties, parents will likely be bringing their children, and their gifts, to them quite often. 

While it is certainly okay to give other parents an idea of your child’s favorite toys, interests, and hobbies to spark gift inspiration, you should not expect them to spend nearly a hundred dollars for every birthday party they attend. 

A simple card, stuffed animal, or any other gift under $15 will do just fine! 

RELATED: A Mom & Son Were Denied Cake At A Birthday Party After They Missed The Singing Of 'Happy Birthday' — So She Left & Took The Gift Back

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.