Stop Lavish Gifts From Ex


Competition can arise in a blended family if standards are not set by all parents involved.

Q. Both my husband and I have 7-year-olds from previous marriages. My husband's ex-wife routinely sends her daughter home from visits with new presents. The last few involved a new iPod, cell phone, and a video game system. This is stoking rivalry between the two girls. Do I have a right to ban the use of some of these things in my house?

You not only have the right to ban the use of these electronics in your home, but also you have the right to tell your stepdaughter's mother that gifts you feel are inappropriate—gifts that you would not have purchased—will not be allowed in your home. She can keep them at her house.

But is your husband on the same page? Since you hardly mentioned him, I suspect that he is trying to walk the fence between upsetting you and upsetting his daughter. The bottom line is that you aren't going to succeed if you act unilaterally. You need your husband's support.

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