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Old 10-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

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Originally Posted by RainandRedemption View Post
I'm convinced that the only reason dh cares at all about sports is because it is SOOO important in his dads life. He brought dh to tons of games, made sure to watch EVERY game, if not with dh then they would talk about it later. FIL gets so mad if his team looses or makes a bad play that he flips out and it used to ruin his night (he doesn't get that upset anymore, but still, way more upset then what seems reasonable).
We now live 14 hours away from FIL and the sports teams dh grew up with. We have more important thigns to do than watch sports. I HATE sports, dh has little free time and would rather spend it working on his music now, so it's just not a part of our lives really (thank God). Like, dh will watch maybe 3 full games and listen to parts of/ or get the highlights on a handful of other games. Our kids don't really know anything about sports teams, don't care about the games, don't hear us talk about them.... I mean, sports are a total NON issue in their lives. BUT................ FIL is freaking obssessed with these teams. For Christmas and birthdays we ALL get nothing but sports merchandise (for teams that are 14 hours away from us )
FIL knows how I feel about sports/those teams, I still get merch. FIL knows we don't watch the games anymore, and that dh has many goals for his music. He could give him $ towards somethign that DH would love much more, and would use for useful creative purposes, yet he instead sends merch. The kids, don't give a flip about sports or the teams, yet they get BOMBARDED with merch. Especially ds. It's like FIL feels like the only thing about himself that he can pass on is his love of these teams.

FIL will make statements about the "mass distraction of people as a whole", by news, entertainment, commercialism, etc. I'll add to that about sports and he will AGREE, but still buys into it all. I just don't understand.

So..... my question..... what do I do? Does anyone else know people like this? What do you do?

I literally have a box FULL of new sports merch, probably equal to $250. All bought for the kids in the past year. I hate it, and filter it out as fast as I can, but I know Christmas and birthdays come around again we are doomed to have our house full of that stuff again. And he KNOWS I get rid of it. He spends SO much money on this stuff, just to have me hate it, hide it and get rid of it.

DS knows the name of the sports team (baseball. not the football team names for merch he has), other than that doesn't care a thing for the team, the games etc. But it's special to him because it came from grandpa. Makes me so sad and drives me nuts.
I understand not being filled with gratitude and appreciation, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the bolded. He is trying to pass on an aspect of his life that gives him a lot of pleasure. Probably the fact that your DS gets no exposure to sports in his home life motivates your FIL even more. I think you need to put it in perspective...he is spending his own time and money to give gifts. I think you need to try to be sensitive to his feelings and at least not let him know that you are getting rid of the stuff he gives your kids.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Dh has talked to him and he "forgot", because a few months later we received over 15 new items for one team and a couple each for two others. I don't have a problem with reselling or getting rid of. I would rather resell because I know it's worth a lot, and we certainly can put the money towards something else, but I'm not great at making it a priority to get it done, so the items just end up sitting in a box in a closet forever. But I don't like the fact that the kids are receiving it all as gifts. I don't like the constant flow of things coming in and out of the house, I feel like it gives the kids the idea that things come and go easily, when it reality it takes a lot of time to earn the money for those things. Plus it seems like such an impersonal thing... when he knows we don't watch the games or care about the team, and they are constantly given yet another thing with the team logo.... it makes me mad. Why can't he try to give them something THEY like instead of something HE likes?
Men tend to bond over experiences together. So all of those games that your DH and fil watched together were quality time for them. Gift giving is probably FIL's love language, and the team memorabilia is a nostalgic way for him to recall that bond and try to keep it up.

You've already stated your preferences for other things, and he still buys the team stuff. Oh well. If it's just stuff you don't like or understand I don't think it's worth souring the relationship. If it's becoming a hoarding type issue, let him and the kids and DH know they have a certain limit of "team" related items for each category. Like 2 shirts, 1 stuffed animal or figurine, 1 jacket, etc. Let it be known to all that when a new item comes in, the person who is receiving it chooses which old item gets passed on and how (goodwill, eBay, etc.)
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BeccaSueCongdon

Men tend to bond over experiences together. So all of those games that your DH and fil watched together were quality time for them. Gift giving is probably FIL's love language, and the team memorabilia is a nostalgic way for him to recall that bond and try to keep it up.

You've already stated your preferences for other things, and he still buys the team stuff. Oh well. If it's just stuff you don't like or understand I don't think it's worth souring the relationship. If it's becoming a hoarding type issue, let him and the kids and DH know they have a certain limit of "team" related items for each category. Like 2 shirts, 1 stuffed animal or figurine, 1 jacket, etc. Let it be known to all that when a new item comes in, the person who is receiving it chooses which old item gets passed on and how (goodwill, eBay, etc.)
I think this is a great suggestion. Also it may be a hometown thing since you guys have moved away (or your DH has?). All people I know from out of town always seem to rep their home teams by wearing merch even if they aren't huge sports fans. Maybe your FIL sees it like that and wants the kids to "know where they come from" or similar thinking. It is very common for people to equate cities with sports teams.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:10 AM   #14
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

I grew up in a European household where soccer was the end all and be all.. from the very beginning we were exposed to it. First team I joined I was 5 years old. We lived, breathed, and ate soccer haha.. it was the SAME routine. Practice 2 times week, going to watch the local soccer team during the week, 2 team practices a week, watching European league on Saturday mornings over breakfast and games on Sundays. Up until I hurt myself pretty badly at the age of 16. I was left in a wheelchair and 9 months of rehab to walk again. It was then that I realized that it was the ONLY thing my father and I had in common. When I got hurt, his entire attitude and the way he looked at me changed. I was no longer the daughter who would get that soccer scholarship. To this day I feel a tension between us. The doctors said if I tried to get back at it I wouldn't walk by my late 20s. He couldn't take that as an answer and took me to 9 different doctors for opinions. Finally, my mom told him to stop and to let it go because she saw what it was doing to me. To this day our relationship is still awkward and I blame his love of sports for it. I think there is a limit, to push it where it isn't welcome is a bit much. My daughter is 6 months old and he's already bought her a couple jerseys and her "first pair of cleats" and already talks to my husband about which team to sign her up for so she has the best chance at succeeding. It drives me NUTS, and my husband feels the same way. He told him that our daughter will decide what she wants to do when she's old enough to do it. We'll expose her to different things and she can choose. Well, he didn't like that answer at all. Oh well, I just try to drown it out.. it's hard, I totally understand where you are coming from.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:30 AM   #15
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

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I understand not being filled with gratitude and appreciation, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the bolded. He is trying to pass on an aspect of his life that gives him a lot of pleasure. Probably the fact that your DS gets no exposure to sports in his home life motivates your FIL even more. I think you need to put it in perspective...he is spending his own time and money to give gifts. I think you need to try to be sensitive to his feelings and at least not let him know that you are getting rid of the stuff he gives your kids.
I kind of agree with this.

Your FIL enjoys sports and is trying to share his love of sports with his grandkids. Would it be terrible if they picked up an enjoyment of sports from him? Do you and DH want to keep sports out of you'r kids lives?

My parents and in laws like to talk sports with the kids. They don't see them as often as any of us would like, and sports is an easy way to maintain a common ground for skype calls, etc.

Neither DH nor I were big athletes in high school or college. But, we encourage our children to try out a variety of sports to see if there is anything that they enjoy. We do this because it encourages team building, the physical activity is excellent for their health and at least a basic knowledge of a variety of sports will be helpful in helping develop relationships (or at least casual conversation) as adults. We live in major Big 10 country - as in the mood of the whole city depends on the performance of our college football team. I think it is important for the kids to have an appreciation for the football team, if for nothing else than everyone else seems to. That doesn't mean I run out and buy the kids $100 jerseys to wear on Saturdays. But, they are able to walk into their classroom on Mondays knowing how the game went and enough to participate in those conversations that are everywhere.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:38 AM   #16
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

It's like holidays. It's very much commercialized and sensationalized for most team sports in the country. The whole hate between teams and rivalry is absolutely ridiculous even at the high school level. One reason I don't really care for any team sports in the country to begin with nor I'd push DD or future kids to participate in one. If they want to, sure, I'll support them but like other things let them learn respect and of course have fun with it. Not create this image that you always have to win or be ahead of everyone else. We just won't push the issue either...much like religion, politics, etc.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #17
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I don't know if I can let it go..... Part of me wants to, but i really don't think I can. It IS a hoarding issue. And I can't pretend we don't get rid of it because he comes to see us 3 or 4 times a year and it's obvious our house isn't full of MLB merch. It's seriously overboardd. I have gotten rid of boxes of merch and still have a box of $250 or so worth to get rid of. And that's while keeping a stack of towels and some other items, toys shirts and whatnot
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by RainandRedemption
I don't know if I can let it go..... Part of me wants to, but i really don't think I can. It IS a hoarding issue. And I can't pretend we don't get rid of it because he comes to see us 3 or 4 times a year and it's obvious our house isn't full of MLB merch. It's seriously overboardd. I have gotten rid of boxes of merch and still have a box of $250 or so worth to get rid of. And that's while keeping a stack of towels and some other items, toys shirts and whatnot
I don't think you have to pretend. You talk to him. Tell him honestly that you appreciate his generosity and him sharing his passion with the kids, but that all of the actual "stuff" is overwhelming for the house and your plan is to rotate things out when new things come in. You can even find some charity or something the accepts items like these if you look hard enough, right? Just be up front.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #19
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

We get clothing for various sports teams from family members, but not in such copius amounts that it sounds like you are getting. We are not big sports fans, but I will allow my kids to wear the items if they like them. If not, they go in a garage sale or resale shop, or I re-gift them. I would just keep reminding him that these are items that go to waste, and a contribution towards their education may be a better option?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #20
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Re: Men that try to push sports on kids... what do you do?

We are huge a huge sports family--we don't follow a specific team to the point where we get angry but we love watching sports no matter if it is college, pro, sport, or even team.
We will wear any sports team clothes and put any sports team on our children. My 3 and 5 yr old already picked there favorite team but they do not understand fully what that means,

That all being said I am not sure if it is a sports team issue bc I have the same issue with mil when it comes to EVERYTHING else. She just sends a crazy amount of things in the mail. We are fortunate bc they visit yearly or bi-yearly and she can not possible remember everything we bought them.

My tips--get rid of things your children or you do not want. Rotate things in and out of what you think they can wear or do like. Keep a couple of things that may mean a little more. And when fil visits-let him know or make it a point that you rotate things in and out so the children do not get bored of things and to keep things excited.
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