Gift for Adult Stepchild Who Never Visits?

December 11, 2021

Step child, age 31, always makes up excuses why she can't come to family events. She posted a comment on Facebook that she would not be celebrating Christmas this year to let her family know. However, she does go over to other places to have dinner, etc. with other people if her mother goes. They live together. We rarely see her.


Should I continue to send her gifts? She has 2 brothers, age 28 and 29, who do have contact with us and we get them gifts but they don't for us.


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December 31, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Now that Christmas is over and all the gift pressure is off. Maybe it is time to sort out the roots of the situation and work to find a happy resolution for all in the future.

Usually questions like this the gift giving ask here are just the surface of a complex situation where multiple hurt people are hurting people. You are hurt about her behavior. She is obviously hurt about something that she rejects family...and the cycle of hurt people hurting people is off and running.

This cycle will continue until someone says STOP and tries to heal the hurts so that happy or content people can bring happiness or contentment to those around them.


Can you all gather and calmly talk about things in a quiet and honest way? If not, can you bring in a neutral 3rd party like a therapist or a priest or other religious person to help keep it calm?

Everyone has expectations of how the other person should act or behave and that is what gets us into trouble every time when the other person doesn't live up to our expectations.

We forget that just like us the other person has expectations too. Maybe get those all those expectations out on the table so you can walk in each others shoes for a few minutes and then try to resolve or work through why everyone is hurt. It could be the best thing that ever happens to the family.

Sadly I know from experience that most people won't go through this exercise because it is easier just to let the cycle continue and wear the mantle of hurt person like a badge of honor. That makes me very sad when it happens.


So if nothing is going to change then the gift giving is the only issue...and to my best thoughts on how to guide people are to remember that a gift is something to be given out of love and kindness and from the heart. There should be no strings and no conditions just lovingkindness. There should be no expectation of a return gift or even a thank you. You give period.

If a gift can't be given with that mindset and no expectations then don't give anything. Otherwise the gift becomes a weapon and that just is not cool.

Your family will be in my prayers that you can find healing and a middle ground so the hurts move to the background and can be replaced by lovingkindness. Kindness is free!! Share it wildly and with great joy!

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December 20, 20210 found this helpful

Why get her a gift? You aren't obligated especially for someone who isn't a child. If your husband (the father) wants to get her something leave it to him.

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December 29, 20210 found this helpful

Perhaps you will not like my answer, but I believe that you do not give complete information. You write that your stepdaughter is 31 years old, paying attention that she is already an adult, but you don't write how old she was when her father left her mother;


what was his departure from the family (people do not always part with kindness, and do not always think about the feelings of their children).
You write that you rarely see her, in my opinion this is a clear sign that you did not manage to build good relations with her.
I also feel condemnation and resentment against your stepdaughter in your text and I don't like it.
Agree that in this situation, your stepdaughter, if I may say so, lost (lost a complete family, lost some of her father's attention), and you gained (your husband, I hope good husband).
Don't use her brothers as an example. All people are different. Perhaps it is still very painful for her. Why don't you think about how much she worried about her father's departure from her mother, that perhaps she heard a lot of bad things from her mother about her father and about you (adults are often selfish in such situations)? Perhaps these family events are now very painful for her.

It is not that simple.
But for some reason it seems to me that you are older than your stepdaughter, you should have more wisdom and magnanimity. I hope that you do not draw your husband's attention to such behavior of her daughter.
Yes, she is 31, she already had enough worries about the departure of her father from the family, and who knows how her life will turn out further.
Be kind and buy her a gift from the heart, and do not expect something in return.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
December 29, 20210 found this helpful

Maybe something is bothering her. Have you spoke to her about this? You could gift if you wish, if not it's up to you as well. Just don't expect anything in return is all.

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December 31, 20210 found this helpful

A girl who grew up without a father runs the risk of building her family life according to her mother's model. One of the reasons for this is the absence in her life of an example of a harmonious relationship between a man and a woman. In addition, if the mother does not hide her resentment against her father from her daughter and tells her in detail about her claims against him, then it is highly likely that, in the girl's mind, all men will be scoundrels. This gives rise to fear and distrust of the male sex. But at the same time, childhood experiences of parental divorce can help a girl become stronger, more circumspect, and more independent.


This is possible only if the mother does not criticise the father, whatever he may be, but teaches the daughter to perceive men as they are, with their strength and weakness, not idealising, but also not belittling male dignity. Then the daughter will grow up to be a strong woman, capable of creating a normal family.

It should only be your decision to buy her a gift or not. I don't like it when people give gifts just because they have to. But if I were in your place, I would buy a gift.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 31, 20210 found this helpful

She is clearly telling you that you are not important to her. I would cut out the gifts and just send a card.

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