Do I give them the baby gift?

Do I give them the baby gift?

Bought a baby gift for my teen daughter's boyfriend's brother and wife ie; the mom's son and told the mom I had done so. After a long history of dating and us parents sharing a wonderful friendship, the boy broke up with my daughter not only over the phone, but the night before high school finals week started. Of course we were very close to the parents of the boy.

We are deeply deeply shocked hurt by the lack of compassion of the nature of the break up after such a long dating history...over 2 years. We feel it should have been face to face and could have waited until finals were over. We feel like we have also lost our good friends. The mom is very defensive of her son and really doesn't know what to say. Mind you the boy was caught in a lie and my daughter confronted him... he denied it and went off on her, hence the break up. Since I already told the mom that I had the gift to give to her son and daughter-in-law...do I give it to them? I just don't know what proper etiquette is here....


May 30, 2011
Should you give the gift or not?
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

This is a difficult situation. Obviously, you must be defensive of your daughter just like the other parents are being defensive of their son (regardless of who is right or wrong). However, there is the added layer of complexity since you have an existing relationship with the parents. So, how do you juggle it? The truth of this situation is that your problem goes much deeper than whether you should give the gift or not.

The larger question is: Will you maintain your friendship with the parents in spite of the breakup? The reason why this becomes an issue is how will your daughter feel if you maintain that relationship? Will she feel like you are taking their side on the situation and not supporting her?

Regardless of the "etiquette" of the situation, you need to be sensitive to your daughter and her needs right now. She just lost her boyfriend and you do not want her to feel like she is losing her parents too because they are friends with the lost boyfriend's family. Your relationship with your daughter is too important and you do not want her to feel alienated.

The right thing to do is to sit down and have a conversation with your daughter and ask her how she feels about you continuing to have a relationship with the parents. She must approve of it. Why? Because this is one of those times as a parent when you show your undying support to her even if it means losing a friend.

As far as the gift goes, I would still give it. It is a nice gesture regardless of what happens with the relationship. If things are awkward with everyone, you could always just ship the present to them to make it more comfortable if that is an issue.

The whole point here is to show you love, concern, and support for your daughter. If it was a two year relationship that was just lost, she is going to have some emotional wounds that need some care right now.

Good luck!

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