What Do You Think of Giving Presents to All the Kids on a Sibling’s Birthday?

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(Via Giphy)

Birthdays are pretty exciting. There’s cake, and decorations, and everyone makes a fuss over you, and usually you get presents. And apparently for some kids, a sibling’s birthday means they get presents too.

“It’s difficult for little ones when another child’s getting all the attention. I think it’s too harsh to expect them to watch their siblings opening lots of presents when they have nothing,” said U.K. mom Francesca De Franco to the Daily Mail of her decision to get presents for all  three of her children whenever one of them has a birthday.

“We don’t spend lots of money – about £40 on each child who isn’t celebrating a birthday,” De Franco said. “My mother-in-law and my brother also buy presents for the girls to open on their sister’s birthday. They probably spend £30 each.”

£40 is about $53 right now, and £30 is about $40. So each of De Franco’s four-year-old twins is getting approximately $130 worth of presents whenever her older sister has a birthday, and she gets about the same when their birthday rolls around. This isn’t even that uncommon, apparently. De Franco must be up to her ears in

This seems odd to me. Not odd like, “OMG, society is crumbling to the ground and all children will grow up to be Pokemon-addled entitled Finance Bros who don’t do laundry!” But definitely odd in a, “I was pretty darn spoiled as a kid, and I never got presents on my sister’s birthday, and she didn’t get them on mine. Somehow we survived.” sort of way.

Of course, anything that’s a little different is ripe for hand-wringing, and The Daily Mail found child psychologists willing to say this was a sign of parents failing to set boundaries, spoiling children, and preventing them from learning to deal with the disappointments of life. (All that sounds a lot like the same things people are always saying about participation trophies.) Another suggested that it was unfair to the birthday kid, because it made their birthday less special. Somehow, I think the kid with the big pile of toys will survive watching another kid get a smaller toy on “their” big day.

De Franco says her family’s “unbirthday presents” are just a continuation of a family tradition practiced when she was a kid. That makes sense, and if it works for her and she can afford it, that’s great. But it doesn’t seem “too harsh” to me to expect a 4-year-old to watch her sister open presents without getting upset about just getting to eat cake and play games and do all the other cool things that tend to go along with a sibling’s birthday.

Is this something you do? How is it working for you?