DS1 (18) and a weekend away with GF's family

(32 Posts)
OneHandFlapping Wed 11-Apr-12 08:29:30

DS1 was fortunate enough to be invited away for the weekend to his GF's family's holiday house. He was wined and dine royally, with meals out and trips to cafes etc.

Initially I thought I should just let him get on with it, given that he is now over 18 (although still at school), I didn't get a say in whether he went, and he is supposed to finance his own leisure time.

Now I'm feeling guilty, as they have spent money on him, plus they took 2 cars down, so have spent extra on petrol.

Should I make an offer of money? There is no way DS1 would want to finance this himself, nor can I reciprocate.

I feel we are caught in a sort of limbo between childhood and adulthood here.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 11-Apr-12 08:39:26

I think it's probably a bit late now. Did he take any contribution of wine or other offering?

Trust that he was sufficiently generous with his own money to make the family realise he's not a freeloader. He would have paid for some cafe trips etc, wouldn't he?

duchesse Wed 11-Apr-12 08:44:08

Don't feel too guilty- they were probably giving him the once-over as their daughter's BF!

You could make an offer of money to the other parents but the chances are they will turn it down. And of course you don't have to reciprocate like for like! Just allow the girl to join you on what you do- even if it's something as simple as a walk in the forest. It's being included that matters, rather than what is actually spent.

My friend was in that girl's mother's situation a few weeks ago. It helps that the boy in question is delightful, respectful of her daughter, kind and thoughtful. If he were not she would not have extended the same level of hospitality.

Theas18 Wed 11-Apr-12 08:50:22

I'm with duchesse. I have an 18yr old DD. If she/we wanted her boyf to join us on a weekend away that would be lovely but I wouldn't expect any contribution- a bottle of wine or something would be kind but beyond that no. It's welcoming them as a part of the family, and yes, casting a parental eye!

'twould be the same if it was DS girlfriend.

Don't worry about not being in the same financial position- this was me 20+ yrs ago visiting DH family. THey are much better off than mine and v generous. It has never been an issue.

OneHandFlapping Wed 11-Apr-12 09:01:31

He took a bottle of (our) wine as a token offering. I can't imagine he would have had the savoir faire to offer to pay for a cafe trip. He might be too used to being treated like a child.

I will quiz him further when he gets up.

I must admit that if I'd invited one of the kids' friends on a trip with us, I'd only expect an offering for substantial additional costs, such as air flights.

meditrina Wed 11-Apr-12 09:05:57

Yes, you need to quiz him.

This weekend might be a lost opportunity, but he's probably seen more of what you do than you realise, and you will be pleasantly surprised to fine he took booze, offered petrol money, stood a round, fetched the Sunday papers at his own expense, washed up and remembered to say thank you!

PurplePidjin Wed 11-Apr-12 09:06:06

If he was 13 and they took him to the cinema, would you go round and offer petrol money etc?

Extrapolate from there. They made their adult daughter happy by including her dp. If money were an issue, the invite wouldn't have been extended.

FallenCaryatid Wed 11-Apr-12 09:06:11

'He might be too used to being treated like a child.'

The fact that it bothers you is also a flag to start helping him develop some of the skills he's going to need as an adult. How much cash did he go with, and is he courteous and aware of when others are doing things for him?
Will he have offered to do washing up, be helpful in other ways, offered to pay for a snack or a coffee?
I agree that he was being weighed up as the boyfriend. smile Let's hope he passed with distinction.

MsNorbury Wed 11-Apr-12 09:06:49

No! Send him round with some flowers.

FallenCaryatid Wed 11-Apr-12 09:07:19

x-post, meditrina. It is how I judge my children's friends, not their money but their manners.

meditrina Wed 11-Apr-12 09:09:45

I think he was definitely being assessed! Fallencaryatid I think you're right: the key things are friendliness, willingness to fit in and join in, and general manners.

OP: you'll know if he passed if he is invited again!

seeker Wed 11-Apr-12 09:11:24

18? He should certainly have offered petrol money, and offered to pay for stuff "Shall (gf) and I pop to the shop and get stuff for lunch? Anything else we need?" that sort of thing.

I wouldn't expect him to pick up the tab in a restaurant, but certainly for coffee and cakes, or a round of drinks or something.

And a thank you note would go down very well, I expect too!

Theas18 Wed 11-Apr-12 09:14:42

As the parent I wouldn't have organised a trip I couldn't afford that included my DDs boyf. I'd expect to pick up the meal tabs, drinks in the pub etc.

Assuming he's a student or similar all that would be expected would be that he'd be kind and polite- fitting in as one of my teens- yes washing up/clearing the table making tea. Beyond that I wouldn't want to take his money. He could save it to take DD out to the cinema or something.

I really don't see it as being different to taking a young teen mate out with my 12yr old DD. Am I getting this wrong?

seeker Wed 11-Apr-12 09:17:29

It's not whether or not you would take it (obviously you wouldn't accept anything really expensive, like a meal for everyone), but he should offer. And as the host you should do him the courtesy of letting him contribute. Otherwise you're treating him like a child.

MsNorbury Wed 11-Apr-12 09:21:57

If a kid offered me petrol money of laugh (quietly!)

MsNorbury Wed 11-Apr-12 09:22:05

I'd.

I agree flowers and a thank you note would be a nice gesture.

mrswoodentop Wed 11-Apr-12 09:30:12

I'd agree with Thea,if I asked someone for a weekend away I would expect to cover the petrol as we were going anyway,I certainly wouldn't expect an18 year old who is still in full time school to offer petrol money or pay for the whole family when out.Might expect him to gave paid for my daughter if they went out on their own

seeker Wed 11-Apr-12 09:30:18

So at what age do you think a person should start offering to pay their way?

TheSecondComing Wed 11-Apr-12 09:31:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FallenCaryatid Wed 11-Apr-12 09:34:32

I think if they are going out as a teenager, they should offer. Whether the adult chooses to accept or not is another matter, but the offer should be made.
That's why I used to send my DD with enough cash when she was younger, if she didn't use it she gave it back to me.
DS is a different case, he has never been out on a social trip with other adults not family, but now his college mates tend to go out in pairs or groups and the expectation is that you pay your way. Or freeload and then pay back next time!

seeker Wed 11-Apr-12 09:37:36

My ds is 11, and regularly goes on days out with his friend, who is an only child. I always make sure he has enough money to buy everyone an ice cream - it makes him feel very grown up.

MsNorbury Wed 11-Apr-12 09:42:48

When they earn

FallenCaryatid Wed 11-Apr-12 09:45:48

So you don't fund your children for days out MrsN?
As long as the adults taking them are aware of this, it probably won't cause any problems, but there is the possibility that it would be seen as rude and freeloading, and that would impact on a future friendship.

FallenCaryatid Wed 11-Apr-12 09:46:49

Apologies, MsN

seeker Wed 11-Apr-12 09:47:51

I'm puzzled by this. Are you saying that if your child is invited out by another family to anything, you don't offer to pay for them? Really?

supernannyisace Wed 11-Apr-12 09:50:00

I wouldn't have offered £ for petrol or board - but I would expect the guest to write a thank you card - and send flowers or another appropriate gift afterwards?

I don't know your DS - but would hethink to do that? give him a nudge - will put your mind at rest and show the GF family that he is from a decent background grin.

I try and get our boys to think about offering to pay now and again - just drinks in a bar on hols or whatever - and to be fair - now and again my DS does offer.

It is important to realise that mum and dad don't pay for everything forever.

Hulababy Wed 11-Apr-12 09:56:24

I'd still see an 18y boyfriend of my 18y daughter (some way in future for us luckily) as a "kid" tbh, albeit an older one. Presumably they both live at home, and I bet the parents still see their daughter as a child in many ways too.

I'd not expect the boyfriend to contribute and if they did offer I would say thank you, but it's fine. TBH though I wouldn't expect a dependent person (and I am assuming the 18y boyfriend is still at home, maybe in sixth form?) to offer big expenses.

I think once they are living outside the family home and earning a proper wage it is different.

A bottle of wine, some flowers or chocolate, and a thank you is all that is needed I think.

Hulababy Wed 11-Apr-12 09:59:16

Seeker - yes, I do offer if someone takes DD out. For example, I have just had a text inviting my 10y DD out to lunch and the cinema with one of her school friends net week. I have said yes. I have not offered to pay as yet, but I will send her with a purse and mpney for sweets, and when DH drops her off her will offer to give the mum money for lunch/cinema. however, ime, it will not be accepted. But we will offer.

Likewise whenever we have taken any of DD's friends out for the day or for a meal with us we have always paid, and not accepted money from them or their parents.

chenin Wed 11-Apr-12 10:09:25

I have taken friends of DDs' away on holiday abroad and to be honest I would expect some sort of contribution but this has tended to be prior to them being 18. (It happened a few times at age 15, 16 etc.) For a weekend in this country, I wouldn't expect anything except an offer of paying for a drink etc (which I would turn down) but a week away with another child is expensive for meals out and suchlike.

When this has happened in the past, the Mum has got in touch with me and given me an amount to cover a meal or two etc and then the child takes their own spending money for a drink out with DD etc.

OneHandFlapping Wed 11-Apr-12 11:45:45

DS says that he didn't offer to pay for anything, but there were 10 people there (older sister had BF there, who also didn't pay for anything, despite being late 20s) and even coffee for everyone would have been v.pricey.

He will take flowers and thank you card. TBH, I thought they would be left to their own devices more before he went away (and I was seething too much over the fact that he has done NO A level revision to discuss this rationally).

Thanks for advice.

MsNorbury Wed 11-Apr-12 12:53:10

Yes but not petrol FFs.
Id send Ice cream
Money when they were small

Or a thank you gift of older. They're going anyway. Petrol money is almost insulting.

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