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to be so glad that my friend's daughter is going home tomorrow?

(163 Posts)
duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:08:36

12, nearly 13 yo daughter of (French) school mate (hadn't seen her for about 15 years until last year though) has been here two weeks.

Over the last 2 weeks, she has:

-snacked constantly (her mum tells me she doesn't eat much when I express surprise that such a slender girl needs to eat every 30 mn or she basically keels over), helped herself to biscuits, crisps, bread, etc without asking although I made it clear when she arrived that only fruit was available between meals (same rule for everyone in this house);

-used the home phone to phone her parents about 3-4 times a day without asking permission,

-got her parents to ring up and get me to log her into the internet she could go on Facebook, got her mother to sanction 2-3 hours of FB and internet a day (which I consider crazy especially at her age), sent her here with a Blackberry on which she's been texting her friends constantly,

-basically refused to do the same chores as the other children in this house -ie lay and clear the table after one meal every 5 days

-demanded inappropriate food at random intervals (ie ice cream when none was on offer, fish and chips, repeatedly)

-continually made negative remarks about everything- took her to a concert at DD's school, all the performers were crap apparently (she plays in the conservatoire so obv vastly superior), sneering at children having pizza at 4:30 in a pizzeria

-rung her parents to complain that my DD is not treating her right- apparently replying "thank you" when someone compliments your nail polish is not the right thing to say.

Can you tell she's been driving me fecking nuts over the last two weeks?

1 week and 6 days she appeared to suddenly relax and calm down a lot- if she'd stayed a couple more weeks she'd have been fine. As it is I'm just overjoyed to be shot of her and more specifically her parents and their bizarre demands that their daughter be treated differently from my children and other foreign student (and seriously my little Spanish girl's parents are fine about us and on their third child with us and she's coming back for the autumn term).

My personal feeling is that her mother has become seriously unhinged and that the child is just expressing the pressures on her in her daily life. I actually think her mother is either deluded or lying about the food thing and worry that the child may have a health problem although tbh she could just be growing very fast. Either that or her mother starves her at home and she's eating while she can.

lisad123 Wed 06-Jul-11 00:12:56

why did you agree to it?

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:14:12

If only fruit is available between meals then why are their crisps and biscuits in the house?

Unless they form part of regular meals.

I think YABU a bit...12 is young to be away...they eat a LOT and she may have needed comforting.

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:14:30

She seemed fine in her home environment! Perfectly charming, well-behaved etc.

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:16:33

The biscuits were basically left overs from revision food, and some bought specifically for walks on the moor. Crisps are ones we have for appetisers when people come (kettle chip type ones)

Rhinestone Wed 06-Jul-11 00:17:36

Sounds like she's homesick and tbh, you don't sound very welcoming. And no food between meals except fruit? What if someone's hungry FFS? Sounds liek you're the one with food issues.

I would be interested to hear her side of the story.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:20:39

Agree that it's bloody miserable not to offer teenagers some nice snacks...especially foreign ones who might be feeling homesick.

Who keeps crisps aside for visitors!? Also..what on earth is "revision food"??

A1980 Wed 06-Jul-11 00:21:19

I would have lost my temper with her and packed her back to France early.

That behaviour is inexcuseable at nearly 13.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:22:51

It's not sounds like a kid who'se not having any fun!

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:23:04

For the record, the reason most French people are so slender is precisely because they don't snack between meals! Her mother told me today that she never snacked and wouldn't be expected to at home- as I said, I was worried about the volume of her food intake vs her size- quite disproportionate- I only mentioned it to her mum because I worried she might have a health problem- she's been eating as much as my 18 yo son at meals plus all those snacks and she is really really slender!! And I am perfectly welcoming, thank you very much- how you can gauge from what I've just said I really don't know. Have had many foreign students, quite a few even younger, never had any problems like this at all.

Rhinestone Wed 06-Jul-11 00:24:11

My mind is actually boggling as we speak that anyone would restrict the right of their family members to eat some food when they choose if they are hungry.

That is really rather weird OP. Are there allotted times for going to the loo too?

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:25:07

"revision food"- you'll find that one out when yours go through GCSEs and A levels.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:26:10

you seem overly concerned with the child's weight...what is it to you? You got paid didn't you?

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:26:39

Rhinestone- In this family we have this innovative concept, called "mealtimes". We all sit down together regularly (about three times a day actually) and actually share food- quite a lot of it. You should try it, seriously- it's rather a nice time to talk.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:26:45

So they only get biscuits when they're revising? confused

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:28:01

We sit down three times a day too...but we also have more than ruit available between meals...sometimes people don't want to eat much at a then they may want a sandwich or a snack...or they just fancy a packet of crisps!

A1980 Wed 06-Jul-11 00:28:54

Using the phone without permission, 2-3 hours of internet a day......?! Seering at everything?!

That is inexuseable. She's nearly 13 not 3. She shouldn't have come for so long in that case. 2 weeks is a long time and she cannot expect fun and games, day in day out, it's just too much to ask.

BTW my mother would never have let me snack constantly on biscuits, bread and crisps throughout the day either.

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:29:15

No I did not get paid. But that is not the point. Would you not even be slightly worried if you had a child in front of you who needed to eat so often yet was still so thin? Even my lovely neighbour wondered if she might have a tape worm or somesuch, and thought I should mention it to the mum- which I really didn't want to but thought I ought to.

Rhinestone Wed 06-Jul-11 00:30:02

Wow, you must have a nice view up there on your high horse.

Amazingly we have 'mealtimes' in this family too. But we also throw caution to the wind and eat and talk to each other any old time we fucking feel like it because this is not North Korea.

No wonder the poor girl is ringing her parents several times a day, you don't sound much fun to live with.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:32:48

No I wouldn't worry....I know a few kids who eat like horses and are skinny own DD who is almost 7 is a massive eater...she eats three meals and is always hngry...literally every thirty minutes to an hour she is eeding something. Very fast metabolism and very active.

She sounds like she was unhappy...some kids act up...sneering isn't nice of course...but all kids act differently when unhappy.

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:33:25

Yup, they only get biscuits when they're revising. Serious history of heart disease on one side of their family and I do not wish for them to start adulthood with furred-up arteries.

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 00:34:59

Perhaps the wrry of the heart diseases has made you more careful/anxious than most people? It's not unusual...nor THAT bad (for most people) to have a couple of biscuits!

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:36:27

And for the record sandwiches are on also offer between meals if serious hunger strikes (but not literally as supper is being served up).

lisad123 Wed 06-Jul-11 00:37:41

We have the no snacks unless fruit here too. Sorry but if I had open cupboards my two would only ever eat crisps and biscuits and not their meals that I prepare!!
She sounds like she was home sick to me, poor girl but also that she was behaving like a pain too. We had afrench student when I have at home and he ate loads and really took advantage of my parents sad

duchesse Wed 06-Jul-11 00:48:07

tbh lisa, no she hasn't behaved all that well but she is a 12 yo kid far from home, so an understandable reaction. It's her parents I have a beef with- without their constant long-distance micro-management she would probably have settled a lot faster. I really don't appreciate being told from afar how to run my house tbh, nor do I feel that her parents' requests for her to be treated differently from the rest of the children here have helped her at all. For example they would ask her if she wanted to do something, she would say no as she was busy chatting to her friends on FB. If they hadn't licensed her to be on FB so much, she could have spent that talking English and interacting with the other girls.

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