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To think that I may be the responsible adult, but it does not mean that I should be teaching and mothering him?

(33 Posts)
PrettyCandles Mon 11-Jul-11 22:31:09

Dh and I disagree.

We have a lovely teenage Canadian staying with us for a few weeks ATM. His spending money is burning a hole in his pocket, he has already spent what he saved up for this trip, and has persuaded his parents to send some more. Dh is annoyed that I withdrew it all for him in one go. Dh says that it was the perfect opportunity for the boy to learn to wait and to work out how he wanted to spend his money. It should have been an opportunity to do something non-shopping-related - ie cultural - with him. Dh is also worried that at the boy's current rate of spending, he will have nothing left well before the end of the holiday. As the responsible adult it is my job to look after the boy, and dh thinks I have not done this.

IMO it is not my job to teach him. I is my job to look after him and help him enjoy his visit. If what he enjoys is spending money, and his parents have no objection, then I don't see why I should push culture on him. As for learning opportunities, if his parents don't feel the need to reinforce the concept of a budget, why should I?

InTheNightKitchen Mon 11-Jul-11 22:32:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlabamaWorley Mon 11-Jul-11 22:32:58

I agree with you. For a short-term thing, it's fine.

allosaurusrex Mon 11-Jul-11 22:34:27

Depends on his age. Under 16 then I'd say YABU, over 16 then maybe not so much. But like it or not if he's under 18 and you're looking after him then you are in loco parentis and take on the responsibility of guiding him.

Hassled Mon 11-Jul-11 22:34:43

I think I agree with you. He's a guest, not a surrogate child. You could maybe have a friendly chat re making sure he has enough money left for event X or outing Y, but otherwise leave it.

PrettyCandles Mon 11-Jul-11 23:53:00

Dh does consider himself the responsible adult, too, but in this case I acted without him, therefore I am the relevant responsible adult.

I don't see why the boy's precise age is relevant. He is still at school, but if he is old enough to earn his spending money, he is surely old enough to decide how to spend it.

squeakytoy Mon 11-Jul-11 23:54:40

Have you spoken to his parents? I would, and would make sure that if he runs out of money, they are happy to keep providing him with more.

Glitterknickaz Mon 11-Jul-11 23:55:00

how much longer has the stay got to go?

MumblingRagDoll Mon 11-Jul-11 23:55:07

You are correct. You did right in withdrawing his money. It's not yours to withold is it?

MumblingRagDoll Mon 11-Jul-11 23:55:47

What is he spending it on? Not junk food or anything?

Goblinchild Mon 11-Jul-11 23:58:09

Did his parents put you in charge of his spending money? If not, why did you have to withdraw it for him?
What will you do if he runs out of funds and his parents don't send him any more? Will you fund him, or will he have to hang around the house being bored?
I think his age is relevant, as the older you are the more responsible for your own budgeting you can be, with some support. So I think your DH is being more responsible to this child in your care than you are.
Why not let him take over?

squeakytoy Mon 11-Jul-11 23:59:34

Depending on how young he is, he may also be fairly clueless about the exchange rate too...

MumblingRagDoll Mon 11-Jul-11 23:59:45

Sounds to me like they depsotied emrgency funds in their account Goblin which wasn't planned...but he spent all he had. If the kid runs out then his parents will have to cough up again won't they?

MumblingRagDoll Tue 12-Jul-11 00:00:44

When I say "Their account" I mean the OPs.

squeaky has a he fully understanding the exchange? And what is he spending it all on?

Goblinchild Tue 12-Jul-11 00:03:22

Well, let's see how good the Op is at entertaining a teenager and helping him enjoy his visit with no funding.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 12-Jul-11 00:07:08

Well she won't have to by the sound of it....his parents will cough up.

PrettyCandles Tue 12-Jul-11 00:38:30

He understands the exchange rate, and which gadgets will work 'at home', better than I do. He doesn't buy anything problematic, he just buys a lot.

When - if! - the money runs out, he will not mope around at home, bored. We've already been on some non-shopping outings, we will simply go on some more. He's a lovely, good-natured guy, and was not grumpy or difficult while he had no funds. Though I did have to emphasise to him the importance of keeping back an emergency fund of dollars for his return trip. Which he seems to have accepted. But that's as far as I choose to go: it relates to his safety, therefore it is my responsibility.

Part of the fun of travel is making your own choices, being away from your parents' sphere of influence. If I start exerting control over his choices, it may cost his parents less, but then they did not have to send him more money! Personally, had this been my dc on a visit, I would not have transferred more money to them. But approving or disapproving of what his parents are teaching him about money is not my business.

L8rAllig8r Tue 12-Jul-11 00:49:54

You've obviously already decided YANBU, why bother to ask?

Goodynuff Tue 12-Jul-11 00:54:02

Speaking as a Canadian who is constantly amazed at how cheap everything seems to be over there, he probably feels like he is at a super sale! grin
I bet this is a trip of a lifetime for him, and it is easy to get carried away. I'm sure running out of cash was a wake up for him, and he will be more careful from here on out.

PrettyCandles Tue 12-Jul-11 01:29:55

Actually, I was surprised that he considers things cheap, and thought at first that he had got the exchange rate wrong. Is Canada economically so different to America, where everything seems to be cheaper than in England?

He does ask me whether certain prospective purchases are good value for money, and often asks my opinion of some of the clothes he is interested in. The first is a genuine request for advice, the second I think is simple courtesy - what 15yo genuinely wants a 45yo's fashion opinion!? grin.

Goodynuff Tue 12-Jul-11 01:42:38

I just took a look at a curency converter, so that I was comparing apples to apples, iyswim? We spend 500$ a month on groceries (not counting cleaning supplies and toiletries) it comes to 325 pounds. Clothing seems to be priced differently too, a cheap wal-mart t shirt would work out to 6.5 pounds. My Nan just came back from a month in England, and couldn't believe how little clothing and food cost.
Our dollar is at parity with the american dollar, but our prices are a fair bit higher sad

Goodynuff Tue 12-Jul-11 01:43:23

And I am very careful with the grocery money, and mostly cook from scratch

RosieMapleLeaf Tue 12-Jul-11 01:54:01

I have heard from a few different people that, with the exception of petrol and housing, the cost of living in the UK is now much cheaper than in Canada.

Jacksmania Tue 12-Jul-11 05:36:07

I wouldn't doubt it. I live close to a U.S. border and frequently make trips across the line for certain groceries and types of clothing and to fill up the car. It really grates my carrot how much cheaper mist things are and how much better the selection can be (at least for clothing). sad

Jacksmania Tue 12-Jul-11 05:37:11

To clarify, I live in Canada, close to one of the U.S. borders...

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