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to ask how to tactfully tackle this with my stepson

(28 Posts)
slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:07:22

Ok - he is not officially my stepson as his dad and I aren't married (before I get flamed!).

My OH is in the forces and away for 4 months his 16 Yr old DS still wanted to come and stay for 2 wks which I thought was lovely. Paid for him to fly down everyone all excited he's gets on really well with my 3 (14, 12, 10) and it's all great.

Thing is he has come with about £50 spending money which is seriously burning a hole in his pocket and we are doing days out etc and he's buying things for himself left right and centre and I cannot afford/do not wish to buy for my DC. I went to get us all a sandwich for lunch earlier and he was going to go and get himself a KFC, I stopped him but he's bought loads of sweets and crap (I think at the airport) and didn't eat his dinner last night so he isn't having the greatest diet (I know it's only 2 wks but still).

He also paid for himself to have a go on those rip off water ball things in town today while my kids stood and watched.

How do I tackle this he is being brought up in a household where he is the only child - I don't want to upset him but I don't feel the situation is very equal or fair on all 4 children!!!!

Tanif Tue 16-Aug-11 15:09:36

You can't decide how he spends his money unfortunately. It would be the same if he lived with you and had a part time job. On the plus side, it sounds like he'll soon be skint and then he'll have to do/have what everyone else does.

milkshakejake Tue 16-Aug-11 15:10:14

well, he will have burned through the £50 in no time, won't he?

Can you explain to your children that he has 'holiday spending money' and once it's gone, it's gone. Makes it difficult for you though, I admit.

itisnearlysummer Tue 16-Aug-11 15:11:03

I don't think you can decide what he spends his money on. However, at 16 I would probably have a 'grown up to grown up' chat with him about how it makes your children feel when he does this.

That way he may be more aware of their feelings and modify his behaviour as a result. Nothing wrong in being considerate.

But I don't think you can tell him what to do.

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:12:43

No I don't want to tell him what to do and I want him to have a good time with us - it is really awkward ESP as his dad isn't here this time.

DamselInDisarray Tue 16-Aug-11 15:15:44

I can't imagine this'll be a problem throughout the 2 weeks. £50 doesn't stretch that far when you start buying yourself fast food and zorb-thingy rides. Soon he'll be skint and all will be back to normal.

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:17:58

So maybe encourage the spending in order to speed the process up?! grin

TheMonster Tue 16-Aug-11 15:19:53

He can't have much left already, surely. It'll soon be gone, and then he can watch your kids have fun.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 16-Aug-11 15:20:42

I suggest that you get to buy any small gift(s) he wants to take back to his dm asap because his £50 is unlikely to last more than a few days.

As for buying sandwiches for 5 when you are out - get the makings and put your happy brood in charge of organising lunch so that you'll have more cash to bail dss out when he's penniless to spend on treats for everyone occasionally and send him home with a special momento of his stay.

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:24:54

I just hate seeing kids left out or not have them all treated equally, I always treat him (and his half siblings) the same as if he were my own. I know this can't always be and it's difficult when although he is lovely and a great kid materially he is v spoilt (OH is just as bad as he feels guilty for being away and over compensates with money/goods hmm), whereas my 3 are used to things being split 3 ways and know there are limited funds.

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:25:32

I just hate seeing kids left out or not have them all treated equally, I always treat him (and his half siblings) the same as if he were my own. I know this can't always be and it's difficult when although he is lovely and a great kid materially he is v spoilt (OH is just as bad as he feels guilty for being away and over compensates with money/goods hmm), whereas my 3 are used to things being split 3 ways and know there are limited funds.

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:26:44

Whoops!! I don't normally buy sandwiches btw.... blush

choclatelickurs Tue 16-Aug-11 15:31:29

give the poor sod a break

he is on his holidays

i remember when we used to visit Inlaws in Cyprus and i wanted to eat out, have treats etc cos we were on our hols, and inlaws insisted on eating at home, taking sandwiches etc - put a big dampner on it

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:35:14

It's a money thing though I am not trying to be a killjoy. There was no way he was going for a KFC while we had sandwiches, I thought that in itself was a treat shock.

piprabbit Tue 16-Aug-11 15:36:16

It's his money (he's old enough to be earning/voting etc. so old enough to be able to manage his own money in theory).

All you can do is give a very subtle reminder that the money needs to last all holiday, and is he planning to buy any gifts for people at home?

What rules do you have for your DCs pocket money? Do you have any rules about how they spend/save it?

yoshiLunk Tue 16-Aug-11 15:36:30

First of all how lovely of you and for him to have him stay when he knows his Dad can't be there [pat on the back emoticon].

I agree that the money isn't going to last much longer at this rate, however I still think I would have a quiet grown up chat with him along the lines of 'it's great that you've brought some money with you but there's really no need to go spending like this, and the younger ones are used to not having a load of treats and sharing what they do have'

Whilst I kind of agree with others that you can't tell him how to spend his money I think this gets overridden by the fact he is in your care for this time, - I do think at 16 he really should know to share 'sweets and crap' .

Rhinestone Tue 16-Aug-11 15:39:20

Well you obviously have a great relationship as he wouldn't want to come and stay otherwise. I think you should keep quiet - anything you say risks harming your relationship and as other posters have said, the poor kid is on his holidays so why shouldn't he spend his money.

Plus, have you considered that he's at that age when he wants to act like an adult but gets it wrong slightly? I.e. he's trying (in a nice way) to impress his younger half-siblings with how grown up he is and how he can now decide what he spends his money on but isn't really getting the implications of splashing his cash about?

I think a bit of understanding from you will go a very long way right now.

cjbartlett Tue 16-Aug-11 15:39:57

But it's his spending money , why should he spend it on your kids? His 16 not 26 fgs

deepheat Tue 16-Aug-11 15:44:48

If he's 16, why not just chat to him about it? Explain that you respect it is his holiday and that its great he's giving himself the odd jolly but you'd be really grateful if he could think about how it could make the others feel. It sounds like you have a decent relationship with him and at 16, he'll probably appreciate you talking to him like an adult. Maybe you're making this a bigger thing in your head than it really needs to be? You can also explain to your kids that he is on holiday and so he has special money for things like this.

Last point is that although you may try and treat your kids equally, it doesn't hurt for them to see that sometimes they won't get the same treats, priveleges etc as others? Just one of those life lessons really. Main thing is that he gets on with them and they're all having a decent time.

MoominsAreScary Tue 16-Aug-11 15:45:28

My eldest is 16 and earns his own spending money so has more than his younger brother to spend on crap, your dc's are old enough to understand he has his own money, do they get pocket money?

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:46:48

I know I am very lucky to have such a lovely relationship with him and also v aware he is a long way from home and want him to feel welcome and wanted and cared for.

I hadn't looked at it that way actually Rhinestone smile

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:47:50

I'm not suggesting he should spend it on my kids at all hmm

slightlyunbalanced Tue 16-Aug-11 15:50:12

He doesn't earn his money, but that's not the point it's his holiday money.

Mine earn pocket money by helping out around the house (DSS also is expected to and does muck in here with no complaints).

yoshiLunk Tue 16-Aug-11 15:52:52

Agree completely with Rhinestone on this he's at that age when he wants to act like an adult but gets it wrong slightly

You sound like a lovely un-stepmum by the way wink

Actually a IFC bucket thingy may have worked out cheaper than sandwiches for all !

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