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If you're aware your child is a spoiled brat - you should do something about it! AIBU?

(246 Posts)
WhistlingNun Fri 05-Jul-13 17:14:05

I've just had the most frustrating conversation with my brother and Sil.

I'm taking my nephew - their 12yo son - away to a caravan holiday next week with me and 5yo dd.

Brother and SIL have just popped in for a quick visit, during which they tried to hand me £500! They said it was his spending money.

Then they tried to give my dd £300 and £100 for myself. I explained that no child would need that amount of spending money for a week at Haven. Most of the entertainment is included, but he might need a wee bit of spending money if he wanted to do extra activities such as climbing wall etc. But only £50 maximum.

I also said that i was only planning on eating out maybe 2 nights out of 7 (self catering) but i'm happy to cover the cost of his meals.

Well, they quite candidly said that my nephew is very fussy and would probably want a burger every night.

They said that i would find my hand constantly in my pocket to keep him happy.

He'd constantly be asking for money for the arcades.

He'll be moody and complaining if i don't give him money to occupy himself while i'm doing things with dd like the kids club.

He;ll be wanting drinks every two minutes.

I tried to assure them that i had a cheaper plan.

I'd buy him in nice quick foods or micro burgers to eat at the caravan. I didn't want my daughter eating out 7 nights and it wouldn't be fair to let him run into burger king every evening when my daughter's having to eat 'boring normal' food in the caravan.

They said he wouldn't put up with this and would go in a mood and probably not eat anything i made.

I said we can all spend a certain amount of time (maybe an hour) going around the arcades, and I'd ration him to £5-£10 per day.

They said he wouldn't be happy about this. He could quite easily spend an entire day at the arcades spending £100 each time. (They suggested i ration his arcade money to £25 a day).

I said he can take one of his portable computers to play (he has an ipad, psp, wiiU and a frigging 3DS) while i'm doing stuff with dd, rather than him doing something that costs money.

They said he gets fed up of his computers after 5 minutes so this wouldn't work.

I suggested i could buy a multipack of capri suns and take some out with me each evening for him rather than buy expensive drinks. They said he will prefer drinks that come fresh from the bar.

They were completely apologetic throughout all of this, stating they were fully aware he was a 'spoiled wee shit' as they so eloquently put it. My SIL says she's just spent over £600 on buying him new clothes for this holiday (almost twice the cost of the actual holiday!) and that she'd had to practically force him to murmur a thank you to her.

I was appalled. I said 'Well in future take him to the likes of Primark."

Then she looked appalled (snobby). "Oh no, he'd not have that. It's all got to be brand name with him."

It wasn't really my place to say, but i said it anyway. "If you want him to stop acting so precious, stop throwing money at him every two minutes."

They said they know it's their own fault, but he's gotten too used to it now, he doesn't know any different.

They left saying that if he plays up - which they anticipate - then they'll bring him home right away.

Now, i've had my nephew stay overnight before - so this week away is a big leap.

Yes, he is indeed a spoiled wee shit. But i don't stand for it when he;s here (which is probably why he hates staying with me!). E.g. the other week, i took him to the cinema and a cafe for a belated birthday treat.

Cost me a bloody fortune. Not one single thank you.

he complained the film was rubbish.

He choose the most expensive pizza on the menu (£20!) then decided he didn't like it. And went in a huff when i refused to buy him the second most expensive item on the menu. So he got landed with a basket of chips. Then all the way home he complained that his mum had bought him a crappy tablet instead of an ipad for his birthday. (They went out the next week and bought him an ipad - the tablet is now in the drawer).

I'm probably coming across as a total bitch here. But i just don't understand. If you know your child is a spoiled brat - why would you just put up with it? Why why why?

Anyway, i thanked them for the money, but handed them back the £400 they'd tried to give me and dd. I then reluctantly took the £500 for my nephew, but assured them he'd be coming home with a lot of change. The blimmin holiday only cost £400!

I love my nephew. I do. And i'm not dreading the week away with him. He'll be good company for me and dd. I'm sort of hoping to drum into him next week that it's possible to have fun without spending a heap of cash.

Wow what a rant! I started this at 4.30 - dinner's a-cinder!

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 16-Jul-13 19:28:20

Especially when he is allowed anything else he wants! !

SoupDragon Sun 14-Jul-13 16:22:01

i've just received a text from SIL asking why i had given nephew fizzy drinks last week as apparently he's not allowed these with his new brace.

The only answer to this is "because he asked for them and you didn't tell me he wasn't allowed them"


You sound like a saint!!

digerd Sun 14-Jul-13 16:16:25

12 years-old and 5'9 already! Wonder if he is bullied or teased by the others, or he is the bully?
No excuses for his behaviour to you and DD, but he sounds to me as if he yearns and has done for some time , to spend time doing things with his parents. He is unhappy/angry.

Does he have friends his own age? Doesn't sound like it to me.

cory Sun 14-Jul-13 16:06:26

Agree with Kleinzeit's ds; the moaning and not joining in sounds like typical 12yo stuff but pushing a smaller kid or taking their animal food seems very much like a much younger child.

Kleinzeit Sun 14-Jul-13 15:39:35

Hey whistling – you did a good thing by taking your DN on this trip. Sorry it was such a tough one! You did well by your DN.

Wanted to say… I am worried by what your DN did on the last day. Most of the things you described, OK, spoilt and grumpy but rather lonely 12yo boy with 5yo cousin, not an easy combination, a lot of the kind of stuff I’d expect. But what he did to your DD on the last day… no.

Does anyone else think this is, well….. not normal behaviour for a twelve year old? I understand about the last day being a trigger for a bit of temper but even so. Taking your DD’s animal-food and spilling it on the ground because he wanted lunch is not normal behaviour from a 12 year old. A much younger child, yes, maybe, but he is twelve not seven. Pushing your DD down the tyre slide because she is too slow – again, he is a 12 and she is only 5. That is behaviour I might expect from kids with certain kinds of SN (the kinds of SN that interfere with empathy and/or impulse control) or else from kids who are quite deeply disturbed. But not from an ordinary 12yo who is not having a very good time on holiday.

Is there anyone here who could imagine our 12 yos doing that, and whose kids don’t have SN?

I asked my 15yo DS about some of the behaviour, and he said yes, most of it was 12yo stuff. The refusing to join in, or to express enjoyment, gratitude – all very teenaged! But he also said that taking the animal food was something he would expect a much younger kid to do (he called it immature, and he suggested buying more animal food for your DD so your DN would have to wait longer for lunch as a sensible consequence! smile) And as for the slide, he said that was just weird. He could understand keeping away from a much smaller child, and he said he could understand pushing a kid who was a similar age, but not pushing someone so much smaller.

And if I really stick my neck out, I think your DD might not be the only one with an ASC. Yes, the signs may be different from your DD, but at the moment his parents expect him to behave badly, and you’ve noticed his lack of empathy yourself, and there are lots of other minor things which are very like several Aspie boys I’ve met (including my own DS) Plus there’s his overt aggression to your little daughter which is quite unlike any of my DS’s NT friends at that age, and they were not saints. You ask why his parents put up with it? Well, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Maybe they’d rather call him a spoilt brat than a kid with SN.

Somewhere upthread you mentioned your SIL looks after your DD a lot? I don’t know if that’s a good idea when your DN is around. If your DD has HFA then she may have communication problems, she may be very trusting, she may not be able to tell anyone if she’s scared or if he hurts her again. Unless you are very sure that your SIL is protecting your DD, I’d rethink.

Sigh! Anyway what you did for your DN was lovely and something he'll treasure, even if he never says thank you! flowers

WhatNow2013 Sun 14-Jul-13 13:33:10

I've jsut read this whole thread... it sounds to me like you did absolutely all the right things and he may well look back on this week and think 'this was what I needed, really'.

He sounds like the only way he gets attention from his parents is by being negative and miserable. I can understand that; I have friends who are only interested in me when I'm unhappy, and I had to get out of the habit of only ever moaning to them (because I felt like if I said I was happy they'd be like 'oh ok we don't need to bother then! bye!'). It's a hard habit to break as an adult. He's got no incentive to be good and nice because it doesn't get him anywhere at home. By being automatically horrid about things it gets him instant attention and pandering.

However this doesn't mean he gets to spoil things for you and your DD and it doesn't make it ok. It sounds like he actually had a good time but wasn't able to express it because he's never been able to? Don't know if that makes sense. Oh and also I reiterate, just because there might be a reason WHY, doesn't mean it is an excuse!

ZingWidge Sun 14-Jul-13 12:55:19

sorry OP, reading your first post gave me a headache.
not your fault though!

£500 for a 12 year old as spending money for a week is excessive.
and £300 for your 5 year old?
some people really think money is everything.

wanting to contribute would have been nice of them, but wanting to control you like that is not on!

I would not put up with any of that crap, of being told what to do!

I feel sorry for your nephew that he can not occupy himself without having to spend money and that he is indulged so much.

I hope you have a good holiday and that you can show him a better time than fruit machines and burgers!

RenterNomad Sun 14-Jul-13 11:09:01

In "telling his parents what he is like," do be sure to stress the good moments, so that they realise he does have them, and can behave, not to mention that he can show how bloody sad he is, and aware of it (that "negative person" comment was quite a brave admission).

If you only tell them the bad things, they will think there's no hope, and no reason not to continue with the hell of their family life.

5Foot5 Sun 14-Jul-13 00:09:52

Sometimes I see it suggested on threads that the OP posts a link to the thread to the other involved party. Too inflammatory?

internationallove985 Sat 13-Jul-13 23:57:05

I can honestly say I have never spoiled my D.D as no good will ever come from spoiling a child.
I've never been afraid to let her face adversity. This may seem harsh but she is going to go out one day into the big bad world that is not going to give a damn about her feelings! I have never fought her battles. It's nothing to do with me when she falls out with her friends she has to sort it out her self.
My D.D is my absolute world and is loved beyond imagination. We have an amazing relationship.
However she is very very independent and can do anything cook clean iron. I kind of feel redundant but my friend told that if your child is independent then it's supposed to mean you're a really good mum.
Also £500 is a ridiculous amount of money for a child. However I am not going to be critical of your nephew as I would not have any be critical of my D.N. xxx

HenriettaPye Sat 13-Jul-13 23:23:59

5 foot- I didn't say all only children were like this! I was one myself for 14 years confused

However if he has never had to wait around on other people and always got his own way, I don't think I'm being unreasonable in saying that.

LadyBigtoes Sat 13-Jul-13 23:21:06

Wow OP flowers and wine for you. What you have done was incredibly kind and a massive effort. Never mind 500 (shock) quid, you've put yourself out for a week to be an actual parent and adult to this poor kid. I think it speaks volumes that he wanted to come.

All the huffing and sighing and demanding and terrible behaviour are, for whatever reason, the only way he knows how to express himself, but in a week, which is no time at all, you did actually get through to him a couple of times. And you showed him for a few precious minutes what it's like to look for sea creatures and interact with people and that that can constitue a nice time. The rest of the time you dealt with his problems and confronted and contained him over and over, instead of saying here's £50 now bugger off. It was a heroic effort, no wonder you're exhausted and drained.

Of course it would take a lot longer to address the whole issue, that's not going to happen by the sound of it and you certainly shouldn't have to do it. But I would (once you've recovered) try to be around for him if he ever needs to talk or needs to address what's wrong between him and his parents - he's coming up to being a teenager and that might well happen.

I am beyond shocked at the financial figures involved. £500 for a 12-year-old for a week, £600 on holiday clothes and him needing £40 just for a go on the arcade or it's not worth it... <faints> It's just so terrible of them to be teaching him that this is normal. Just by showing him how normal people behave with money, even on holiday, and that respect for money matters, you're giving him a different view on things that he may well come around to one day.

5Foot5 Sat 13-Jul-13 23:13:32

I am assuming he is an only child? If so, he is just not used to having to wait around and do things other people want to do.

I don't want to hijack this thread but I just had to say FGS can we please stop here with this lazy stereotyping. I am surely not the only parent of an only who is not spoilt and who would NEVER behave like this and is very good at joining in with a group.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 13-Jul-13 23:10:29

Oh whistling you are the good guy here! Don't be upset, you did a lovely thing.

I think you might have been a bit stitched up into taking a reluctant teenager in holiday because his parents wanted to go away. I think he didn't want to go (because he's a teenager and wanted to sit in his pants in his room playing Xbox) and they convinced him with stories of arcades and £500 spending money. He realised that wasn't the case and threw a week long strop.

Don't write him off permanently, I know some atrocious teenagers to grew into lovely adults. For what it's worth at that age I would have been only 1 or 2 years off trying to get served in the bars, smoking and generally being as devious as possible - whilst always being polite. I've somehow become a responsible adult.

M0naLisa Sat 13-Jul-13 22:54:09

I would tell the parents exactly what he was like. He sounds like a spoilt brat, they need to be firm with him, he is 12 now whats he going to be like at 16/17/18!! They should have nipped the spoiling him in the bud years ago!!!

M0naLisa Sat 13-Jul-13 22:37:59

Sorry didnt read the whole thread!

M0naLisa Sat 13-Jul-13 22:36:48

I wouldnt be taking him sorry!! I cant be doing with spoilt little brats!!!

HenriettaPye Sat 13-Jul-13 22:27:06

Just read the whole thread OP.

I think you were very kind taking him away and you were very patient with him.

Some people on here have been very harsh- he is 12 years old- he is a child, and does not deserve to be called a toe- rag or a little shit on an Internet forum. Nor do his Parents deserve to be called cunts. confusedconfusedconfused

I am assuming he is an only child? If so, he is just not used to having to wait around and do things other people want to do. I know that doesn't excuse his behaviour, and he really should have tried harder but I'm sure it was difficult being away from his parents, and I don't really blame him for not wanting to go off on his own in a strange place.

pictish Sat 13-Jul-13 21:49:44

Yep ok - I just wondered, because you did seem well aware of his behaviour right at the start of the thread. I guess you just didn't think it could get as bad as it did.'s over now. Stiff drinky for OP xx

CSIJanner Sat 13-Jul-13 21:45:27

^ what Levantine said ^

You actually sat down with him, talk to him and gave him time. You also pulled him up on bad behaviour. I think you're very important to him, more than he lets on.

Your SIL is being rude. Pull her up on it, especially if her text didn't start with "Thank you for having our son". If it was be, I would even throw in the "if you actually gave a shit and phoned him up even once in the week he was away, it would have shown him you missed him and that you gave a damn"

But the OP is far nicer and more patient than I...

WhistlingNun Sat 13-Jul-13 21:45:00

Because i've had nephew for a day out and overnight before. He's good company when he's behaving, and can be pleasant so long as he's happy and doing something he likes.

I never for a second knew just how badly behaved he can be. I thought my brother and sil were exaggerating.

I thought that all he needed was to be told 'no' a few times and then he'd change. Yes, i'm an idiot.

I've never been on holiday before with just me and dd. I usually go with my parents. So i thought i'd ask nephew along for some company for both me and dd. They've always gotten on on the afternoons they've spent together previously.

I seriously underestimated how different a day of him is compared to a week of him.

pictish Sat 13-Jul-13 21:41:42

It all sounds very stressful OP. You've been keyed up by this all week, so it's no surprise that it's all flooding out now. Have a good cry. You'll feel better for it. xx

Levantine Sat 13-Jul-13 21:40:27

So difficult, he sounds very unhappy. I think you have done really well. My guess is that you are more important to him than he is letting on.

WhistlingNun Sat 13-Jul-13 21:39:48

I'm in tears now. Argh, i'm such an idiot.

I think all this week's restrained stress is finally coming out.

I've just text SIL back and said

'I'll call you tomorrow for a chat, too tired just now. M (nephew) didn't say anything about not being allowed fizzy drinks. In fact, i'd bought him a bottle of water one day and he practically threw it back in my face. Apparently he doesn't like it. He had very weak diluting juice most of the time, so i'm sure the few bottles of pop won't have done anything to his brace. Didn't the orthodontist tell nephew what he was and wasn't allowed to consume with them in? I would have assumed nephew would tell me if i'd given him something he wasn't allowed.'

Very lengthy and rambly, but hope she gets my point. I have a funny feeling that nephew is currently moaning about me to my brother and SIL telling him how horrible i was and how dreadful it was being made to do all sorts of things he didn't want to...

Why the hell did i bother?

pictish Sat 13-Jul-13 21:33:55

OP - why did you offer to take him?

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