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To think that actually dsd should know the consequences of her decision?

(366 Posts)
Cloudybutwarm Sun 22-Nov-15 16:41:39

Yes I'm braving aibu for a step related issue....

Dsd is 10.5.

On Saturday, as in 6 days time, we are due to be flying to Florida, her, me, Dh and our two boys, 4 and 1. This was booked and paid for months ago.

Yesterday we had a text from her mum to say that dsd has decided she doesn't want to come as she doesn't want to be away from her mum for so long. In the run up to the holiday she has said a few times she was going to really miss her mum, but she is spent far more time talking about how much she's looking forward to it. We have an ongoing thing with her not liking to be away from her mum so Dh had a few conversations with her about it before we booked and she was adamant she'd be fine.

We have taken her on holiday before, and yes she missed her mum and there was the odd tear but overall she was fine and loved the holiday.

So now with less than a week to go we are probably £1k down, have a heartbroken 4 year old who idolises his big sister and doesn't understand why she won't be coming any more and of course a completely gutted Dh.

There is obviously no point in insisting that she comes as that would probably end up making for a miserable holiday for everyone.

Her mum said to Dh please don't be angry with her, she's really upset. Dh is torn between being angry and feeling that he shouldn't be angry with her. I personally think that 10 is obviously a tricky age as she's still a child and yet not a young child.... And therefore I do think that while it's not like we need to be cross and shouty she does need to understand what she's done, that it's cost us a lot of money and that both her dad and brother are very upset. I think she is certainly old enough to be made to see there are consequences for makings decisions like this right at the last moment.

So as not to drip feed, it came to light last week that she's been experiencing some low level bullying at school which has obviously been upsetting her, I must admit that I struggle to see that she wouldn't then prefer to go to Disney for two weeks rather than be in school but there we go....

So basically aibu to think that in these circumstances actually it's ok to be a bit angry and to spell out to dsd the consequences of her actions?

cannotlogin Sun 22-Nov-15 16:46:23

what exactly are 'the consequences of her actions'? that you have wasted some money? that your children are upset? or something else?

HermioneWeasley Sun 22-Nov-15 16:46:48

Aaargh, what a difficult one.

TBH I'm not sure I'd be giving her a choice given she was asked before it was booked, but I understand you don't want to force her against her will.

Equally I'd be tempted to say "no more holidays" but of course your DH wants to holiday with his daughter and your kids with their big sister.

Do you think thr mother has been stirring it? Could you promise to Skype every day? Could she just go for a week and fly home on her own?

BlueBlueSea Sun 22-Nov-15 16:46:51


She would probably have a wonderful time on holiday, and at 10 I think she is too old to not go because she might miss her mum.

If it was my DD, refusing to go on holiday with her DF who had paid £1k+, I would tell her not to be silly and to go.

I think she is being pandered to and needs to know how much money she has wasted on changing her mind.

Angry, I would be furious if it was one of my DSC.

LockedBox Sun 22-Nov-15 16:48:21

Aw. What a disappointment for everyone involved.

Look your little ones will be fine once you're there so don't worry too much about that.

Honestly I don't think it's necessary to tell your dsd the 'consequences' of her decision. She's only ten and will probably be feeling some measure of guilt combined with anxiety that you will all be cross with her - it's much kinder to accept her decision with good grace and reassure her that it's ok and that you understand.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sun 22-Nov-15 16:50:31

I really don't think it would be wise. It sounds like she has a lot going on with the bullying and anxiety about being away from her Mum. I wouldn't want to make her feel worse than she does already, although I can fully understand your feelings, I can't see what will be gained by telling her how upset everyone is other than to make her feel worse.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 22-Nov-15 16:50:53

I would explain the consequences to her (I would to my 5 year old and DSD ismuch older).

In a neutral way tell her that you have now wasted 1k and that her wee brother is going to be absolutely gutted.

Also point out that you will, as a family, have to consider very carefully inviting her along in the future as you can't afford to waste that sort of money/it could be far better spent.

I think it would not be unreasonable to tell her that you are all sad that she will not be going with you, but I think anger could be counterproductive. For a start, it would mean there is no chance of her feeling she can change her mind, between now and next weekend.

If she does stick with her decision and doesn't go, I would not be at all surprised if she regrets that decision, once it is too late. If you have been cross with her, that will make those regrets worse.

IwishIwasinNewYork Sun 22-Nov-15 16:51:42

She's obviously feeling very anxious due to the bullying.

Plus, my kids are resilient and outgoing but two of them went through phases of being very anxious and not wanting to be apart from one or both of us (they were not bullied, it was just that phase of realising you are separate beings from your parents and you have no control over what happens to them, or to you).

Don't react with anger!

Your dh and his ex need to talk to her and come from a place of kindness and really listen to her. Maybe there's something else she's worried about but not saying.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 22-Nov-15 16:51:43

I also think the mum should be backing you up, and strongly encouraging her to go.

annandale Sun 22-Nov-15 16:52:36

I must be soft - I'd text (OK I'd ring but I'm old) and say 'Ok we are really sorry to hear that, if you change your mind we want you to come' and leave it.

You wouldn't have gone on this holiday without her so i dont really think you are £1K down exactly.

Goingtobeawesome Sun 22-Nov-15 16:55:34

Make her go and don't pander to any you made me come sulks.


Let her stay with her mum but don't listen to any sulks about how she's missed out and don't ban the other child from talking about it.

I would give her some consequences but fairly low key, no drama.

Mum is not on telling your DH how to feel.

Osolea Sun 22-Nov-15 16:56:56

Her brother and her Dad being upset is not her responsibility. She is ten, a child herself, and it's not fair to put that on her. She didn't ask to be part of a family where her parents can't do things together. I don't mean that in a mean way, my children are part of a blended family too, but that's because of the choices of the adults involved, not because they ever asked for their parents to be separated.

It's also not fair to talk to her about the money, again, a holiday that expensive wasn't her choice and she'd probably feel the same no matter where you were going.

Tell her you're all going to miss her, that you understand, and you will bring her back something nice.

FindoGask Sun 22-Nov-15 16:57:07

She hasn't done this to annoy anyone, so I'm not sure that spelling out the consequences will do much good really. Sounds like she's having a hard time at the moment and therefore wants her mum. It's obviously unfortunate and a shame to have wasted the money, and I can see why you and your husband are annoyed. I'd do what annandale suggests - leave it open to her to change her mind if she wants to and don't put any pressure on her, but equally I think it's fine to say that you'll miss having her along.

emotionsecho Sun 22-Nov-15 16:58:31

Surely she is well aware of the consequences of her decision - that she is missing out on a holiday.

I wouldn't be spelling out how much money she had cost you or piling guilt onto her shoulders about how upset she has made her dad and step-brother, why on earth would you do that? The most I would say is that you are all sorry she is not coming with you as you will miss her but you understand her decision. Be kind she is probably already very upset she doesn't need to be made to feel even worse and maybe feels she needs her mum more than ever at the moment due to the bullying.

MargaretCabbage Sun 22-Nov-15 16:58:32

I was the child in almost exactly this situation.

When I was about the same age my parents and grandparents weren't speaking to each other. My grandparents offered to take me and my brother to Florida and obviously we were excited, but then I started to get really worried about being away from my mum for so long, even dreaming that the plane crashed and I didn't get to say goodbye. I eventually got the courage to tell my nan I didn't want to go, she couldn't understand how I could turn it down and was furious with me. I was really upset and I stopped going to see her for a while because I was scared of her.

I totally understand why you'd feel angry, but 10 year olds aren't really rational. It is probably really hard for her to turn down Disneyworld and missing out will be 'punishment' enough. I wouldn't be too angry as I still remember how awful my nan was that day, and I have never really forgiven her.

GummyBunting Sun 22-Nov-15 16:59:03

I encourage you to insist that she goes.
This exact situation happened when my siblings and I were younger. We're a blended family. One sister decided not to come on holiday with us for the exact same reason, and now as an adult I really wish she hadn't been pandered to.

It was the start of her distancing herself from us. Not on purpose, she was only a kid, but it was the start of what is now a real problem.

Micah Sun 22-Nov-15 16:59:58

You're taking her out of school? Her mum is ok with that?

I wouldn't have taken a 10 year old out of school. The bullying won't help as she'll have to back after two weeks and face increased hostility and jealousy.

She has form for this, it's a big holiday and a lot of money to risk when there was always a chance she might back out.

Having said that, once she said she'd go, she shouldn't have the option not to. Her mum isn't helping acting as a go between- is there any chance her mum is pulling a guilt trip on her?

tethersend Sun 22-Nov-15 17:05:53


Guilt is not a healthy feeling for a 10yo, don't do it to her.

Just tell her she's welcome to come, but you understand if she wants to stay and to do what makes her feel happy.

As an aside, did the school give permission for her to be off for two weeks? It seems like a very long time...

pastaofplenty Sun 22-Nov-15 17:06:24

I imagine the "consequence" is that the OP and her DH will now think twice about booking future holidays; especially if she declines to come at the last minute. That is something that can have consequence son the dynamic of the family.

Having said that I wouldn't tell the DSD this and I would accept that maybe the trip is too far for her to be away from her DM for two weeks.

Difficult for everyone really - but don't put your own DC feelings above hers - that's not fair either. Your DC will be upset she's not there DSD will be upset not to be with her DM. Neither are going to be happy with whatever decision is made.

Have a lovely holiday OP

reni2 Sun 22-Nov-15 17:06:50

I can understand why you are annoyed, but there is no point making her feel worse. She will feel bad when she sees the pictures and hears the amazing stories afterwards. Enjoy your holidays, I would probably not take her on a holiday that costs loads extra if she comes for a while though. Is there a niece of nephew who could take her place so it doesn't go to waste if there is no refund?

ILiveAtTheBeach Sun 22-Nov-15 17:08:57

I would make her go. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't put up with this rubbish. Point out that you did ask her, before you booked and spent the money.

Why don't you take a laptop and tell her she can Skype Mum every evening (perhaps when you're getting the two younger ones ready for dinner). I bet that would do the trick.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 22-Nov-15 17:11:37

Are you sure that mum hasn't been telling the dd how much she will miss her, and ramping up the anxiety by constantly asking if she thinks she will be ok? Will she manage? Is she absolutely sure because it's ok if she doesn't want to go? Etc etc?
I know a whole heap of parents who inculcate anxiety about separation in their kids.
She would of course be fine, and I would be more cross at her mum for not saying ''you'll be fine darling, you'll have a great time. See you in two weeks'

It would be the mum I would be pissed with, not the dsd. It's not exactly teaching her how to cope, is it? It's agreeing with her she can't cope and something terrible will happen if she leaves mummy's side.

You however, need to stay out of it, and time for dh to step up and discuss how to build confidence in his dd with his ex, and how that can be done in the dd's best interests. He and his ex need to discuss the situation and decide together whether the dd will travel or not. The ex doesn't just get to decide and text. That makes me assume she is the one pulling the dd's strings. Perhaps she is unhappy that her ex gets to offer fun trips (Disney-dad-esque) while she gets to deal with the bullying and the law enforcements? Is your dh supportive with the issues his dd is experiencing? Does he play a full part in her life? Is he on good terms with his ex?

If the ex has any reason to feel hard done by in the parenting department, then it will all be contributing.

But any discussions need to happen with the mama, not the dsd. Essentially to find out the full details and why she thought it was appropriate to make a decision and text you with it, when really it should have been a point of discussion so that a decision could be made. Excluding the dad from the discussion is not the action of someone who is under the impression there are two parents of the child, rather than one parent and an occasional holiday-provider that can be switched on and off at will.

Rivercam Sun 22-Nov-15 17:13:09

I'm not sure what consequences you want to impose. All she has done is decline an invitation, a little late in the day. Had she gone, you would have spent that money, so you are not 1k down. I would explain that everyone is disappointed she wouldn't be going, but you support her decesion.

With all the terrorism talk, maybe it's made her more anxious than normal, at being away from mum. A lot of adults are having second thought about flying, going to popular, busy tourist resorts, so maybe she has picked up on this.

BackforGood Sun 22-Nov-15 17:13:55

Of course it's OK to be angry.
I think you (dh?) should be angry at her Mum though. It was her job to say "Of course you'll miss me a bit, but you'll have such a wonderful time with {insert your names} you'll hardly have a moment to think about me." Then distract her with all the things she was looking forward to.
I wouldn't allow any of my dc to back out at this point.

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