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To expect birthday money I've given to a child to be spent on/saved for them?

(130 Posts)
TheRealPooTroll Fri 31-Mar-17 23:11:05

I'm genuinely in two minds as to whether I'm unreasonable about this.
Last week it was my friends dd's birthday. I gave her £20 in a card. A few days later I was chatting to my friend and she told me her dd had lost the £20 for bad behaviour (ie friend had taken it as a punishment).
Part of me thinks that how my friend chooses to discipline her dd is none of my business but part of me also thinks that she could have chosen a different consequence that didn't mean I hadn't got her dd a present. Both families are quite close and the dd spoke to me about being sad that she no longer had the money and asked if I could buy her something else (she's quite young so wasn't trying to be cheeky I don't think). I said I couldn't as I'd already given her money and if her mum has taken it away it's not my place to go against that. But I did feel peeved by the whole thing.
I think what is also bothering me is that my friend is always skint (despite earning a lot more than me) so I feel like it was more about her wanting/needing the money for something rather than her dd doing much wrong as what she did was very minor. But again what she does and doesn't think worthy of discipline is none of my business either.
So what do people think? Is this something you'd do? Would you be annoyed if it was you or just accept that once you'd gifted the money it's up to the mum whether she gets to spend it?

Purpleprickles Fri 31-Mar-17 23:13:27

A present from someone else should not be taken away as a punishment. Just awful. YANBU

RJnomore1 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:15:01

It depends if it was permanent.

If it was no you can't buy that toy this week because of your behaviour fair enough if it can't be spent the following week. Doesn't sound like that though.

TheScottishPlay Fri 31-Mar-17 23:15:12

That's awful and cruel. You don't punish a child by taking gifts away! Heartbreaking that she wants you to get something else for her.
Would saying something cause a rift? I would possibly say something.

puglife15 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:15:26

I think that's a shit way to discipline a child, especially a young one. I can understand if for example she can't afford uniform or decent food and her DD has £20 to fritter away in Claire's Accessories it might be hard though.

DailyFaily Fri 31-Mar-17 23:18:25

I would never do that no, it's completely unacceptable - that money was between you and the child, it was nothing to do with the mother and certainly not hers to take. If she felt the need to withhold it then she should have stuck it in a savings account for the DD for later. Yeah, I'd be annoyed, and I'd probably say something to the mum along the lines of 'you ARE going to give it back aren't you?' with an incredulous look on my face

Meekonsandwich Fri 31-Mar-17 23:19:22

Is she going to give it back when the child behaves?? Or is she taking it away and spending it on herself?? :s I wouldn't be happy with the latter.

chastenedButStillSmiling Fri 31-Mar-17 23:21:38

Agree with PPs, esp Daily and her suggestion.

In future, buy the child an actual gift? If you're close it won't be hard, and younger kids don't really 'get' money presents. How old is the child?

user1489677782 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:23:10

I am assuming that it was a £20 note. This was a gift from you to the child. It should have remained the child's money and if a punishment was needed it should have been along the lines of we cant go out shopping this week because of your bad behaviour from Mum to Child. The money should never be permanently withheld from the child. In future I suggest that you find out what the child really wants for a gift and buy that. Do not hand over the receipt. Just in case

TheRealPooTroll Fri 31-Mar-17 23:24:23

She's not taken it temporarily she made that clear.
Saying anything wouldn't go down too well I don't think. Friend is pretty fiesty and wouldn't change her mind.
I will definitely be giving actual gifts/toy shop vouchers in future though rather than cash.

TheRealPooTroll Fri 31-Mar-17 23:26:19

The child is 6. I gave money because that's what she said she wanted when I asked.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 31-Mar-17 23:42:50

"She's not taken it temporarily she made that clear."

Then it's theft surely?

WatchingFromTheWings Fri 31-Mar-17 23:47:11

That's disgusting. So I guess she's going to spend it on herself rather than the child?? When is your friends birthday?? Cause I'd be buying the child a toy to the value of what you'd spend on the friend instead!

Neolara Fri 31-Mar-17 23:48:24

That's pretty crappy behaviour from the mum. I'd be tempted to get the child a small gift and I'd think very badly of the music..

Rainbunny Fri 31-Mar-17 23:49:59

The mother "permanently" confiscated her child's money... in other words she took it will/has spent it herself! That's probably the most disgusting (non-serious abuse type) thing I've heard a parent do. The most I would ever do in that situation is to perhaps take the money and put it in the child's savings account but honestly there were probably loads of different options she could have used to discipline her child, she obviously wanted the money. What a crappy parent tbh.

dowhatnow Fri 31-Mar-17 23:51:48

I'd have to say something. That money was not hers to decide to take away.

buttercup54321 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:53:49

I would ask for the money back . Then buy something else for the child. It was a gift o not hers to take. Actually its theft.

StickyWick Fri 31-Mar-17 23:53:50


DailyFaily Fri 31-Mar-17 23:58:45

You should ask for the money back then - if the child is not going to be allowed to keep the money then it should go back to the gifted and not subsumed into the mother's budget.

DailyFaily Fri 31-Mar-17 23:59:29

The gifter, not the gifted!

Starlight2345 Sat 01-Apr-17 00:00:55

At 6 what an earth did a child do to require them to lose £20.

I would say it was always the plan as a 6 year old aren't that bothered about cash..

Whatever you do never ever give money again.. In fact I would also not buy anything with anything from Argos with a catalogue number she can return.Even batter make sure DC is given the gift in person so she can remove the wrapping...

If I felt so unable to speak not sure I would want to be around the woman at all.

Itsnotwhatitseems Sat 01-Apr-17 00:08:40

if she has taken the money you gave her DD you should ask for it back and say you would like to give it to her later to reward good behaviour, what she has done is thef

Crumbs1 Sat 01-Apr-17 00:13:44

It's very mean of the mother - stick to something other than money next time. I would ask the mother what the daughter had been bought.

MadamePomfrey Sat 01-Apr-17 00:16:01

I hate presents being used as punishment. I totally agree it's up to parents to choose appropriate punishments for their children and like pp if it was temporary I'd have no issue. Also I have no issue if the money is needed for something e.g. Uniform, food anything reasonable. However my Dsis recently tried this with DN 'if you don't don't auntie Madame will take your present back.' I was shock. I didn't say anything in the moment as I didn't feel I should undermine the parent. However once we were alone I made it clear that I wasn't ok with it. She was understanding but then I get that conversation wouldn't go down well with everyone.

ZygellaOsgood Sat 01-Apr-17 00:19:00

Yeah, I'd be annoyed, and I'd probably say something to the mum along the lines of 'you ARE going to give it back aren't you?' with an incredulous look on my face

This ^

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