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friend asking for my childs personal info

(31 Posts)
bungle99 Wed 11-Oct-17 11:56:27

I have a friend that I haven't seen for over 18 years, but i occasionally email or message on social media. ie. we're not close.
He's never met my husband or children. A while ago he messaged asking for my kids birthdays so he could update his 'friends and families list'. I'm not keen on giving out my children's details so i ignored the message. I very rarely put up pictures of them on social media now, and don't use their names. In part, this is because i discovered that another friend, that I had lost touch with, got done for child abuse. I was shocked and it made me realise that you can't really tell who is a potential child abuser. If a close friend who had met my children several times and wanted to send a birthday card asked me for their birthdays, then I would be ok with this.
Then recently, I got another message from him with the same request. I ignored again. So he then left a voicemail message saying that he didn't want to make me uncomfortable but it's his way of having more to chat about with me rather than just asking how I am.
I still won't be giving out their birthdays.
I need to add that he has mild high-functioning autism so this may play a part in his approach and maybe he finds it easier to remember if he adds their details onto a list. I have a child with ASD to i understand the need for data collection, but it still makes me feel uneasy. AIBU ?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 11-Oct-17 12:01:35

He is trying to find topics of conversation with you, so he can say 'oh how was X's birthday' and he's doing it in a structured way, probably because someone's taught him that's a 'good' thing to do and a 'good' way to make friends, have something to talk about.

Of course you don't have to give the info out if it makes you uneasy,
so just say you'd prefer not to give that information. Ignoring the question may be too open for your friend, you need to respond clearly and say 'I don't want to share that information'.

bungle99 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:04:47

Lonny thank you for that. I will respond clearly, thank you.

Theresamayscough Wed 11-Oct-17 12:05:17

Yes stop ignoring him and tell him upfront. Don’t share anything you don’t want to.

Fattychan123 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:12:47

It sounds like social engineering to me
Wouldn't be surprised if next question was mothers maiden name and he wants the name of your first school

Don't answer. Block him

MarklahMarklah Wed 11-Oct-17 12:18:46

I've a friend with HFA and they are the same. The friend likes to have concrete information so a vague response will not suffice.
My friend has my DOB on record as well as DH's and DD's because that is how my friend operates.

If I said I didn't want to share that information then that would be fine. It is just a case of ensuring you give a clear answer.

mindutopia Wed 11-Oct-17 12:18:58

I would just say to him exactly what you said here. It sounds like it is his way of connecting and he means no harm. But I think it's perfectly okay to say you don't give that info out to anyone, but you appreciate that he was thoughtful enough to ask. If you feel okay with it, I would perhaps just say, early June, without providing the year and date and that would allow him to still send a card if he wishes.

loulou0987 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:25:25

Can you be vague and say eg: may and august? or they are just before christmas?

AnnieAnoniMouse Wed 11-Oct-17 12:42:12


Did you miss the bit where he has HFA, or do you think it's fine to treat people with HFA like that?


I'm sure it was worrying to hear about the other guy, but it's not likely to happen again. It's your choice of course, but I think you're being overly cautious, he's an old friend with HFA who is doing his best to fit in socially, it's not easy. Anyway, either give them to him or just be clear with him that you don't tell anyone. Maybe make some suggestions of things you do like talking about.

Bubblebubblepop Wed 11-Oct-17 12:46:18

Tbh I wonder if just making up a date is best. It sounds as though he wants the information and doesn't really care whether you're comfortable or not.
Considering how distant you are I'd probably just stop chatting to him too if you're this uncomfortable

SoupDragon Wed 11-Oct-17 12:48:41

It sounds like social engineering to me
Wouldn't be surprised if next question was mothers maiden name and he wants the name of your first school


OP, why would you just ignore him and not simply explain? It's fine to not want to give out the dates if that's how you feel but it's very rude just to ignore the request.

pasturesgreen Wed 11-Oct-17 12:50:03

Same here, my friend has learning difficulties and was advised to keep a booklet where she writes down random tidbits of information, like birthdays, likes and dislikes etc. - it serves to give her something to talk about.

So I expect it could be something like that and I doubt it's done maliciously. You obviously don't have to tell him anything you don't want to, but it'd be kind to just let him know you won't divulge that information.

bungle99 Wed 11-Oct-17 13:01:43

SoupDragon i started typing a reply earlier and then chickened out thinking maybe i'm being unreasonable. I was also struggling with how to word it but i've been given some good ideas on here.

Thanks to all of you for the advice.

user1495451339 Wed 11-Oct-17 13:19:58

I expect he wants to send a message on their birthdays! Not sure what he can do with the dates of birth apart from that anyway if they are young, it's not like they will have bank accounts for anything though maybe I am being naive.

yorkshireyummymummy Wed 11-Oct-17 14:13:58

IT all sounds a bit odd................until you say he is autistic!
Give the guy a break, he is trying here. Autistic people find social chit chat dreadfully hard and a list of prompts to mention is incredibly helpful. Just ignoring him is awful. Either be totally honest with him or give him the info he is asking for to help him. He might really really need a friend and feel that this is a way to start to develop a relationship. He needs a friend- so either way, be kind to him.

bungle99 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:16:58

I have now replied to him yorkshire

Aeroflotgirl Wed 11-Oct-17 14:23:53

Oh right, tge fact he has ASD explaines a lot. Just be honest and say, that you would rather not give out private information about yiur kids, as you don't know him that well.

peterpan742 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:23:55

My sister has HFA and is very similar (she is a child). She absolutely loves other peoples birthdays!
If we come into contact at the park/doctors etc with younger children, she likes to interact and will often come out with 'When will he be 1?' or something similar. If you say something like 'June 27th', she says 'Happy birthday for June 27th' or 'I'll say happy birthday on June 27th' - even if she knows it's unlikely we'll see them again.
If she sees you after a birthday (e.g your birthday was yesterday), she'll have a conversation about your birthday.
She's equally as ok if you just give her a month rather than actual date.

She doesn't really know how to make friends and it was something she struggled with for a long time. Her psychologist told her that asking people about themselves is a good way of making friends and she piped up and said 'I love birthdays' so she was told that asking someone's birthday is a great start. She doesn't have many friends (makes me so sad as she's such a lovely little girl) so she doesn't really have 'birthday celebrations' without us, so prefers to listen to other people tell them about her birthdays!

KimmySchmidt1 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:24:12

just explain that its private to them and you don't tell people.

Assburgers Wed 11-Oct-17 14:25:11

Don’t block him sad

I have this thing where I need to know where a person is from. I get stuck on it. I feel like I can’t ask anything or focus on anything else about that person until I know where they were born. I appreciate that’s ridiculous. I see you’ve replied to him now, but as long as you’re clear that that’s just not the sort of information you give out, then he won’t mind. Don’t worry about offending him.

Nikephorus Wed 11-Oct-17 14:28:50

As someone with Asperger's I'd say he was trying to do the socially-appropriate thing of remembering your family's birthdays. What's wrong with that?! confused
Fine if you don't want to but at least explain to him.

bungle99 Wed 11-Oct-17 14:30:34

thanks all and Assburgers.

He asked for another date (non-kid related) so i've provided that instead.
I won't block him. He's a nice chap.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 11-Oct-17 14:40:26

Bless him, be a kind friend, mabey help him with social topics, especially as your ds will grow up to be a man with Autism, imagine how you would like him to be treated.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 11-Oct-17 14:44:52

Standard communication advice given to people with communication issues.

You don’t have to engage with his method of being more social but be reasonable and make it clear.

“Do not take this personally but I prefer not to give out personal information about my children”

Is all that’s needed

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Wed 11-Oct-17 14:47:21

If you want to remain friends just say something along the lines of 'they're summer babies'?

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