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Would I be a bad friend?

(94 Posts)
Excuses987 Tue 16-Apr-19 11:47:14

My friend asked me to look after her ds (10) for the day. Her ds is well known for being rude, badly behaved with her and others etc.

I agreed, as I owed her a favour and planned lots to keep him amused. We made our own pizza, cup cakes, play dough, slime, paints, glue and sticky things. We went swimming, for a walk in the woods, played bat and ball, football in the garden. Board games, cards. The list is endless.

He was hard work! Wants to be doing something continuously, has a really short attention span and is bored after 2 minutes of doing something. If not entertained, for the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, he is doing something he shouldn’t.

He was very well behaved and is a nice boy. However, it cost me £50 in activities/food and I didn’t get a minute to myself all day.

She has now asked me to look after him during school holidays (paid), while she works as ‘you are the only person he is like this with’ and because he is badly behaved, she is running out of child care options and will have to give up work.

Would I be a bad friend to say no?

churchthecat Tue 16-Apr-19 11:49:39

Not at all! You're under no obligation to do this, especially if it would make you unhappy.

Respond with "Sorry, i'm happy doing the odd rare day for emergencies, but I do not want to be tied to 8 weeks. I just can't commit to it."

Floatinginwater Tue 16-Apr-19 11:50:36

I'd say no. Doesn't sound like it's worth the stress. If she has money then could she take him to summer club/get another childminder instead?

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Tue 16-Apr-19 11:50:50

Why doesn't she just put him in a holiday club?

Geraniumpink Tue 16-Apr-19 11:51:12

Say no. The child sounds too expensive. There might be holiday clubs and courses in the area that would keep him busy enough with trained staff to keep him out of trouble - maybe point her in that direction?

BlingLoving Tue 16-Apr-19 11:52:18

Well, clearly the answer is no unless you really need/want the money. However, if you did accept it you'd need a few ground rules:
1. She has to pay for extras and you will require £xx per week to cover trips out etc.
2. You have set hours/.days you're willing to work and you cannot be flexible on those.

resultswithintwoweeks Tue 16-Apr-19 11:52:38

Not at all. A good friend wouldn't expect you to do this.

Amazed at how much stuff and money this boy needed to get through one day shock Of course, I am an old gimmer and there were three of all all the summer holidays with poor parents, but I remember having fantastic summer holidays - reading and daydreaming in the garden, playing with our pets, a bit of TV and so on.

I can't imagine you doing 8 weeks of this. Also, you shouldn't be out of pocket for all this either.

PhilomenaButterfly Tue 16-Apr-19 11:57:31

Sounds like my DS who's almost certainly going to be diagnosed with ADHD, CAMHS said as much.

Excuses987 Tue 16-Apr-19 11:58:43

Childminders and holiday clubs won’t have him due to his behaviour.

He was very well behaved here, however only because he had my full attention/kept constantly entertained.

I do feel sorry for him, he can be such a ‘good’ kid, it just takes a hell of lot of effort from the adult.

jameswong Tue 16-Apr-19 12:18:52

You would be mad to agree to it.

BlingLoving Tue 16-Apr-19 12:19:11

I have a nephew like this. DH and I worry constantly as we don't know how things are going to turn out for him. He's not a bad kid, just extremely difficult and high maintenance and his parents don't seem able to or willing to seek help.

MollysLips Tue 16-Apr-19 12:20:43

Does she know you'd need paying, plus £50 a day for activities? Tell her that.

Jellybabiesarebabies Tue 16-Apr-19 12:21:17

Why is he so badly behaved? I'd probably try and help out a bit if I could, but if the emotional cost is too great then I wouldn't blame you for saying no.

brizzlemint Tue 16-Apr-19 12:35:00

You can say no easily because unregistered childcarers can't take money for looking after a child

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Tue 16-Apr-19 12:39:09

What are your friends working hours? If she's FT then that's a huge commitment! What if you wanted to go away over the summer or visit friends? I would say that you'll do the odd day here and there if she's really stuck but I wouldn't enter into a regular arrangement.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Tue 16-Apr-19 12:41:04

Your friend also needs to look into what's driving her DS's poor behaviour. If it's so bad that no holiday club or childminder will take him then that suggests his behaviour is really quite extreme. Does he have any SEN? Is there anything going on in the home environment that could be making him feel a need to 'act out'? Children are not badly behaved for no reason.

AnnieMay100 Tue 16-Apr-19 12:41:27

Don’t agree, it’ll be the end of your friendship. Tell her you can’t make that type of commitment as you have plans etc and suggest school clubs he could join instead. She will take advantage of you. He can’t be banned from them all surely?

Rottencooking Tue 16-Apr-19 12:42:52

No way!

BananaFace5 Tue 16-Apr-19 12:43:33

If you do it, it will affect your friendship. You will feel resentful and used and when you eventually say you cannot do it anymore she will push you to keep doing it. It wont just be this holiday will it, if you do it this time it will be every holiday from now on. Personally Id make excuses as to why you cant. I'm sure there is a club somewhere that will take him, and if there isntm its not your problem. If she loses her job over it, its not your fault

Excuses987 Tue 16-Apr-19 12:43:39

he is an only child, apple of his mum’s eye, spoiled with materialistic things. Up until I looked after him for the day, I would have said just a spoilt child, with no boundaries.

After looking after him for the day, it could possibly be more. My friend has never expressed any concerns, other than he is really ‘naughty’.

I noticed he couldn’t read well, during a board game and got frustrated. Icing cakes, he found fiddly and got frustrated. Easily defused with a bit of help. I did wonder, if getting frustrated was regarded as ‘naughty’

TacoLover Tue 16-Apr-19 12:44:06

How much would she be paying you?

Piffle11 Tue 16-Apr-19 12:51:37

No, don't do it. I can't see any positives for you. No doubt it will end up with you out of pocket - even with her paying you (as when these arrangements are between friends, the full cost is never actually received). You had one day with him and although he was good, you were exhausted. Chances are a few days and you're going to be climbing the walls - he won't want to do the same thing every day, so you'll run out of stuff to do very quickly. There may be underlying issues - dyspraxia, adhd, asc, - but these are not yours to deal with. If you do, and things go ok, your friend will be relying on you to help out every holiday. If I described my DS as 'really naughty' I wouldn't want to try and get my friend to look after him as it would possibly damage our relationship.

KylieKoKo Tue 16-Apr-19 12:54:07

It's fine to say no to this a huge ask even if he was an easy child. If you wanted to help you could agree to a few specific days but you are under no obligation to.

Holidayshopping Tue 16-Apr-19 12:59:49

You’d be mad if you agreed! Did you tell her what hard work he was?

Do you work? Do you have kids if your own?

I presume you’re not just sitting at home doing nothing waiting for the opportunity to offer childcare for her kids!!

BlingLoving Tue 16-Apr-19 13:01:36

I'd also say that if he won't be accepted at holiday clubs his behaviour is way beyond naughty and she should be seeking help - either to check if he has any underlying problems or for her own parenting.

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