To have left this child behind because of their inappropriate (for the weather) clothes

(407 Posts)
Oilpyii Tue 04-May-21 11:27:45

This afternoon I’ve been asked to take a child with my children to an activity we go to regularly. It’s near the docks and involves a 20-25min walk along the waterfront. Even further inland the weather is rough here, and forecast to get wetter this afternoon. I’ve already text to the parent ‘xxx will need warmer/ drier clothes than you think, it’s always wetter and colder than you think at xxxx. Puddles are a nightmare too’

Said child has just turned up with a thin hoody, no coat, and canvas pumps. There is no issue with clothing and I know the child has numerous coats and waterproof shoes. They are affluent and have huge amounts of everything, I’ve seen their clothing.

I pointed out it’s wet/ cold and was told xxxx doesn’t want to bring a coat. I said they need one, can you pop back to get it (their house is 2-3 min from the bus stop), I’m happy to wait and the bus isn’t due for a while anyway. It was repeated they didn’t want one. The child stroppily said she wasn’t taking one.

For context I’ve struggled every time I’ve taken this child out and tend to avoid it now, as they moan about everything. How far to walk/ being wet/ bored/ hungry. This is not the kind of child that runs laughing in rain and seems unaware of cold and wet (I know a few!), this is a child that will provide misery and they go on and on about being wet or cold and then try to demand someone else’s waterproofing. Or want to turn back. Last time I saw them we met and they wore suitable footwear for a forest walk and we ended up not actually being able to walk anywhere (group meeting) and it was a drama. Another time at brownie camp they refused a coat and made it miserable for the whole pack with the fuss over and over as they froze and got soaked.

Their mums view is it’s their choice/ a lesson they can learn. (Little laugh). After a lot of back and forth I said ‘look no coat, either your mum can come or you stay at home. Get your coat if you are coming with us’. They chose to go home.

Mum is annoyed the child is missing the paid for activity (she can’t come due to another child needing a lift soon). She’s text me a cross text saying it’s for her to parent her child. My view is I have no urge to parent her child, but I refuse to put up with the inevitable moaning.

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Oilpyii Tue 04-May-21 11:29:02

That was long, I’m annoyed 😂

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Susanshite Tue 04-May-21 11:30:25

Not unreasonable. Child sounds a spoilt brat and mother an idiot.

MotherOfGodWeeFella Tue 04-May-21 11:31:03

How old is the child? She's clearly not learning the lesson if she's refusing a coat again, is she? Good on you for standing up for a sensible approach.

LaBellina Tue 04-May-21 11:31:25

I was going to say YABU based on the title of your thread but after reading it I’d say YANBU. You were more then reasonable and still they refused. Next time I can assure you it won’t happen again.

AryaStarkWolf Tue 04-May-21 11:31:47

What age is the child? But yeah I agree with you, I wouldn't be bothered doing them anymore favours in future either

Oilpyii Tue 04-May-21 11:32:19

7, nearly 8. A bright headstrong girl, Tbf I sound moany but I’m frustrated. She has nice qualities, she just can be damn hard work.

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SisterGabriel Tue 04-May-21 11:32:51

You’re in loco parentis while you’re looking after the child, so your choice what she wears.

Cocomarine Tue 04-May-21 11:32:52

YANBU, but I’d have quite liked the natural consequences to play out here - if you could ignore the moaning and not worry about them being soaked and not been affected by their mood-sucking!

babycheeseplant Tue 04-May-21 11:33:27

Are you leading the activity? Or is the child a friend of your child and you are doing the parents parents favour by taking them?
I suppose either way it's fine to have your boundaries but if the parent has paid you to have their child be part of an extra-currucular activity then I suppose its up to them to send them dressed appropriately and you would maybe be best to refund them?

HollowTalk Tue 04-May-21 11:33:28

Well if you were the one taking her child out then you were parenting her child, not her. All too easy for the mum to let her child go off dressed like that when she's not the one having to deal with the moaning afterwards.

swimlittlefishy Tue 04-May-21 11:34:24

She’s text me a cross text saying it’s for her to parent her child

I'd tell her it's about time she started doing so by dressing the kid properly in the first place.

HumphreyCobblers Tue 04-May-21 11:34:43

YANBU in any way.

You would be ‘parenting’ the girl on the activity so you get to decide what is appropriate.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 04-May-21 11:34:48

Allow her to parent her child by taking them to any activities herself. The drama is annoying, but the text pulling you up would be the last straw.

Sn0tnose Tue 04-May-21 11:35:20

She’s text me a cross text saying it’s for her to parent her child.

The only response to this is ‘You’re absolutely right. I’m so glad you understand and agree that it’s not my job to deal with a child who is cold, wet and miserable because they weren’t dressed for the weather’.

Hoppinggreen Tue 04-May-21 11:35:29

I would say that it’s up to the child/parent how cold and wet they get but if it’s impacting the rest of you because they moan or they can’t be left somewhere safe while the rest of you do the activity then you were right to refuse,
As for the child “learning” well they aren’t so her Mum needs to step up

AryaStarkWolf Tue 04-May-21 11:35:30


*She’s text me a cross text saying it’s for her to parent her child*

I'd tell her it's about time she started doing so by dressing the kid properly in the first place.


dottiedaisee Tue 04-May-21 11:35:46

Why couldn’t she have sent a coat and then at least there would be a choice...mother and child both sound hard work !

FlaviaAlbiaWantsLangClegBack Tue 04-May-21 11:36:50

It's such a pleasant change to see an OP with a backbone in these situations flowers

The DM can make all the parenting choices she wants but she has to deal with the consequences.

beela Tue 04-May-21 11:36:58


I totally get the parenting tactic that the other mum was using, but that only works when you are there dealing with the consequences. It's not fair to inflict your child's life lesson learning on someone who is doing you a favour.

TooManyAnimals94 Tue 04-May-21 11:36:59

Ugh this drives me mad. I'm a riding instructor and the clothes some people send their kids in when it's sub zero temps or really wet is ridiculous. Doesn't sound like you were unreasonable at all.

aSofaNearYou Tue 04-May-21 11:37:18

I think you need to tell her about the previous moaning. It's up to her to parent her child but she needs a reality check about what that means for others doing her favours.

Oilpyii Tue 04-May-21 11:37:53

@Cocomarine I’ve tried that. Think walking a tenth of the speed of every one else back to the station and turning the 25 min walk into an hour. She’s not mine so no frog marching...

@babycheeseplant I’m not running it, I was just asked to take the child. No chance I’m refunding as I’m not obligated to take anyone.

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 04-May-21 11:39:26

You did the right thing.

"Friend, I've tried the "take them anyways they will learn" angle on various trips in the past and it has always ended up with them moaning about the cold and wet and, frankly, ruining the experience for everyone. I'm more than happy for them to come along on days out and with us to activities, but I am no longer taking them if they are not suitably dressed. We leave at 2 - if they've decided that they will come in a rainjacket/wellies, then drop them back off. Otherwise, I will just leave without them"

Oilpyii Tue 04-May-21 11:40:06

@aSofaNearYou I have told her. Last time I took her anywhere was nearly a big fall out as I brought her home really early. That was over a year ago though and she’s mellowed a lot since then (I’ve never ever for all my 5 children ever returned another child home early).

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