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3 kids - School trips abroad

(59 Posts)
TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 10:20:35

Between us, me and DP have 3 children. I have 2 boys to previous relationship and he has one. They all live with us.

His DS is 13 and has been in secondary school for 2 years. In this time he has missed out on a trip abroad as DP couldn't afford to let him go. This was before I moved in.

My DS is 11 and has just started secondary school. His school has big links with over-seas schools so they put a lot of empthasis on trips abroad. I would like him to experience some of these. One he really wants to do is a film making project on Dracula, some of which will be filmed in Gothic locations in France.

In the past I have told DS that his dad's maintanance payments will go towards secondary school trips abroad.

The thing is, DP doesn't get any maintanance for his DS so still can't afford to let him go on trips abroad. DP thinks that my DS shouldn't be allowed to go on these trips either because it won't be fair.

I can see his point, it isn't fair on his DS but can I really let my DS suffer because DSS's mother doesn't pay any maintanance?

We can't afford the trips out of our own money, my children's maintanance is all we have for stuff like this and it isn't enough to cover all 3 of them.

I really don't want DS to miss out sad I feel deep down I am being unreasonable, we can't let one go and not another but I'm so pissed off that my DS has to suffer.

How unreasonable am I being? sad

ILoveStripeySocks Wed 23-Sep-09 10:28:14

If all kids live with you, then IMO all the money should be shared out equally between them (even maintanance). If, in the pooled money, there is enough for all 3 to have trips, then send them. If there isnt, none go. I dont mean to sound harsh, but I dont see why the kids should be treated differently.

ILoveStripeySocks Wed 23-Sep-09 10:29:23

I get a pittance money for my DDs from their father, but it is just added to our family money and used for all of us.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 23-Sep-09 10:34:26

You can't send your DS on a trip abroad if your DSS isn't allowed to go. How can you justify keeping the maintenance separate as your children's money if you have pooled your household income in other ways? You are either a family or you're not.
To me the solution would be to start putting money aside that could be used as a fund for all the children to eventually have a school trip. How long is it until the trip your DS wants to do? Is there something coming out at your DSS's school in the next couple of years that he could do - Year 10 often get offered good trips. If you started planning long term perhaps you could find the money for everyone to do something.
Otherwise it just isn't fair and is likely to lead to resentment between your DSS and DS.

TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 10:35:27

Well I did suggest that we set up a joint school fund where things like uniform, trips and equiptment comes out of but we are on a low income and DP said he wants all of our spare money to go into a family holiday for all of us. I will be putting the majority of the maintanance into this.

Do you think then, that a family holiday for all of us should come before individual school trips abroad?

TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 10:37:35

I also suggested letting all 3 kids have 1 school trip, preferably the year 10 one. DP wasn't happy about this either saying if we're paying £300 for one to go abroad, we may as well save up for us all to go together.

justaboutautumn Wed 23-Sep-09 10:37:49

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justaboutautumn Wed 23-Sep-09 10:38:31

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ILoveStripeySocks Wed 23-Sep-09 10:38:35

That's something you should sit down as a family & discuss. It would be different for different families. If you cant afford both, discuss it together & see what everyones opinions are.

Stigaloid Wed 23-Sep-09 10:38:38

No - education comes first. Put the money into a travel pot for all 3 children and forgo family holiday - you can camp in the UK together for a cheap holiday but let them have educational trips.

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 10:38:49

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TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 10:39:53

My DS is intending to get a part time job at 13 but DSS refuses outright saying he "can't be bothered".

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 23-Sep-09 10:40:47

I think your children are old enough to be involved in that sort of decision. Talk your DP about how much money you can jointly afford to put into a savings account for this sort of thing and then have a family meeting to decide what everybody's priorities are and how it should be allocated. What's important is that the process of deciding should be transparent, so the boys can see it is fair. Also how much notice do you get of these trips? Could your DSs contribute towards the cost from birthday/Christmas money etc if it is something they really want to do?

kslatts Wed 23-Sep-09 10:42:04

I think if you can't afford the school trips for all of the children then it's unfair that your ds gets to go and your dss doesn't.

If the school run a number of trips is it possible that they could all go if they opted for the cheaper trips.

Personally, I would use the money for a family holiday.

TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 10:42:34

The thing is I feel a bit annoyed at DP.

DSS has NEVER been abroad. My kids have been abroad twice and I get this thrown in my face constantly. It's not my fault DP never took him abroad or that his mother was too bloody lazy to do anything about it. It really annoys me that the lad has never been outside of Britain and that his parents thought more of buying take-aways and crap.

The kids have been unfairly treat in a way but that was before I even knew them, yet I tend to get the blame for it.

muddleduck Wed 23-Sep-09 10:42:37

IMO the boys are old enough to be involved in the decision. Explain that there is only enough money for 1 school trip each or a family holiday and see what they think.

Also FWIW when I was desparate to go on an expensive school trip my parents said yes as long as I was happy to have it as my b'day and xmas present for that year.

All these things will help you gauge how important it is to the boys and help them to understand that there is a limited supply of money that has to be spent in the best way possible.

(and of course it is unfair for only one of them to have the school trip)

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 23-Sep-09 10:45:12

Your DP is coming across as a bit uncompromising. What do you mean by 'I get it thrown in my face'? Is he generally as unreasonable as he seems to be about this issue?

ILoveStripeySocks Wed 23-Sep-09 10:48:28

Perhaps you can tell them all that if they contribute, say 20% of the cost, then they can go. That will help you gauge who really wants to go and who is willing to work for it. If they are too lazy to get a job, then they dont go.

Docbunches Wed 23-Sep-09 10:50:12

Personally, I think your DSS will feel very aggrieved if you pay for your own DS to go on a school trip - no matter what the reasons are behind this decision - remember children and teenagers see things very differently to adults.

I think the family holiday is far more important.

FWIW, my DD has applied to go a school trip next year costing over £300 and several of her friends are not going because their parents can't afford it (mainly for credit crunch/job loss type reasons).

scaryteacher Wed 23-Sep-09 10:50:19

Devils advocate here a bit. If the maintenance is coming from TellAnyone's ex for his kids, then why shouldn't TA's ds go on the trip?

Alternatively, TA's ex could be approached and asked to fund the trip for birthday/Xmas. That way, ds gets the trip, and it is nothing to do with TA's current dp what the ex buys for his son.

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 10:51:11

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Docbunches Wed 23-Sep-09 10:53:29

Ilovestripeysocks.... I think your suggestion is really good!

TheLadyEvenstar Wed 23-Sep-09 11:04:13

OP Turn it around how would you (forget the dc for minute) if you dss was going and your ds couldn't as you couldn't afford it?

The imagine how your ds would feel in this situation. If you think you would all be happy with it then yes make the decision for your ds to go...but be prepared for the backlash.

I personally could not justify sending one child when i couldn't afford for the other to go.

If you are living together why is it Your money or His money why not ours?

ds1 is not dp's biological son but he supports him in every way. Because he is his dad. He does not treat ds2 and ds1 any different, well actually he does he has more time for ds1 than he does ds2.

stonethecrows Wed 23-Sep-09 11:10:30

Scareyteacher - this is the second time I'm following you around and agreeing with you. promise I'm not a stalker!!

how would you feel if you were the ex, paying maintenance to your ex partner for your child. Then that money was being spent on another child?? Think I would be fairly pissed off. I'm not saying that it's not a tricky position to be in, just trying to get another pov across.

TellAnyone Wed 23-Sep-09 11:10:51

We keep the money seperate as he is hopeless with money and I wanted a safety net. Therefore if DP gets in a shit load of debt, we lose the house or anything else bad ... I know I'm still going to have an escape route for me and my kids.

My kids come before DP, if he messes up then I want to know me and the kids will be ok.

Outgoings are shared but where he prefers to spend his spare money on crap, I like to save mine. This also causes bad feeling because he see's me as being "loaded" and him being poor when the truth is we have the same income and the same outgoings, just we budget very differently.

Some of the maintance goes into savings accounts for my boys, DSS already has a savings account.

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