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Am I expecting too much? Was I mean?

(48 Posts)
SerialReJoiner Fri 03-Feb-17 14:24:52

DS is in yr 7 and I give him £10/week for school dinners. I've also made it clear that he is welcome to make a sandwich or bring extra food from home to top up his lunches - we have plenty of snacks and fruit/veg available, with containers to use.

Just as I was dropping him at school this morning he rushes back to the car to ask me to make him a lunch to bring back to school today, as he has overspent this week.

I had the time to do this, but I told him this was his responsibility and he would just have to cope.

I feel really mean about it, but I also think I have provided ample opportunity to feed himself. He had time this morning before we left to grab a bagel or whatever. Should I have left him to it, or brought him a sandwich?

CMOTDibbler Fri 03-Feb-17 14:26:34

Left him to it. He could have told you before you left the house, or the night before, or sorted it himself.

Stormwhale Fri 03-Feb-17 14:28:29

Is this the first time it has happened? If so I would have had a stern word about it and explained that I would only help once, but taken him a sandwich. Then next time, definitely not.

Looneytune253 Fri 03-Feb-17 14:29:32

Is £10pw enough though? My daughter's school charge £2.20 for the basic meal and i don't think that includes a drink? Maybe ask him to plan his week ahead so he knows which day to make a packed lunch and you could give him a gentle reminder perhaps?

IWantATardis Fri 03-Feb-17 14:31:56

He asked you for a packed lunch just as he was about to walk into the school? confused

No, I'd have left him to it. If he'd asked the night before or first thing in the morning, then that would be different, but asking as he's being dropped off is ridiculously short notice. And missing one meal's not likely to harm him.

sweetheart Fri 03-Feb-17 14:34:57

If he now has to spend the entire day at school with no food and it's the 1st time this has happened then I think you were being mean.

SerialReJoiner Fri 03-Feb-17 14:37:49

I have spoken to the school office about the amount I'm giving him, and they confirmed it should be plenty.

DS and I have discussed he has a budget of £2/day and he knows what he can and can't eat to keep under budget. He can always grab bits from home if it isn't enough cash.

He has gone over budget before, and he has brought food from home to compensate. He once lost the £10 note between the drop off point and the credit top up kiosk thing in school, so there is slight tension between us regarding lunch money. hmm (I wish there was an online system with this school!) I did bail him out that morning with a couple of quid I had on me, but the rest of the week he brought food in from home.

I don't like the thought of him going hungry but it's only a few hours in the broad scheme of things, right?

LavenderDoll Fri 03-Feb-17 14:39:27

I wouldn't leave DC with no lunch at school. They need a meal at lunch time. I think it's pretty mean.

Ylvamoon Fri 03-Feb-17 14:39:44

You're not mean- just stick with it! It's going to be the one and only time this will happen! He have learned a few valuable lessons by the end of the day.

P.S. I am the same with DD- lunch (money) is her responsibility.

KatnissMellark Fri 03-Feb-17 14:41:55

Erm, if this was my (fully grown and totally capable) husband I would take him a sandwich grin

I think it's a bit mean not to if it's not a recurring issue. I'd probably give 2 chances then leave him to it....but then DH and I both suffer badly if blood sugar goes too low and I'd like to think he'd do the same for me if I was in a predicament.

wifework Fri 03-Feb-17 14:45:23

You are not being mean, but I just want to point out that my mum used to give me £10 a week for bus fares and lunches (lived in the middle of nowhere) and I used to spend it ALL on chocolate and crisps, and pretend that I'd forgotten my bus pass (which I didn't qualify for) to get on the bus free. So for the years of secondary school I never ate lunch and had sweets and crisps every day.

As a result I will not be trusting my kids with money for food every day. Not saying you shouldn't, but I would be asking what he spent it on.

gazingatthestars Fri 03-Feb-17 14:48:19

Wow you let your son of 11/12 go without lunch?! I understand budgeting good but I think you are taking it a bit far! I would have given him extra money. If he's overspent its because he's spending it on food not video games!!

SerialReJoiner Fri 03-Feb-17 14:50:15

Yeah, I'm feeling guilty now. sad

If it was dh I probably would have brought something in. That doesn't say much for me, does it.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 03-Feb-17 14:52:58

£2 might be enough to buy something like a sandwich and a drink, but is that enough to satisfy your son? I know you've said he can supplement with food brought from home, but he isn't for whatever reason (perhaps his friends are all buying hot meals, for example, and he'd like that too).

Of course it was mean to have made him go hungry for not budgeting/compromising properly this week, but you know that.

KatnissMellark Fri 03-Feb-17 14:54:27

Maybe the thing to do in future is sub him the cash and then take it out of next week's budget so he has to sort himself a lunch/is inconvenienced the following week. Therefore the impact is still on him/he understands money doesn't grow on trees but not quite so harsh as just being hungry all day.

Don't feel too bad though, it's not the worst thing in the world.

GeorgeTheHamster Fri 03-Feb-17 14:55:31

Don't feel guilty you did the right thing. He'll learn.

FV45 Fri 03-Feb-17 14:57:45

Do the school lend money to kids that don't have any?
I know my son's used to, and he'd just pay it back. Not something they'd do regularly, but now and again.

LittleBearPad Fri 03-Feb-17 14:58:13

Do you actually know what individual items cost? Will £2 get him the bare minimum.

taptonaria27 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:03:38

I'd struggle with my conscience on this one too as we really don't ever skip meals, BUT he had all last night and this morning to sort it out or talk to you about it. I think you probably did the right thing to teach him a lesson.
Have a proper chat over the weekend about what he's spending it on each day, maybe give him £2 daily for a couple of weeks though I recognise that is a pain to do. Also check whether he borrowed money from anyone to eat today as that is what my daughter has done when she forgot her purse.
I give my DD £20 per week but at the beginning I split it into a tenner twice a week, my eventual aim is to put £80 a month into the bank and for her to manage the cash point and account herself,
We are in the North, I based the amount on £3 per day and a fiver pocket money plus she has the opportunity to increase the pocket money by spending less or taking a packed lunch. £2 is really quite low are there any menus online you can check prices? They only have to choose a snack and a drink for the total cost to go fart higher than the meal price.

SaorAlbaGuBrath Fri 03-Feb-17 15:08:27

Love all the judgy comments, if you had your way she'd be taking packed lunches to him at work until he retired!

OP, you weren't wrong, he could have stuck to the budget, told you earlier he overspent or made himself his own lunch before he left for school.
He hasn't accepted responsibility for his mistake, and if you'd run along to the school with a packed lunch for him, he never would. Upshot being, he's not going to starve, will probably think twice about expecting you to drop everything and take him food again, and will take more responsibility for his own actions too. Can't see why there's a problem.

ImperialBlether Fri 03-Feb-17 15:13:06

Saor - he's 11! Nowhere near retirement. Her husband is nearer retirement and she would take it in for him.

OP, I would keep 5 x £2 coins in the car and give him one per day. Having said that I'd be amazed if that was enough. My son's 25 and he used to have £2.50 per day as that was the cost of a meal then. Boys that age get absolutely starving and often eat the equivalent of a whole extra meal per day without gaining weight. I wouldn't let him go hungry in school.

adamharriet Fri 03-Feb-17 15:14:06

No, you were not being mean. It's not his first week at secondary school. He knows what he needs. He is quite capable of putting a piece of fruit and snack in his bag at the very least. If he goes hungry for a few hours for ONE day it's not the end of the world and will perhaps be a reminder for him the next time.

ImperialBlether Fri 03-Feb-17 15:16:41

But the same could be said of her husband, AdamHarriet, but the OP would take him his lunch.

JustAnotherPoster00 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:24:54

If he now has to spend the entire day at school with no food and it's the 1st time this has happened then I think you were being mean.

You werent being mean at all, he overspent, wasnt considerate enough to ask the night before......lesson learned if hes hungry today

SaorAlbaGuBrath Fri 03-Feb-17 15:30:10

ImperialBlether and at 11 he's more than capable of remembering he needs lunch money or a packed lunch without expecting his mum to drop everything at the last minute and take it in for him. I'm not suggesting she starves him ffs, but teaching him that it's his own responsibility to sort out his lunches without expecting someone else to do it all for him is a valuable life lesson.

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