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Do you/should I remind my kids about their dads birthday?

(30 Posts)
startingover231 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:13:06

Just that really. In two weeks it will be my XH's birthday, his third since he walked out on us for OW. Up until this year I have always reminded (nagged) my kids not to forget his birthday/fathers day, partly because it was always me who 'did' birthdays in our house. This year I don't know what to do.... Kids are 23,21 & 17 and I feel they're old enough to remember/get cards etc themselves. Two eldest are working but the 17 year old has no money of her own so I would have to give her money for card and present. Since he left he's never once given youngest money to buy me a card/ present for my birthday/Mother's Day /Christmas and although I've loved and treasure them, she's been embarrassed about only having a handmade card and no present to give me. I don't want to be petty but it's time to stop it now isn't it?
What do the rest of you do? I don't care if he feels hurt they've forgotten his birthday but I don't want the kids to feel bad when they do! ( & they surely will!)

INeedNewShoes Wed 26-Oct-16 08:17:23

The 'kids' need to stand on their own two feet. If they forget and feel bad, then good; maybe that means they'll remember next year. It's not rocket science to have the date in their phone or computer calendar set up to remind them.

As a compromise I might remind the 17 yr old this year as you'll have to give her money anyway.

0hCrepe Wed 26-Oct-16 08:18:07

Maybe tell them once only and say from now on they need to remember by putting a reminder in their phones as you won't tell them in future. Then you have explicitly passed responsibility on to them.

TheNaze73 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:19:09

What crepe says. Spot on

Friolero Wed 26-Oct-16 08:20:30

I wouldn't at this age - they're old enough to sort out a card and present themselves, and if he doesn't reciprocate on your birthday then I wouldn't feel guilty.

Hermano Wed 26-Oct-16 08:23:08

Off topic I know but why doesn't the 17 yr old have any money - do they get pocket money and have spent it?

Walkacrossthesand Wed 26-Oct-16 08:24:07

As a 'bridging stage' towards leaving it entirely up to them, one reminder from you to the DCs re 'dads birthday', and an offer to give 17 year old a small sum for a gift, is all that's needed, surely? No need to 'nag' or make it your responsibility that they do something - equally, if you remind & they don't, any guilty feelings on their part, are theirs to own! You did remind them!

AuntieStella Wed 26-Oct-16 08:26:16

Agree with crepe that you do it this year, and then explicitly tell them they need to deal with it in future.

(You can always hang that on youngest turning 18 and the need to find their adult way ahead with their father. If you ever speak to him , a 'they're all 18, I'm out' sort of message might be useful too. Though whether he'll ever even notice, let alone appreciate, what you did to keep things going all seems a bit unlikely.

FrancisCrawford Wed 26-Oct-16 08:30:24

Do your DC remember your birthday/each other's birthdays? It is hard for them not to know when Father's Day/Mothers Day is because the shops are full of it

I wouldn't be reminding them because they are all more than old enough to remember for them selves and then to decide how they want to mark the day -card, card and present or nothing.

Does your 17 year old not get any pocket money? If so, I'd be expecting her to put money aside for family birthdays, Christmas etc, not just spending everything on herself. You can get cards for less than a pound at the Card Factory so surely she can afford that?

BertrandRussell Wed 26-Oct-16 08:32:29

I would.

But why doesn't your 17 year old have any money?

1DAD2KIDS Wed 26-Oct-16 08:34:49

I would send them a simple text to remind them of the date and leave it at that. Let your kids handle it how they want. If the youngest hasn't got and money they will either phone to say happy birthday, ask you for some money or simply not bother if they don't care. Remined them of the date and put the ball in their court.

startingover231 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:35:53

hermano 17 year old doesn't have any money because she's chosen to opt out of college because she wants to work, has done nothing about finding a job, lies in bed until lunchtime etc. etc. Currently having to use 'tough love', no job no money tactic, because if I give her pocket money she only spends it on fags/booze! But that's another story!!!
auntiestella completely no contact with XH, his choice, I've tried to engage with him to discuss DD's 'issues' & he completely ignores me so no chance I'd have to explain !!!
crepe that was sort of my thinking remind them this year and tell them it's down to them from now on!

DramaInPyjamas Wed 26-Oct-16 08:38:37

Surely they can write it in a calendar / diary or pop it in a phone reminder / alarm ?
He's been their dad for at least 17 years, they should know the date by now.
It sounds like they can't be bothered to think for themselves tbh

Pluto30 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:40:33

At those ages, there's no excuse for not knowing a parent's birthday.

Don't remind them. Let them endure the fallout, if there is one.

startingover231 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:42:48

pyjamas it is true that i have done far too much of the 'thinking' for everyone (including him) over the years! I realise that now, but it's hard to stop feeling responsible for everything/everyone when you've spent your whole adult life in that role! If I could turn back the clock I would be very different! But I doubt there's anyone on here who wouldn't do some things differently given their time again!

hellsbellsmelons Wed 26-Oct-16 08:42:53

Is there a reason your 17 YO doesn't have any money/can't work?
I would tell them.
I still remind my DD who is 18 although it's in her diary now so I won't have to anymore.

DramaInPyjamas Wed 26-Oct-16 08:44:12

Ex and I are 2 years into being separated on birthdays/Christmas/Father's Day and DC have just turned teen, but they do get pocket money.

The one and only time I mention it is at the beginning of January when we sit down and fill up the family calendar with dates.

Spottytop1 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:45:07

I always remind my older ones ( 19,21,23) but don't buy anything from them. I do buy a card and gift from little one though.

rainbowstardrops Wed 26-Oct-16 08:45:12

By the sound of it, he wouldn't be that bothered if they did forget!
I'd possibly casually mention it to them in passing but they really are all old enough to remember for themselves.

DramaInPyjamas Wed 26-Oct-16 08:47:01

I remember having to remind my ex to do and remember absolutely everything, that's why I'm determined to try and bring the kids up with a bit of independent thinking! Your right, it's so hard! smile

MissMargie Wed 26-Oct-16 08:59:19

I think I would remind them this time but say that it's the last time you are doing it. It's easy to mark your calendar on your phone so it reminds you in the future, if they want to remember.

Lovelybangers Wed 26-Oct-16 09:06:13

I'd leave them to it. They are all quite old enough to keep a calendar of important dates and post a card.

DS is 18 and I stopped buying him cards for his dad when he was 14/14. I would give him a couple of quid to go to the shop for a card. I didn't have to remind him of the date. Although one year be did forget and I got the disappointed text from his dad. I explained that I had passed on the responsibility to DS.

GrinchyMcGrincherson Wed 26-Oct-16 09:30:07

I would remind this year once and tell them all it's their responsibility from now on.

Youngest will be 18 next year (and hopefully in employment!) so it's a good time to bow out.

startingover231 Wed 26-Oct-16 10:51:40

Thanks for your replies! It's always good to know what others do/think!
pyjamas you are so right! I really want my kids to be independent thinkers! I have molly coddled them for far too long!

startingover231 Wed 26-Oct-16 10:54:58

grinchy oh I really do hope youngest is in employment next year! I hate the 'tough love' scenario! But it's the only way to make her realise life isn't free!!!

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