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young teen step daughter who thinks it's acceptable to talk about our finances

(47 Posts)
timelord92 Wed 18-Oct-17 11:42:02

What is the best course of action when your partners 13 year old daughter brings up our finances and mentions about child maintenance more than she should?

For instance, when discussing us buying her brother a jumper who is 21, has his own flat and a full time job, she said that he couldn’t buy clothes himself as for 1, he’s on minimum wage and 2: he’s paying all his bills himself as his girlfriend who lives with him doesn’t contribute anything as she is still in university (although she works night shifts so does have money coming in), while we have a joint income. Does anyone else find this response very cheeky and rude for a 13-year-old?

To give a little bit of background on us though, I’ve gave birth to our daughter a few weeks ago so I’m on maternity leave so my wages are very poor. We also moved into a new house together a few weeks before the baby was born. So, my boyfriend is mostly paying the bulk of the bills for the time being until I go back to work and is also paying maintenance for his daughter.

She has also brought up maintenance payments that my boyfriend is paying her mother, which she shouldn’t know anything about. She said the other day that the pocket money she gets each week is the difference that her dad is paying extra to her mother after it increased when he had no dependents living with him anymore. However, with the birth of our daughter the CM will be calculating it as lower again.

How have you dealt with situations like this? Should you not mention anything and hope that in the future she’ll think for herself and stop bringing up things that don’t concern her?

Or answer that our finances are none of her business?

Has anyone else had any experiences with this type of behaviour?

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 11:48:12

It's not her fault that she's been included in financial discussions by someone at some point us it? Someone has told her all this stuff she hasn't made it up herself. Your finances do have an impact on her.
She sounds like she has an old head on you get shoulders and us worried about money. That's a shame fir a 13 year old but I would not see it as rude or cheeky just her repeating what other people have said.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 18-Oct-17 12:12:15

My DSC have been included in discussions about money by their mother since they were about 5. It's stupid, pointless and confusing for them. A lot of what she's said is also complete bullshit. So that makes things even harder.

She's old enough for you to talk about if she brings it up. If you shut it down she'll feel like she's being left out or that there's something to hide. But deal with things on a case by case basis. You buying her brother a jumper is a lovely thing to do. His finances are nothing to do with her.

When she brought it up did you say it's nice to be able to give thoughtful gifts, you buy things for her brother, her and your new baby and it's up to and your DP? I assume she gets jumpers when she needs them too!

With my younger DSC we try and keep it light, but honest, and take each thing as it comes up. "Mum won't buy me football socks and mine have holes in?" - "Dad gives mum money for football kit so you need to keep asking her". It's horrible stuff like that's even an issue and would be better if she just got on with it and he didn't have to ask her. But the answer isn't for us to carry on giving her child support, spousal maintenance and paying for childcare and then also buy everything they need at hers when we provide everything they need here.

"How much did you our holiday with you in the summer cost? Mum said she doesn't have any money at the moment..." "Oh, I don't remember how much it cost but it was lovely wasn't it" As if they care how much it cost hmm

Likewise, "How much did the sofa cost"? "Do you like the new sofa? It's nicer than old one isn't it, I'm glad we saved up for it".

What your DP gives his ex is between them but you can be honest with her about if she asks. Pay the right amount and it shouldn't be an issue. What you buy your DSC and DC is up to you. Don't let her make you doubt yourself about giving gifts to DSS. It's probably usual sibling jealousy stuff about making sure things are "fair". And she might be feeling a bit insecure about the new baby. But your daughter is here, and everyone will get used to things being different.

Oswin Wed 18-Oct-17 12:17:34

She's not really talking about your finances is she. She's talking about her pocket money.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 18-Oct-17 12:20:01

And what they spend on her brother. Which is none of her business.

Faithless12 Wed 18-Oct-17 12:23:46

I don’t think he should be reducing the payment based on another child and that is her business if she is going without because he has decided to bring another child into the world. Annelovesgilbert does he actually give ringfenced money for football Kit or give an amount and that is supposed to cover everything.

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 12:37:10

It must be hard for her that there is a direct correlation between her pocket money and you having a baby. How much maintenance does your boyfriend pay for his dd?

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 18-Oct-17 12:41:50

Who says she's going without Faithless? She might be but OP doesn't say so and she has another parent who should also be supporting her financially, not just her father.

No, he doesn't ring fence the money she gets, that wouldn't be fair. But she get's over £100 a week in child maintenance and ex decided he was doing football, even though DSS isn't keen, so she gets to cover the costs of it. She also gets nearly £100 a week in spousal maintenance, childcare paid for, child benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits, has a partner who contributes to her household costs.

We pay for clothes, shoes, coats, books, toys, gadgets, holidays, days out here. She pays for things she decides they're doing when they're with her. DH wouldn't make DSS play football. We're not paying for the associated costs. His kit is a mess and it's for her to pay for.

timelord92 Wed 18-Oct-17 12:42:59

2014newme

It’s not her fault no but that doesn’t make it right.

Oswan

She is talking about our finances, she’s saying that because we have a joint income we should buy her brother clothes as he only has a minimum wage and is paying all his bills on his own.


Faithless12

Who said anything about reducing payments? I said that’s what the CM have calculated. He is in fact paying her mother the same amount. I think it’s very sneaky of her mother personally. I think children should be allowed to be children and not have their mothers telling them all the inns and outs of their parents dealings with each other.

Tilapia Wed 18-Oct-17 12:43:34

I think ‘cheeky and rude’ is a bit unfair. At 13, money is starting to become an issue for her (eg I expect she compares what she gets to what her friends get) - that’s natural. I’m not saying that you have to justify your financial decisions to her, but I think you’re being a bit over sensitive to her comments.

hasitcometothis33 Wed 18-Oct-17 12:45:37

13 year old girl in spoiled entitlement shocker

ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 18-Oct-17 13:00:34

However, with the birth of our daughter the CM will be calculating it as lower again

So your step daughter now costs less to bring up because you have had a baby?

PlateOfBiscuits Wed 18-Oct-17 13:07:28

I don’t see it as rude or cheeky at all. It’s a shame she’s thinking about money worries though.

Migraleve Wed 18-Oct-17 13:11:11

I’m not sure what is cheeky or rude about her trying to talk about things she has obviously been exposed to? If you all do t want her to try and have conversations about family finances then I’m afraid you need to discuss these things privately.

I have always been happy for my DC to know what’s going on financially, but I would never consider them cheeky or rude if they went on to give an opinion, even if I felt their opinion was wrong, they are entitled to have it.

zzzzz Wed 18-Oct-17 13:12:29

I don’t think it’s cheeky at all. Some people are open about sex, some money, some family history, this child’s family just have different boundaries to you.

Xoticdreamz Wed 18-Oct-17 13:14:01

She doesn't sound rude or cheeky. It's often the case within fractured families that money becomes more of an issue/ concern/ cause of arguments within the parents that sometimes filters down to the kids.

toofarfromcivilisation Wed 18-Oct-17 13:14:07

Is she Greek? They tell you all & ask all!

misscph1973 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:20:26

Her mum should not involve her in money issues like this. But there is not much you can do, other than not tell her off, that would be making it worse. Don't give it too much attention.

LongWavyHair Wed 18-Oct-17 13:22:39

Her mum has been talking to her about stuff. Not fair to involve children like that.

user1471495191 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:27:27

I find this thread really surprising. My parents were always very open about finances with me, and I find it hard to understand the feeling that these should be kept private from children (we were taught never to discuss finances with those outside the immediate family though) I think it has given me a healthy and prudent attitude to spending and saving. While the step family situation makes it harder, especially if you believe not all the information she's been given is true, My approach would be to sit down and answer her questions as honestly but simply as you can - e.g. A person on a single income can be better off, if they don't have dependents to take into account, and/or have fewer outgoings. I would also be very honest and matter of fact about your reduced income due to maternity leave. This seems the only way to counter what she is being told from other sources, and helps her to feel included and treated like an adult. Shutting down conversations when she is already being given info from elsewhere, will only make you look defensive and make her conclude that what she has already been told is the truth. Of course, she might choose not to believe you, but at least you can say you have always been truthful, accurate, open and transparent.

JassyRadlett Wed 18-Oct-17 13:31:00

The way you talk about her is like she’s not a part of your family at all.

There is nothing wrong with financially literate teenagers, or with teenagers who advocate for their siblings.

She’s been exposed to a partial picture. Why not share more with her? Money is tight because house move, maternity leave etc. It would be great if there were more because then choices like the jumper would be easy, however you’re currently prioritising other things, such as keeping the maintenance the same.

She’s in the process of growing up and learning about how finances work. You can support her, or tell her she’s ‘rude’ (on what basis? These issues have been discussed with her, she’s not allowed to participate in those discussions or have views?) and that the family finances are none of her business, despite being a member of the family.

Belleoftheball8 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:36:17

TBH I think kids do question money for example. I spent abit extra on dd birthday present because she doesn't currently do activities where as my DS does. My DS couldn't believe how much I had spent and turned round and said why doesn't my dad pay half to which I stated he does we do alternate months and we'll as his contributing to his up keep. He's only 9 years old and does seem to have an obsession with money he has his own at his house but we try to teach him the value of money.

wannabestressfree Wed 18-Oct-17 13:40:34

The thing is you have a decision to make when your divorced/ separated. Are you honest? I left a letter on the table and my 13 year old saw it and he was shocked how little his dad had to pay (and that he was in arrears) I could have lied but actually I do struggle and why should I shoulder all the responsibility of buying the things he likes- he has just discovered nice clothes and shoes. I explained why- new job and Dad and left his partner and children and now had to pay more and he understands. I honestly don’t think wrapping them up in cotton wool does them any favours.

Belleoftheball8 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:40:59

Also in terms of maintenance I put my ex to shame when he told me he would reduce the amount he would pay for DS because of their baby when I went to explain he currently contributed £4- £5 a day to DS. Least to say he didn't amend his payment. The fact you stated cm suggests your dp is only paying the minimum amount and tbh teenagers in particular cost considerably more than a baby.

timelord92 Wed 18-Oct-17 14:42:30

AnneLovesGilbert

Yep we’ve had their mother tell them all kinds too. She’s actually told them that the youngest wasn’t wanted by him, so she had to take matters into her own hands (her own words) and stopped taking the pill behind his back. Most recently, it’s ‘your second best’ because we couldn’t pick her up straight away as we were shopping.

That’s what I was wanting to know really, whether it’s acceptable to tell her how things work our end and not just her mother’s version of reality. For instance, that our finances are low at the minute, if she was to mention it again. It’s just everyone up to now doesn’t like to mention anything so to me, all they are hearing is what their mum is saying and with people not telling them the whole picture they will believe it.

No we didn’t say how nice it was to give thoughtful gifts as It’s not really a gift. It came about because I’ve booked the children onto a photoshoot and he doesn’t have a jumper to wear for it. As it’s only a few days away I said we most likely won’t have enough time to go and get one, that’s when the conversation came up. Since I’ve been with my DP I’ve bought her clothes for our house so she’s got something to wear, and when her brother lived here with us I bought him a few things too.

That’s a comeback I’ve not thought of before saying that dad gives mum money you should ask her. Like I said, up until now, everyone has always just bought her it as in the past her mum has shouted at her when she has asked for stuff. My DP would rather get her these things that have her mum cause her stress. She broke her tablet a few weeks ago and she refused to tell her mum for fear of being screamed at. My DP bought another one and she replaced it without her mother knowing anything.

He does pay the right amount but as with everything to do with the mother, its never enough.

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