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Delusions of Grandeur/daughter trying to be too Posh.

(54 Posts)
azA99 Mon 26-Jan-15 18:34:54

I'm sure this has happened to other people. Help!

My daughter switched to a sixth form with a different set of people and instantly started to try and keep up with the joneses. First of all, there was a school trip offered which I could barely afford, and which she didn't admit to me she could attend as a subsidised (ie poor) student - I suppose the stigma? I found this out later, after we'd got the money together & paid in full. To be fair, she worked for over £100 of this herself.

Technology and so on have been a problem, but she's got a weekend job now and has this under control so she could get the 'right' kind of phone, and she also has organised for herself the 'right' sort of clothes, bag, etc. She's about to turn 18, is saving her wages to throw a fancy party (!?!), and has asked me to pay for her flight for a holiday with these posh kids this summer as her present. She's saving for the remaining costs. So far, so good.

I've just found out the school are doing another trip abroad this year, and both myself and her dad can't contribute and she's telling me that this is shameful and she's upset. I pointed out that she could have had the birthday flight for the school trip and not the mates-holiday. They are a gang of kids who get this non-stop money from their parents. All year long. constant foreign holidays, festivals, phones, clothes, you name it - and none of them seem to work. She's the only one. I really feel for her, but her fury at trying to keep pace makes her very angry and often very snooty. I'm not ashamed of my income and my politics. How have others coped with this stuff? I just hold firm. I try not to start preaching about these families who can afford to (or who can justify) throwing this much money at their entitled young adults, or to recommend that she finds less spoilt friends. I've made this mistake and it made everything worse. This is the hardest part - wondering what on earth she sees in them. I know it must be painful to hear parents say 'when I was your age...' - so I'll say it here now! When I was her age, all my friends worked and paid for everything themselves. argghgh. I wonder if it's the current climate. Who knows.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Mon 26-Jan-15 18:42:00

It is ok for rich parents to pay for their childrn's holidays, festival tickets, etc. it's their way of life, like it or not.

Not being able to keep up with friends is a very hard, but very useful lesson to learn for your daughter. Life is inherently unfair, and a lot of us are simply unable to afford one thing after another. Your dd will not see it like that, but she will very quickly learn the value of money, whereas her friends might be in for a very unpleasant surprise later on in life.

Tell her clearly how much money you can part with, let her work to top it up, and that's it. And do talk to her about payday lenders and credit cards etc. so that she doesn't fall into that trap!

LittleBearPad Mon 26-Jan-15 18:43:28

If you can't afford it you can't afford it but you do seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder regarding these kids. Eg what do your politics have to do with anything? Having higher incomes doesn't mean they are entitled or horrible kids.

marialuisa Mon 26-Jan-15 18:49:54

TBH I'd be proud that she was working to pay for the things she wants rather than sneering about "delusions of grandeur". There's nothing wrong with aspiring to have a better lifestyle.

thelittlebooktroll Mon 26-Jan-15 18:52:35

You are making a lot of assumptions about your daughter's friendshmm

Chilicosrenegade Mon 26-Jan-15 19:02:34

I'm guessing dd hates your attitude tbh. Drop the chip eh?

If be encouraging her earning potential along with grades.

You also sound old. She kind of has to have material things, then lose one or something silly, to realise they don't matter. To grow up. I think you don't like the stuff she wants to do which is blighting your view a bit. Eg festivals. Possibly a bit inverted snobbery tbh

usualsuspect333 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:11:07

She will probably look in a few years and cringe.

Trying to keep up with the Joneses does no one any good.

Just tell her you can't afford all the things her friends parents can. She's 18 she should be able to understand.

OP doesn't sound old confused

KillmeNow Mon 26-Jan-15 19:13:08

Chilicosrenegade What does Old sound like?

I wouldn't want to offer an opinion in case I offend .

usualsuspect333 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:14:00

I'd be a bit hmm if any of my children found it shameful that I couldn't afford to spend ££££££ on them.

That's not aspiration really is it?

caravanista13 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:21:43

I'm not posh but my husband and I have both had well paid professional jobs and have worked hard for our comfortable standard of living. Why wouldn't I want to let my children benefit from that? They really appreciate what we've been able to do for them, definitely don't take it for granted and understand that others are not so fortunate.

usualsuspect333 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:25:37

I'm sure the OP works hard too.

shobby Mon 26-Jan-15 19:32:51

I'm surprised it hadn't happened way before late teens! I remember my two kids telling me when they were about ten they felt similarly deprived and were the only kids in their class that hadn't been to Disneyland Florida......and if that was true they would still be! We just said it wasn't something we could afford... sorry. It doesn't hurt to offer a choice of which trip she would prefer to go on, but the bottom line is, you stick to one or the other. It seems unfair to them when their mates parents are paying for them, but it's a life lesson they need to learn early, there will always be these inequalities. Better they learn it now than you get into debt? Don't feel bad about it, she is not deprived and you are being honest and treating her as an adult by explaining your financial situation to her.

Georgina1975 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:47:53

Agree usualsuspect - a friend of mine is quite well-off and talks about how hard she works. As if say, a carer for the elderly, doesn't!?!

Anyway. I guess there are worse things? Are her friends nice kids? Rich + nice are not mutually exclusive, you know.

I would actually sit her down with my bank statements and/or household spreadsheet and go through the finances. My dad did this me once after I winged one too many times about a ZX Spectrum. I was shocked at what my mum and dad had coming in versus their basic outgoings. He wasn't mean or trying to shame me...just very "this is (literally) the bottom line kid".

Sunbury1986 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:50:56

Make her watch The Jones...film with Demi Moore and David Duchovny. She will understand. Fur coat and no knickers also a good phrase to teach her.

nequidnimis Mon 26-Jan-15 21:25:19

'I try not to start preaching about these families'

'Entitled'

'Less spoilt friends'

'Wondering what she sees in them'

I suppose your DD has picked up on your prejudice and disdain, and has possibly interpreted it as a contemptible inverse snobbery whereby you have judged her friends on nothing more than their income.

It sounds like she aspires to having nice things, and is willing to work hard for them, which isn't a bad thing IMO. If she's occasionally frustrated because she can't keep up then that's a normal reaction, particularly at 18, as its a hard life lesson to learn.

I've been in your DDs position, and now my DC are more like the friends you describe. I wasn't better than my DC because I was poor and hardworking, it doesn't work like that.

caravanista13 Mon 26-Jan-15 22:28:09

Usualsuspect - I certainly wasn't suggesting the OP hasn't worked hard, I'm sure she has. However, it's unfair of her to assume that her daughter's friends are 'posh' or 'entitled' just because their parents have more money.

usualsuspect333 Mon 26-Jan-15 22:30:05

You won't expect your DCs to work for things they want then?

sandgrown Mon 26-Jan-15 22:44:20

When I was young I worked for a farmer who bred very nice horses. I used to go with him to deliver them . The real posh people with "old money" wore patched jackets and drove battered landrovers. They spoke beautifully and were so polite. The nouveu riche with the flashy New horse boxes often treated us like the hired help. Money does not always equal class!

stinkingbishop Tue 27-Jan-15 07:10:14

I was your daughter, OP, and it makes me cringe just thinking about it! I remember clipping property ads out of the paper for more 'suitable' houses I thought Mum could buy. Again, this happened when I moved from a perfectly nice school to the sixth form of a boarding school where I was in the minority by only having one surname. Belonging is a pretty primal human need.

I think it's just part of growing up. Two reasons. Firstly, she's at the prime age for identity-exploration, trying to work out who you are, mould yourself accordingly. The rich kids are the in-crowd. If the in-crowd were all student politickos you'd be writing a post worrying about her demanding to fly off to Cairo to join in a protest.

Secondly, as posters have said, this is when you start to get ambitious, plan your life, lifestyle...it's no bad thing that she's aiming high, even if, at the moment, that seems superficial to you because it's just about money. 18 is young. Her brain isn't fully formed yet. It'll take a bit more growing up and a few knocks, sadly, to realise the only way to have a happy self is to get rid of it, IYKWIM. I think the fact she's working to pay for a lot of it is awesome, frankly.

I don't think DM could have said or done anything to change my way of thinking tbh. So I'd just keep the relationship going, don't lecture or criticise, but be honest eg no, we can't afford that poppet, sorry.

She'll be at Uni before you know it, and come back for the first holiday looking like whichever archetype she's decided she now wants to be smile.

TheWordFactory Tue 27-Jan-15 08:48:44

First of all OP your daughter is not trying to be 'posh'!

She simply sees what others have financially and would like a slice of that pie. Completely and utterly understandable.

Your view that her friends are spoiled and entitled, their families not good enough will cut no ice with your DD. Why? Because it's a load of old shit, and she knows it.

What they are is richer than you.

If you got over that, then I'm sure she would.

spanky2 Tue 27-Jan-15 09:11:09

It is hard as I know that I want to give my dcs the things they want. I have felt that my dcs are the only ones who haven't been on an aeroplane or to America. All you can do is what you have done. Explain how much money there is and then she will have to make up the difference. Teenagers need to be the same it is pack mentality.

azA99 Tue 27-Jan-15 11:18:54

Hi thanks for your replies! I'm 43, by the way, ever so old.

My inverted snobbery - that's a fair point. That's probably me. But there are some kids she won't invite over, and who I do judge, because they're snooty and she cries about keeping up with them and her life seems sad for knowing them, or being excluded from their country house parties, and so when I say they're entitled, it's because they do look down on others, including her, so you know - it's from love. My judgement hasn't come out of nowhere. I love my daughter and I'm enormously proud of how she works to get the things she wants.

I work incredibly hard, myself, but my income is very small. I run a project for a marginalised group. I'm probably ever so pious ; ) I try not to be but I learn a lot from those with a lot less than me. We used to be much richer, so it's a hard life lesson we're going through and it has taught me a great deal, as I'm sure others have also learned in similar situations. I really admire how she's dealing with it, and I appreciate all the replies. Money and our class chips are ever so divisive, as I can see here in these comments....

Oh, and yes, the 'chip' comment is fair enough too! I don't think it's such a bad chip but I'm working on it.

lucydaniels4658 Tue 27-Jan-15 17:40:43

My DD is just the same.Her friends are lovely but their lives are a million miles from ours. I get quite embarassed as in the past her friends parents have paid for very expensive things for DD then I feel I need to match it.DD also find hundreds of houses a day she'd prefer way out of my league .

azA99 Tue 27-Jan-15 18:40:34

I'm really grateful to those who have posted who know what this feels like. Richer friends can be just lovely and very mindful. But some aren't. thankyou.

imip Tue 27-Jan-15 18:52:03

Tbh op, I think your daughter sounds like she has a really good work ethic. She's contributing to what she wants, and hey, she's a teenager, so I suppose it's when we begin to learn to have different aspirations. She'll encounter so many different people throughout her life, this really puts her in good stead for the future.

I guess many of us have a chip on our shoulders. But from the outside looking at your dd, I'd be really proud that she was working, aspiring and actively contributing. As she moves to uni, I'm sure the playing field will even out a little. I have friends from all walks of life, very rich and very poor, tbh, I couldn't type cast any group - some have wankers and some don't - irrespective of moneyY

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