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How would you respond to this?

(33 Posts)
PlinkertyPlonk Sun 13-Dec-15 20:13:41

3 teenage children of varying ages. DH prepared dinner for all of us. An hour before dinner, all 3 kids say they aren't around/won't be eating dinner - one is at a friends and has been offered dinner, the second has just decided they are going to a friends and will eat there, and the third says they are too tired and need to sleep, having been out until 2.30am the previous night.

I wouldn't mind if it was a one off, but it happens regularly - we buy in lots of food for when they are here, only for them to say they are eating elsewhere. How would you respond, is it a battle worth fighting?

FinallyHere Sun 13-Dec-15 20:22:06

No teenagers around here, but do you have a freezer?

YeOldeTrout Sun 13-Dec-15 20:28:40

Ask them before you start tea what their plans are and tell them to stick to the plan that said.

YeOldeTrout Sun 13-Dec-15 20:28:52

... *they said.

GlitteryShoes Sun 13-Dec-15 20:31:08

I charge mine £5 if they don't let me know by 4pm. It has reduced this annoying behaviour somewhat!

RiverTam Sun 13-Dec-15 20:41:34

Not confused, are you saying that DH prepared dinner way in advance? I would ask at point of starting to cook and then expect them to be there if they said they would.

You could always just start buying and cooking for you and DH <evil cackle>.

YeOldeTrout Sun 13-Dec-15 20:45:39

We don't start preparing dinner until 45-60minutes before serving, so that hour would be plenty reasonable notice.

TaliZorah Sun 13-Dec-15 20:47:33

Just ask them before dinner if they plan on eating at home

LynetteScavo Sun 13-Dec-15 20:50:27

I'd stick it in the fridge and not bother cooking for them tomorrow.

I'd do something tastier and easy just for me and DH tomorrow.

Nigxmumxnog Sun 13-Dec-15 21:01:21

personally i make my children go out into the scottish wilderness and hunt for their own food, if they come back empty handed they dont eat, simple as that. This reduces mealtime stress for me and it is my personal favourite technique to deal with mealtime.

Unescorted Sun 13-Dec-15 21:09:18

Nig I hope you don't give them traps / guns or a key to edible plants or fungai... that makes it far too easy, may as well let them have a ping meal.

PlinkertyPlonk Sun 13-Dec-15 21:11:04

Some great responses, thanks! Glad I'm not being totally unreasonable. When DH started cooking (the dish took more than 1 hour to cook), they were all planning to be around. He's just rubbish at laying down the law and setting out consequences, and then wonders why they run rings around him.

LBOCS2 Sun 13-Dec-15 21:11:32

From when I was a teenager my DM expected me to let her know well in advance if I was going to be home for dinner. Well in advance being a couple of hours before she served dinner (usually about 7pm). It wasn't worth NOT telling her because she would be extremely cross and passive aggressive otherwise (we had a great relationship - she was just very capable of letting us know when she was pissed off!).

Get them into the habit now. It's disrespectful for them to expect you to provide to their whim.

Sadik Sun 13-Dec-15 21:14:09

I'd stick it in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner, tbh - one less meal to cook. Look at it this way, at least you didn't get three extra hungry people . . .

Peebles1 Sun 13-Dec-15 21:37:54

I agree with Sadik. I was in exactly the same position (2 now at uni so a little easier). I just adjusted what I cooked and made sure it was something that would keep and they could grab later (they often came in at different times - not always selfish, sometimes because of jobs), or didn't want it until the next day. I basically became more chilled about it. It's quite liberating! Me and DH just made sure we saw to ourselves and didn't count on them being around. I must admit I'd be cross if I'd told them an hour before though, and they then backed out. Their other trick is to scoff a massive snack half an hour before when we're not looking, so they're not hungry for dinner. Aren't they great? Have you read 'The Teenager Who Came to Tea'? Hilarious, especially for those with teenage boys.

Sgtmajormummy Sun 13-Dec-15 21:39:51

Lunch-boxes are sorted for tomorrow then. Can't beat a congealed lamb chop and cold mash! fgrin

Personally I'm happy to let my teenager who only has Sunday afternoon free from commitments to just go off and do his own thing, in fact I actually book him in advance if I WANT him at home at that time.
They're teenagers and friends/social life come before parents. As long as they're suitably polite about dropping you for better company I'd let them off. The food will keep.

Helenluvsrob Sun 13-Dec-15 21:45:26

It's really not something that would bother me - don't sweat the small stuff and all that. There are plenty of opportunities to get het up with teenagers as it is .

For so many reasons food here is either lovingly home cooked - but batch cooked ahead of time. Or is no effort food - beans/ eggs etc. Either way the chilli or what ever will save till tomorrow or the eggs remain un scrambled!

BackforGood Sun 13-Dec-15 21:51:51

One of these 'pick your battles' things for me - this wouldn't be one of them. I just plate it up and they can microwave it when they get in, or take it out with them the next day, or eat it for their meal at home the next day. Sorted. Doesn't need to be a big deal.

PlinkertyPlonk Sun 13-Dec-15 22:00:14

They are only here for the weekend and we are away this week, so no one to eat it. The salad won't freeze well!. Totally get that they would rather be with friends, that plans change and they don't think of anyone but themselves, but its still inconsiderate and i think needs to be picked up on.
Unfortunately they are rude when they then ask for lifts to their friends (shouting at DH because he's taking to long to get out of the door).

MrsJayy Sun 13-Dec-15 22:06:16

They sound a pain in the backside and walking all over you both its up to you if you let them or not this pick your battles stuff only works when ypur kids dont take ths piss if tea is their they should respect you and not wander off to friends getting lifted and laid are you going to carry on letting them treat you like this?

Helenluvsrob Sun 13-Dec-15 22:11:19

Now the shouting for lifts I would pick em up on!

However that's one of he " you are an adult now" things here ( mostly). Unless it's late / unsafe - when I will happily get out if bed to make sure they aren't getting lifts from other teens at 2am etc - thry get the bus/ train/ walk places to see mates.

PlinkertyPlonk Sun 13-Dec-15 22:16:54

DHs kids. I'm not the one ferrying them around; they don't get cheeky with me (not sure if that is a good or a bad thing). It's a fine line to tread as a step parent, when to get involved in discipline, which is why I was interested to know how non-step parents would handle it. I guess my gripe is with DH rather than the kids, for just accepting it.

BertrandRussell Sun 13-Dec-15 22:18:33

If someone says they are going to be in for dinner they they are- unless something really extraordinary comes up and they ask nicely.

I hate this idea that teenagers have carte blanche to be as rude as they like- people sharing a house should be thoughtful and considerate of each other, regardless of age or relationship.

PlinkertyPlonk Sun 13-Dec-15 22:20:40

They are the younger end of teenagers and under 16yr so not all 'nearly adults' although they think they are

BertrandRussell Sun 13-Dec-15 22:22:49

Doesn't matter how old they are. People sharing a house treat each other with respect and consideration.

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