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Ds's wealthy friends!

(33 Posts)
user1483390742 Fri 07-Apr-17 09:32:39

My son (Y8) goes to a grammar school with many wealthy kids there.
We are a comfortable 2 income graduate family and earn well. Live in a fab 4 bed Victorian house.
My son has made friends with some incredibly wealthy boys at school ( think swimming pools, 2 x range rovers in the drive, 3x foreign holidays per year) and has never brought any of them them home as i know he is ashamed of our home! He has been to their houses many times for sleepovers/afternoons in the pool, but won't return the invite. He says there's nothing to do here! I have tried to explain to him that money/houses/cars shouldn't be important if they are real friends, but he just gives me 'a look'!
It makes me so sad that he is ashamed of our lovely home! I'm sure the other parents must be thinking it's odd that we have never invited their children over!

EssentialHummus Fri 07-Apr-17 09:45:33

He's old enough now to make those kinds of decisions, even if they stem from embarrassment or insecurity at your home/circumstances. I'd just reiterate that his friends are welcome, and leave him to it - not everyone has a Range Rover or pool, and it's not a prerequisite to having a good time.

FWIW when I was that age and at private school my favourite friend's house to visit was a family which, in hindsight, was probably less well-off than the rest of us. But I loved how the mum allowed us to all pile in to the living room for sleepovers, and how welcoming she was. I think your son will learn soon enough.

user1483390742 Fri 07-Apr-17 12:34:57

Thanks for that!
I have always had an open door policy regarding friends, and his siblings' friends come and go regularly for both daily visits and sleepovers, so this has never been an issue in the past!
I suppose i never perceived our family as the 'poor relation' before and i'll just have to wait for him to mature a bit more (or find some less rich friends grin)!!!

EssentialHummus Fri 07-Apr-17 13:03:27

I expect you're not the poor relation by any normal measure, DS is probably just a bit overwhelmed by all the status symbols at the minute.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 08-Apr-17 00:36:58

He sounds in serious danger of becoming a little snob. Do you live in a bubble where he doesn't see how the majority of people live? Perhaps you need to address that.

We are fairly wealthy (though we have not always been) and I would absolutely hate for my children to even consider money when choosing and enjoying their friendships.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sat 08-Apr-17 03:32:37

My ds2 seems to have a knack of finding rich friends - not sure if it's just coincidence or if he tries to become friends with those kids. We live in a fairly affluent/middle class area so even though he attended tbe local comprehensive lots of his friends live in huge houses, have 2nd homes, parents with posh cars etc.

We live in a very ordinary house and have far less money but ds has never worried about bringing friends back and quite often ours was the house everyone gravitated to.

Your ds needs to be confident that his friends won't care if his house isn't as big/posh as theirs.

rollonthesummer Sat 08-Apr-17 03:42:29

DS has the same issue at his grammar-lots of money and flashy phones, cars, houses and holidays. We are probably technically as qualified as lots of the parents (same time spent at uni as the doctors etc but in a far less prestigious/high earning fields) but live in a far more 'normal' household. We earn £75k between us rather than each!!

DS still brings his friends back here though-he doesn't seem too ashamed. grin

Travelledtheworld Sat 08-Apr-17 05:04:23

As he gets older he will realise it's the friends he hangs out with that are important, not the size of their houses. Don't worry too much.

NeverTwerkNaked Sat 08-Apr-17 06:49:56

But I thought Grammar schools selected on ability not wealth? So surely there is the full range of back grounds represented??

Anyway, it does sound like he could do with being exposed to the world outside his very exclusive bubble (my childhood was like his too; I became a much nicer person once I had experienced what life was like for people outside the bubble of privilege)

PotteringAlong Sat 08-Apr-17 06:57:49

But I thought Grammar schools selected on ability not wealth? So surely there is the full range of back grounds represented??

No, because not the full range of backgrounds can afford tutors to pass the 11+ exam...

SaltyMyDear Sat 08-Apr-17 06:58:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NeverTwerkNaked Sat 08-Apr-17 06:58:30

I know pottering and that's what makes it such a sham angry

SaltyMyDear Sat 08-Apr-17 07:04:38

Never - DSs grammar school has a far bigger range of incomes than our local comprehensive which selects by post code.

Frouby Sat 08-Apr-17 07:08:01

I know how you feel OP. We moved to this area 2 years ago. We originally lived in a pretty rough area. Edge of a council estate that was known as rough, loads of low level crime and anti social behaviour. We were lucky enough to get a HA property on the edge of a new build estate in a naicer area.

Dd has made loads of friends and a few are a lot more affluent than us. After dropping her off at one particular friends I was really worried about how they would perceive our little house. Not for my sake but dds.

The first time the other girl and dd were brought home her mum told dd we had a posh house and she was jealous of all our local amenities as they lived in the middle of nowhere. And the girl loves coming to ours, says she feels really comfortable around me and dp and it's nice that they can nip across for a coffee at the local costa etc. And that our house is much warmer and cosier than their house.

If your ds has a problem with it then it could just be your ds. And if his friends have a problem with it then it's his friends problem not his.

thisagain Sat 08-Apr-17 07:15:20

Might it not be a fee paying grammar school?

BrutusMcDogface Sat 08-Apr-17 07:25:53

Isn't he prime age to be excruciatingly embarrassed by his parents? Don't worry about it, for goodness sake. Enjoy the peace while he's out with his friends!

Ifailed Sat 08-Apr-17 07:33:43

How many people in England have a pool? And of them how many go to a state school? Very very few I would think.

Can't speak for the rest of the country, but certainly in parts of Kent there are some very wealthy families who use the grammar schools as they produce results as good as if not higher then private schools. A quick look on Google Earth reveals a lot of swimming pools, try 'flying' over some of villages near Tunbridge Wells, for example.

swingofthings Sat 08-Apr-17 07:35:26

Why do you say he is ashamed? I was in the same situation than your son as a kid and I was the one always going to my friend's house and not inviting them at mine. It had nothing to do with being ashamed, just that their house was indeed more entertaining. One in particular always invited us and it became the norm to do so. His mum loved having us there, I think she was a bit bored and treated us like royalty! I just didn't really give it much thought, just enjoyed going there as often as possible!

goodgodlemon Sat 08-Apr-17 07:46:44

Agree with swingofthings. It may not be about being ashamed but maybe it's about having space to entertain away from parents. We used to live in a fairy normal terraced house when Dds were teenagers. They had some pretty rich friends but happy to bring home as they knew they had use of small study with separate DVD player away from nosy parents! Also endless supplies of pizza helped. Also agree it may just be a phase and he will soon go to someone's house not as posh and realise it doesn't really matter.

lljkk Sat 08-Apr-17 08:13:44

DD keeps saying she can't bring friends home b/c our house is too untidy/grotty.

She had sleepover @ friend's home... ramshackle 15th century clutter & dust everywhere 25 not very clean rooms, exhausted dad conked out on nearby sofa the whole hr I was there (all fine by me). Manic dog, No microwave in sight & it took 45 minutes to cook a dozen hot dogs.

Their dust & clutter R fine b/c they R a posh extended family in amazing home, not our modern big box house. Pah. Teens find any excuse to be embarrassed.

semideponent Sat 08-Apr-17 08:29:50

I have the opposite problem, user...we're the wealthy family in the big house and DS loves going to his friends' houses so much that he never brings anyone back to ours! I have no idea what all their parents think of us...

Pizza is an emerging theme, though. DS is full of praise for one mum's homemade version smile

TealStar Sat 08-Apr-17 08:43:10

I remember dh saying that his whole childhood was spent at his best friend's down the road because they had the bigger house with swimming pool, tennis courts, and grounds to explore. There was simply more to do. I know they also used to hang out at dh's house as there are some very funny stories about what they got up to there but the big house was simply the better one for hanging out at. It wasn't due to snobbery or shame on dh's part, just teenage boys needing space.

I had a lot of friends with big houses and pools and they were always good fun. I remember bringing my friends back to our (large 4 bed but nothing exciting) house and feeling that these friends were a bit awkward with the fact that we had to be a bit creative in finding stuff to do!

Shamoffour Sat 08-Apr-17 10:00:28

In the area I live in a lot of parents pay for their children to go to one of the local preps then sit the entrance exams for the state grammars. One of the girls grammars has exceptionally good. There are a lot of very wealthy families at all our local grammars, most people seem to go private if they don't pass the entrance exams for the state grammars and yes everyone tutors,if you can't afford a tutor your chances of getting in are greatly reduced.
Swimming pools are also not unusually and Range Rovers are very common.

Shamoffour Sat 08-Apr-17 10:03:11

Sorry posted too soon.

Dd has a mix of friends, most are pretty middle class a few maybe not so much they all seem to meet up at places rather than at each other's houses.
Dd could care less but that said I suppose we would be towards the wealthier end of her friendship group.

user1483390742 Sat 08-Apr-17 10:35:55

His school is a mix of all backgrounds. He wasn't tutored (we couldn't have afforded it!) for the exams, but i know some were. We were fully intending to send him to the good, local comp with most of his primary school friends but he wanted to sit the exam!

I didn't think people in England had pools either, but some do!

Our son is quite materialistic, as are most teenagers i suppose, but we are not. I have no interest in designer labels or hi tech household gadgets- we are more open fires and home made bread.

Ultimately, i suppose i will just have to accept the choices he makes. He knows we love him and that his friends are welcome here, so it's up to him!

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