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AIBU?

Upset DS ignored my birthday

78 replies

DorsetCafes · 25/09/2022 19:28

Didn’t see DS on morning of my birthday a few days ago, but picked him up from school and he didn’t say happy birthday…
I know he was aware it was my birthday because I’d talked about maybe going out for supper for the occasion, although I’d eventually decided to cook something nice at home that I know he usually likes. He then got very angry we weren’t going out and said he didn’t want what I’d cooked.
It also became clear he hadn’t made me a birthday card (despite encouragement from other relatives to do so) or even bought one, and hadn’t made or procured any kind of present. I was semi-thinking a late one might materialise a bit late this weekend but it didn’t.

All in all it was a really tiring and crap birthday evening - especially as I could have gone out with friends but I had chosen to spend the time with DS instead.

DS is nearly 10 - pretty mature for his age and has his own money in money box/bank as well as access to all the card making materials anyone could need. Ironically one of his friends the same age even posted me a hand drawn card they’d made!

AIBU to think that a kid of this age should be capable of recognising their mother’s birthday and making at least a token effort? When I was his age, my Db and I made a massive effort for our mother - we saved up our pocket money for ages to make and buy presents and cards. Or is that not a thing any more?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

306 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
50%
You are NOT being unreasonable
50%
TinySaltLick · 25/09/2022 19:31

I think you are expecting too much, have you taught him how to make cards and buy presents in secret? Or are you hoping he will have spontaneously discovered it

Surely as the parent this is a teaching opportunity for you to embrace and enjoy, not be bitter at a young child

Midnights · 25/09/2022 19:34

I mean, he's 9 - and that sounds like a lot of rather high expectations! Normally at that age, my dad would remind me about my mums birthday / help make a card etc. As you didn't see him until a few days after your birthday, am I correct to guess he's in a shared custody agreement? Perhaps without the other parent to prompt a 9 year old isn't going to buy surprise presents or cards.

Butchyrestingface · 25/09/2022 19:37

Ironically one of his friends the same age even posted me a hand drawn card they’d made!

Aww, that's very sweet.

What is your son like generally? Has he made you birthday and Christmas cards off his own bat in the past?

CatchYouOnTheFlippetyFlop · 25/09/2022 19:39

You're expecting way too much from a 9 year old.

Poor kid.

ReeseWitherfork · 25/09/2022 19:39

Happy (belated) birthday OP!

I think you’re putting very high expectations onto your 9 year old.

carmenitapink · 25/09/2022 19:40

Are you with his dad? It's not really for a 10yo to remember - my dad used to buy cards for me and my bro to give our mum at that age. My dad would get us to make a fuss, but all directed and funded by him...

Soubriquet · 25/09/2022 19:41

He’s 9!!

I have a 9 year old and I don’t expect anything from her. She probably will attempt to make a birthday card this year because she’s that type of person, but I wouldn’t expect it.

Him being rude about not eating your cooking because he wanted to go out is another matter.

sunlight81 · 25/09/2022 19:41

Very high expectations for a 9 year old. To be honest if they do t have another parent doing it for them I would expect nothing until teens at least.

myleftventricle · 25/09/2022 19:42

OP says he was encouraged by other relatives to get one - I don't think there's an excuse. Saying Happy Birthday doesn't require much effort! And getting 'very angry' because they didn't go out?!

BattenburgDonkey · 25/09/2022 19:44

I don’t think you should put that sort of expectation on a 9 year old. Did he do stuff last year and that’s why you are upset?

allthegoodusernameshavegone · 25/09/2022 19:45

Yanbu op, but kids today grow up much slower than in the past and have so much more done for them. I personally think that a child of 9 should be able to say happy birthday to their parent at the very least.

Notimeforaname · 25/09/2022 19:46

Too much for a 9 year old to do. Stop expecting the child to think of you in that way.

You look after him, he doesn't look after you.

You shouldn't be feeling upset about this. He is a child and not responsible for you feeling ignored or let down on your birthday, how odd.

Springday15 · 25/09/2022 19:53

It depends, has he done this sort of thing for you in the past? For his other parent? Still I understand that this was probably very annoying for you because of the fact that he was rude to you.

KikoLemons · 25/09/2022 19:58

Too much for 9 -and created a horrible atmosphere. That probably made him feel bad and not know what he was doing wrong. Kids often react badly to that. Next time:
Decorate the table nicely, buy yourself a bunch of flowers and little cake. Say you're going to sing happy birthday to Mummy/me. Sing with him, laugh with him, light your own candles and blow them out - he'd love it. And it models the sort of behaviour you expect.
We always kept birthdays really low key but it was up to the individual to lead.
And Happy Birthday to you OP.

slowquickstep · 25/09/2022 19:58

No i don't think it is too much for a 9 year old to say Happy birthday

QueenofLouisiana · 25/09/2022 19:58

I’d say that DS was about 14 when it occurred to him to do stuff like that on his own. Before that he needed guidance to go out and do it, even though he paid for (small) gifts himself from about 11.

kingtamponthefurred · 25/09/2022 19:59

Adults should get their emotional support and validation from other adults rather than expecting it from children.

Rainallnight · 25/09/2022 20:01

I thought you were going to say he was 16 or something.

cansu · 25/09/2022 20:03

Sounds like you are expecting to get your need for affection met by a nine year old. Seems a bit unreasonable tbh.

Upsidedownagain · 25/09/2022 20:03

I was imaging a boy in his late teens! If his other parent doesn't support this, I think you need to do so - go shopping together and show him what you'd like or take hom to the shops and wait a little way off while he goes on and chooses. I'd day it's part of teaching hom how to respect other's birthdays, even if the birthday is your own.

Thestagshead · 25/09/2022 20:04

Why didn’t you see him in the morning, does he not live with you?

Thestagshead · 25/09/2022 20:05

When I was his age, my Db and I made a massive effort for our mother - we saved up our pocket money for ages to make and buy presents and cards. Or is that not a thing any more

don’t think it was ever a thing for nine year olds.

redredredredlorry · 25/09/2022 20:06

Expecting a 9 year old to say happy birthday to their parent is too much??

The OP says he knew it was her birthday because they'd planned to go out, and was encouraged to make a card and didn't. I really don't think happy birthday would've been difficult

mountainsunsets · 25/09/2022 20:09

I think your expectations are unrealistic.

I don't really understand how a 9yo is supposed to go out and buy a card and present without an adult accompanying them and helping them? You didn't mention his dad, but is there another parent or someone around who can remind him and help him?

I think I was probably 12-13 years old before I went out and bought gifts for my parents without any help. Before that, the other parent would help me sort a card and present.

Thestagshead · 25/09/2022 20:09

redredredredlorry · 25/09/2022 20:06

Expecting a 9 year old to say happy birthday to their parent is too much??

The OP says he knew it was her birthday because they'd planned to go out, and was encouraged to make a card and didn't. I really don't think happy birthday would've been difficult

Well no it’s the presents and cards and also the horrific line of she could have went out with her mates but chose to spend it with her son that folks are reacting to.

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