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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:
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Am I being unreasonable?

306 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
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You are NOT being unreasonable
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whynotwhatknot · 25/09/2022 20:09

Maybe e was looking forward to going out for the meal?

he doesnt sound very mature if he couldnt even say happy birthday though

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Rogue1001MNer · 25/09/2022 20:12

Is it just you and him, OP?

Usually the other parent organises something and involves ant DC.

Much harder (for the child) if that's not your set-up

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BecauseICan22 · 25/09/2022 20:14

Agree he is very young, I have a 10 year old and a just turned 9 year old.

However, both of my DC's KNOW it is kind to wish a happy birthday to their Mum. A hug costs nothing. And I've parented them alone for 7 years up until 2021. No DH to take them out and get gifts etc. It's been drummed into their heads to be kind.

I wouldn't however expect a card or a gift at that age. And if I did, I'd model that behaviour and take them shopping. Granted it's not a surprise but it's how they learn.

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Rogue1001MNer · 25/09/2022 20:14

But, p.s. Happy birthday Flowers

and yes, he could've wished you happy birthday and made a card 😔

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melj1213 · 25/09/2022 20:17

YABU - that's a lot of expectation for a 9 year old to do all of that without direct adult guidance

You make no mention of DSs dad so I'm going to assume you're either a single parent or don't have a good relationship with your Ex. It's not unreasonable to expect your DS to say "Happy Birthday Mum" but any other fuss should be a bonus rather than an expectation when he doesn't have another parent to facilitate taking him out to buy something for your birthday.

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Sidisawetlettuce · 25/09/2022 20:18

Of course a 9 year old should know that they should say Happy Birthday!

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berksandbeyond · 25/09/2022 20:21

It's not high expectations for a child to say happy birthday?!

Presents maybe but ffs my 4 year old would know to say happy birthday when told it was someone's birthday

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Thestagshead · 25/09/2022 20:25

berksandbeyond · 25/09/2022 20:21

It's not high expectations for a child to say happy birthday?!

Presents maybe but ffs my 4 year old would know to say happy birthday when told it was someone's birthday

Once again it’s not just about the happy birthday

and there is clearly more to this, he wasn’t with her on the morning and she wrote she could have spent it with her mates instead, like this child owes her. So there is clearly a back story here;

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YanTanTetheraPetheraPimp · 25/09/2022 20:26

How I shudder now remembering how my mother expected us to save up our meagre pocket money so we could by her birthday and Christmas presents. Not to mention that we were expected to buy her a present every time we went on holiday as a family or even on a rare day out.
By all means be upset he hasn’t wished you a happy birthday but beyond that you’re being very unreasonable.

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CovertImage · 25/09/2022 20:26

I love the responses to these threads

"We have no standards or expectations for our kids till they turn the magic adult age of 25.

Up till then and possibly forever after, your own life must be subsumed by their needs and happiness and concerned only with making their lives issue-free. Expect no consideration ever".

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DorsetCafes · 25/09/2022 20:27

Thestagshead · 25/09/2022 20:09

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.

Genuinely why is that horrific please?

OP posts:
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whatamess2022 · 25/09/2022 20:27

If he was with his dad in the morning of (assuming you're not together), is there any chance he was feeling bad that he hadn't managed to get you anything and so found it easier to ignore/get cross? Just thinking back to Mother's Day, my dd didn't have a present for me and she dealt with it by aggressively insisting that it wasn't actually Mother's Day to every other child that mentioned it (on holiday, other children about the pool etc. as opposed to my own collection of children!).

Happy birthday Flowers

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GroggyLegs · 25/09/2022 20:36

Him not saying happy birthday.
Him getting stroppy & refusing to eat dinner.
You expecting anything more than a happy birthday and a hug.

All unreasonable.

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mountainsunsets · 25/09/2022 20:40

DorsetCafes · 25/09/2022 20:27

Genuinely why is that horrific please?

It just comes across like you're really resentful because your 9yo didn't live up to your very adult expectations. Almost like he wasn't good enough for you.

A 9yo has no way of independently going out to buy a card or gift. At that age, my dad would take me to buy something, or sit with me and help me make something - I'd never be expected to do it off my own bat.

I agree he should have said Happy Birthday but if it was after school, maybe it just slipped his mind. I would just have reminded him with a "Don't you have something to say to me?!" - given him a hug and gone out to do something fun.

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Autumnterm · 25/09/2022 20:42

This reply has been withdrawn

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

GroggyLegs · 25/09/2022 20:46

In defence of the OP I think that's a stretch @mountainsunsets!

On an anonymous forum I'd freely admit I'd rather be with friends than cooking a dinner that didn't get eaten & arguing with a stroppy 9yo on my birthday too.

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mountainsunsets · 25/09/2022 20:49

GroggyLegs · 25/09/2022 20:46

In defence of the OP I think that's a stretch @mountainsunsets!

On an anonymous forum I'd freely admit I'd rather be with friends than cooking a dinner that didn't get eaten & arguing with a stroppy 9yo on my birthday too.

It's just how I interpreted it - I could be totally wrong.

IMO most 9yo's would be stroppy if they couldn't live up their parents' unknown and unrealistic birthday expectations.

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melj1213 · 25/09/2022 21:01

CovertImage · 25/09/2022 20:26

I love the responses to these threads

"We have no standards or expectations for our kids till they turn the magic adult age of 25.

Up till then and possibly forever after, your own life must be subsumed by their needs and happiness and concerned only with making their lives issue-free. Expect no consideration ever".

Nobody is saying that you should have zero expectations of your child, just that you have to be reasonable.

The OP makes no mention of DSs dad - at age 9 I would be expecting the other parent to be orchestrating any plans. If they were going to buy a gift/card it would be the parent organising a trip into town with the child and possibly guiding the child towards the kind of gift to buy etc; if they were going to make something then I would expect the other parent to be supervising any craft session and/or guiding the child. If the OPs Ex isn't around or it isn't an amicable split then if DSs dad isn't guiding him, it's a lot to ask the 9yo to make the effort OP is expecting.

DDs dad and I are separated but we are still friendly and we both support DD to get the other parent a birthday gift. DD's 12 now but it's only been the last year or so that she has taken the initiative herself when buying presents. In the past I would remind her it was her dad's birthday coming up and tell her we were going to town to buy him a card or ask her directly what she wanted to buy him etc but now she's the one who asks me if I can take her to town to get a card, or if I can order something on my Amazon account for him.

If the OPs DS has not had this modelled behaviour (OP doesn't say what has happened previously on her birthday, or what effort her DS has put in before) then it's very unreasonable to expect a 9yo to spontaneously know to buy gifts/cards or make them (my DD has never been naturally "crafty", she would make a card if directed to do so but wouldn't naturally think to make one off her own initiative) without support and guidance.

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BatteryPoweredMammy · 25/09/2022 21:02

Sorry, but I think your expectations are too high and you need to remember he’s just a young child. It’s not your son’s role to make you feel good.

My 13yr old only makes a card for each parent because the other one supervises this and sorts out a present too. I wouldn’t expect him to think about this off his own bat because he’s struggles with social niceties, and I think I was the same at his age too.

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Skolo · 25/09/2022 21:04

It sounds like a lot of pressure for a 9yr old. Presumably, his friend who sent the hand drawn card didn’t remember the date, get the card, get out his pens, organise an envelope or buy the stamp and look up the address by himself. Clearly there was a well organised adult behind it, so a bit unfair to compare them to your son.

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saraclara · 25/09/2022 21:26

I'mstunned at the majority of posters saying that nine is far too young to be independently doing something about their own mothers birthday. My kids were hand drawing their own cards for family birthdays without being asked to from about five.

Of course a nine year old with a tiny bit if pocket money can buy a present. They can just split up from their parent in a supermarket for five minutes, and buy something small.

One way or another, the DS has either not learned that it's nice to do nice things for people who care about you, or he just can't be bothered. I'd be disappointed too.

It seems as though people are expecting less and less of their children with every generation.

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saraclara · 25/09/2022 21:30

IMO most 9yo's would be stroppy if they couldn't live up their parents' unknown and unrealistic birthday expectations.

Amy nine year old with a parent/parents who have celebrated the child's birthday by giving them a card and presents (and who's been to other people's birthday parties/celebrating should know that that is a birthday expectation. It's not rocket science. And it's not unrealistic to expect at least a card.

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mountainsunsets · 25/09/2022 21:36

saraclara · 25/09/2022 21:30

IMO most 9yo's would be stroppy if they couldn't live up their parents' unknown and unrealistic birthday expectations.

Amy nine year old with a parent/parents who have celebrated the child's birthday by giving them a card and presents (and who's been to other people's birthday parties/celebrating should know that that is a birthday expectation. It's not rocket science. And it's not unrealistic to expect at least a card.

But a birthday for a 9yo child is going to be very different to the birthday of a parent. For starters, a 9yo can't go out and buy a card or gift without help from another adult, or from OP herself.

Yes, he could have made a card, but it's not the end of the world that he didn't - I certainly wouldn't let it ruin my birthday.

Having said that, maybe he did make one and left it at school/in his bag/at dads house and is too embarrassed and upset to say so. Or maybe he was supposed to make one last night and forgot or thinks it was rubbish.

9yo logic is not the same as adult logic.

I guess I just don't understand letting something this small ruin my birthday.

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DorsetCafes · 25/09/2022 21:36

mountainsunsets · 25/09/2022 20:49

It's just how I interpreted it - I could be totally wrong.

IMO most 9yo's would be stroppy if they couldn't live up their parents' unknown and unrealistic birthday expectations.

My expectations were:

”Happy birthday mum”
Hug
Maybe a folded piece of paper with a picture of a dog drawn on it or something like that
”Wow, [X dish], my favourite, thanks mum”

I don’t think that is unknown or unrealistic.

I did a lot more for my mum when I was his age, but I guess that times have changed and the world is more child centric.

OP posts:
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Pallisers · 25/09/2022 21:44

your expectations are perfectly reasonable OP.

I'm shocked at how many people think it perfectly fine for a 9 year old not to wish his mother a happy birthday. But when they marry a man who ignores birthdays/mothers day/doesn't buy xmas presents etc. there will be a chorus of "why didn't his parents teach him better"

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