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AIBU?

to feel like we are being used/tested for money?

117 replies

FailingMum81 · 17/10/2022 10:33

Strap in, I'll try my best to keep it brief but I really want you to see full picture for advice. DD13, makes new friend at school (DD has had lots of friend issues historically and pretty lonely, has wide group of "friends" but more they are a group than actual friends if that makes sense!) anyway, new friend comes along, also had similar issues - great I thought, two girls very similar this could be the new proper friend DD has been looking for. New friend (lets say NF) invites DD to tea and sleepover, yey great start! She then tells her she must bring £10 because her mum has said so.... lots of toing and froing and basically they are having McDs for tea. I tell DD that hers only comes to £3 and so if I send £5 that will be plenty - mum tells NF to say no, she MUST bring £10 to pay for Just Eat delivery charge...ok gets my back up a little but I go with it. We move on to next invite - come to a day out - there are fair rides at this place (couple of pounds each). NF tells DD 'my mum says she doesnt mind taking you but she definitely is not paying for you' followed by 'I have a £15 allowance for the day so she says you have to bring the same'...now Im starting to get a little irked - I cant afford another £15 on top of last weeks £10 and DD not a big ride fan so maybe would only do one or two. I then arrange a halloween gathering for the group including NF - parents told I will provide all food, entertainment, treats and decorations if they bring their own drinks as I have had issues in the past with some not allowed fizzy, some intolerance, colours etc etc - NF comes back with the response 'my mum wants to know why your mum cant provide the drinks too'. I am really struggling with how to keep responding to these demands. I ALWAYS supply everything when DD has sleepovers, parties, friends for tea etc (that doesnt mean I expect everyone to be the same and have no issue at all in DD paying her way - in fact I insist on it) but really not too sure about the attitude and the way this is coming across or how to tackle it. Dont want DD to miss out, and also NF as I dont think its coming from her but I cannot fund these types of extravagance every weekend. From the outset they appear to be a family similar to ours, both working but possibly close to the bone due to cost of living etc - but AIBU to think that they shouldnt be demanding set amounts and DD definitely shouldnt be having to pay delivery charge for their takeaways?

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Am I being unreasonable?

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temporarysecrettellingnamechange · 18/10/2022 09:15

@FailingMum81 It made sense to me too - they walk among us.

I think for those who don't go around trying to swindle others it's harder to spot because, but that's what they rely on - your trusting nature, your good will and your desire to look after your child and their friends.

I have had a couple of run-ins with vampire school mums in the last few years and they can be utterly shameless with drawing on your time, your energy, your money, your good will. But once they realise you aren't giving an inch they move on. It's incredibly sad for the kids, though, and I am looking forward to the time that parents are not so involved in their kids' friendships and I don't have to deal with the parents at all.

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FailingMum81 · 18/10/2022 09:22

temporarysecrettellingnamechange · 18/10/2022 09:15

@FailingMum81 It made sense to me too - they walk among us.

I think for those who don't go around trying to swindle others it's harder to spot because, but that's what they rely on - your trusting nature, your good will and your desire to look after your child and their friends.

I have had a couple of run-ins with vampire school mums in the last few years and they can be utterly shameless with drawing on your time, your energy, your money, your good will. But once they realise you aren't giving an inch they move on. It's incredibly sad for the kids, though, and I am looking forward to the time that parents are not so involved in their kids' friendships and I don't have to deal with the parents at all.

I think I am definitely too naive - sadly this is DDs downfall too. I try not to think back on some of the things I have done for people in the past who I believed were her friends but soon moved on after they got what they wanted from it - I was just so conscious not to be the other side of the fence and appear to be mean and stingy too - I did wonder if this was the case for NF - that her mum had been financially abused many times by alleged friends in the past so decided to make it clear from the get-go that DD would have to pay for everything etc - again probably me being a little too naive though and want to think the best before the worst I guess :(

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Notgoingthere · 18/10/2022 09:49

This reminds me of a situation my friend S and I were in with a mutual friend, M, many years ago.
M was a quite savvy, liked to meet one of us for a lunchtime special which at the time cost £2.99.
S and I came to realise M followed a pattern. Once we’d had the meal M said she was going to the loo and would pay the waiter on her way. Like S, I only had a £5 note (obv. expecting part of it back). M paid then spent 20 mins in the loo chatting to her DH on the phone. When she returned she claimed the waiter had not given her any change. Effectively she had used our money to pay 98p for her meal.
I think this is happening here.

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temporarysecrettellingnamechange · 18/10/2022 10:34

@Notgoingthere Yes I've had the "disappearing to the cafe loo" school mum too, after I'd spent an hour having her "picking my brain for contacts" as we work in the same industry.... she is now blocked on my WhatsApp and we blank each other in the playground.... (after several more years of that kind of behaviour.)

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FailingMum81 · 23/10/2022 07:24

I wanted to pop an update on here after so many of you kindly took time to reply - so basically Fair situation happened yesterday - NF decided to go with a group of DDs friends and not incude DD in the end so sadly think many of you may have been right as, as soon as money was questioned she has been binned off. Unfortunately for DD she is now desperately hurt as it was planned behind her back by NF with her original friendship group (DD introduced NF to the group and encouraged them all to take her in....if that makes any sense) so we had a very long sad night last night - which is going to be a whole other issue to tackle this morning 😢😢

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MeridianB · 23/10/2022 08:27

Oh no, your poor daughter. This kind of bullying at this age can be really hard. More than anything it leaves girls reflecting on the ‘why’ they’ve done this. Of course it’s all about power and control, but that doesn’t help the young teen who feels it’s about them personally.

Hope NF never darkens your door again.

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ToadSmall · 23/10/2022 08:32

Oh no!

This happened to me as an adult and what I did was I spent time with each one of my friends on a one to one basis and said to each one that I had been hurt to be left out. Each one didn't understand what had happened as as far as they were concerned I was just not going because I was busy. They didn't know I had been pushed out of the nest.

Perhaps in a few days your dd could pick the most appointments friend from the group to tell her 'side' to.

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Roystonv · 23/10/2022 08:43

So sorry to read this, bless her.

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RonSwansonsChair · 23/10/2022 09:31

Your poor daughter. There are better friends out there for her, ones that won't charge her for being a friend and won't dump her at the drop of a hat. 💐💐 for you both

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GGGD · 23/10/2022 11:32

How manipulative, calculating and cruel. This reflects badly on NF and her mother, certainly not on your daughter. Build up her self-confidence and self-esteem, encourage her to make new and better friends. If they cannot be avoided, I like ToadSmall’s idea.

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KendrickLamaze · 23/10/2022 12:03

So sorry to read this. Sounds like NF is walking in her mothers footsteps. What have the original friend group said about this?

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Berrylina · 23/10/2022 12:13

FailingMum81 · 23/10/2022 07:24

I wanted to pop an update on here after so many of you kindly took time to reply - so basically Fair situation happened yesterday - NF decided to go with a group of DDs friends and not incude DD in the end so sadly think many of you may have been right as, as soon as money was questioned she has been binned off. Unfortunately for DD she is now desperately hurt as it was planned behind her back by NF with her original friendship group (DD introduced NF to the group and encouraged them all to take her in....if that makes any sense) so we had a very long sad night last night - which is going to be a whole other issue to tackle this morning 😢😢

Sorry to her your daughter is being excluded OP. To me it sounds more like the NF is the problem. I doubt the parents know anything about it. We have experienced this before. You can see how NF has gone straight to bully your DD and exclude her from her own friends. Your DD needs to hold her head up high and have a wider friendship group. Her usual friends will always be her friends even if some stray, it sounds like she herself is a nice girl so she will easily make friends - it won't take long before everyone realises NF is a bully.

Sadly it happens all the time with girls.

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FailingMum81 · 24/10/2022 12:47

KendrickLamaze · 23/10/2022 12:03

So sorry to read this. Sounds like NF is walking in her mothers footsteps. What have the original friend group said about this?

The original group weren't great to be honest - hence DD introducing NF to the equation hoping that she would kind of be 'her' friend if that makes sense, although in a group they were in two twos with DD as the 5th so we hoped that it would make them three twos....instead it made them a group of 5 with DD as the 6th excluded further due to the shiny new friend.....two of them have since apologised but not too sure if it's one hurt too many now :/

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KendrickLamaze · 25/10/2022 10:02

I know it won't help much now but please remind her that she will make close friendships in the future. I had friends but never felt like i fitted in until uni. Better to find the right people than mix with NF etc.

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temporarysecrettellingnamechange · 25/10/2022 10:52

Oh no, navigating friendships is so hard and it only takes a couple of tricky personalities to disrupt things. It's lovely that two of her friends have apologised.

Not sure what to suggest except that I have similar issues with my younger DS and all I can do is reassure him that he's going to meet a lot of people in his life and it's better to be alone that have friends who make you feel bad (even by excluding, which I see as bullying)... and ensure his home life is somewhere he feels safe so he can come home to it and forget these friendship issues.

I guess it's trickier with older kids but it sounds like you are supporting her and she can confide in your and really that's what she'll remember when the initial hurt has long been forgotten.

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yellowbananasinjuly · 25/10/2022 15:02

Your poor girl. It could be worse though - she could be the nasty one, but she'll never be her. Could you arrange something for DD with the two nice friends who apologised? I'm afraid I think the only thing to do is front it out and not show signs of weakness. It is easy to forget that bullies are cowards but they are and if your daughter can act more confidently than the probably feels, she could do some damage limitation. The vampire one will sense blood if she seems to be weak and go in for the kill. I feel for you both x

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TheSilentPicnic · 25/10/2022 15:11

sheepdogdelight · 17/10/2022 11:05

By 13, I'd expect the DC to be more organising this among themselves. If they were having takeaway, I'd expect them to agree what they have and how they split the bill. Similarly, if they are going to the fair they take their own money (as much as they want/can afford).

So I'd personally suggest staying out of this, and letting the girls sort it out between themselves.

Bit difficult if one parent is making demands via the child. Not very kind to expect a child to manage that.

It is a strange and slightly disturbing situation. I would not be encouraging the friendship.

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