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SO's parents were mean to my 11 year old.

violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
My So is building his parent's kitchen. He wanted to take my son with him because even though he is 11 he was very excited to help.

They left around 7am and SO told me to go get him around 11am. When I got there my son was like "mommy I am working". He ended up being very useful opening the boxes and putting the cabinets together and a grown up did the staple gun and tools he isn't allowed to touch. In all he worked 7 hours that day

His parents didn't acknowledge what he did, so I encouraged him to write something up and call them. The problem is that he didn't understand why everyone else got paid but he didn't. Their granddaughter actually got $30 for helping unpack the kitchen. this is what he wrote:

I am dissatisfied because I assisted in remaking your kitchen but everyone else got rewarded excluding me.
I believe I should be treated with reasonableness since:
1) I helped constructing the cabinets
2) I explained to the grown-ups exactly how to build the cabinets and door hinges
3) I managed not to make an inaccuracy
In conclusion, I worked for seven challenging hours trying to help you reconstruct your kitchen and I reason that I should be treated accordingly


I did NOT help him write this. In fact I was at work when he wrote it.

He calls SO's mother and her answer was "Well I didn't hire you" she also told him she didn't pay her my stepdaughter, which isn't true. She didn't pay her that day but she certainly did pay her. Which my son knew because they are very close. Also they were discussing money and what they paid the 2 other adults working and my son heard it so he was expecting SOMETHING .
I am so angry they would treat my son this way. She was cold and heartless to him on the phone. She also said, "What do you want? Money? " to which he replied , well it doesn't have to be a lot.
I understand he is a child but he really did do a lot of work and he was doing it right. My BF isn't going to say anything to them because they really don't get along but that is another story.
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Comments

  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Sorry, Violets. That is a tough one. My sister in law's grandson (12 years old, no blood relation) will mow my moms yard when he comes over and she always pays him. He is never asked, put's in the work. At the same time (please don't take me wrong) we can't always afford to give him money. We know if hears mention of it, he (along with his sister) will expect it, so we have to sneak around the issue when it comes to my 4 nephews. At times we might plan to give them a gift or help them out, and we have to keep it hidden. I am not fond of that. I have been in more than one situation where specific cousins got gifts or money for chores from my grandparents or aunts and uncles and the rest of us didn't BUT we all understood why and never said a word. We didn't expect it. They couldn't afford matching socks, and needed it. Plus there's 32 of us. No way they could do for all. You don't always get the same as everyone else. I do think she should have offered to give him something, given that they paid everyone else, and not been so cold on the phone. Even if she possibly wasn't expecting it/needed to do it later.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,937Registered Users
    I can't see how they are in the wrong here.

    Your SO showed up with another child who, by all accounts, had fun "helping" and then after the fact, he decides he should get paid and confronts adults to ask for money. That was a good time for you to step in and explain how inappropriate that is.

    If anyone should be paying him, I would think it would be your SO who "subcontracted" some of his work.
  • anonymous_150263anonymous_150263 Posts: 773Registered Users
    CGNYC wrote: »
    I can't see how they are in the wrong here.

    Your SO showed up with another child who, by all accounts, had fun "helping" and then after the fact, he decides he should get paid and confronts adults to ask for money. That was a good time for you to step in and explain how inappropriate that is.

    If anyone should be paying him, I would think it would be your SO who "subcontracted" some of his work.


    I agree 100 percent

    SO's parents didn't agree to pay your son, he showed up wanting to help and learn something, no arrangement was made for payment and maybe they cant afford to pay an additional person if they were already paying a set amount to other people. Regardless if they decided to reward or pay your stepdaughter (their granddaughter?) that is their choice.


    People are teaching their kids that they should always be treated "fairly" and that's just not the way the world works. They were probably much closer to your stepdaughter since it sounds as though she is blood.. so of course she would get preferential treatment. My grandma has 30something grandkids and she told me straight up who her favorites are, and none are me, and I'm ok with that. I love my grandma and am grateful to have her but she is 86 years old and entitled to have her favorites :)

    When my mom used to clean houses she would take me with her. I was like 7 years old, I would dust and clean windows. Sometimes the person might give me a dollar or two, but it was never expected. I was helping my mom and that's what was expected.

    I don't even think your SO should pay him unless that agreement was made before he tagged along. Use this as a lesson to your son to be grateful for the experience. And maybe next time if he is asked to help with a project or work have him inquire if it will be paid time or not. As I child I was taught my payment for helping my parents with their jobs was the roof over my head and food on the table but parents don't teach their kids these values anymore.


    When I was around that age, 11 or 12, I would baby sit. Started with family and usually they just said "we will pay you" and they'd give me 20 bucks or so. Around 13-14 I cleaned my uncles shop once a week and got 40 for that and it usually took me a good 4-5 gours to get it done.

    I will be 29 years old this month, I have received a job offer for every job I've ever interviewed for, and I've never been fired from a job. I bought my first car with money i earned myself at the age of 16. Nothing has been handed to me, Ive worked for everything I have.
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    CGNYC wrote: »
    I can't see how they are in the wrong here.

    Your SO showed up with another child who, by all accounts, had fun "helping" and then after the fact, he decides he should get paid and confronts adults to ask for money. That was a good time for you to step in and explain how inappropriate that is.

    If anyone should be paying him, I would think it would be your SO who "subcontracted" some of his work.

    I do have to say, my parents would have never allowed me to call an adult and given reasons why I should be paid for something that I was promised no pay for. It is a completely different situation if you are promised something in advance. They would have taken the time to sit me down and explain some things about life to me. In other words, I would have heard, "quit your crying or I'll give you something about".

    I also would not be able to leave one person out, but that's me.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,772Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    It's sucky that they have one child money and not the other, but I agree this was a good time to teach him a lesson. He offered to help, it's not like they offered to pay them, didn't, or only gave him a little compared to someone else.

    I think it was pretty rude that your son asked for money, but he's a kid and its one of those lessons.

    When I was about 12, we were at my cousins ball tournament. We were gonna be there most of the day and I was getting bored. My Dad said he would drive me home. I offered to take my baby cousin so he would be out of the way, but more so because I loved being around babies. When everyone w got home, my uncle paid me for babysitting. My dad took me aside and said I had to give him the money back. I had offered, they hasn't asked me to so it. My aunt and uncle are well off, it wasn't a money issue, my dad just took it as a good teaching time.
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    CGNYC wrote: »
    I can't see how they are in the wrong here.

    Your SO showed up with another child who, by all accounts, had fun "helping" and then after the fact, he decides he should get paid and confronts adults to ask for money. That was a good time for you to step in and explain how inappropriate that is.

    If anyone should be paying him, I would think it would be your SO who "subcontracted" some of his work.

    Agree with this.

    I think that your SO should have given him some money for helping (assuming SO was paid by his family) - but here's the thing. Family helps family. Besides repayment for supplies, I wouldn't expect anyone to be paid for the job. Your son helping out (and then choosing to extend his time there) was his choice, and the choice of your SO to take him. The parents didn't ask him to come, and also didn't say they'd give him any money. Whether they paid the granddaughter or not is irrelevant - that's between them and the granddaughter (and we don't know what she was paid for - perhaps it was completing several tasks for them, or any other number of things). We aren't in charge of how other people spend their money. If they wanted to give the granddaughter $100 and nothing to your son, yes, it would be rude, but it's their money.

    I do think it's sad that he thought he'd get paid and didn't - but also it's a life lesson. And if that were my house and he called asking to be paid, he certainly would not be - that is also a life-lesson. I may even go out on a limb and say that he owes them an apology for asking them to give him money for a job he offered to do.

    All of that said, I think it wasn't fair or nice for him to see others being paid - but that's something for you to take up with your SO, it's not something for you child to take up with your SO's parents.
    Modified CG since Dec 2011
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    I don't even think your SO should pay him unless that agreement was made before he tagged along. Use this as a lesson to your son to be grateful for the experience. And maybe next time if he is asked to help with a project or work have him inquire if it will be paid time or not. As I child I was taught my payment for helping my parents with their jobs was the roof over my head and food on the table but parents don't teach their kids these values anymore.

    Very well said, when it comes to experience. And sometimes you need to learn the importance of simply helping a friend or family member, with no expectations. At some point, you may need a favor yourself.

    Also well said when it comes to specific values/lessons that are being neglected. These lessons have been heavily neglected in so many areas of children's lives for quite some time now, and it is causing problems in the long run. There is a great deal of proof of this.

    (My phone is a mess)... I am sure it is awful to see your child hurt or upset by something, but as we all know and remember, that's going to happen. It's going to happen often, and many times it happens un intentionally or out of necessity. It's good to have an understanding of this.

    Side note: When people walk into job interviews with a list of demands, ask to be paid the same or more than people who have been there 20 years because "it's fair" (to them alone) and parents then call their adult child's employer to blast them for not giving their baby what they want (happens every day)... It's beyond clear that some valuable tools for life are missing. They have been discouraged, and this is a huge dis service.

    CC: I remember that one. It's a rather good lesson.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    That sucks they were mean, but if your SO isn't going to say anything then..I don't know what to say. I wouldn't have suggested him to write something up and call. I find that odd. I would think your SO would've handled that if needed.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think it was BEYOND TACKY for the grandparents to pay granddaughter and not step-grandson!!! IMO there is no justification for that preferential treatment when they are both the same age and like siblings. You just don't do that and the grandparents should be ashamed of themselves.

    But honestly, violets, I think that is something you and/or SO should have said to the grandparents. And left it at that. Bc like others have stated above, there was no agreement for them to pay your son. (And to soften the blow and let him know you disagreed w/ the grandparents' behavior, you and SO might have given him a few bucks as consolation.

    ***

    Years ago, I lived in this neighborhood that was very community-oriented. It had a Blockwatch and a civic association, and I was active in both. Every year on a certain date, they would organize a huge block party w/ food, a live DJ, prizes for the kids, etc. Most of this was paid for from civic association dues but the DJ's mom lived in area and did it basically for free and some of the food was donated by two nearby stores.

    So when I moved into the neighborhood, they started asking me if they could use my yard/house as the location for all the BBQ grills, food tables and DJ station, bc my house was a corner property and had a huge yard. I always agreed. (Tho after the first year, I told them guests could no longer use my bathroom and they would have to rent a Port-a-Potty bc cleaning urnine and feces off my toilet and floor and walls wasn't my thing :( )

    But one year, I was kind of busy before the block party. I was single at the time and just wasn't able to get the grass cut. It didn't look terrible but the head of the committee thought it should look better and enlisted the help of her friend, an older, retired man, to come and cut my lawn the morning beforehand. I said "OK, great."

    Well, after the blockparty was over, the committee head approached me and asked me for money to pay the guy. And when I balked, she reminded me that he was old and not working. :roll:

    It's been close to 15 yrs since that happened, and I STILL feel some kinda way about that. I just don't think it's right to hit folks up for money when no prior agrement had been made.

    ***

    But in violets' story, I think the grandparents bear 95% of the wrongness here.

    And I think A has learned an invaluable lesson in contract negotiation! ((hugs to him))

  • Jenny CJenny C Posts: 1,195Registered Users
    I agree that it would be wrong if the grandparents paid the girl right in front of Violets' son, but it sounds like she didn't even get paid that day. My father always gives my kids a couple of dollars every time he see them. Maybe she's the same and this time just used her unpacking boxes as an excuse for what she would have given her anyway.

    I'm sorry to say Violets but I don't think SO's parents are in the wrong. It's not right to volunteer to do something and then after the fact expect to be paid for it. Sure it would have been nice if they did throw him a few bucks, but they didn't have to. Now your son knows to always discuss this stuff up front. Lesson learned.
    If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Jenny C wrote: »
    I agree that it would be wrong if the grandparents paid the girl right in front of Violets' son, but it sounds like she didn't even get paid that day. My father always gives my kids a couple of dollars every time he see them. Maybe she's the same and this time just used her unpacking boxes as an excuse for what she would have given her anyway.

    I'm sorry to say Violets but I don't think SO's parents are in the wrong. It's not right to volunteer to do something and then after the fact expect to be paid for it. Sure it would have been nice if they did throw him a few bucks, but they didn't have to. Now your son knows to always discuss this stuff up front. Lesson learned.


    That's tricky IMO bc the kids live together, like siblings.

    I always wonder if I ever got remarried to a guy w/ kids how that would play out bc my mother lavishes my kids w/ all kinds of awesome gifts. And I'm not sure she would do that for a step. Not sure.

  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,772Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    I did want to say, amazing letter your son wrote! Maybe not the right forum, but he definitely has a very good future in writing!!!
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,772Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Jenny C wrote: »
    I agree that it would be wrong if the grandparents paid the girl right in front of Violets' son, but it sounds like she didn't even get paid that day. My father always gives my kids a couple of dollars every time he see them. Maybe she's the same and this time just used her unpacking boxes as an excuse for what she would have given her anyway.

    I'm sorry to say Violets but I don't think SO's parents are in the wrong. It's not right to volunteer to do something and then after the fact expect to be paid for it. Sure it would have been nice if they did throw him a few bucks, but they didn't have to. Now your son knows to always discuss this stuff up front. Lesson learned.


    That's tricky IMO bc the kids live together, like siblings.

    I always wonder if I ever got remarried to a guy w/ kids how that would play out bc my mother lavishes my kids w/ all kinds of awesome gifts. And I'm not sure she would do that for a step. Not sure.

    I think it really depends on the grandparents. The woman my uncle marrieds, parents, are brilliant to my cousins. Granted they don't have any of their own, but they spoil the heck out of those kids, probably even more so thence grandparents do for all of us :lol:
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I did want to say, amazing letter your son wrote! Maybe not the right forum, but he definitely has a very good future in writing!!!

    ITA. He sounds like a little lawyer in the making. Even numbering his evidence.

  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    It was quite tacky that they didn't give him a few bucks. FTR, I wouldn't give a kid $30, family or not. LOL!

    But I'm more surprised that your SO didn't give him any money. That would make me more upset, actually. He was the one who brought him so he should be the one to pay him.

    I don't like when steps get treated differently. I have a step-niece and step-nephews and I treat them the same as I treat all the kids in my family. If I buy for one child, I buy for all. I don't even show favoritism for my own children when other children are present. They get treated like everyone else.

    But I don't know if this is a step issue... Do they normally treat him like that?
    3c/4a
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    Also, I'm not sure how I feel about a child confronting an adult, a grandparent at that, about money over the phone...I'm an adult and I wouldn't confront my grandparents about money.

    You should talk her IMO. And as an adult, you can pick up some subtle clues that a child can't. Like is this really about preferential treatment or what.
    3c/4a
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    I'm not really clear on why you would encourage your son to confront an adult in such a combative way. You say you didn't see the letter before he called, but that seems like it should've been one of the stipulations of him doing this. You could've checked it for tone; the letter he read was presumptuous. I certainly wouldn't give money to a child who asked it of me in that way.

    If you really felt like your son was being slighted, the better way would've been for you or your SO to handle it. I know that the goal of parenting is to get kids to learn to handle their own problems (though I don't necessarily agree there *was* a problem), but in this instance, an adult advocate could've kept this from escalating. Now he's sad because he didn't get paid and the SO's parents are pissed because they think your son is rude.

    I agree with the other posters who say your SO should've been the one to pay your son if you feel like money should be exchanging hands. He's the one who invited your son along to work, not the SO's parents. They're not under any obligation to shell out money that wasn't agreed to.
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Pardon me for just a moment while I say...

    It's good to see you, nyn :)
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    violets wrote: »
    My So is building his parent's kitchen. He wanted to take my son with him because even though he is 11 he was very excited to help.

    They left around 7am and SO told me to go get him around 11am. When I got there my son was like "mommy I am working". He ended up being very useful opening the boxes and putting the cabinets together and a grown up did the staple gun and tools he isn't allowed to touch. In all he worked 7 hours that day

    His parents didn't acknowledge what he did, so I encouraged him to write something up and call them. The problem is that he didn't understand why everyone else got paid but he didn't. Their granddaughter actually got $30 for helping unpack the kitchen. this is what he wrote:

    I am dissatisfied because I assisted in remaking your kitchen but everyone else got rewarded excluding me.
    I believe I should be treated with reasonableness since:
    1) I helped constructing the cabinets
    2) I explained to the grown-ups exactly how to build the cabinets and door hinges
    3) I managed not to make an inaccuracy
    In conclusion, I worked for seven challenging hours trying to help you reconstruct your kitchen and I reason that I should be treated accordingly


    I did NOT help him write this. In fact I was at work when he wrote it.

    He calls SO's mother and her answer was "Well I didn't hire you" she also told him she didn't pay her my stepdaughter, which isn't true. She didn't pay her that day but she certainly did pay her. Which my son knew because they are very close. Also they were discussing money and what they paid the 2 other adults working and my son heard it so he was expecting SOMETHING .
    I am so angry they would treat my son this way. She was cold and heartless to him on the phone. She also said, "What do you want? Money? " to which he replied , well it doesn't have to be a lot.
    I understand he is a child but he really did do a lot of work and he was doing it right. My BF isn't going to say anything to them because they really don't get along but that is another story.

    Sounds like it was your partner's decision to take your son, and your son wanted to help out, at no point did your partner's parents ask or agree to your son being employed. Is it even legal for a child of 11 to work seven hours for a wage?

    Reads to me like either voluntary work or your partner subcontracting work to your son, so either he does not get paid or your partner pays him. Plenty of times volunteers work alongside paid employees, that is very much part of the adult world.

    Whilst absolutely your son should have been thanked because that is common courtesy, I don't think you should encourage him to think he should be treated the same as adults, nor the same as a relative (not a step since you are not married, that often matters to older generations), nor to expect a gift or reward when he chooses to help someone out. Volunteering can and should be rewarding in itself, you can also learn valuable life skills as an unpaid 'apprentice' or volunteer.
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

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  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,772Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    FFs post made me laugh a little! We grew up spending weekends and summers on my grandparents farm doing all sorts of stuff. Picking weeds, trimming trees, planting gardens, cutting grass, cleaning horse stalls, stacking hay, cleaning basements, painting, etc. Money never even crossed out minds, just something you did to help out and it was fantastic getting to spend all that time with family "playing" (we used to fight over driving the tractor) outside while our friends were stuck in subdivisions, or even worse inside!


    I agree with the end though in that learning the value of volunteering and pitching in can be an invaluable lesson.
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    I was a little conflicted when I first read your post. But after reading others' takes on it too, I don't think you should be angry. And your son shouldn't feel excluded. It sounds like all parties entered the situation with conflicting expectations that hadn't been fully discussed before. Recipe for a let-down.
    violets wrote: »
    Also they were discussing money and what they paid the 2 other adults working and my son heard it so he was expecting SOMETHING .
    I don't think it's reasonable for him to expect anything more than a thank you from SO's parents just because the adults got paid. That's an entirely different matter. His response wasn't appropriate IMO and I think it sets a bad precedent for future behavior. It was confrontational. I can see how you found your SO's mother to be cold in her response. But her position was in the right, I think. So she was probably a little offended and it showed. And, as someone else mentioned, maybe they didn't have the money to pay everyone, especially someone they didn't expect in the first place.

    It sounds like maybe some other factors are at work here too? Is there more to the story? Like maybe you're trying to teach your son to stand up for himself because that's been an issue in the past? You said SO doesn't really get along with his parents. That could be related too.

    Hope this doesn't sour the relationship long term.
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    FFs post made me laugh a little! We grew up spending weekends and summers on my grandparents farm doing all sorts of stuff. Picking weeds, trimming trees, planting gardens, cutting grass, cleaning horse stalls, stacking hay, cleaning basements, painting, etc. Money never even crossed out minds, just something you did to help out and it was fantastic getting to spend all that time with family "playing" (we used to fight over driving the tractor) outside while our friends were stuck in subdivisions, or even worse inside!


    I agree with the end though in that learning the value of volunteering and pitching in can be an invaluable lesson.

    Yes it can. That and learning a skill/trade. I would say that before sub contracting an 11 year old ;)

    My first loves dad was a carpenter. He showed interest and his father started teaching him the business when he was little. He would sometimes go on jobs and help, but wasn't paid for anything until he was older, had learned a great deal, and did an efficient job. Then he would occasionally request to go on jobs and be paid (he was around 15-16 and had been apprenticing for several years) so he could buy his own christmas gifts for people or get something he wanted. At that point he was more that ready to be pointed to a task and go, without any supervision. By 18 he could build a house, top to bottom.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,937Registered Users
    I just want to say to the OP, because you might feel like you're taking a beating here, it is natural to be protective of our kids and hyper-vigilant about how they are treated, especially when things seem unfair or their feelings are hurt. It has been a real challenge for me as a parent to step back and make sure I'm not just reaction to my child's emotional reaction instead of what actually happened. There have been times when she gets upset, so I get upset, but then when retell it to my husband I realize that there was no wrong done, or very little, or perhaps just unintentional thoughtlessness and I'm reacting because she did.

    And then sometimes people are awful and I have to go take them down a peg. It happens.
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    CGNYC wrote: »
    I just want to say to the OP, because you might feel like you're taking a beating here, it is natural to be protective of our kids and hyper-vigilant about how they are treated, especially when things seem unfair or their feelings are hurt. It has been a real challenge for me as a parent to step back and make sure I'm not just reaction to my child's emotional reaction instead of what actually happened. There have been times when she gets upset, so I get upset, but then when retell it to my husband I realize that there was no wrong done, or very little, or perhaps just unintentional thoughtlessness and I'm reacting because she did.

    And then sometimes people are awful and I have to go take them down a peg. It happens.

    As I said before I know that has to be a tough one. It has to be hard not to react with and try to help/rescue. That's a natural instinct. Somehow my parents were masters at that one. Probably because I'm the 3rd. They had it down. Listen, think, and ask me if I had lost my mind and if I were aware that things could be much worse ;) They were lacking in a few other departments, admittedly so. I'll never forget the "looking back..." conversation I has with my dad when I was in my 20's. He thought of things he would probably have changed if he could have a do over. Parenting really doesn't come with a book, but still wouldn't have traded them.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LotsawavesLotsawaves Posts: 8,660Registered Users
    I remember telling my kids that I'd made my mistakes as a parent and they will be careful not to make my mistakes, but they would make their own mistakes. None of us are perfect.
    From Michael Berg:

    Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all."
  • WintaWinta Posts: 24Registered Users
    My dad's parents were always rougher on me because I wasn't their real grandkid. I don't see this in the situation though, apart from the coldness of the grandmother. I was always raised that working for family was a favor. I would never have been allowed to take money for such a thing. I think this might have made things more complicated between the child and the step-grandparents.
  • anonymous_150263anonymous_150263 Posts: 773Registered Users
    violets wrote: »
    My So is building his parent's kitchen. He wanted to take my son with him because even though he is 11 he was very excited to help.

    They left around 7am and SO told me to go get him around 11am. When I got there my son was like "mommy I am working". He ended up being very useful opening the boxes and putting the cabinets together and a grown up did the staple gun and tools he isn't allowed to touch. In all he worked 7 hours that day

    His parents didn't acknowledge what he did, so I encouraged him to write something up and call them. The problem is that he didn't understand why everyone else got paid but he didn't. Their granddaughter actually got $30 for helping unpack the kitchen. this is what he wrote:

    I am dissatisfied because I assisted in remaking your kitchen but everyone else got rewarded excluding me.
    I believe I should be treated with reasonableness since:
    1) I helped constructing the cabinets
    2) I explained to the grown-ups exactly how to build the cabinets and door hinges
    3) I managed not to make an inaccuracy
    In conclusion, I worked for seven challenging hours trying to help you reconstruct your kitchen and I reason that I should be treated accordingly


    I did NOT help him write this. In fact I was at work when he wrote it.

    He calls SO's mother and her answer was "Well I didn't hire you" she also told him she didn't pay her my stepdaughter, which isn't true. She didn't pay her that day but she certainly did pay her. Which my son knew because they are very close. Also they were discussing money and what they paid the 2 other adults working and my son heard it so he was expecting SOMETHING .
    I am so angry they would treat my son this way. She was cold and heartless to him on the phone. She also said, "What do you want? Money? " to which he replied , well it doesn't have to be a lot.
    I understand he is a child but he really did do a lot of work and he was doing it right. My BF isn't going to say anything to them because they really don't get along but that is another story.

    Sounds like it was your partner's decision to take your son, and your son wanted to help out, at no point did your partner's parents ask or agree to your son being employed. Is it even legal for a child of 11 to work seven hours for a wage?

    Reads to me like either voluntary work or your partner subcontracting work to your son, so either he does not get paid or your partner pays him. Plenty of times volunteers work alongside paid employees, that is very much part of the adult world.

    Whilst absolutely your son should have been thanked because that is common courtesy, I don't think you should encourage him to think he should be treated the same as adults, nor the same as a relative (not a step since you are not married, that often matters to older generations), nor to expect a gift or reward when he chooses to help someone out. Volunteering can and should be rewarding in itself, you can also learn valuable life skills as an unpaid 'apprentice' or volunteer.

    Very well worded.
  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    My son heard the whole conversation of what they where paying the other 2 adults. When my stepdaughter said she got paid, he assumed he was going to get something.

    My SO parents don't really give a crap about my son. I encouraged him to speak up because he really wanted to know why he was treated differently. I did tell him that in the future, if he wants to get paid, he needs to have that conversation before hand. I told him that if he felt that strongly about it he should bring it up.

    I do see a point where it can be seen as innappropriate.
    However, considering that is a step grandchild and that their granddaughter lives in my house, is the same age as my son and they love each other to pieces the least they could have done is made him feel appreciated. They didn't even acknowledge to him the work that he did. I think that anyone that REALLY cared about him would have at least had a nicer conversation with him.

    He was thrilled to work, though. He even told me that he wasn't finished when I went to pick him up.
    And yes, my SO probably should give him something, but his parents didn't pay him either when he spent money to buy tools for this project.
    He won't speak up because he doesn't want to rock the boat. I am mad at him for this, but I do know him, so I expect that.

    I am hurt that they were cold to him considering who he is. They treated him like a stranger and they lied about paying the granddaughter. My son knows they lied about that. He said "mommy, I can't believe they said to me they didn't pay L. I wanted to ask them who did you hire? "

    One of the 2 other guys was the son of the one that really went to help. So technically he wasn't hired either but got paid.

    I am not sorry he stood up for himself though.

    They are just a bunch of ungrateful freeloaders. They asked me to use my wagon to go get tools. I could have told them to go rent a truck but I didn't. The least they could have done was thank my son.
  • anonymous_150263anonymous_150263 Posts: 773Registered Users
    Well it sounds like you have a rocky relationship with your potential inlaws. May be your SO was brought up the way I was, and that was that family helps family and doesnt ask for anything in return. And he is taking care of his parents thats the way it should be . If he bought tools and supplies he shouldn't expect to be paid back unless it was agreed upon.

    My inlaws gave us a drier when ours broke. No questions asked. We asked if we could borrow their extra drier while we saved for a new one and they told us we could keep it. My cousin has fixed our vehicles countless times. I bought parts but he would never let me pay him. Family helps family. We take care of each other.


    My friend just helped her boyfriend move down here from out of state. My husband and I went over to help unload the moving truck. Some other people were over there helping as well and he was paying them and told them so before hand. We didn't know this. My kids, ages 4 and 6, had a blast helping carry little boxes in. We helped till the truck was emptied and he didn't offer to pay us, but I wouldn't have accepted it even if he did. We volunteered becuase we wanted to, and this friend of mind has always helped me in a pinch.

    Another friend picked my daughter up after school today because her kids go to the same school, and she watched her for a couple of hours.
    She bought her a snack with her kids which she didn't have too. We tried to pay her for the icee and for watching my daughter but she didn't want payment and said she would do it anytime. So I offered to babysit or pick her kids up in return if she ever needs it.

    We've got to be human and love and help each other and give without the thought of "what am I going to get out of this". And "oh my goodness I helped them and they didn't even say thank you". Well they didn't even ASK for his help from what you said so he definitely should expect nothing. Even if they gave everyone else $500 each, that's their freedom and right to do so.
  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    They see their grand-daughter as their family and your son as....your son. I think it may feel normal for them to lavish attention and gifts on her, and not even think of treating him the same. It's a little worse in your case, b/c they live together and can compare notes. This is something you may have to just accept and teach him different ways of coping with it. It's easier to adjust your behavior than wait for other people to change.

    I don't think there's anything so wrong with the letter. Asking politely to be paid for work is a skill that can't be mastered too early, lol. Of course, the other party is always free to agree/disagree. It's a teachable moment, though. He learned how to express his thoughts clearly, deal with disappointment, and what to do in the future to prevent something like this from happening again.

    I foresee you having to make distinctions between chores, favors, & paid work in the future, though. :P
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