Do you expect money when other people's children stay for a while?

It's Spring Break, and your oldest child really wants their best friend to stay overnight all week, and since the friend's parents are fine with it and happen to be going out of town... Do you expect the other parents to chip in a little toward what you're spending on food and fun for their child? Or do you view this as a guest situation?

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40  Answers

69 42

If you are the one issuing the invitation, it would be in very poor taste to ask the other parents to chip in. If they offer to do so, accept graciously. It is bad form to expect it. The only time I would ask the other parents for help is when they have asked if their child could stay with us while they are out of town. And even then I would feel that it is better manners to either accept the arrangement or say it is not convenient. Gosh, what ever happened to doing someone a favor?

33
0 0

Oftentimes it's not ME issuing the invite, but my child asking....how far does a favor go? When you have their kids EVERY weekend it's not only a financial burden sometimes, but also you're responsible for those kids all the time! So I guess my question would be this....what ever happened to appreciating someone who's doing you a favor? :)

0 0

I think you need to have a conversation with your child about asking friends over without talking with you first. You're the adult - your child asking a friend over should be the same as you asking.

1 25

Lori...my question to you is...do you ever receive a thank you? Is that not good enough nowadays?

0 0

Don't misunderstand me, I LOVE having the kids here & LOVE that they want to be here all the time, however...it gets expensive to feed these pre-teen & teen boys every weekend! My children DO ask me & sometimes I say no as well...all I'm saying is that if my child was going to someone's house EVERY weekend, or for a whole week (no matter who did the asking), I would offer them some money or give them a walmart gift card or something to help defer expenses! Of course I receive thank you's & all of my kids' friends love me & they all say hi at sporting events & the county fair, which is great, but if more parents thought about this issue it would be a great thing :) at least for me since this is the favorite place to be for my kids' friends...especially in the summer!

11 0

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7 0

I wouldn't dream of inviting a kid to spend time, then asking for money as if I were running some kind of hotel. If I couldn't afford one more mouth at the table or one more kid at the event, I wouldn't issue the invitation. I'd be embarrassed to be so grasping. What happened to the concepts of hospitality and generosity? I wouldn't expect to pay for my child to stay with someone else, either, although I'd definitely offer to chip in for any unusual expenses she might create.

16
38 15

Come now, if you are going to respond please do not be insulting. I read this more as "The parents are almost dumping the kid on me so they can go out of town, I really can't afford another kid for a week, I am an unpaid sitter" situation. I don't feel that she is being grasping, just torn and worried about finances. SHE didn't ask the kid to stay over. Please don't attack other mothers here. This is a condemnation free zone. We all get enough of that in our day to day.

1 0

I don'd see how this post is rude or insulting. If you can't afford another mouth to feed you don't say yes to them staying. From the post the other childs parents didn't dump their child on her, her child is asking if the friend can say. and she is the adult no? she is the parent no? so she can say if the friend can stay or not thats the end of it. O_O I honestly could not afford for a guest to stay for a week so i wouldn't say yes to them staying. I don't see how what margaret williams is being rude or insulting. The poster has a choice she is not being forced into it. if the parents of the other child asked her to look after the kid for a week ye ask for some money - thats how sitters work not one child asking another child to stay and you asking the parent for money O_O

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10 16

I just took two of my son's friends on vacation with us over the summer for a week. The only thing I asked money for was some extra curricular activities we were doing, and of course gave them the option to 'opt out'. They offered to send money for food and I said no need, we planned to feed them all :) I also told the kids to bring their own spending money if they wanted to buy souveniers, but lodging, food, anything extra that came up was on us. Both parents sent thank you notes with gift cards to dinner after...so sweet! So no, I think if you invite someone to stay at your home you don't ask unless it's a special event that will cost a decent amount and as I said, leave that optional.

12
0 17

We have done the same thing. We have had our children invite friends and then ask us later. They only asked the friends first because they said they wanted to make sure the child could go before they wasted time asking us. Went through the whole conversation...ask us then your friends. It puts you and your friend in a pickle when you have to go back and tell your friend no. So anyway, when they have went with us places we have told them what we can and can't pay for. That way, everyone knew ahead of time what was expected.

0 0

No, I wouldn't expect money, though I would like to assume the favour would be returned...

11
43 24

I think it depends on your personal sitiation and relationship with the other family.
You could be straight up with the other family and say "Oldest Child" wants "friend" to stay, however we can't really afford a whole week with activities, so we would be happy for "Friend" to stay if they pay for their own activities.
If they can afford to go way out of town, then they should have some manners and offer or put in for their childrens holiday activities.

8
0 9

I would agree with Heather as far as the "extra activities" go. If you already have plans to do some fun things that cost extra, informing the parents and allowing them the opportunity to decide if they can afford to have their child participate is appropriate. Otherwise, there should be no expectations of the other family.

1 0

Agreed. I think its perfectly acceptable to ask for the parent to help towards the cost of any extra activities but other then that they are an invited guest. I often babysit my niece (i know its a little different, shes family) and my brother does offer to pay her way when we go to play centres/swimming and things but I don't expect him to pay me for my time just return the favour :P

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162 6

I have a home preschool, so I watch other people's kids for money every day. I agree that I would never invite a child over and expect to be paid. My kids invite their friends over all the time, and they're often here for lunch, snacks. and sometimes dinner. My kids are frequently over at their houses around meal times, and we all feed whoever is in the house at the time! Once in a while, a neighbor will ask if their child can come over for a couple of hours, and that's fine with me, since my daughter is at their house all the time.
Where I draw the line, is when someone asks me to watch their kids, and they don't reciprocate by inviting my kids over to play. That's when I do expect to be paid. Last vacation, I watched a friend's two boys for four days, and they are not kids my kids are really friends with, and the boys are a handful! I gave her a great deal, and charged her far less than I would for my preschoolers (they're in 2nd and 5th grades). It's not that it would have been a financial hardship for them to be here, but a sign of respect that she understands that this is my job, and we all expect to be paid for the work that we do! I never charge my kids' friends for overnight stays, because they invite my kids over, too. But if they went out of town for a week, I would have no problem coming up with an amount that was fair to everyone.

8
6 6

If you don't feel you can afford a whole week of exra meals and entertainment just say no, not this time. Maybe when your friend gets back from out of town we can do an over nighter.

7
0 1

I find it funny that nobody has mentioned that is it's not convenient for you to have the child over, maybe you should discuss with your child that he/she needs to ask you before sending out an invite? My kids know that they need to talk to me if they want friends over, and then I issue the invite to the other parents. Then, of course, I would never ask for money.

5
0 24

Exactly what I was thinking! My kids are not allowed to invite anyone without consulting with my husband or myself either. This makes things much easier and no hurt feelings.

0 1

I also think, to clarify, that is you have said it is ok for this child to come, and you have activities planned, then it is up to you to pay for those things, it's not up to the other parent to pay for things that you plan to do. I think it's rude. I myself, would also never send my child anywhere without money to pay for his/her self. But you can't control what other parents do. If my family invites another child to go with us, we are responsible to pay.

2 19

In strict terms of ettiquette, the owners of the home are the ones hosting, so the child or teen should be consulting parents before issuing an invitation to a friend. This allows for specifics and parameters to be negotiated, between parent and child, before an invitation is issued or activities discussed or promised to the friend.

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0 42

No of course not - my sons friends stay all the time - its part of having kids

5
0 4

Have been on both ends of this one -- child and friend desperately wanted to spend Spring Break together when we had plans for out of town trip. In this case it was the kids who initiated the invitation without parents but other mom was okay with it and we agreed so I gave the other girl's mother money for food and a little extra for her trouble. Another of our children invited her friend to stay with us while the friend's family went on a Spring Break trip. We were asked about this in advance and issued the invitation so I did not expect anything in return. The other girl's parents did bring us a lovely gift as thanks for having their daughter which was quite gracious.

4
43 0

I think most people agree that if it's a financial hardship for you, you shouldn't do it. But if not, you should look at it as a favor you're doing for your child. The week that your child gets a full-time playdate has value to you too. That relationship and experience can pay you and your child back 10 fold. But if you're going to hung up on the cost, it's guaranteed to be a negative experience for everyone as your resentment will undoubtedly show through. I would just have a conversation with the child's parents/mother about the week. Discuss what the child's interests, fears, allergies, etc are. At that time, you can suggest certain activities. Maybe she has coupons, discount passes, or memberships to certain museums you can take the girls to. That would also be a time for her to realize if you're going to have extraneous costs. In many instances, kids have their own money, or parents will send money with the kids. You don't mention the age of your child, but I imagine that the parents of the child will not drop her off without spending money.

4
43 0

BTW, I take my children's friends with us on trips all the time. In those cases, there are even more expenses than staying at home. It still always works out. The bottom line is the relationship and experience for your child.

0 9

Caroline - Top notch answer....

0 6

sorry i dont agree.. you must not be a single mom!!!!

0 9

Playing the "single mom" card is not fair, Louisa. Read what Caroline said - " ....if it's a financial hardship for you, you shouldn't do it." That's pretty plain and simple. She gives suggestions afterwards to encourage those who make the decision to take an extra child for the week, which are very helpful. It does not appear to me that she has left out the "single moms" in her post. In fact, it's just the opposite.

0 0

of course the relationships & experiences your child has are important, but if there's not enough money, there's not enough money! Why can't the children of people who don't have as much money get the great experiences also!?! I always tell my children & their friends that I'd love to have them but can't afford to pay their way, if they want to go (which I hope they can) they'll have to pay their own way. On birthdays & special celebration trips or outings, it's always on us!!

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0 5

We took my daughters friend so a cabin resort in northern Minnnesota for a week. The mom offered and insisted to pay the $75.00 extra person fee and $75.00 towards food/gas for the boat etc. We tried to refuse but she insisted. The girls had a fabulous time and it was nice to not have to fork out the extra $150.00 ourselves. It was appreciated especially since her daughter wanted to tube every day for hours and the gas for the boat was hundreds of dollars. It was nice to have the money to use and her daughter made my daughters week way more enjoyable.

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1 25

I would never ask. But I would definitely appreciate that the other parents acknowledge the extra costs. If they offered and insisted then that's nice of them for sure. I would think asking would be rude. Why invite them in the first place if I can't afford it? And if a parent ever invited my child over and then asked me to pay, I would say no they can't go. That would also cause some serious tension between families. It's just asking for drama! LOL

0 0

You can always say "we would love it if Susie could come with us on vacation so that Mary could have someone to play/hang out with, however, we can't really afford to pay for another child. Is there a way that you can help with the added expense so she can go?" There's ALWAYS a way if you can communicate like grownups! If it doesn't work out, so be it, but at least your child hasn't lost out on some quality time with a friend because you didn't ask!

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8 23

I guess my first thought is if my child is invited over and invited to stay I would not chip in any money. However since the parents of the child will be gone and you would be responsible for thier kid I thik it is only right they chip in money towards incidentals or any activities that would cost money. It isn't like you can send the kid hom,e when you are going to an amusement park or other activity that costs money.

3
1 0

I would say if we are planning on doing anything extra (movies, them park, etc.) then it's okay to the parents to chip in for that if they can. If I were in a place of being very broke and barely feeding my family I would say no, but usually meals are not the problem. I think it would be fine to just make parents aware that if their child wants/does anything extra then money for the child to have is needed.

3
0 14

It really depends on the scenario. If someone asks you to watch or babysit their children, that sounds like a paid gig. If you offer to have your child's friend over for a slumber party, long wknd, a trip or whatever else sounds fun, then no you don't ask for money though I do believe real ettiquette in certain situations chock full of certain activities will hopefully encourage the other parents to chip in some spending money for their kid(s). Who wouldn't at least offer?? I find that tacky.

It's ok to exchange money and/or work something out if warranted. Again, it really does have to do with what the whole package of friends children and how much extra costly stuff they 'll be engaging in on your watch.

2
0 0

not if it's one child, that being said however, I have to say that I have 4 children & it gets quite expensive to have 2-4 extra children here for a week, especially when they get into their teens & eat like they're starving! To offset that, my kids have to take turns having someone over except for the 3-4 times a year we have weekend long parties & then I DO expect the kids to bring something to contribute (whether it's money, beverages or food to share) as that's what I require of my own friends. When you have up to 40 people staying on your property, there's no way we could afford to do it otherwise!! Sometimes just 1 of my kids will have 2-4 friends over for the whole weekend, multiply that by 4 & you see what I'm talking about! Also when the kids are here EVERY weekend & my kids NEVER go there (or rarely) it gets expensive. I don't ask on those occasions, but it'd be nice if they offered!! I hate to have to say no because I can't afford to feed them, but I have....

2
0 24

Well I would hope...that in this kind of situation that parents would at least offer something to the cause...after all the parents would be going out of town regardless if the child stayed there or not and some cash was going to be put out there anyways either for some kind of sitter or to pay the child's way on the trip. Would I expect the other parent to pay or offer to pay?....probably not because that's just how I am. It would just be the "nice" thing to do.

2
0 0

When our kids were growing up we had kids at our house all the time. they were like ours. Sometimes our kids weren't home and we would have their friends at our house making cookies or watching TV They were always welcome for their parents lived in another town. They also were our friends. We wouldn't of thought of charging them

2
5 0

I would allow it with no hesitation and without expecting anything in return. Why not help someone when they need it? Plus, they may help you when you are in need some day. Seems we've become a nation of GREED!

2
10 0

Absolutely do NOT expect the other parents to chip in. This is a guest situation. If a week is just too long to feed the extra mouth, then just say no.

2
4 0

No. It was an ivitation from your family. I assume they don't have to leave the child if it's not agreeable. It's like offering a piece of your birthday cake and then asking for a couple bucks because cake's not free. If you can't afford it, say so. Maybe they'd be willing to help.

2
9 34

No I do not ask for money toward food or fun if a friend's child or children stay with us. If we have plans to go to a movie or take the kids somewhere fun I let the parent know & if they want to give their child some money to buy something that is up to them! Also my friends do the same, we "pay" each other buy just by doing little things, we each take turns watching each other kids or if going to store we will call each other and see if they need anything or just something like baking some homemade bread or something for the family to enjoy.

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18 13

absolutely not...God always provides enough for all...

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1 17

in my opinion it's a guest situation...and even if they gave him money i make sure that he doesn't spend it :)
because my kid's will have fun too so it's not fair.

1
0 73

Yes I would expect them to give their child money to stay a whole week. I would never let my daughter go to a friends house without some money or at least offering money. I am not rich and none of my friends are either. I can see maybe 1 night or 2, but to stay the whole week. What if they go somewhere or she needs something? I pay for after school care, I pay to stay at a hotel so... I would expect some money for the week and I would expect to give some. Favors are always nice, but you can't always count on people even if they are family or friends.

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2 0

I personally always send my children with "spending money" and I ALWAYS ask the other parents if they will be needing any money for anything for my child. I think it's just respectful in these days and times. They are doing enough by inviting my child. They should not be responsible for all of their costs as well. Also I always make sure I send a snack or drinks when they are invited for a sleepover. I just feel it's a nice way to thank the family for having them over and that way my kids can contribute to the nights fun. All I can say is they are always being invited places :)

1
0 4

No, I view this as a guest situation. They didn't ask me to watch their child. It just happened that they were going out of town. My child and I were the ones who put out the invitation for the friend to stay for spring break. Now, if the parents asked us to keep the child, because they were going out of town, would hope that they would offer a little money. Truthfully, if they didn't, I wouldn't mind. I would be happy to help them out, and hope they might help me out one day.

1
0 6

I'm a single mom and if this (friend/child) comes from a 2 parent household you can bet i will say
" i cant afford the activities and food for the week by myself could you pitch in" Look at it this way why would you as the other parent or expect someone else to flip the bill for the week for your kid? look at both sides. if they are comfortable enough and you to look after there kid for a week you should be comfortable enough to say hey might need a little extra help in the money department.

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0 10

How would you like this answer if it was the other way around? Just sounds a little nasty to me to take it out on the child cause the child has two parents, it makes you seem Bitter.

32 3

If you are the one who is doing the inviting, then I would say it is not right to ask for money. If they are asking if you can watch their child, then I still wouldn't ask for money but if they offer then accept it. If you can't afford to have another child around, then wait until they get back and do one night. I would not do any activities that cost money while the child is there. The kids can play, rent movies, and other things that don't cost anything extra.

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3 3

I would feel ashamed to ask for money. If you can't afford it, say no. Don't do any extras you can't afford or which become unaffordable if an extra child should share. Maybe there will be a return invitation at some time anyway. But don't wait for that. It is fun for y o u r child and if there are extra expenses, they are a present for your child. I personally find it irritating to be preoccupied with money. In my experience life returns generosity, even if this return does not come from the same people.

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43 0

I'm with you Erika. The thought of being preoccupied with money is very irritating to me too. Worshiping money or basing interpersonal decisions around the financial aspect of it is never a healthy way to live. Be generous and you will be rewarded back 10 fold.

0 0

when you have 4 kids, it starts to get a little expensive! I can't CREATE money out of nothing & if I don't have it, I don't have it!!! I don't ask for gas money to take them places or money for the electricity they use, for goodness sake! But if we're going somewhere that costs money to get in or has snacks/concessions or souvenirs, I always say "We'd love to have your child along, but can't afford to pay for anyone else. If your child wants to go, please send enough money to cover those expenses" Just to take 2 of our kids to the movies with snacks on Halloween was almost 60 dollars!! Add my other 2 & it would've been $90. Add $15 for each additional child and you see what I'm saying? Of course on my children's birthdays and special events I never ask for any money because that is a GIFT for my child. Plus then they are allowed to have up to 10 friends along so....I've never had any complaints from parents or kids & I don't end up feeling resentment or not being able to buy groceries the next week!!

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3 36

Δεν ξέρω εάν θα μπορούσα να έχω την ευθύνη ενός ξένου παιδιού ιδικά για μια ολόκληρη εβδομάδα τα ξένα παιδιά είναι μεγάλη ευθύνη και ο φόβος να μην πάθει τίποτα ενώ είναι στο δικό μου σπίτι ακόμα μεγαλύτερος δεν θα συμφωνούσα λοιπών με το να κρατήσω ένα παιδάκι στο σπίτι μου για μια ολόκληρη εβδομάδα και ενώ λείπουν οι γονείς του παρά μόνο εάν η απουσία των γωνιών είχε να κάνει με κάποιο σοβαρό λόγο. Το τελευταίο πράγμα που θα με απασχολούσε θα ήταν το φαγητό ένα πιάτο παραπάνω στο τραπέζι δεν είναι και τεράστια δαπάνη όσο για την διασκέδαση θα έπρεπε να αρκεστεί σε αυτά που κάνει όλη η οικογένεια μαζί . Όσο για το αν θα άφηνα εγώ το παιδί που να μείνει σε ένα φιλικό μας σπίτι για μια εβδομάδα "ΌΧΙ" για τους ίδιους ακριβώς λόγους . Στο εξωτερικό μπορεί να συνηθίζεται κάτι τέτοιο αλλά εδώ είναι Ελλάδα όσο και θέλουν να μας αλλάξουν οι Ελληνίδες Μάνες ήταν είναι και θα είναι πάντα πολύ προσεκτικές και επιφυλακτικές με αυτά τα πράγματα και καλά κάνουν είναι επικίνδυνου καιροί και καλό θα ήταν να μην αφήνουμε ανεξέλεγκτα τα παιδιά μας

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731 11

It's all Greek to me!

3 36

I am not sure of what are you reading when i am writing in greece becouse the transleation is mess so i am sorry if you don't understand what i want to say belive my i have the same problem when i try to read the tranzletion for english to greek

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23 0

Hi there,
Good question btw! No I personally would not ask for anything like that. Now if we we're going out somewhere (Not McDonalds) like somewhere expensive and it was planned I'd just say to my son now does your friend know that we're going to the zoo (for example) and would they have a few quid to bring with them, or to the carnival etc.. Although in saying that we would pay for the most of it, so if we wen't to the Carnival and they used all their money on the rides etc we would just spend whatever we had spare, then bring them to Mc Donalds our self's Or wherever else it may be. But No I wouldn't ask them to bring money with them otherwise if they we're coming to stay. Anyways most places we go to often don't really require money.. I hope you understand what I mean. Now if they we're going on a holiday with us Yes they'd have to have spending money with them!:)) If my kid's we're going to stay over with friends I'd give them a few bob for themselves and I's ask if they we're going anywhere etc Cinema, Zoo etc etc.. Hope that helped!:))xx

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2,093 0

No. The child would be our guest. Also, the cost of feeding and entertaining an extra kid when you're already feeding and entertaining four of your own is minimal.

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45 0

None! If you can't afford to take care of the kid for a week then tell your oldest child no......Now if you're planing to go to someplace special let the parents know. Be prepared for that parent to not give their child one cent......

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5 6

If the children also stay at your house from time to time without pay, I don't think I would expect it.

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56 14

We have sleepovers all the time but only for one night. There is really no reason you need to have them for the whole week or every weekend. It is your home and you decide what you can afford or not afford. We have asked for money if we plan on a movie or swimming but not for just staying home. If food is an issue then have them dropped off after supper and picked up before lunch. Then you only have to provide breakfast.

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23 0

I have only looked after other peoples children for a day.
I did not ask for money but I did ask mother to bring the food for 1 of the children as she was a diabetic.
As I did not deal with this on a regular basis I thought it would be too easy for me to make a mistake and give the child the wrong food when she was very young.
I did feed her other child.


Marcia

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159 19

It depends. Is this child needy emotionally or with excessive hunger? Will they be going out during the day, and possibly going to this girl's house for lunch? Are they well enough off to afford it? Is this friend no problem what so ever? There's so many factors too. If this child eats a lot, it's fair to ask for either some grocery money or snack relief.

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32 21

I don't expect it. That's not how I roll. It goes back to the ancient concept of xenia, the divine right of the guest.

But if it's offered, I appreciate the generosity with grace, according to the modern concept of etiquette.

Besides, a gift given may someday be repaid in kind. You never know.

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126 30

no not at all .. they will have to pay there own way ie cinema theme parks but rest no but would tell other parents what we intended to do first ... only fair but rest defoe not

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126 30

and would depend on how old and how long few day no nothing ,, few weeks as has happens yes only for experiencing things but to be honest never has been a problem with other parents

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