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Am I being tightfisted and old fashioned

(77 Posts)
Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 17:27:12

I have just been to a pre Christmas event at school and was involved in a conversation with a group of mums about Xmas presents. It seems that quite a few are buying iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 for the children and several are buying x box one or the latest iPad. These are presents for 9, 10 and 11 year olds. I was a bit shock and didn't share what presents I am buying. My child in the same age group will get what I think is a reasonable amount of presents but it will be games, DVDs, books etc and will probably total £150. I have bought most things on his list and a few extras. I now think he only put things on his list that he thinks he has a reasonable chance of getting. He hinted at an Xbox but I wasn't prepared to spend that much when previous consoles (wii and DS) didn't get much use. He knows there is no chance of a phone until high school and even then not a mega expensive phone.
I am now worried that he goes back to school after Xmas and feels like the kid who got very little compared to everyone else (I was that kid).
Please mumsnetters tell me that iPhone 6 and x box ones are not the norm for 9 and 10 year olds or tell me I am out of touch and need to join the 21st century.

WreckTheHalls Sat 22-Nov-14 17:59:26

You have to make your own call, based on your values and budget.

We bought a wii last year for the DCs to share, and are buying them a 3Ds each this year as their main presents (aged 6 and 10). These are only to be used in common areas of the house under adult supervision.

I would draw the line at an internet device like the ipad OR a phone.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 18:06:10

We have a wii and a huge stack of games, we also have a Nintendo DS and both of those things hardly get used, hence my reluctance to buy an xbox one. We have an iPad and a galaxy tab but they are whole family items instead of belonging to the children individually and they are not allowed to use them upstairs. I don't think 9 and 10 year olds have much use for mobile phones, hence why I will only buy them when children are off to senior school (and even then the limit will be £100 for a phone).
I guess I'm just a bit antiquated.

PesoPenguin Sat 22-Nov-14 18:08:38

Well tbh Im a TA in KS2 and lots of children do have these things, as does ds but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to buy the same or that your children won't be happy with what they get.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 18:18:00

My children are always very happy with whatever they get. I suppose I remember going back to school after Christmas each year and finding out that other children got hundreds of pounds worth of presents and I got a £10 present from my mum (single low earner) and nothing from anybody else. I don't want my children feeling the same as I did but at the same time I don't want to be buying things just to keep up with others when I don't necessarily think they are needed.
I think I am just shocked that 9 year olds are getting I phone 6's. Who exactly do they need to phone on such an expensive phone?
I think my own childhood and my previous profession is clouding my judgement.

curiousgeorgie Sat 22-Nov-14 18:22:53

You aren't being either of those things, a lot of children have phones and iPads and a lot don't. It's your choice.

My DD has just turned 4 and is getting an iPad as one of her Christmas presents. I'm with you on the phone though.. I mean, who do they need to ring?! wink

PigeonPie Sat 22-Nov-14 18:27:19

My 9 year old and (nearly) 7 year old will not be getting an iPhone, nor an iPad, nor a games console! We have an aged Wii and shared iPads (one a version 1 - we're early adopters!) which we share as a family, but I don't think it's necessary for them to have those sorts of things at the moment so I'm with you OP.

I'm actually thinking of either getting them a Sonos speaker for them to share upstairs (to go with the two we've already got downstairs) so that they can listen to their music / the radio or some board games this year. They have enough Lego to sink a battleship and don't really play with the console anyway.

I'd rather put the money away for them to have activities through the year, but then, I'm extremely old fashioned grin

DilysMoon Sat 22-Nov-14 18:45:15

My 9&6 yo ds's are getting the xbox 360 this year between them, they (esp the 9yo) have been begging for one virtually since last Christmas to play online with friends and he is the only boy in his class without one. Not the xbox one though, 2 reasons one being the cost and the other that the games available on the one seem a lot more adult, there are a lot more suitable games on the 360.

If he's not even asked for it though I wouldn't worry.

DilysMoon Sat 22-Nov-14 18:48:59

Meant to say under no circumstances will I consider a phone until he starts going to places on his own so most likely high school and even then it certainly won't be an Iphone. May consider a tablet at some point but again not an Ipad- I couldn't justify the cost of that for my own use never mind a child!

RudyMentary Sat 22-Nov-14 18:53:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 22-Nov-14 19:00:02

YANBU. I'm ok with games consoles and iPads but until teenage years I would prefer them to be "family" items. There is no way a ten year old needs an iphone.
I'm not old fashioned, I love gadgets and new technology and am happy for my children to be exposed to it but I think that your examples are too expensive for a single present at that age and wouldn't want to set that precedent.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 19:00:53

Dilysmoon can the Xbox 360 connect wirelessly to the internet? I know if DS really wants one (even though it isn't on his Xmas list) he will ask if he can buy one after Xmas with his Xmas money. I wouldn't want him having one if it is connected to the internet as it would be in his bedroom and I already don't allow the iPad or tablet to be used upstairs as I don't want the children accessing the internet in their bedrooms.
Sorry if that sounds like a really stupid question but I am clueless about these things.
I'm starting to sound like my mother.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 22-Nov-14 19:04:28

OP the original Xbox 360s required an adaptor for wireless internet so would have been ok for you but the new ones don't. Maybe look for a second hand one?

Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 19:09:33

Thanks tarka.

Mummyinamask Sat 22-Nov-14 19:09:37

DD1 is in year 4 (she is 9). I don't know of any child in her class with a phone - or getting one. Not to say they don't aspire to the trappings of teenagers! I've made it clear no phone until secondary school. She accepts this. I've also explained she wouldn't be able to call to text her friends anyway unless they have phones . . .

patchesmcp Sat 22-Nov-14 19:15:24

OP I'm with you, I don't see why a 9 year old needs a phone at all, who precisely are they going to ring?!

In terms of iPads etc then I've no problem with them but they'd be family presents, not for the child as again that just seems excessive to me.

I'm probably old fashioned and mean though grin

dumdedah Sat 22-Nov-14 19:39:34

It's hard putting your child in a position where they aren't in the 'norm' of things, but not following your own values and gut instinct also has its downsides. Keep in mind too that while your DS might look at friends with phones and wish he had one, he might have friends looking at him and wishing they had things that he has (which may be non possession type things, quality family time, a garden, parents who have a joke with him, siblings...not sure what applies in your case, but you get the drift ). There's just always some sort of comparison going on, and I don't think too much suffering results. I too remember coming to school as a child and hearing about some kids getting masses of presents, and being a bit shocked and sad about it. But I still wouldn't let that feeling in my childhood guide me to overdoing things with my own kids. Mine are younger, but can't see those kinds of gadgets being gifts for some time yet, teens perhaps. I like their (limited) spare time spent on other things. Each to their own, but I don't think it is unusual to not be buying those kinds of things for personal xmas gifts for kids.

GnomeDePlume Sat 22-Nov-14 19:50:33

I wouldnt make the assumption that because wii & DS arent in regular use that a console wont be either.

Our DS(16) has an xbox 360. I think that he has had it since he was 12.

He didnt know he was getting it and hadnt asked for it (probably assumed it was out of the question). The look on his face when we gave him the parcel was a picture! One of our best presents.

<brushes away reminiscent tear>

Iggi999 Sat 22-Nov-14 20:04:31

Even if it has wireless internet access, it won't unless you sign it up to it - so if your wifi password is kept secret from the dcs, they can't join that network without you typing the password in.

revealall Sat 22-Nov-14 20:05:43

My DS (10) has two iPhones now as they were hand me down models. He doesn't have any credit/ contract to spend on them and uses them for games. Didn't think this was a big deal...none of his friends use phones for phoning just mucking about in.
He got an iPad for Christmas last year and it has been great and a complete pain at the same time.
He wants an x box this year and I have said no til he goes to secondary.The games, chat and amount of screen time worry me no end.

FruitCakey Sat 22-Nov-14 20:07:21

I think it depends on each parent. confused

I have just bought my DS an iPad mini for Christmas. He plays on mine quite a bit and I felt he was old enough and responsible enough to have one. He will be 7 a few weeks after Xmas.

It's such a technology based world that we live in now. I think they're just as important as toys. I am sorry, but I do. My DS has learned so much from my iPad. I believe it will benefit him a lot.

Saying that, I wouldn't buy DS a phone at 10-11y/o though, I would when DS has gone to high school, as you have said. Also, it would only be a cheap thing.

Irregardless of my decision to buy DS an iPad, I don't believe you're doing anything unusual. If you believe that what you have bought him is enough, then that is fine too.

UniS Sat 22-Nov-14 20:12:23

Have you asked your kid what they would like?
My 9 yr old managed to come up with a few things he would like, a new part for his bike, a CD from a band he likes and a jigsaw he saw in a catalogue.
I think he will like his " big present" from us, a CD player. And some little presents too, CD, DVD of the Lego movie, a bit of kit from his favourite sports team.
They don't all get x box/ iPad scale presents.

LaCerbiatta Sat 22-Nov-14 20:19:08

Dd is 9 and i don't think we'll even be spending 150 pounds.... more like 100.
She won't get an iPad (i don't have one myself) or an xbox and definitely not a phone. Tbh i don't think any of her friends have a phone and not many have tablets. We're actually a bit stuck for ideas so I'm trying to convince dh to give both of them his ipad and get a new one for himself but he thinks they're too young (4 and 9).

We could afford to spend the money but i don't agree with that level of spoiling (hundreds of pounds spent per dc) and it makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Applejack2 Sat 22-Nov-14 20:36:10


I got my son an Xbox last year when he was 9. I have got him a WiiU this year. I wouldn't get him an iphone though. He starts secondary next year and, if needed, I will only get a cheap Nokia! No way is he having an iphone.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Sat 22-Nov-14 20:40:43

Have you asked your kid what they would like?

Yes, every year they write a wish list. They know it is a wish list and that they might get some things off the list and not others and they might get some surprise gifts too. On the list (the 10 year old) was books he wants (very enthusiastic reader and book lover), some DVDs and chocolate. He hasn't asked for a phone (he knows he will get one when he goes to senior school and not before) and he hasn't asked for an Xbox (maybe because he suspects he wouldn't get one and maybe he wants other things more).
I have bought almost everything from his list and my mum bought the items I didn't get. I have also bought things that were not on his list. I'm sure he will love everything we have got him and I don't think he is expecting as many presents as we have got him as he is quite a humble child.
I'm not against technology, we have an iPad, a tablet and a PC in the house and the children use them regularly and have games downloaded etc. we don't need another iPad in the house.
I was just wondering if iPads, Xbox ones and latest iPhones were the norm for 10 year olds these days and if had missed the memo and was a bit of a tightwad.

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