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AUBU to expect 16yr old DS not to be moody because he didn't get an ipod for Christmas?

(31 Posts)
bellaella16 Sat 25-Dec-10 15:15:49

Help. I'm a single parent with DS on our own here at Christmas. Had planned to go to my Mum's for Christmas lunch tbh I couldn't face 4 hour drive there with dodgy car, and moody teen to cook lunch, give presents then another 4 hrs return. We do it every year and its only our 2nd Christmas at home. She is very elderly, totally alone today so I already feel guilty. Staying overnight is not an option for us and she didn't want to travel. As more background I always stuggle not to feel down over christmas and have so far succeeded in to passing the christmas blues on to my son by making it good for him.

DS asked for an ipod amongst other things. I lost my job last year so £229 would have meant severely cutting back. He is not normally grasping but he has just told me moodily the ipod was the only thing he wanted. I feel like I've let everyone down. Its difficult to keep going. AIBU to expect him to stop the moods a little today, maybe even come out of his room for a while for more than presents and dinner. Sorry this is so long, and yes I am feeling sorry for myself but I just had to tell someone...

diddl Sat 25-Dec-10 15:19:45

If you can´t afford it, you can´t.

I´d expect a 16yr old to understand that tbh.

Can´t blame him for feeling disappointed-but not for too long.

What did he get instead?

Goblinchild Sat 25-Dec-10 15:21:24

Let him sulk and don't feel guilty.
Does he have a job? If he wants something very badly, then he needs to see that just wishing Santa will bring it doesn't work in reality.
Christmas is about more than presents, but he's struggling to see that at the moment, which is a pain for you.
Hard to see what your options were with your mother, phone calls, food parcels...is there a neighbour or someone who could visit her at some point?

MissAnneElk Sat 25-Dec-10 15:22:44

Sorry you're having a rough day. He'll get over the iPod disappointment. Does he have a part time job? Maybe he could save and you could contribute a bit if it's possible?
Tell him it's Christmas day and moping in his room is not allowed. Is there something on TV you would enjoy watching together? Hope the day improves for you.

foxinsocks Sat 25-Dec-10 15:24:01

Sorry to hear that bella :-(

Try and drag him downstairs to watch a film

foxinsocks Sat 25-Dec-10 15:24:47

Or alternatively open the wine!

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Sat 25-Dec-10 15:25:11

if you had made him fully understand that an ipod would not be given, then he is being silly. Understandable that he is disappointed, but if you had already made sure he knew it was not affordable, then 16 is old enough to deal with it!

If, otoh, you knew he wanted one and had not made it clear it was not happening and therefore he may have thought that he was getting one, then while you would think that 16 was old enough to deal with disappointment, he is still a child so maybe slightly less bad of him.

Re your mum, it's not nice at all that she's on her own, of course, but you have a car that you are not sure of and I assume train etc was not an option? so what could you do? you made the decision you thought best.

I'm sorry you're feeling low. You're trying the best you can.

BibiBlocksberg Sat 25-Dec-10 15:28:21

Just read your post and feel for you!

Your son will get over his disappointment but in the meantime stay on here and chat some more perhaps we can help to make the afternoon a bit brighter

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 25-Dec-10 15:31:18

aww, am sorry you are feeling low today

16 yo will soon snap out of a sulk...he should understand that if you can't afford it, you can't afford it end of

my two dc's have had rather a more meagre xmas than tehy are used to

it hurts me a bit, I have to be honest

but I could not justify going into debt just to give them what they wanted

we will be fine, and so will you...you sound like a sensible mum and he is lucky to have you x

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 25-Dec-10 15:31:41

< waves at bibi >

bellaella16 Sat 25-Dec-10 16:10:31

Thank you all so much for the advice and support. It seems I had misunderstood DS, he had told me there were other things he would rather have than an iPod because he knows we don't have money this year. Over lunchtime 'conversation' it seems he really (he barely talks so its difficult to know sometimes). He has now asked for it for his birthday in July You are all right, he will get over the disappointment, its not everything even though it probably seems like it to him at the moment.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to all of you for responding, I'm just about to make a radical suggestion he makes an appearance downstairs! I do hope you all have lovely days and wish you all happy christmas x

bellaella16 Sat 25-Dec-10 16:19:17

and re my Mum, had sent food, done phone calls, and we will go on the train (the way we usually go) after Christmas when they run normally again.

DS also now downstairs! shock

notmyproblem Sat 25-Dec-10 18:12:21

Seriously though... you're a single mum, lost your job last year, he's 16... does he work at all? Surely by 16 it's not unreasonable for kids to work a bit part-time and save money for unnecessary nice toys like ipods. It's not like you couldn't buy him new pants for Christmas or anything. Seems fair for you to arrange now to split the cost or pay in part for his birthday present.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Sat 25-Dec-10 18:18:25

I bought ds the worlds smallest cutest iPod for £39 from M&S.

www.apple.com/uk/ipodshuffle/

sincitylover Sat 25-Dec-10 18:31:03

I felt quite guilty because I didn't really give the dcs the same sort of stocking they normally have (another single parent here).

That was mainly due to having to leave stuff to the last minute due to snow and payday but also I do think that spending money on trivial things is rather a waste of money.

The stocking included - an electronic tootbrush or dvd, lindt snowman, playing cards, chocolate orange, misc novelty item, nivea minis and socks.

Also because they are now both into xbox and ps3 the pile of presents are shrinking but of higher value. I think they understand but somehow I feel bad.

They really want for nothing but somehow I feel I am lacking in some way.

I sometimes get a small bonus in feb and last year bought ds1 an ipod touch. But prob won't get this again and tbh should not be buying them luxury items when some months I struggle with food.

#229 is alot of money for a present imo. Hopefully he will be able to save for it and maybe you can make a contribution.

I didn't go to my parents either for similar reasons.

I think alot of people whatever their situation feel a big fat failure at Christmas in many ways because of the way it's hyped up and a perfect picture is painted in the media. Life's not like that and the reality far removed from the truth.

Having said that I think my dcs are enjoying themselves (they did not enjoy going to exhs today but there again he is going away tomorrow so they had to spend part of Xmas Day with him)

My ds1 said he was not disappointed but Im always over sensitive to any disappointment and sometimes try to pre-empt it which makes it worse.

Also felt I failed because I sent ds2 in very casual clothes (its all he's got) to his dads today and they went out to a restaurant.

Hope that helps and you are now having a nicer day.

sincitylover Sat 25-Dec-10 18:31:31

Sorry got on a roll there - that was very long

sincitylover Sat 25-Dec-10 18:33:33

sorry meant the reality is far removed from the perfecto Xmas shoved down our throat by the media and advertisers

potplant Sat 25-Dec-10 19:24:10

There you go, he's feeling disappointed that 'he wants something he can't have. Doesn't everyone have a moment of sadness about things out of your control? the fact that he's out of his strop now and will wait till July says a lot about him (and is a good reflection on you).

Chin up!

pigletmania Sat 25-Dec-10 19:53:22

Glad you managed to sort things out, £229 is a lot to spend on a present. Mabey if he got Christmas money or Birthday money he can put it towards the i pod and you contribute the rest, if the i pod is something he really wants desperately. It shows him about waiting and saving for things, instead of having it instantly which is the problem with society today. By his birthday he might not want the i pod and be into something else.

A1980 Sat 25-Dec-10 19:56:40

He's 16, not 6. You're a single mum, you've lost your job he is more than capable of understanding that he can't have everything he wants.

When I was his age, I worked in Tesco and I could have bought it myself after a few wage slips.

Perhaps suggest it to him.

oldandgreynow Sat 25-Dec-10 21:36:34

have you been in the supermarkets recently.They don't employ teens any more.

herbietea Sat 25-Dec-10 21:44:01

Message withdrawn

Goblinchild Sat 25-Dec-10 21:46:22

I agree with herbietea, it may depend on where you live but our local supermarket has an enormous number of students from the 6th form staffing the tills. But we are in the SE.

mathanxiety Sat 25-Dec-10 21:55:29

When it comes to major purchases (like an iPod) could you and your DS split the cost? Not the same as an outright gift, but I've been pretty skint for the past few years and the older DCs and I try to meet each other half way for things they really, really wan; they save up for their portion, while I save up for my contribution. They haven't lost anything bought this way either. They babysit (DD) and do odd gardening/ handyman jobs (DS). Formal employment is very hard to come by for teens.

pointythings Sat 25-Dec-10 22:25:49

£229 is an enormous amount of money on one present, we have spent less than that on everything for all 4 of us and (small) family - and we are not a single parent household. I'd expect a 16-yo to understand the cost of things and I think the July compromise is a good one.

Lots of 16-yo working in supermarkets round here too, you can always tell if you're buying alcohol and they have to notify someone else, bless!

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