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To be sick of other parents making me look unreasonable?

(62 Posts)
CambridgeBlue Wed 14-Nov-12 14:14:06

I try really hard to be firm but fair with my DD (10) but unfortunately it's getting harder because most of her friends' parents don't seem to be of the same opinion, even those I thought were fairly 'sensible'.

It's things like phones - DD has a basic one but now half her friends seem to be getting Blackberries etc which I personally think they are much too young for. Then there's TVs in the bedroom - I am really against this but practically all of her friends have one and she can't see why I don't want her to.

I do try and meet her half way where I can but I am getting sick of feeling forced into decisions I don't want to make just because other parents are not as strict. I don't want to be the mean mother but I genuinely believe there's some stuff she's too young for or that isn't appropriate.

How the hell do I strike a balance between being fair to her and sticking to what I think is the right thing to do?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 14-Nov-12 14:17:19

I am dreading this. SIL's children (8, 11) have iPads, iPhones, 18 video games, TVs in rooms. I don't want any of that for DD when she is that age. I don't know what you do... Hopefully someone clever will come along and tell us.

I will say that I think DC do better with parents being parents rather than parents acting like another set of friends in charge.

We went through this with the dses - and to be honest, we stuck with our beliefs on most things. I remember telling the boys that I wasn't so-and-so's mum, and if I was, he wouldn't have a tv (or whatever it was) in his bedroom either We did pick our battles, and didn't say no to everything (can't think of a specific example offhand, but I am sure we weren't entirely cruel and heartless [winkl]).

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 14-Nov-12 14:21:11

You just do what you think is right for your DD and stick to it. When they tell you loads of other people have them they mean a couple do.

Thing is when they have older siblings things do change. My DS gets things that there's no way DD would have got at his age but we've entered a different phase in our household and I'm more flexible about some things I never thought I would be a few year ago . You can't in as a parent whatever you do so just stick to your guns.

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 14:21:29

It's definitely a tough one, especially nowadays. I suppose all you can do is pick your battles as wisely as possible. Perhaps play the "money" card - you can have it if you buy it yourself? I know that could backfire if she gets a lot of birthday money or is a good saver but at least you're teaching her something, ie the value of the things she wants.

It's hard to explain these kinds of decisions to a ten year old, they just see it as being mean.

JohnBender88 Wed 14-Nov-12 14:21:46

Stick to your guns! Especially with regards to the TV. I grew up with a TV in my bedroom and I'm reliant on it to help me sleep and I'm in my 20s! I'm not a mother yet (pfb due date is tomorrow) but I'm adamant that my children will not have a TV in their bedrooms!

honeytea Wed 14-Nov-12 14:21:58

Just tell her different families have different rules. Is there something that your family do that is unusual or special, maybe a holiday abroad every year where as the friends go away in the UK, maybe a joint hobby that you do with her.

dreamingofsun Wed 14-Nov-12 14:22:43

are you married/with your partner. if so key thing is you discuss this in private and agree so you can have a joint united front. you then tell her and ignore any arguments to the contrary.

you also should decide which things are important and which don't actually really matter and its just you being a bit old/grumpy/ideallistic.

none of our children have TVs in their rooms - not even the 19 year old. though this does mean they go into dining room instead and close the door. they find ways round things.

mothers should be mean.

as they get older you will have to take into account that they are becoming adults and will make their own decisions. so yes one of my kids has a blackberry but he pays for this out of his PT job

good luck

Pagwatch Wed 14-Nov-12 14:22:47

You do sadly just have to stick to your guns.
Ds1 is 19 now. He knew we were unusual in terms of some of the things we said no to but he accepted it because we talked to him about it and didn't fudge about 'oh we'll if your friends all have one...'
DD is 10 now and wants a phone but we have said not until she is 11.

I think it is important though to make sure you don't say no to everything. Dd got a small iPod at about 7. She loves music, ds1 wanted to get it for her and loaded it or her. I thought it was fine.

Just make sure that you understand why you object and it isn't just 'I want educational toys and wooden shite'

Dahlen Wed 14-Nov-12 14:23:44

If you're sure you are being fair, you stick to your guns regardless. Easier said than done, I know, but use it as a starting point for a discussion about values, material wealth, appreciation of belongings, etc.

I was the child who didn't have the same things as most of my peers growing up. At the time I resented it. Now, I appreciate what my parents did for me. Having to work for and acquire these things myself taught me to appreciate the value of things and also gave me a much more self-reliant attitude.

I see some people today whose children have had so much growing up that they crash when they enter the real world and try to become independent only to realise that they have no chance of keeping themselves in the style to which they've become accustomed.

I also see kids who have had everything who have no problems because they've got parents who have instilled good values in them, but you do have to work harder to do that I think.

mirry2 Wed 14-Nov-12 14:23:55

My dd never had a TV in her room. I dodn't want her split off from the rest of the family any more than necessary AND I didn't want her watching TV late into the night.

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 14:23:58

Incidentally I also agree with the tv rule. I have never had a tv in my bedroom and find them very offputting. I know it's nice for a teenager to be able to go and watch something on their own now and again but I think the danger is that they'll hole up in their room and you'll hardly see them.

Stick to the rules you want to impose. Ever since my dcs were about 4, they would occasionally say 'but xxx's mum/dad let them do/have it'

My answer has always been. Their mum/dad makes their rules and I make yours. I don't care what they do/have, you follow our rules.

Mine are 8 and 6 now and I'm still getting away with it. I hope it continues.

BonaDea Wed 14-Nov-12 14:25:09

YANBU.

I remember being 11 and being absolutely outraged that my mother wouldn't let me get my ears pierced because ALL the other girls at school had theirs done. Now, 22 years later and pg with my first, the idea (if it is a girl) of piercing her perfect little earlobes fills me with dread. She'll be 18 if she's a day before I'd let her do it!

ANYWAY, my point is that although my mum's decision seemed catastrophic to me at the time, of course now I completely agree with her. Yes, your daughter might be miffed with you, but she'll get over it. It is FAR more important that you do what you feel is right. If you go with what the others do, where do you have to draw the line - make up? short skirts? later curfew?

Stick to your guns.

Dawndonna Wed 14-Nov-12 14:25:10

Ours are 17 and 16 now. They have nice phones, which have improved since they got their first ones when they started high school. They still do not have televisions in their bedrooms, they do not have internet access upstairs either. I'm afraid, as others have said, you just have to stick it out. It's worth it in the end, and in fact, they do seem to appreciate it now.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 14-Nov-12 14:25:51

i agree with everyone else, it's up to you and you know your reasons for why you have certain rules. no-one else has to raise your child so they shouldn't have a say in how you do it.

WRT the tv in room though, could you compromise and say she could have it in her room on friday nights til 10pm? or that she could have it in her room but not connected to sky/freeview whatever just for dvds and playstation or whatever she's into?

Lancelottie Wed 14-Nov-12 14:26:32

'keeping themselves in the style to which they've become accustomed' -- you have such a good point there!

Even gawd knows how many years back when I was a student, the friends who couldn't budget were the ones who thought paying for the car and TV licence were essentials, then wondered why they couldn't afford food.

fuzzpig Wed 14-Nov-12 14:27:36

I'm dreading this! Thankfully DD isn't really aware of what other children have yet (5, in yr1) - well, apart from "x has fizzy drinks in her lunch box" and that sort of relatively minor thing.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 14-Nov-12 14:28:34

I know where you're coming from, and it is really difficult.

On the phones thing, I think YAB a bit U, because what phones people can get cheaply sometimes depends on the phones the adults have. Some blackberries are really cheap nowadays, and sometimes children will be given parents old phones.

You have acknowledged yourself that your opinions are personal to you, and you just have to accept that others feel differently, no matter how right you think you are.

I find it hard with ds1, but I think that's because of his AS, but ds2 can usually see the sense in decisions we make for him, even if he doesn't like them. I think it helps to show that you are considering the child's thoughts and opinions when making a decision (even if you aren't) because at least then they feel like their opinions are valued. You could even find some research that suggests that TVs in bedrooms is negative for children and show your dd what you have based your decision on. I think children find it easy to think that we are just being difficult for the sake of it, but we need to credit them with being able to contribute to responsible choices for themselves.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 14-Nov-12 14:29:17

My dc have a tv, I wish they would bugger off to their bedrooms to watch their crap. It never gets turned on and they are always in the living room.

I actually think your not being very fair if you don't let them have any technology because that is the world we live in today.

Lifeisontheup Wed 14-Nov-12 14:30:47

We did have this problem too but stuck to certain things. We don't have a TV in our bedroom so that was easier to say no to. I did say they could have one when they could buy it and pay the licence fee but they lost interest.

They got phones when they went to secondary school as they were using public transport but only basic ones.

I explained that I didn't want them targeted by muggers which is more likely with an expensive phone.

They also got laptops when they were 14 as our desk top was used for DH's business so using it for homework etc was a matter for negotiation.

WiseKneeHair Wed 14-Nov-12 14:31:42

Explain why and keep saying no.
Also agree about picking your battles.
I relate to the two examples you have given. DS1 is also 10, he is 11 in 21 days yes, he is bloody counting down and getting his first phone. I have explained that this will be not be an all singing, all dancing phone and it will be PAYG, not contract. He is accepting this as we have compromised by getting him the phone in the first place as initially I said he couldn't have one until he went to secondary school. As far as getting a phone went, we have had "but everyone else in my class has got on" for the last year, but if I specifically say "Does X have one?", he'll say "Well, maybe not X" grin
My dc are not allowed TVs in their bedrooms, however, as well as a TV in the living room, there is one in the snug and one with a DVD player/PS3 in the playroom. therefore, there is no need for one in their bedroom's and they wouldn't be allowed to watch it at bedtime even if they had one. We also don't have one in our bedroom as I think it would be difficult, ethically, to defend that one if we did.
Good luck and stay strong, you are not alone.

dreamingofsun Wed 14-Nov-12 14:32:45

if there are some things you are agreable with make them work for them - eg provide a phone but they have to empty the dishwasher. And remove them if they don't

as people say, this makes them value the things and as my kids have got older they have looked with slight derision at kids who have free cars, petrol, expensive phones provided by parents.

SparkleSoiree Wed 14-Nov-12 14:36:20

Stand firm and stick to your guns. It only gets more challenging from here on in. DD(11) tells me regularly how her friends have this, that and the other. Half the time I think its an exaggeration but it still doesn't sway me. I have a rough schedule in my head for when Im prepared to discussion allowing DD to have certain things and until then its a no go subject. The biggest thing at the moment is dreaded Facebook, cue whining, "everybody at school has it, so and so has it, her mum says blah blah blah". NO way.

I really believe that you must parent your child for as long as they live at home and not be their friend. I made that mistake with my eldest who is now 20. That way lies trouble for allowing yourself to be walked all over with your teen trying to manipulate you.

You must stand firm and believe in yourself, even if it seems like everyone else around you has lost all common sense. smile

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 14-Nov-12 14:36:27

Oh don't wish for that InNeedOfBrandy, mine turn their TV on upstairs all the time then they come downstairs and watch it in the living room.

I get the joyous experience of listening to Dora mouth almighty The Explorer in surround sound until I can be bothered to get up and tell them to go and turn one of the TVs off.

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