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To wonder why parents buy their children so many expensive gadgets

(110 Posts)
frogspoon Sat 07-Dec-13 21:19:19

I teach in a private senior school and teach so many children who have or are getting iPads, iPhones, PS4, xbox one etc for birthdays, Christmas etc. Most of these children have multiple devices already, including previous versions e.g. PS3. Surely they can't play on them all at once, why do they need so many?

So why do so many parents spend hundred of pounds on gadgets, plus all the extra games etc, which except for the iPad have very limited educational value? I can understand the occasional very expensive present, but I would expect such a high quality expensive piece of technology to last a child for several years, and that if they are old enough to have the technology, they are old enough to look after it, therefore it shouldn't get broken.

One child I teach has two smart phones currently: a blackberry so he can use BBM, and an iPhone for apps. He is getting a new iPhone 5S for Christmas because he cracked the screen on his old iPhone, plus it is getting out of date. They seem to have no concept of how much these things cost, or how to look after them.

I just think it's getting a bit ridiculous.

squeakytoy Sat 07-Dec-13 21:20:55

You work in a school that has children from mainly privileged and wealthy backgrounds, who will be competing against each other with who has the latest gadgets.. their parents can afford it. Nothing to really wonder about.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 07-Dec-13 21:22:49

I don't think they last as long now though. My dh's kindle hasn't lasted a year and he only really uses it once a week.

Theyre all quite poorly made with built in obsolescence in my opinion

LoganMummy Sat 07-Dec-13 21:23:16

If they can afford it then why not.

If I had money like that I might well do the same.

I do understand what you're saying though.

BohemianGirl Sat 07-Dec-13 21:24:29

Yes indeed.

He is getting a new iPhone 5S for Christmas oh bless! he's 2 months behind his state counterparts

hiddenhome Sat 07-Dec-13 21:26:53

What are they supposed to do then, play with wooden trains? confused

Mine have a few gadgets between them and they get a lot out of them. Far more than the expensive Lego models that are now lying around in various pieces in their bedrooms.

Vampyreof Sat 07-Dec-13 21:28:31

I think it's ridiculous but then I'm nowhere near 'techy'.

Screamqueen Sat 07-Dec-13 21:30:04

So why do so many parents spend hundred of pounds on gadgets, plus all the extra games etc, which except for the iPad have very limited educational value?

Whats wrong with just plain having fun - not everything needs to have an "educational value"!!

Taz1212 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:31:35

I obviously can't respond for anyone else, but my DC have a silly amount of gadgets because DH didn't have very much growing up as a child. He seems to have this need to have electronic "stuff" for the kids in some bizarre attempt to compensate for his childhood. I grew up in entirely different circumstances and I couldn't care less about stuff- I'd be quite happy if DC only had a tenth of what they do have. Needless to say, I am hoping they grow up to have my attitude as adults. grin

frogspoon Sat 07-Dec-13 21:32:48

Haha, hidden, I'm not saying kids should have no gadgets at all

What I'm saying is, if they already have an PS3 and an iPad 2, do they really need a PS4.

I think having "a few" gadgets isn't a huge problem, but just think its a bit silly to buy another one when there is nothing wrong with the old one (or got broken due to carelessness rather than poor manufacturing)

You are right about the parents at my school being exceptionally wealthy, however I also know that the particular child with 2 smart phones almost didn't return to school in September due to not paying the fees.

ImperialBlether Sat 07-Dec-13 21:33:34

I think they've all lost something with everything being digital.

Think of LPs - all that art work. Reading the lyrics on the back. Lending them to others. Walking over to the stereo to change tracks. The thrill of waiting for the album to be released. Hearing it in the order in which it was intended.

And books. Reading them and swapping them with friends. Going to a friend's house and seeing the books on their shelves; browsing them, borrowing one. Reading the blurb. Sharing them.

They've lost a lot, in my opinion.

hiddenhome Sat 07-Dec-13 21:33:52

We must have spent grillions on proper toys and none of them were really played with much. Lego alone tots up to more than what we've spent on gadgets.

Wooden sticks and gadgets are what keeps mine happy.

Plus, you can update and download fresh games onto gadgets whereas you can't update other playthings.

EvilRingahBitch Sat 07-Dec-13 21:34:02

It's an understandable mistake really. You buy them two "big" presents each year. At private school they may well have rich GPs, godparents, aunts and uncles, who are giving them significant presents, so their parents' gifts have to stand out more. And if there are siblings then thee is more (irrational) pressure to make sure you're spending equal amounts of money on each.

So once you've got past the Lego years, and they have a bike, then you're faced with a budget of 200 quid plus twice a year and the John Lewis electronic department.

WitchOfEndor Sat 07-Dec-13 21:34:19

Because their parents really want the gadgets themselves <looks at DH>

Fairylea Sat 07-Dec-13 21:34:38

I agree with you to an extent... but it's everywhere. My dd goes to a standard state school in Norfolk and her best friend has been promised an ipad if she does well in her sats! This is on top of her Christmas present and the fact she already has an iPhone and ipod! This seems to be really normal amongst dds friends. She thinks she is hard done by because she "only" has a Samsung galaxy y and a generic tablet.

World has gone mad. And I am as guilty as any parent for going along with it but otherwise dd would be the odd one out.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 07-Dec-13 21:35:29

Might I suggest you move to the state actor OP and see how the other 'half' 93% live?

Taz1212 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:35:30

Oh, and I don't think it's much to do with the private schooling. DS is at a private school and DD is at a State school (and not in a wealthy area at all!). The children in DD's school can give the private school kids a run for their money any day when it comes to owning electronic gadgets!

FredFredGeorge Sat 07-Dec-13 21:35:41

So it's a London private senior school 15,000 a year, and you're thinking a 500 quid phone as a christmas present is inappropriate?

What's an inappropriate Christmas gift for someone on average income - 2 lumps of coal rather than just 1?


hiddenhome Sat 07-Dec-13 21:35:45

Different gadgets do different things though. An iPad doesn't do the same things that a play station does. There is some crossover, but they each have different types of games.

hiddenhome Sat 07-Dec-13 21:39:11

I save up money all year round to pay for their Christmas presents. They're not spoiled, but I can't just get them socks and a plastic car. Gadgets are fun. I actually want to marry my iPhone grin

busylizzie76 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:39:46

If my DCs want something then they have to save or sell something to pay for part of it and they get a portion paid for xmas or birthday pressie. This is what my son has done....he wants an ipad mini for xmas.....I told him that they are too expensive.....he sold his ds and games on eBay and his bike - he got over £150 and I used nectar points and cash from his dad for the remainder.....bought it today and he will be over the moon on xmas.

If he wants something else next year....then he'll have to sell the ipad mini smile

busylizzie76 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:40:25

My daughter had the same option....but she decided that she didn't want to sell she's not getting one....

frogspoon Sat 07-Dec-13 21:44:18

So it's a London private senior school 15,000 a year, and you're thinking a 500 quid phone as a christmas present is inappropriate?

Well, yes, I do think to pay £500 on a phone that is likely to get lost/ broken within a year (the children are pretty careless with their gadgets because they have no concept of their worth) is a bit silly.

My iPhone is 2 ½ years old and still going strong. I will keep it until it dies (I reckon another 6 months to a year). Because I had to save up for it, I look after it well, and don't drop it all the time, so it has lasted well.

Busylizzie, that sounds like a very sensible idea. Teaches them the value of money and allows them not to take their presents for granted.

hiddenhome Sat 07-Dec-13 21:48:02

Mine don't break their things or demand endless updated models.

Ubik1 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:52:39

i don't know any children who have or are getting that stuff. Alot of the kids have a play station or an ipad. We have a Wii and an ipod touch. between 3 children.

Those children sound very overprivileged.

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