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to be dissapointed in Dd1, and confiscate her mobile phone ??

(32 Posts)
NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:07:44

She is 11 going on 21, and had her phone for her 11th birthday.

When I got it i told her that as money is tight I wouldn't be able to top it up very often and that when I did it would have to last.

On average she uses the credit quite quickly, but the last time she did make it last a bit longer. Also a few times if she has had any money of her own, I have asked for £5 towards the top up.

So, shes not had credit for a while and then two days last week and three this week she needed to go to her new school for a summer workshop. She didn't want me to take her, but non of her friends were doing the sames dates and so I agreed she could walk alone if she txts me when she got there.

Trouble was, she had no credit. I was having yet another crap week money wise, and really couldn't afford £10 but topped it up anyway.

I explained that topping the phone up had left me a bit short and so I expected it to last her the whole of the summer holidays, so that if she was out and about and needed to contact me she could.

So fast forward to today. She is on a coach on the way to somewhere and she txts me saying 'i brought a song'. I said 'with your credit you mean ?' and she said yes.

So when she gets home it turns ou that not only did she go on the internet on her phone, she also paid £3.50 t download a song, and £1.50 to download a video. She now had just over £4 left.

I am so dissapointed in her. I even asked her if it told her the cost before she did it, thinking maybe she didn't realise, but she said yes. I asked why she went ahead then, and she said because she wanted them.

Tbh she was full of attitude about it all, and I very nearly put the phone in the bin.

I have confiscated the phone and also told her not to ask me for credit for it ever again.

So aibu ??

littleducks Tue 28-Jul-09 19:11:10

how much does it cost to text? 10p? couldnt you have forced her to use that £4 until the summer holidays, so she could learn to 'budget'

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:13:12

I could but I don't think she will learn from that tbh. She will just see it as having her cake and eating it.

AnarchyAunt Tue 28-Jul-09 19:16:47

I'd have done the same I have to say.

But I'd give it back in a few days but with no more credit. I think the fact she will soon run out of credit will be consequence enough - if she cannot text you to let you know where she is/what she is doing, then she won't be able to have as much freedom.

Also I'd ring the phone company, get internet and premium texts blocked on the phone, and set a password so she can't unblock it again.

oldraver Tue 28-Jul-09 19:18:09

Can you delete the song and video ?? Thats what I would do

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:18:34

Ah I didn't realise I could do that AA, will look into that asap.

She originally only told me about the £3.50 video, and then I said I wanted her phone so I could check the credit and then she said 'oh well you might aswell know i downloaded a video too'

HecatesTwopenceworth Tue 28-Jul-09 19:18:47

a bit, but I understand your frustration. I think perhaps a set £X per month and when it's gone it's gone and NO exceptions!! and it's up to her if she uses it on the first day or makes it last, would, over time, teach her more than removal and "never ever getting more credit" - really? are you really going to never top up her phone ever again or was that a knee jerk reaction that you will back down on in the end - and what will that teach her?

Plus you can get - even on pay as you go - free evening and weekend texts if you subscribe (not the same as a contract!) and top up a certain amount per month. Might be worth investigating.

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:19:11

Hadn't thought of that either oldraver. Will have a think about that one.

luckylady74 Tue 28-Jul-09 19:20:12

She's only 11 and not emotionally mature enough to budget or restrict herself.
She will learn if you set absolute rules and stick to them-never ever budge.
Or maybe she's just too young for this and you need to put the phone away (we did survive without them at one point) for a while.
Don't know if YABU, but I think you need to think the whole having a phone thing through.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 28-Jul-09 19:20:13

Watch she hasn't got caught up in something else. I signed up for something without realising what it was and lost £20 credit as soon as it was put on my phone.

No more credit until the end of the holidays, no phone unless she is going somewhere and if she has no credit to say she is there okay then she can't go.

K999 Tue 28-Jul-09 19:20:45

I have the same problem wit dd1 and to be honest have come to the realisation that she has NO concept of money.....and tbh neither did I at that age! I would give her the phone back but tell her that you wont be topping it up! smile

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:21:02

It is minimum £10 top up, which I cannot afford every month, thats why I only do it when I have the money or when she has half towards it.

I did mean it when I said I won't top it up yes. From now on if she wants it topping up she will have to use whatever money she rarely gets. Perhaps then she won't be so free with it.

Honestly, she thinks she is bloody Paris Hilton I reckon.

PlumBumMum Tue 28-Jul-09 19:23:36

Sorry but I would take the phone off her completely.

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:24:21

I disagree that she isn't old enough to be able to budget. She just doesn't want to.

She knows what life is like here financially, and she knows that alot of times she cannot have what she likes, or that I will sometimes go without things to pay for something they need.

I haven't actually told her how long the phone is confiscated for yet, because if i'd answered her I would have said forever lol.

Thanks for that tip bakersgirl, will cross fingers that she hasn't got into anything like that.

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:24:41

Oh and the song is a 30 second long clip hmm

claricebeansmum Tue 28-Jul-09 19:27:27

I'd be pissed off too.

The other thing is to give her an opportunity to earn it back - so 4 weeks of mowing lawn, helping with washing up etc etc gets her the phone back but one slip up and gone again. DC need to work out about earning!

Tortington Tue 28-Jul-09 19:28:11

afaic its her credit once its gone its gone - and she can't go anywhere

NervousNutty Tue 28-Jul-09 19:29:57

I like that idea Clarice, and I have plenty she can do.

Video is such poor quality you can hardley see what it is.

LIZS Tue 28-Jul-09 19:36:18

Does she get pocket money ? If so I'd suggest she saves it up until she can top the phone up again, either through that or running errands etc. Also only give her the phone when she goes out alone so she can't just text her friends from home.

GoodAdvice Tue 28-Jul-09 19:43:11

I would delete the song and the video and then only let here have the phone when she needs it for the summer - being given back to you each time so you can check that the credit level tallys with what you know she should have spent. Make it clear that, if she is responsible, she can have it back at the start of the school year to show how good she has become at budgetting her credit.

Mind you I am a bit of a tough mum - I tend to find one hard response is more effective than a touchy feely response that has to be repeated many times - but that is just me!

BlueBumedFly Tue 28-Jul-09 19:45:42

We have this issue with SDD who is 11. She absolutely CAN budget and she hangs onto her own money and gets very angry if she is asked to pay for anything. She goes through her top up money within the first few days no matter what we seem to do. So, the phone was removed for a set period, then she got it back and promptly lost it and asked for another one!!

She was made to pay for the new phone herself and was again limited to a set amount of money per month which was put on a calendar. She is still hopeless but now has to wait until the end of the month for her next top up.

Me? I would remove the phone until her 12th birthday and start again but she is allowed to keep it as I think she nags her mother stupid to the point of distraction so it is just easier I think hmm

I am also in agreement that they should earn money not just get it handed out. Plates in the dishwasher, wipe down the table, bins out etc etc. As they are only 'weekend kids' the chores do not seem to extend to my house and I feel like it is treated like a bloody hotel.... but I guess that is another thread for another day sad

CyradisTheSeer Tue 28-Jul-09 21:06:32

Message withdrawn

Stayingsunnygirl Tue 28-Jul-09 21:28:47

Both ds2 and ds3 have done similarly stupid things - one signed up to a horoscope service that charged him £1.50 a time for a daily horoscope, and the other signed himself up for dubious pictures.

We dealt with it by grounding and confiscation of pocket money to cover what they'd spent - and a long lecture too.

These things are such a temptation to a child, and the cost doesn't seem like real money, if you see what I mean.

funkybuddah Tue 28-Jul-09 21:47:47

I would suggest confiscating and only giving it to her when she needs it over the hols, if she downloaded the stuff off her mobile internet, go into settings and internet/web settings and delete all the settings or edit them, this will mean she cnt get picture messages but it will stop her going online.

also agree that her pocket money should pay for the bulk of the tops ups

Longer term
What netowrk are you all on? if voda you can get the voda family, £5 a month and even if she runs out of credit she can still contact you and others in the group, that way there is none of this 'i ran out of credit' malarkie.

mysteryfairy Tue 28-Jul-09 21:52:22

I think if you ask around most parents of teens/pre-teens have had similar experiences. My DS1 who is 13 and has a contract with 600 minutes and 500 texts paid for by his dad ran up an extra £50 bill during may half term week by sending hundreds of extra texts to his girlfriend. It is very difficult to handle particularly if you encounter an unpleasant attitude - my DS1 seemed to regard it as an infringement of his human rights not to be able to send as many texts as he wanted.

I am quite frugal myself and have a payg phone on orange. For a £10 top up you get 300 texts to use within the next month. There is no requirement to top up every month. I tend to top up £10 every two months - I send as many of the free texts as I can in the first month (never send 300 texts a month) and work through the £10 credit in the second month. (I do have an advantage over most DCs in having a work blackberry that I can also use though!)

If you get to a point where you want to renegotiate phone use with your DD an orange sim might be worth considering.

cheap orange deal

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