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DCs wanting everything they don't have and not appreciating what they've got!

(21 Posts)
Solo2 Wed 15-Dec-10 18:49:06

Having taken the day off work to do Xmas related things for my DCs, (presents etc), I am angry and hurt that they've come out of school furious with me because apparently "Everyone else brought in their iPads and DS Nintendos and Wiis today and we're the ONLY children who haven't got these!"

It was their last day at school and it seems that the children were allowed to bring in their electronic devices. My twins each has his own PC at home but no Wii/ DS Nintendo/ Laptop/ Netbook or iPad. Are they really the only children their age (9 yrs old) who are so 'utterly deprived'?

I'm a solo parent managing to pay 2 lots of school fees out of my self-employed earnings, give them trumpet, viola and piano lessons, modern dance lessons, riding lessons, a kitten each and many more what I'd call 'luxury' things in life - well far more than I ever had as a child in a 2 parent family.

I feel taken for granted and unappreciated tonight and pretty angry. I'm sick of them telling me what they DON'T have rather than enjoying what they DO have and they must be hugely advantaged compared with many many other children - but they just don't get it!

Is it really so important to 9 yr olds these days to possess every single expensive technological gadget that exists? I can't believe that parents have allowed children to bring in to school their iPads even today! Aren't those things incredibly expensive?

Anyone else got a 9 yr old like this - and if so, how do you respond? I'm afraid I've stormed off for the second time tonight, as they're now saying "...but EVERYONE else in our class has seen that movie except us!" ("Pirates of the Caribbean").

bibbitybobbitysantahat Wed 15-Dec-10 18:52:38

My dd is 9 and she and most of her friends have a ds lite. One girl has a laptop but her Mum bought it for her when she was very ill and in hospital for weeks and needed something for the boredom. None of them has an i-pad. Infact, I have never seen an i-pad. I don't really know what an i-pad does grin.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 15-Dec-10 18:55:23

mosy of my son's (10yo) friends have a DS, playstation or Wii

laptops and Ipads, no

I certainly wouldn't let them take such an expensve item into school

incidentally, what would be the point of taking a Wii into school ?

I think you are being codded

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Wed 15-Dec-10 18:58:34

DD is 12 and has a mini laptop and a DS

The family home has a wii but it's not 'hers'

I think you may be being conned wink

I haven't met a child with an IPad yet and I live in a really posh area

ChasingSquirrels Wed 15-Dec-10 19:04:26

ds is 8 - we have a Wii and a family pc (that only the boys use - I have a laptop).
A lot of his friends have DS's - it seems to be either a DS or a Wii
He would love a DS - but I just envisage him hiding away with it, and I don't want to have to police it so he isn't getting one (he is now saving up for his own 3DS when they are released).
I know a very few similar aged children with their own laptops - because their dad works in IT and brings home the old ones from work and refurbs them. But my dc's would be having their own at that age even in that situation.

I occasionally get "but everyone has..."
Well, i) they don't; and ii) I don't care - we haven't is generally my response. And if they keep going on then they are cruising to lose the things they have got.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 15-Dec-10 19:05:18

But my dc's would wouldn't be having their own at that age even in that situation.

BrigitBigKnickers Wed 15-Dec-10 19:13:33

What sort of idiotic parent would
a) buy an i-pad for a nine year old and
b) let them take it to school.

FGS don't DCs play with toys anymore?

Abip Wed 15-Dec-10 19:17:51

I sympathise op. My kids says this to me and it's hurtful as I get them what I can afford and actually am quite pleased at how much they have. (I never had any of these things) apparently every kid has this and that and they dont. I tell them they are lucky (I bought them second hand ds lites for birthday last may and wii second hand for birthday this may) they are 8 and 6 and I tell them they are lucky. I dont buy them anything inbetween birthday and christmas and would not even if I had the money. Its like you said they should value what they have. By the way and Ipad is £700!! (was when it cam out a few months ago) I would NEVER buy a child one. I would love one and think about it and it would be handy but thats a disgusting price to pay. Parents seem to lavish their kids with these expensive gifts and I am sure its to show off how much money they have. A child of 7 came up to his mother whilst coming out of school and starting taliking about his Iphone and the mother was making sure everyone could hear how he had an Iphone and this and that FFS I cant even afford one for myself !!! Sorry I am rambling. You carry on as you are, eventually your kids will grow up knoowing the true value of things and the hard work it takes to get them.

iMum Wed 15-Dec-10 19:22:59

UNfortunately this is the problem I guess with some private schools?

My ds1 went to Private school upto year 3 and this was a very evident attitude amongst his peers-not with ds1 tho as we were so skint that he knew not to bother asking! when things like school trips and so on came up he would parrot my words to the teachers "we havent got enough pennies" which was a little embarrassing but not far off!

He is now in a local primary a small school in quite a deprived area and the "I want"attitude is very different.

As for letting kids take these things into school gah!

Solo2 Wed 15-Dec-10 19:28:57

Thanks for the supportive comments. DCs told me that in one class alone there were seven!!!!! children with their own iPad today - others had DS Nintendos and the teacher had brought in his own Wii and connected it to the whiteboard and it seemed EVERYONE but DCs were using their electronic gadgets!

This isn't even a 'posh' private school and there's a huge spread of income (it's academically selective). I do think it's a bit of a 'show-off' to let your child casually take in his iPad.

I wouldn't want an iPad anyway, as I've got a perfectly good PC. I don't have a modern mobile phone either - only a 10+ yr old PAYG basic thing that's dropping to bits but apparently ALL 9 yr olds in their class now also have their own smartphones! Neither of my twins will get a mobile until they need one to go out and about alone when they're older.

I think I also don't like the idea of a special gadget like a DS Nintendo or Wii that's really aimed at computer games. DCs spend far too much time anyway on their PCs and one of them is always playing internet mini-games - which I hate him doing. The thought of another gaming device fills me with horror really, as I've always been a reading books/ arts/ crafts person myself.

Perhaps I'm just way behind the times - at the ancient age of 47!

exexpat Wed 15-Dec-10 19:55:09

What happened to letting children bring a board game into school on the last day of term? Even if mine had iPads they wouldn't be allowed to take them to school.

I think if my DC's school did that, I would be writing a short, calm but definite letter to school saying I found it inappropriate that they should be encouraging children to bring all this gadgetry into school, even if only for one day.

FWIW, when DS was 9 he didn't have any of those things either. He is now 12, got a DSi last year (saved up birthday and christmas money), and an ipod touch for his birthday this year. We got a family wii last christmas, but it hasn't actually been used much. He certainly doesn't have his own ipad or laptop, even though I have also been getting the 'everybody else does' line. He's now at a private school, and I dare say quite a few of them do have bedrooms full of gadgets, but we don't.

Unfortunately I think you can't get away from the 'it's not fair, everyone else xxxx', so you just have to make them realise that if you say no, you mean no, and going on about it won't change anything.

pointythings Wed 15-Dec-10 20:09:19

My DC's school does allow games and toys on the last day, but states specifically no electronic games and nothing expensive. My DCs are nearly 8 and nearly 10 and have had Nintendo DSs for 2 years now - strictly rationed and they're very good about that. They're also not lusting after the latest newest version - they're happy with what they have and the occasional new (second hand) game. As for iPads and smart phones - they will have mobiles when they start secondary school, they will be basic PAYG mobiles for making calles only and that will be that. Bah humbug.

Onetoomanycornettos Wed 15-Dec-10 20:59:58

It might be worth having a talk, not tonight perhaps, about what they do have and how valuable all of that is, and how you feel taken for granted. Ok, they will still moan at you but you should say how you feel. I stopped once on a day out with my two girls (younger than yours) who were just not appreciating everything I was getting them and asking for more and more (can I have another ice cream, I only have two treats, can we go on that fairground ride, blah blah). I told them they were being incredibly ungrateful, not even appreciating the things they did have, and that it just made me want to go home rather than carry on our day out. I asked them not to ask for anything for the next hour....

It did work for quite a long time and I do on occasion remind them of it if they are heading towards the 'I want, I want' state of mind again.

hettie Wed 15-Dec-10 21:43:50

well despite you saying it has a huge spread of income.... everyone who goes there has to be able to pay the fees (unless on a bursary) so actualy relative to most people in this country these kids do have wealthier parents some of whom are clearly over indulgent.... It may be worth trying to instill some kind of money/saving sense into your dc to try and introduce some concepts of 'earning' and monetary value? Pocket money about how you have to work for things and not everyone has as much money etc....

loves2cycle Wed 15-Dec-10 22:49:47

I agree that even if your school isn't an exclusive private school, it will still be a wealthier group of parents and that changes the dynamics for your children. You just have to accept some of that.

My D1 went to the local state primary and became best friends with a boy who then went on to private junior school. He did have everything at 6 and it was hard explaining to my DS that santa had bought this child a PS2 when my DS got bits of playmobil and lego. Same with holidays - hard to explain why we were going to the same old cottage in the UK when he was off to either new zealand, south africa or florida.

See it as character building but do not be bullied or swayed, just stick to your own values and what you can afford.

My DS1 is 10 now and just got his first thing like this, a Wii last year. He was delighted and I like the fact that it is our only electronic game - there has to be negotiation about who is on it and when which is a good skill to develop.

as someone else said - I would be annoyed with the school for allowing electronic games in - our school has board games at the end of term. I would complain and point out to the headteacher that not every family can afford them or agrees with them in this age group.

cory Thu 16-Dec-10 08:19:42

In my world 9yos do not have IPads.

But I have never had experience of any world, from the 1960s onwards, were 9yos were not convinced that "everybody else" has everything and they do not.

grumpypants Thu 16-Dec-10 08:24:36

It's not unreasonable to have a gamimng device at 9. I'd rather my dcs were playing on their Nintendos than let loose on the PC using internet games. Unless I am breathing down ds' neck he tends to stray away from CBBC for example on line.
Plus, it's private school - why are you surprised?
Why not suggest that they think about dropping some experiences (all those lessons?) in exchange for a Wii/ Whatever/ if they really want to prioritise that?

Bonsoir Thu 16-Dec-10 08:26:33

My DD is 6 and she has had the DVDs of Pirates of the Caribbean for well over a year. She is greatly looking forward to the next film which comes out in spring 2011.

She has had no electronic devices of her own up until now, but regularly uses my computer to play "games" (educational ones) and borrows the family's iPhones to make videos, take photos and also play the few games that are on them (this is only allowed in the car).

We are giving her a Flip camera for Christmas so she can make her own films, and her grandparents are giving her an iPod Nano. I specifically didn't want her to have an iPod Touch as there are far too many games applications for my liking.

I think this is quite normal in our circles.

Greenshadow Thu 16-Dec-10 08:27:25

I would have a word with the teacher when they go back - I bet most parents would be all too glad if electronic toys were banned from school as Pointythings says.

Orissiah Fri 17-Dec-10 10:30:52

It's so much down to peer pressure, isn't it. Your DC were embarrassed not to have anything to show off when all their peers had something. It's understandable that they were cross afterwards as it must have been mortifying for them. So I can understand their response, even if I do not condone it. When I was little it was all about Barbies and Action Men (in the 70s!!). Same peer pressure, but different toys.

It is absolutely right that you teach your DC to value what they do have, but peer pressure is still stronger, often, than parental values.

Incidentally, I agree with another poster here that a DS handheld may be better that letting DCs on the PC - you can control their access to games on the DC but not necessarily on the PC...

Poshpaws Fri 17-Dec-10 10:37:19

Did you say your boys have their own PCs? Wow, lucky them. I can't get my 2 eldest off the family one without them moaning as if they own itenvy.

DS1 has a DSi, we have a Xbox 360 (which DS1 plays, the other 2 watch).

I agree Orissiah re the peer pressure thing. DS1 truly believes that all his peers have COD Black OPs and TVs in their bedrooms hmm. I know it's not true.

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