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DS 10, desperate for a better phone, am I being mean??(46 Posts)
DS10, going into Yr 6. He has an iphone 6 which does not have a SIM. Uses it for games and youtube and that's basically it. He is so desperate for a better phone it is causing a lot of upset. He actually cries about it and says he has the worst phone in his class and he hates being different. Some kids in his class don't even have a phone but this is falling on deaf ears. I've suggested maybe as a Christmas present he could get a better one but I'm not just going to be getting him one for no good reason other than him wanting one. He has become quite obsessed with it and we seem to have to discuss it several times a day. He is having counselling for general sadness post lockdown and I suggested he talk to her about coping with the feelings he has when he can't have his way and he came out saying she had agreed with him, he should get a new phone! He is youngest of three so sees his older siblings with phones and SIMS, but they didn't even have any sort of phone at 10! Am I being mean and out of touch?
I feel I am going to be ground down by Christmas if this carries on!
It would be so good if all schools said no smart phones at school. Some do.
Stick to your resolve and promise him one, on certain conditions, by a certain age- perhaps the age his siblings were.
The counsellor was behaving strangely if she/he said your son was right. Do you think he misinterpreted some sort of empathy shown by the counsellor?
My thoughts exactly on the counsellor, I'm sure she was empathising rather than agreeing! But it wasn't quite the outcome I had hoped for!
I very much doubt that's what the counsellor said
Can you speak to the counsellor? The child is only 10, he is part of a greater unit, seeing him entirely in isolation from the rest may not help him if you don’t know some of the suggestions the counsellor is making.
I would absolutely not give him as better phone. These iPhone R’s can do a lot of harm without the right controls. Watch out for You Tube too - all sorts of nasty things pop up on that.
I've suggested maybe as a Christmas present he could get a better one but I'm not just going to be getting him one for no good reason other than him wanting one.
Then why say he might get one at Christmas?
I think you're being a bit flaky here, if I'm honest. He's senced your weakness and fully intends to needle you until you give him and give him what he wants. Exactly as your last sentence says in your OP.
Personally speaking it would be a HARD NO from me. I would make it very, very clear that DS will not be getting a phone with a SIM until X age, and over estimate that. Then be totally non negotiable and immovable until he realises that there will be no grounding you down. And then he gives in, rather than you.
I have a 11yo, he will be 12 in September. He has no SIM carded phone. He has an old Samsung to use on Wi-Fi at home, like yours.
He is 3rd born. Like his older siblings (also September birthdays) he has always been told that he will get a phone with a SIM for the first birthday he has in Secondary school (ie his 12th birthday, but it will be only a few weeks after starting Y7).
He is in fact getting a phone with a SIM and contract next week. He doesn't know this though, it's an end of Y6 surprise. Fact is though, he has long since not pestered me for a SIM phone, even though friends have then, because I've always been very clear on the fact that he'll get one the Sept he starts Y7. That's always been consistent, never changed and any suggestion at negotiating shut down immediately.
By offering your son an option to negotiate, you created this problem.
DS1 has an Iphone, he bought it recently with his own money, he's 23, I have a lot of practice at ignoring pestering! Its OK to take a firm stand on this, just say no and divert, don't negotiate or say maybe as this will prolong the whinging.
He's trying it on. The kids will all have all sorts of different phones. Mine get them in y6 by May so they can get friends details before moving school and so that they can be contacted when out and about without us.
If my kids want 'new' phones - rather than what we have given them they can save up birthday and xmas money for them. (If they were doing this I might top up my son's as the phone he has was cracked when we gave it to him and this will be his 3rd year using it - so it hasn't done badly. My daughter got a new phone - not as good spec as her elder brothers - but i didn't have a working second hand one to give her).
Flipping heck, my DH is still using an iPhone 6. It is a perfectly adequate phone for a 10yo, and it more than meets his needs even if it doesn't satisfy his wants.
He is behaving in a very spoilt manner and I think he needs a reality check tbh. And he wouldn't be getting a new phone until he learned to be properly grateful for the one that he has already got.
I wonder what it is that he thinks will change for him if he has a better phone? His daily arguments about needing a new phone and lack of understanding that lots of children in his class don't have a phone at all suggests to me that he doesn't have the emotional maturity or control to manage a better phone at the moment.
If you were to get him a better phone or even a SIM at Christmas, would you intend to put restrictions on it e.g. screen time, app limits etc? It might be worth writing down what your rules will be now so he can work towards being ready to cope with those. Perhaps he could be provided with a notebook to write down the reasons he would like a better phone and train himself up to put his arguments in there instead of annoying you with them. He needs to understand that your boundaries aren't there to be negotiated with and until he can work with that, you know he's not ready for the responsibility of a better phone.
y 10yo does not have a phone at all, and won't until the summer of Y6=>Y7, a month before she is 12. Most of her friends do have them now, judging by the amount of tellings-off for beeping in class, and stories of what goes down on the group chat. I don't want my DC sucked into all that yet. IMO They're too young for unlimited/unsupervised internet access, and unless you lock the phone down very tightly indeed this is what you're granting them.
My 14 year old has never had anything fancier than an entry-level motorola smart phone and DC2 won't be any different when her times comes. I wouldn't give a young teen/tween a very desirable phone for fear of them being seen as an easy target for theft or robbery.
The advice from the counsellor is hilarious!!
We had this with DD who was 11 at the time. I felt really annoyed about basically being bullied into getting one by peer pressure so I held off for ages but eventually we did a scheme whereby she had to earn it by doing jobs for 'phone points'. I was pretty strict about it and it took her 6 months to do it but I actually felt all right about rewarding her with it in the end because she had worked so hard for it.
I'm normally the softest parent around, by the way, I just REALLY hate the 'must have top gadget' nonsense and the idea of responding to bullying by doing what the bullies want is awful to me (she wasn't actually being bullied though).
If it's a question of not wanting him to have access to communications like WhatsApp etc though that's a bit different and you are not wrong to hold off if you think you should.
Thanks all. My instincts are right, just needed to check! I meant maybe at Xmas as in the earliest possible time, rather than maybe before then too. Despite feeling ground down, I wouldn't actually give in, but perhaps he doesn't know that so agree, I need to make that clearer to him and just get this wrapped up so we can move on from it.
My 16 yr old has just had his first smartphone for his birthday. I'm not sure if it's a 6 or an earlier one. We probably would have got him one a year ago under more normal circumstances.
Admittedly he has had his own computer from 13 and kept in touch with friends that way. He'd had a non-smart phone from 12 or 13 but hardly used it.
Similarly his sister had a non-smart phone until year 10, probably got hers for her 15th birthday. She's still using it on a gap year, it's a 4S.
My year 6 had a proper phone, it was really useful. She didn't take it to school but to her sports clubs and could ring when finished (times varied) and she used it in the car for music and videos. She didn't have it upstairs at night at that age. She looked after it very well
I'd save it for Xmas and get him a SE or something
"DS, if you shut up about having a different phone until Christmas then you have an excellent chance of getting one for Christmas. One more word and you definitely won't."
Could you ask him for more detail on how exactly he feels left out? Can he give specific examples?
For example, if a group of his friends organised to meet up in the park one morning, and he missed it because they arranged it on social media and he didn't see the messages, then I'd be feeling a lot more sympathetic.
Smart phones are very useful at High School. My DD's school actually get the kids to use their phones on the school WiFi quite a lot.
If it were me, I would say show me how responsible you can be for the first term at High School with this phone. If it doesn't get lost or damaged then we can upgrade it as a Christmas present. I'd also recommend maybe just hopping up a grade or 2 with an iPhone and get a reconditioned one. Online sellers like music magpie come with a year guarantee and will fix without quibble. DD has a nice iPhone 8 which was about £200
My dc didn't get a phone at all until secondary school...
Not responsible enough until then ime.
If you can afford it why not offer to go half's if he agrees to earn the rest, by chores etc?
I don't see the point if no SIM card either, surely you want them to be able to contact you if they are out? And with Wi-fi available everywhere, you are not really blocking anything.
Hi Step, it's definitely not about him missing out socially. He says he wants a better phone so he has better sound and screen quality! But mainly so when they talk about what model they have he doesn't have to say an iphone 6. I've told him his phone model doesn't define who he is and any friend that thinks it matters isn't a true friend etc.
I'm actually not too averse to him having a SIM fairly soon as he starts to become a little more independent, it's the obsession with phone model I am not happy about. I shall just be more firm and stop the endless chats before they start. So yes, Milk, that phrase will do nicely!
If it doesn’t have a SIMdoes that mean he can’t contact his friends?
If this is the case then let him do this. Is it more about this than the model of phone?
I would be saying if he continues to pester and moan he won't be getting another phone, ever. My DS got a second hand phone when he started secondary, on the proviso if he showed he could look after it he could have a better one. He did and now has a contract phone. Prior to any phone he had a tablet for playing games. Ten years old is far too young to have a mobile phone in the first place and I cannot understand why kids have them.
I suspect he is lying about the counsellor.
10 is far too young for a smartphone. My DS was given a very basic phone in y6, it could make phone calls and text messages. He had my hand-me-downs for a couple of years after that.
Personally I’m sick of the emotional blackmail that some people use to suggest that children be given whatever they want whenever they want, and say “ah but he’ll be left out/bullied if you doN’t.” No wonder kids are so entitled these days when we’re rewarding them for playing the victim.
But I wouldn’t be making promises for Christmas either. It would be a hard no from me, to the extent that I would tell him that crying over a mobile phone just won’t be tolerated and that is the end of the discussion.
If he dropped it then there might come a point when I would relent, but he wouldn’t need to know that.