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WORRIED! are teenagers as expensive and difficult as they appear?

(32 Posts)
sambageeni Sat 30-Jul-11 21:23:11

I have 3dds, age 5,3,1. I have a close friend with 2dds, 15 and 13 and they scare me to be honest! They have very little repsect for their mum and constantly want want want. I am now paranoid that all teenagers are a nightmare and that we are not going to be able to provide what they need/want financially. We would love a 4th child but fear the expensive of the teenage years!

Any thoughts/advice please

lubeybooby Sat 30-Jul-11 21:28:39

Clothes, school uniform, shoes, school trips, gadets, phone bills, proms... it all adds up massively with teens yes. My dd is 14 and costs me a fortune, but I will add it's mostly my choice to buy her certain things or give her money/school trips etc that I never had. She could certainly have a nice life and a good time on far less than I spend

I do make her do her bit in the house and in her room though to earn the nice stuff and extras.

As for being difficult - nope not so far. Even with the hormones and everything I've only ever had to ground her once. We have very clear rules and I remind her of them and her responsibilites regularly and this seems to work pretty well

Ponders Sat 30-Jul-11 21:31:04

IME teenagers are only a disrespectful nightmare if they have been over-indulged when younger hmm

If you give them reasonable discipline, while respecting their feelings, but expecting them to also respect yours, their teenage years shouldn't be too much of a battleground. Don't be afraid to say NO!

princessglitter Sat 30-Jul-11 21:33:46

To be honest - we currently spend £1000 a month just on childcare. I really think that I can cope with the expense of teenagers after this!

AnansiGirl Sat 30-Jul-11 21:36:55

Agree with Ponders, my two are one post GCSE and one at uni.
They also have part-time jobs and manners.
What does your friend do when her two are rude and demanding?

sambageeni Sat 30-Jul-11 21:39:09

blimey princessglitter - that certainly is good training for the teenage years! thanks everyone. i best get saving! i am pretty strict with them now and they rarely get new toys unless its christmas or birthday so i just hope it pays off in the future!

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 30-Jul-11 21:43:41

Yes teens are expensive, they have no idea about money , want everything .
My DS needed a laptop, or he would fail all his GCSE , so we had to get him one . Wants a new bike , as he broke the old one , but actually a moped would be better , ( not a chance ) wants to go on a family holiday with us , as long as it's the one he chooses , Mum, this one looks nice , it's only £7200 .
Daughter is actually worse , because she wants new clothes all the time .
There like bigger , noisier more demanding toddlers ,
But, truthfully they're good fun most of the time.

AnansiGirl Sat 30-Jul-11 21:52:26

OP, you need to meet people with civil, hard-working teenagers who don't tantrum like toddlers when they don't get what they want. Only thing that will knock the paranoid propaganda on the head.
The teens mine hang around with are lovely.

Theas18 Sat 30-Jul-11 22:00:19

Dunno. I agree they are only demanding if you bring them up that way I believe. We live fairly financially cautiously within our means and this is what they expect- my daughter has gently developed a shopping habit - but it's a charity shop habit - so small donation to charity and constant " new" clothes- good all round!
They never go short of what they need, with a sprinkling of treats and plenty of time and thru seem to have turned out pretty lovely tbh.
I think the trouble is what they really need is time- especially when they are being a bit foul and you don't want to spend time with them lol

sambageeni Sun 31-Jul-11 07:16:17

Anansigirl - my friend just seems to ignore or give in to her girls. It is very frustrating to watch but as i dont have teenagers as she keeps reminding me, i cant comment. For example, at christmas (she is a single mum of 4 on income support) she bought the teenagers a jack wills hoody each, an htc phone and superdry clothes amongst other things, all because she felt sorry for them but then couldnt afford to buy the food for the following week so had to borrow off of her mum. I just find it very hard to watch. I think they are spoilt and do not appreciate anything they get. Sorry about the rant!

mumblechum1 Sun 31-Jul-11 08:25:53

I spend a lot on my ds but he rarely asks for anything. It's all about me wanting to give him what my parents couldn't afford to give me.

It's not so much material stuff but experiences, he did rowing for 2 years (cost thousands), classical fencing, medieval fencing, has done karate for 5 years, does American football, has been to the States by himself and again with us this year, also spending £2k on a school trip for him next year - I want him to experience loads of things, all of which cost money.

He doesn't demand anything and is extremely grateful, even if I just give him a lift or make a meal for him he remembers to thank me.

I was strict when he was little, didn't take any nonsense and yes, I think if you treat them like little emperors, that will come back to bite you in the teenage years.

Maryz Sun 31-Jul-11 11:43:34

Yes grin

Maryz Sun 31-Jul-11 11:48:40

Sorry, that was in answer to your opening question. They are expensive and demanding, but also very rewarding.

I'm glad we stopped at three, mostly because ds1 is very hard work and has entailed a lot of expense in trying to manage family life around him.

Christmas can be dificult with teens, simply because most of them have so much and so expectations are high. Mine don't really ask for expensive stuff as such (they don't have ipads or smartphones or laptops, and don't demand designer clothes), but just dishing out weekly amounts for cinema, school trips, hobbies and equipment, membership of sports clubs, transport, school uniform and books, the list is never ending.

feckwit Sun 31-Jul-11 11:57:33

They're not necessarily demanding, it is all character and personality but what you have to expect and anticipate is that a bit of rebellion is entirely normal and should be embraced. Teens are finding their feet, assuming their true personality, assesssing what is importat to them and we have to stand back and let them find their own path, secure in the knowledge we have provided good foundations. Most will find their way through, some won't.

But costwise, oh yes it gets much harder and they need you more. In fact it always makes me smile when people despair about preschool childcare costs because childcare is far more complicated as children get older and you have to balance school/afterschool/before school/holiday childcare - up to 4 you only deal with one place! Also tweenie/teen holiday care is a nightmare as it is so often sports based clubs that run for shorter hours than other childcare providers.

But of course, you can only spend what you have and you have to be strict like that. If my children say they want something, we talk about costs in a realistic way (ie a laptop costs £500, Daddy brings home £1400 a month, we have to pay bills/buy food etc with that, do you see why that is a big expense?). Children need things being put into context. We always assess whether it really is essential and whether they can contibute themselves too. You have to teach budgeting and realistic expectations. I woudl never put up with my child demanding things, that is not the way we operate.

I mean, mobiles etc. Some teens ahve blackberrys, iphones and the like. For me that is a no. DH and I don't have expensive phones, so the teens don't need them either. If they saved up and bought one, fair play. I tell them I won't buy them as they become a target with a pricey phone.

But certainly clothes become pricier when you can no longer shop cheaply in supermarkets (the teen market is woefully lacking in clothes retailers), uniform at high shools costs, even our state school pe kit cost £100 and don't get me started on what the Grammar school pe kit has cost! Shoes cost more, and coats. School trips tend to be longer residential based, music lessons are pricier, trips out become cinema trips and skating type things rather than cheap walks to the park, their friends come from a broader areas meaning more travel, if they compete in sports they become county wide and you need the kits, the petrol to transport them...

BUT they are great - great to chat to, great debates, great to see the world through a younger more black and white person when our views become greyer as we get older. Teens have great passion and vision, great souls. They throw themselves into things wholeheartedly and believe anything is possible.

Ilikepinkwine Sun 31-Jul-11 12:09:00

Childcare is crippling us also. I can't wait for them to be older and more independent. They will only be as expensive and demanding as I am willing (or able) for them to be, after all.

Not every teen demands the newest gadgets and most expensive clothes. The ones I meet are mostly nice, polite and a little misunderstood.

noddyholder Sun 31-Jul-11 12:10:03

nice polite and a little misunderstood ha ha!

ggirl Sun 31-Jul-11 12:13:59

No not all teens are disrespectful ,mine isn't and never has been. I do know of a few who are and they were def mollycoddled and pandered to as children.

As for expensive , yes until they are old enough to work and earn money themselves at babysitting etc before 16 and a proper sat job at 16.

They are as expensive as you can afford. I have never bought dd a laptop and she's 19 , but we are treating her to one when she starts uni in sept.

ellisbell Sun 31-Jul-11 12:18:36

not all teenagers are a nightmare. However they are all expensive. If you bring them up properly they will hopefully find themselves a job at 16 to help out but that isn't always possible. As for "great to talk to" there are times you may have trouble getting more than a grunt, meh or whatever. Mine have learnt to hide their bad behaviour (they think smile) from parents but in truth they are "good" children and I'm proud of them. I do know other teenagers who have lost their way and having too many possessions and too little attention was part of the problem.

If you want to provide a lot of material things for your children or to see them graduate without massive debts then you might want to stop at 3.

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 12:21:36

my teens are individuals and do answer back sometimes ive taught them to have their say so as not to be walked over in life their opinion counts but they are polite in manners and at the end of the day what we decide goes, cost wise yes its slightly worse with teens in as much as they (my teens) ask/ need less but the things they want and need are just more expensive clothes especially, the phone i have them on pay as you go on dolphin orange but they have blackberries which you pay a £5 a month extra and they then can have free internet and blackberry messenger is then free also so works out a lot cheaper than all these damn phone contracts.

noddyholder Sun 31-Jul-11 12:26:35

I don't think bringing them up properly has any bearing on job availability when they reach 16.

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 12:33:14

no unfortunately some of the most awful adults get jobs of great prestiege and some very nice people are left by the wayside, that is if there even after uni there are any jobs available whatsoever.

noddyholder Sun 31-Jul-11 12:38:11

My ds has been looking for a job since he was 16 in may and no luck and it is not because of how I brought him up it is because there are NO JOBS!!!!!!

generalhaig Sun 31-Jul-11 14:10:48

ime they are very child-like about money ... yes, I know they're children still but because they're so big and look almost like adults it's hard to realise that they don't think like adults

ds1 (14) is very bright but has very little idea of the relative value of things - we've just had a fantastic few days away in a beautiful (and very expensive) hotel - the kids all wanted to go to a nearby theme park this week and we pointed out that after paying for the holiday we couldn't really afford an expensive day out as well - in the ensuing conversation we realised that ds thought the whole holiday had cost "about £200" (said with a vague wave of the hand) - dh's expression put him right .....

One thing I'm trying to do with the younger ones is to help them get a sense of having a budget and sticking to it. ds1 didn't get pocket money until secondary school and with hindsight that was a mistake. My younger two both get £5 every two weeks and they are learning that if they want a game or toy that's more expensive they'll have to save up for it , so starting to prioritise and work out if what they want is worth it

as far as being disrespectful goes, well, ds1 will answer back or be lippy at times, but he's always picked up on it (a bit of charming cheek is fine though!) - what makes me feel better is that he is apparently always 'delightful' when he goes round to other people's houses, polite, charming, helpful so obviously what we've been telling him for years has sunk in on one level

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 14:12:40

i dont think she means it personal noddy untill people can walk a mile in your shoes they cant really say what may or may not happen when their dc is 16 , its a lot harder than people think sadly

SecretSquirrels Sun 31-Jul-11 14:18:01

You reap the reward of not giving in when they are little with teens.
Mine have never been given presents on demand. They are indulged at Christmas and birthday but rarely in between except perhaps as a reward for achievement. I have never bought expensive fancy brands or labels and they have never asked for them. In fact they very, very rarely ask for anything.

A few things get more expensive. Entertainment in the holidays for example. A walk around the park is no thrill to 15 year olds. Mine have to fund their entertainment and phones out of £20 a month pocket money unless it's a family trip out in which case we will pay.
In year 10 at school there have been quite a few trips, all costing a bit. Compared with the days of nursery care when I was almost working for nothing it's peanuts.

It doesn't sound as though your friend is doing her children any favours by demonstrating that it's ok buy expensive presents when there isn't enough money.

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