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13 year old son wants the world

(49 Posts)
Lisacb32 Tue 19-Nov-13 23:10:44

I need some advice please.
My husband and I have 6 children the eldest being a 13 year old boy the youngest being a 2 year old girl.
The issue is my son. He extremely selfish and high maintenance for want of a better word. If he doesn't get his own way everyone in the house knows about it. I know he is in his teenage years so a lot of Kevin and perry is going on but for an example Christmas. Every year for a guide we spend around £250 per child and are very fair with it. They all get the same amount. My son this year wants and xbox one. We have explained that's not possible as it is out of our price range so he kicks off how he never has anything. He bought himself an xbox last year purely because he got one for the previous Christmas but decided to take it apart to modify it and broke it. It was shared with his brother age 12 but we refused to buy another. He has a laptop a computer and they share a ps3 also. He also has an iPhone and a tablet (which he broke). These things were presents not handed on a plate. Everything has to be brand names or he won't wear it then complains he has no clothes. The list goes on. We tried to be fair and a rule in my house is when they start high school for chores they can have £20 each child. Even when number 6 gets there the same will apply. I use the child benefit for this. The chores were washing up everyday and that's it. Our thinking was if they want to go out with their friends they have the money to do so as we don't always have spare cash. If they want £100 pair of trainers rather than a £40 pair that I would buy they can put the extra to it. This wasn't good enough as they wouldn't do their job. By they I mean the 2 boys I have at high school. We took the jobs away but I was forever dipping in my purse. (They both get £3.50 a day for school and the shop but if I can't provide money for the shop I. The worst mother ever!)We said we will trial them back for their benefit but until they can do the job without moaning it would be £10. They both refused saying it wasn't worth it and now don't do anything! We are struggling to find mutual ground with anything and I'm worrying that my 13 year old will ruin Christmas Day by sulking that what he gets is rubbish and he didn't want it. Im sorry for the long speech and I could go on but we are at our wits end. Has anyone got any advice?

frenchfancy Wed 20-Nov-13 07:28:03

The only advice I have is that you need to stand your ground now or it is only going to get worse.

It sounds to me like they have everything they could possibly want (you say it isn't handed to them on a plate - but wrapping it in paper is the same thing) and they don't respect it. Perhaps a simpler Christmas for all is needed. Cut the amount you spend on each child and send the rest to charity. Buy family games rather than electronic stuff.

If they won't do anything round the house then go on strike; Stop doing everything for them. Let them do their own washing and cook their own meals. Pay for school meals directly to the school if you can and stop giving them extra money.

specialsubject Wed 20-Nov-13 09:25:03

fine. Let him want.

if he thinks he has nothing to wear he can leave the house naked. I doubt he will do that.

stop buying all the branded crap and beepy beepy toys. Explain to him that you have seen the light about all this nonsense, he is fed, clothed, educated and loved and that's that.

£250 is a HUGE amount on presents.

AlfalfaMa Wed 20-Nov-13 09:39:14

Teenagers these days are so entitled.
Our 14 yo dd1 has to do chores for no money. I hate the idea that they get paid to help out a tiny bit in their own home, I think it gives them the wrong impression, and as you have found you end up needing to give them money for this and that anyway. We give her money when she's going out with her friends (e.g. on Friday they're going ice skating so will give her money for entrance, bus and a drink), but can't really afford weekly pocket money either.
What about saying they start pulling their weight as of now, or they get £50 each for Christmas and nothing more? And then see it through.

SavoyCabbage Wed 20-Nov-13 09:55:04

I would start giving him far less. I'd love to be able to buy my lunch at work instead of making a sandwich and have some cash for the shop left over but it's cheaper to make my own lunch.

They must have no idea of the value of money. My dh grew up in a very poor country and has made sure our children know about money and the correlation between it and work.

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 09:58:22

Thank you for the advice. My 4 girls seem to have the value of money whereas the boys don't. My husband works very hard to provide for them all. My boys even get up in the night and help themselves to whatever is in the kitchen! I feel like they have no respect for us either...

smoothieooo Wed 20-Nov-13 10:08:05

My 13YO DS is pretty similar. Want, want, want and everything has to be branded (eBay is my friend). He has a £25 monthly allowance (also earned through chores) but blows it pretty easily (his 15YO brother has saved over £100 but DS2 never has money left at the end of the month). I've cracked down a bit on what I get for him and will negotiate where possible (for instance I was prepared to spend £45 on school shoes for him but he wanted some Ralph Lauren Polo shoes which were £90 so he was expected to save up and chip in the other half).

Current battle is for a coat which costs £100 - he refuses to wear a coat to school unless I shell out for this particular coat, even though I've found a similar coat for half the price. He's now trying to get around his dad to buy it for him (we're separated but on good terms) and will wheedle and whine until he gets his way, be grateful and pleasant for around 10 minutes then it will be on to the next thing he 'needs'.

I've already explained to him that this month's allowance is not to be used on a trendy hoodie he has his eye on but on Christmas presents for his brother/grandparents. Hasn't gone down well at all...

ihatethecold Wed 20-Nov-13 10:17:53


Don't buy him the expensive coat. He won't wear it.
You do know that no secondary school child wears a coat EVER.

You will always see the £100 coat hanging in the coat rack tormenting you!!!

Buy him the cheap one.

smoothieooo Wed 20-Nov-13 10:19:43

... YY to helping himself to whatever is in the kitchen, even though he is supposed to ask for 'treats'. He's obviously allowed fruit, a sandwich etc but will find the biscuits and chomp through half a pack. I'm having to find more inventive hiding places.

ihatethecold Wed 20-Nov-13 10:21:53


I think you are already very very generous with your budget for your kids and if you can afford it then fine.
I think that a lot of teenagers have become very entitled, my DS13 included.

The adverts on tv don't help, everything is ONLY £***.

I personally wouldn't buy him the xbox one.
He has lots already and doesn't seem to appreciate what he already has.

Stick to your word.

He won't die if he doesn't get what he wants. Let him sulk in his room on Xmas day. He will be missing out and the family can enjoy themselves.

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 10:21:59

I've tried explaining that the more he is eating the more I'm having to replace it because of the others so the less money I have. That hasn't worked :-/

smoothieooo Wed 20-Nov-13 10:22:02

ihate You're right. I was clocking all the kids on the way to school this morning and the girls are all in parkas with hoods, the boys wear shirts and blazers (with no jumper because that's not cool) and look like they're freezing their arses off.

I am tempted to buy a cheap one and sew a designer label into it!

NoComet Wed 20-Nov-13 10:33:51

He doesn't ruin Christmas for everyone else, one rude comment and he goes to his room and stays there for the day.

I would be tempted to buy all his presents from Primark.

I have a DDs (15&12) and they are grateful for cheap and expensive presents. DD2 is the fashionable one, and yes she likes her super dry T shirt and converse. But she just as happily wears £8 Primark mock uggs and Matlan checked shirt.

Both DDs do expensive hobbies and appreciate money does not grow on trees.

I don't pay for chores, I think DCs should help when asked. DD1 does, DD2 moans and tries to make it easier to do it yourself.

Madmog Wed 20-Nov-13 10:36:49

I know it can't be easy, but you have a limit (which is a very generous one and all your children are treated the same) and I would stick to it whatever. My daughter is 12 and if she wants something which we feel it over budget, we tell her and suggest she pay the balance. If he really wants something more expensive and doesn't have the money to pay the balance, would he be willing to have money off other family to pay towards the balance. You often hear people say their children keep changing their minds, so this may happen anyway. Try to keep things calm, there are five weeks to go before Christmas, so things could change.

gamerchick Wed 20-Nov-13 10:38:25

I had the same issue with coats.. I found a decent, thick padded waistcoat with a hood in a sale. I can barely part him from it. Just had to compromise on the sleeves.

Lock on the kitchen door puts paid to midnight visits. The internal locks are pretty easy to fit.

Personally OP I would stop trying to negotiate and find mutual ground. Tell them how it's going to be with a clear choice and the ball is then in their court. Be firm.. consistent and cut off the answering back by not engaging with it.

Sulking on Christmas day.. take away the 'rubbish' presents and send to bedroom to sulk up there and come down when he's finished.

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 10:40:48

He has £100 saved and said he will pay the extra but his dad is strict like that and said "no. Christmas is us treating you." He doesn't agree with giving the kids money either. He likes to see presents under the tree which is fair enough. I have offered him to wash my car for £5 which he doesn't want to do. We really are trying to help him help himself but he's not having it.

Helpyourself Wed 20-Nov-13 10:42:53

Well you didn't win him in a raffle did you?
You are his primary influence, he wants the things he wants because he's got them in the past and because you value them.
What else do you do at Christmas, apart from give each other stuff? Is he involved in the preparations: food, guests, decorations?

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 10:47:42

He's not really interested in anything other than his xbox or computer. We've dragged him downstairs for family games and family films but just sulks the entire time annoying the others making stupid noises etc. a few months ago I refused to pay the internet and telly (so he thought) so that he would come and interact but he would sit at the kitchen table grumbling punching his siblings (playing as he reckons). He was a pleasure without it but I can't do that as it's unfair on the rest of the kids.

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 10:48:26

I mean he was a pleasure after around a week when the grumbling stopped.

soundevenfruity Wed 20-Nov-13 10:50:32

I don't have a teenager and I wasn't like that at this age as I was very aware how little we had. The only thing I know is that all disputes about money within a family (not business) were really about love.

soundevenfruity Wed 20-Nov-13 10:56:21

If presents limit is the same for everyone what do you buy your 2-year old for £250 for Christmas??

Bluemonkeyspots Wed 20-Nov-13 11:13:16

He sounds like a spoilt brat and I'm not surprised with how you treat him. I would seriously get tough with him now.

Lisacb32 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:15:18

This year she is getting a baby annabell which is £40, a kitchen which is a big wooden one at £108 a pram, dolls bed, a dolls house and little bits. Last year she didn't get £250 she got £100 and the extra went into her child trust fund.

SavoyCabbage Wed 20-Nov-13 11:15:48

I would smash the xbox with a hammer if he treated me like that. There is too much emphasis on his own pleasures in his life.

Rascalls3 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:27:42

Although I agree that your son is being spectacularly ungrateful and you are probably being far too generous, I don't agree with the Christmas budget being split equally. There is no way a 2 year old needs £250 worth of gifts.Unless you really want your house filled with pink plastic!
I would be spending more on the older children/teens and a lot less on the under tens.
This year one of my 17 year old twins is getting a Mac Air (£860 ish) She will be going to uni and her laptop has died. Her twin is spending a year travelling and we will get her a mini IPad as this will be all that she will need.
By the time that your 2 year old gets old enough to need more expensive gifts hopefully your older sons will be working and you can downsize their gifts accordingly.

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