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DS(15) just bought a PS4... 14 weeks before GCSEs. WWYD?

(20 Posts)
CornflakeMum Mon 12-Feb-18 17:29:51

We were out and DS was asking what time we'd be back as he had a parcel arriving today. Got back to massive box in porch and DS admits it's a PS4.
DH and I are NOT happy. He already has an XBox and a gaming PC and in our opinion spends too long on them.
Also we would expect him to discuss buying something this expensive with us in advance.
His GCSEs start in May and he still has a lot of work to do to meet his grade targets.He fibs about his homework and leaves everything too late to do well.
DH has told him that he can't keep it and has to send it back, and I agree.
DS is shouting and screaming that it's his money so he can do what he likes.

We have had issues this year with getting him off his devices at a reasonable time. I think this is just an extra distraction at this time.


yawning801 Mon 12-Feb-18 17:32:09

Can you give him the money and keep it for his birthday? Or as a post-GCSE present to motivate him to do well?

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 12-Feb-18 17:36:14

would it be better to keep working at boundaries as to how long he can play it? Even a student who needs to do a lot of catching up can't work every hour of the day.

I do see why you are worried, I just wonder if you might end up with him going on a work strike altogether if this blows up too much. I'm all for kids learning how to manage their time, even when they find that difficult because otherwise they come apart during a levels/b techs or further down the line.

TalkinPeace Mon 12-Feb-18 17:38:31

Where did he get the money ?
If you gave it to him, how did he get so much with so little understanding of boundaries and priorities?
If others gave it him, why is it not in a savings account ?

CornflakeMum Mon 12-Feb-18 17:41:45

BadKitten - ordinarily I'd agree with you, and this is what we did with DS1, but we've had numerous issues with DS2 who has demonstrated that he has no sense or time/ self control and as a result DH and I have had to constantly 'police' the time he spends. If we didn't then he would spend 10 hours a day gaming.

FayJay Mon 12-Feb-18 17:45:17

I’d take it away and tell him he can have it back once GCSEs are over It doesn’t sound as if he’s able to use it sensibly.

CornflakeMum Mon 12-Feb-18 17:46:39

Talkinpeace - it is his money, he earned it from advertising on his YouTube channel. He was pretty successful and was earning about £50 a week for a lot of last year. He would normally talk to us before buying things, so I think he thought he'd sneak this one through and then once it was here we have to accept it hmm. I wonder if we'd even know about it if it hadn't arrived while we were here??

TalkinPeace Mon 12-Feb-18 17:48:27

it is his money, he earned it from advertising on his YouTube channel.
How much time was spent on the YouTube versus GCSEs ?

I think there is rather a massive priorities issue here

NorthernSpirit Mon 12-Feb-18 17:52:45

Your’re the adult, you set the boundaries and decide, not him. If you are not happy, take it off him.

CornflakeMum Mon 12-Feb-18 17:53:02

"How much time was spent on the YouTube versus GCSEs ?"

Not that much bizarrely, one evening and at weekends...
He still has money saved in his bank account.

It's since he did less YouTube and got in with a different gaming crowd at school that he has become less focussed.

LanaKanesTerfyVagina Mon 12-Feb-18 17:54:13

Well it is his money, that he has earnt, so I don't think you have the right to take it away, sorry.

But you need to implement better boundaries.

But I can see how he's pissed off.....he's made that money, he has the right to spend it however he wants (within legal limits obvs)

Turn the wifi off??

IDK...I can see how this is difficult for you, but I think it's really shitty to let him have a money earning YT account (btw wtf is he posting?) but then take away the things he buys with the money you let him earn

You need to set boundaries.

But you don't get to whinge about him buying a PS4 when you have such weird boundaries.

BlackPeppercorn Mon 12-Feb-18 18:08:34

There must be a fair bit of discussion going on in the house about the upcoming GCSEs. Can you get him to set his own limits? Ie get him to make his own rod for his own back, make him hoist himself on his own petard?
We have letters and reports and emails and predicted grade updates flying around like confetti, any one of these could be used to instigate the conversation that ends with him saying 'well I reckon I need four hours revision a night and two hours gaming'.
One of mine is a box set fiend (which involves wrapping herself in a huge furry blanket and clutching her Amazon Firestick to her heart). We've recently had to manoeuvre the same sort of conversation. She has an alarm set on her phone now.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 12-Feb-18 18:20:05

I'm impressed with his money making capapabilities!

MincemeatTart Mon 12-Feb-18 18:22:15

I think we’d have kept all gaming equipment under lock and key and allow him set time after producing evidence of school work being completed.

sirlee66 Mon 12-Feb-18 18:25:02

Wow, your DS earned his own money and enough to buy a PS4!! That's a massive achievement and I have to say, I am impressed! (I find it more common for mummy and daddy to foot the bill instead of DC working, saving and paying for luxuries like games consoles) hats off to DS.

Having said that, this didn't help with DS's GCSE's and so I see the predicament.

DS quite rightly spent his own money which is fair. To him, it wouldn't be fair for you to then take it. So how about a comprise?

He willingly sends it back and gets his money back and then depending on how well he's doing - you get him the newest fandango with all the bits/games and extras that come with it. He'll get the money AND the prize (but an even better prize) he just needs to hold off a few months and put his GCSE head on to get it.

Short term pain - long term gain kind of thing.

If that doesn't sound acceptable to him right now.. bribery? You could say you'll pay for a new vlog camera for YouTube or something? Difficult one as he has his own money so he doesn't need stuff.

sirlee66 Mon 12-Feb-18 18:28:55

What about bribing him with something money can't buy? Like your permission to go on a lads holiday if he gets his expected GSCE grades?

CornflakeMum Mon 12-Feb-18 18:34:56

I just don't think it would be right to leave him to moderate himself entirely at this point in his school career - he just doesn't have the maturity or ability yet. He also has dyslexia which means he's really disorganised and underestimates how much time he needs for revision.

He now seems to have calmed down and accepts that he should have talked to us first. Now we're going to negotiate about whether w keep it until after GCSEs or get a refund.

His modest YouTube success is part of he problem - he thinks if he flunks his GCSEs he can just go off and become a 'famous YouTuber' confused Maybe he could, but I'd still prefer he have some qualifications to fall back on...

booellesmum Mon 12-Feb-18 18:39:32

I wouldn't send it back. I would set limits and confiscate if not adhered to.

BlackPeppercorn Mon 12-Feb-18 19:11:59

I agree and I didn't mean to leave him to it, sorry if it came across as if I did. But if you are simply enforcing what he himself has said, it leaves you on much stronger ground. It's very hard (but not impossible of course) for a Yr 11 to actually say 'OK, I was talking rubbish when I said I needed 3 hours revision a night'. Remember - they're 15/16 they Know It All.
You're between a rock and a hard place. At the end of the day, you can't wrench the console from his sweaty paws and hide it for the next five months. Also, you can't storm round every night having huge rows for the next five months.
But you can remind him of a commitment that he made to himself and ask him if it would help him keep that commitment if you switched the wifi off/took the controller/gave him a shout at changeover time.
I appreciate its much easier for me than for you perhaps - your (very entrepreneurial) ds can generate his own money, whilst dd's strongest talent at the moment seems to be her encyclopaedic knowledge of The Crown (although as she says, it's all research for my A levels Ma).

BlackPeppercorn Mon 12-Feb-18 19:15:15

Therefore, I mean to say, I have more at my disposal - canCel Netflix, cancel Spotify, limit her phone, halt the make up deliveries, block the endless BooHoo transactions on MY card, stop the monthly allowance!
And tell her that Tesco no longer stock the Tassimo pods for Costa Caramel Latte.

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