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Must have the best phone to fit in at school.

58 replies

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:29

Just lost my temper after a long protracted discussion - again - about why we can't afford the latest iphone for my 11yr old (yr7). OK, so we have shot ourselves in the foot by getting him to grammar, where, everyone, according to him is rich, rich, rich. However, I suspect that sending him to the local comp won't make much of a difference to his desperate pleas to have what 'everyone' else has. Tried the, 'you're so much more than a phone' approach, the 'we can't afford it approach', the 'look at all the things you do do that other kids don't do', the 'you have a phone and a ipod touch aready' approach, but I couldn't seem to get him to realise that I really really empathised with him - even talking about how I felt when I was his age. I realise this is our fault totally - he is spoilt up to what our budget can afford, but we just can't compete with his new friends, and I don't want to. In the end I lost it and shouted him down. He says that his rich friends aren't snobby, but that he just needs to have the best to feel like he fits in. It feels like he's throwing all our hardword back at us. (it was great to have the 'why don't you get a job too?' thrown at me). I know the second he gets an Iphone, he'll be nagging for all the other stuff he hasn't got. We are not going to give in on this one, I just need to know how to help him cope with his obvious feelings of envy and inadequacy. I would also like to feel less like rubbish too. Please help.

OP posts:
Shesaysso · 16/09/2014 21:36

I would tell him if he wants one he can save up and buy it himself. That way you're not giving in and arent the horrible parent but it puts the ball in his court and same with if he then loses/ breaks it, it is his problem.

wingcommandergallic · 16/09/2014 21:38

Make him earn it.

Set prices for specific tasks and he can be paid for each one completed. Make sure prices are low enough that it'll take several months!

outtolunchagain · 16/09/2014 21:39

Are you sure that "everyone " has an iPhone , sounds very unlikely , in my experience the phrase " everyone " to a year7 means one or two people.

My ds is at an independent in year8 and very few people have iPhones .

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:41

Yes, He did this to earn his ipod touch - it took him over a year. But we would then have to think about paying for the texting etc. His pocket money wouldn't stretch that far. His solution is to ask for money out of his bank account to get what he wants when he wants it (that money is reserved!). Last week it was a new bag, which he is reluctantly saving up for, but for the iphone - he has gone ballistic about not having one.

OP posts:
originalusernamefail · 16/09/2014 21:42

My DS is only 1 so I had all this to come, but when I was that age my mum had a system. For example clothes, if it was something she "approved" of or I needed she would buy it but if it was something I wanted or she didn't like I had to buy it myself with pocket money.

Maybe help him set up a budget/ savings plan to get his own iPhone? I have a feeling the shine may come off if he has to save himself (typing on my first iPad it took my until 30 to save for).

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:43

No, I'm not sure everyone has one and even though he did list all the kids that do, and the names of the phones that all the other kids have, I know it's just a ploy. He has a low end smart phone and a couple of the kids are what I would call 'rich' - but that's to be expected. he's not in listening mode though. As soon as we start on the explanation about not all kids have etc, he takes umbridge and says we don't get it.

OP posts:
Mabelface · 16/09/2014 21:44

I just say no and there'd be sanctions in place for backchat like that.

OddFodd · 16/09/2014 21:45

He's totally playing you. My niece is in year 10 at an independent and very few have iphones. And, you know, if they do, so what? Nip this in the bud now otherwise you're going to be forever keeping up with these mythical other kids.

ElephantsNeverForgive · 16/09/2014 21:45

My two were firmly told no posh phones until you haven't lost, broken or had stolen a cheap one for a year.

In fact neither of them used their birthdays to update their phones until they were 13/14. And yes I do confess that at 13&16 they do now have iPhone 5s. (Birthday and Christmas presents).

However, they both have excellent track records for not losing or breaking, cheap phones, iPods touches), a tablet and laptops. Despite iPods going to school every day (very long bus trip).

The main reason for the iPhones is both iPods are full, not upgradable and DD1's home button is dying, purely from being used.

threepiecesuite · 16/09/2014 21:45

To be fair, I work in a deprived area and I reckon every other kid in Year 7 and every other year has an iPhone. There is a strong sense of 'show' but some families are very poor in real terms.
Could he trade in the iPod Touch and use the value towards an iPhone?

stealthsquiggle · 16/09/2014 21:45

DS is in Y8 at an independent school. He, like most of his peers, has a £10 Nokia phone.

No point in asking him to prove it, though, as there is an implication in there that you will get it if everyone else ally does have one, however vanishingly unlikely that is. I agree with pp - let him save for it himself if he really wants it that much, and support him in doing so.

marne2 · 16/09/2014 21:46

My dsd is at local comp and insists she needs a iPhone ( which she now has as her mum bought her one ). When I was at school it was designer coats and jeans, I thought that was bad enough, paying £40 for a coat but it's nothing compared to the iPhone fad Sad. Dreading dd1 starting high school next year.

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:46

I'm getting the feeling that folks think he should earn it/ buy it himself. Got it! How do I make him feel less rubbish about what he hasn't got? I can see it's really causing him inner anguish, - even though I'm tempted just to tell him this is the real world and he should get over it!

OP posts:
Artandco · 16/09/2014 21:46

Can I ask why his money, in his account is available to him. Surely it's his?

Tbh I would let him save and get one. He can save Xmas/ birthday and pocket money. I would probably just buy him the bag he wants also, as he obv feels he hasn't nothing to fit in so at least a bag is a point in same direction

forago · 16/09/2014 21:47

This sounds like when my 8y old says everyone plays 18 games and watches 15 films. No they don't and even if they did, never going to happen in YOUR house.

OddFodd · 16/09/2014 21:48

And don't keep discussing it! Make the subject closed from now on. And I would take away privileges for suggesting you need to work to buy it. How bloody rude! Whether you can afford it or not should be irrelevant.

ElephantsNeverForgive · 16/09/2014 21:49

Oh and DD2 say's her mates phones are an iPhone 4s, a blackberry a posh Samsung and three aces.

She knows this because we were trying to work out how much her friend was worth mugging as she watched them on a fairground ride. We decided not to tell her.

stealthsquiggle · 16/09/2014 21:49

Hmm. Not sure about the making him feel better thing. He is clearly having self confidence issues, but not sure what the best way to approach that is. and I would probably end up saying that life was unfair and he should get used to it, which is not helpful

Pensionerpeep · 16/09/2014 21:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:55

When he goes ballistic, things get kicked and thrown around and he goes to his room to calm down. He gets sanctioned, like losing his ipod touch time - which he is totally addicted to. We are fairly strict about behaviour, and always sanction it, but it doesn't seem to matter to him. he just goes up stairs kicking and swearing like a typical teenager. I've tried to tell him the subject is closed, but he keeps coming back to it. The parenting classes we attended tell us we should empathise with how he is feeling and name the feelings, but it hasn't stopped him nagging and nagging. I don't want him to have an iphone. He doesn't need one. he has a phone and an ipod touch 5. He's not deprived, he has lots and lots of cool stuff, but not much tech as he already has at least 3 hours a day on his screens!

OP posts:
joanofarchitrave · 16/09/2014 21:58

It's not your job to 'get it'. You're his parents, not his bank managers. Tell him to talk about something else.

seventy7 · 16/09/2014 21:59

Well, I'm beginning to feel better. Thanks to everyone who has posted. I appreciate your comments.
I know that tomorrow, he will still feel pants, but hopefully a new day will make him see things a little less gloomily. I just wish I could make him see the bigger picture. Sigh! :-)

OP posts:
Theas18 · 16/09/2014 21:59

Sorry but you need to put your foot down. Of course it isn't true that everyone has iPhones!

Grammar or comp or independent - there will be a range. My DS for instance, at 18, at a grammar still had a galaxy y lol ( on a 7.00 a month sim only thing with all you can eat texts some mins and a bit of data) I offered him, a year ago , a better phone or and extra £10/ month picket money and he chose the latter.

The real gadget geeks that DS knows run android phones anyway.

We treated him to a new phone for uni- it's a new moto g at £150. He's very happy.

He was never a " social pariah " for his phone and interestingly amongst dd2 cohort there was even a girl who didn't bother to have a phone. She was still accepted.

In our family if you need it you get an acceptable item, not fancy. You pay to " upgrade" or benefit from a downgrade.
So if you need jeans ill fund some from Next. If you want Levi's, you pay. If you get primark jeans you pocket the difference .

Alonglongway · 16/09/2014 22:03

My DDs' male friends have all been mugged for their phones - I wouldn't do it- whether buying or letting him save for it. Also, it just all keeps escalating - is it the iPad he needs for school next?

I haven't had too much of this type of whinging from mine - 13 and 16 - but when they have, I've told them to feel free to moan to their friends that I'm mean and they're just not getting it. I do think we need to help them maintain thresholds.

ShoeWhore · 16/09/2014 22:05

OP, I feel your pain - we're currently having this dilemma too. I was planning on getting ds a cheap as chips basic phone but he's at a new school and I have seen some of his new friends' phones and they do mainly seem to have iphones (some better models than mine!!) I do worry that he will just lose it but I grew up being the one that never had the right stuff and it was tough.

Ds isn't rude about it though, he's barely mentioned it, tbh (it only came up when I asked him did he need anything else for school).

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