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Question
Posted by: wits end | 2011/10/20

son and his cell phones

hi
my son loves talking about a cell phone and has a very large knowledge of the latest phones. he does very well at school and participates in sport every day except for fridays. we recently bought him a new phone (about 3 months ago) but he insists that he wants an upgrade. We are willing to do this as he as also worked for pocket money and contributing a 3rd of the cost.

all we asked him is to have a little patience until our budget can allow us to pay the difference. he gets extremely angry and upset, often his anger is focused on me for some reason (the mother) even though my husband and i both told him just wait a little bit. he yells and starts crying and says that we must stop making promises we cant keep.

have you got any advice for me? do you think there are bigger issues and he needs professional help. he often reminds of a toddler that rants and raves when he does not get his own way. he is not an only child and has an older sister of 13. God help us when we say no to anything thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Last time I checked the constitution, the right to have a cell-phone, especially a free one, was not actually included.
Getting so hysterical over a mere delay in an upgrade to an already new phone, is alarmingly over-emotional. Something more is at play here than just a phone. If does sound unduly childish.
You mention an "older" sister of 13, so I assume he is under 13 years of age.
Personally, I believe that there is value in a child having a bare-bones cellphone for emergencies, and no value whatever in getting one with all the bells and whistles.
You seem to relate this as part of a broader pattern of acting spoilt and expecting to get verything he wants, and instantly, too.
Maybe a joint session with a child psychologist would help, to assess him, and to dvise you and your husband on how to set rules and expectations to avoid such spoiled behaviour in future

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Julie | 2011/10/22

I''m interested to hear if the son acts like this for everything, i.e. even simple things like watching a movie (and then deciding on a different matter) or playing a board game (if you change your mind and decide you don''t want to play) or if it''s only when he''s going to get something new.

Reply to Julie
Posted by: Ros | 2011/10/21

Hi, if I were you I would get him accessed as soon as possible. His bad reactions to certain things sound very much like my son who was also a very high achiever at school and was always playing sport. His tantrums were very scary and somehow he always came across as being a spoilt brat. He has now be diagnosed with bio-polar.

Reply to Ros
Posted by: Exprienced mother | 2011/10/20

TELL him its the phone he has or no phone...........
If you give in now and do not set bounaries he will be demanding his first car is a Ferrari!!!!!! Spend money on therapy now, it will be cheaper than giving in to all his materialistic wants going forward.

Reply to Exprienced mother
Posted by: Mummy | 2011/10/20

I am very sorry to say, but he seems spoilt. EXTREMELY spoilt. My opinion is that kids should do chores for pocket money (and not even a lot, they are just kids after all) they should do well at school because they have to. Going out of his way to do chores and getting really good marks at school should be rewarded yes, but not with top of the range electronics. They should be rewarded with say an extra trip to the movies or maybe lunch at Wimpy or something. He possibly has learnt some sort of sense of entitlement and that’ s why he believes he should get his new things NOW and not when you say he can.

I would NOT get him a new cellphone with the explanation that he didn’ t listen to you, he wasn’ t patient and he did not respect your reason as to why he couldn’ t get a new one. You don’ t mention if he gets physically violent or if he damages things around the house if you say no. Do you ever punish him when he doesn’ t obey your “ no” ? He could also have some sort of complex where he needs to be in control.

It sounds very much like my sisters child and I am sorry to say but my niece became the biggest brat on the planet because my sister gave into her tantrums and in essence rewarded her for bad behavior. My kids on the other hand are growing up knowing that they have to do certain things and life is not going to pamper them and give into their demands. I am not a harsh mother- my children are very happy, very respectful and I find myself not having to explain myself to them when I do say no. They do not throw tantrums (my younger one did until about a year ago) when I say no because they know that I am not always going to say no and I am not trying to deny them of anything by saying no. Call me old fashioned but I have not given them every gadget on the market.

I would start enforcing a tough love approach on him now- he wants a new phone NOW? Well you are the parent and he has not listened to you and he is not going to get one. And I agree take him to counseling- maybe they can get to the bottom of this behavior and reverse some of the sense of entitlement.

Good luck.

Reply to Mummy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/10/20

Last time I checked the constitution, the right to have a cell-phone, especially a free one, was not actually included.
Getting so hysterical over a mere delay in an upgrade to an already new phone, is alarmingly over-emotional. Something more is at play here than just a phone. If does sound unduly childish.
You mention an "older" sister of 13, so I assume he is under 13 years of age.
Personally, I believe that there is value in a child having a bare-bones cellphone for emergencies, and no value whatever in getting one with all the bells and whistles.
You seem to relate this as part of a broader pattern of acting spoilt and expecting to get verything he wants, and instantly, too.
Maybe a joint session with a child psychologist would help, to assess him, and to dvise you and your husband on how to set rules and expectations to avoid such spoiled behaviour in future

Reply to cybershrink

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