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 Mother gives her son an iPhone and a lesson in life 180 More: Hero, iPhone, good friends
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31585 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2013 at 8:37 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:    more»

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The first rule on his mother's list: "It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?"

That tells you all you need to know about this mum. she I did for the adulation of her child and nothing else. I would have given it back to her also if you are loaning it to him then its not present is it. Ahh crazy parents and there conditional love.

Maybe mom should've bought her kid a really basic phone and told him if you can be responsible and not lose it or get in trouble with it for a year or so, then you can have an iPhone. If she's putting so many rules in place he will be fine with a Tracphone. I don't get why anyone would buy a 13 year old a damn iPhone. Wait till he's old enough to have a job and give him unrestricted access but make him pay for his minutes/texts/data. A $300-400 phone bill tends to get the point across (my friends' dumb teens have all managed that one). "Wonder without Googling." Why? I can look up nearly anything I'm curious about. The other day, I wondered why ducks don't get frostbite on their feet in the winter. I looked it up and now I know. Otherwise I would go through life suspecting that ducks have magic powers. sigdiamond2000: It's so much easier to just not have kids. DeathCipris: jack21221: DeathCipris: This one. Right here. Why bother "gifting" the phone if you are just going to remind him that "IT IS MY PHONE. I WORKED TO PAY FOR IT. NAH NAH!"? My Dad used to pull this EXACT stunt and I still resent him for it. It is a dick move and if you can't afford to give it away, don't gift it. Simple as that. Do you think the 13 year old would rather have had a loaned phone or no phone at all? Coming from the the same situation, I would rather go out and get it on my own or go without. It isn't a requisite like the car that I had to have to get to and from work when I was 15. I bought my own phone and my own car as soon as I could afford it because I was tired of hearing it doesn't belong to me and is just on loan. And don't you dare say "Well it made you a better person!" No. It didn't. It made me bitter, cynical, and resentful of him. Actually, it made you into the kind of person who worked harder to get what you wanted, rather than settle for something being handed to you for free with strings attached. Sounds like it worked to me. This all seems like a pretty good idea and well thought out by the mother. I'm not really sure why anyone would have a problem with this. The internet (and smart phones) have become very powerful tools, but also can be a scary and dangerous place, and just like Spiderman once said, it needs to come with responsibility. The only thing I don't agree with is leaving the phone at home. I agree about the usage times, but a phone is a very valuable safety device. Just because you didn't have cell phones when you grew up and that you got along just fine without them, doesn't mean you should just ignore the value of being able to access information or communicate at a moments notice. I really believe kids should be restricted from using the internet and/or being glued to the information super highway for extended periods of time, and to filter the content they can view. How to do this, I have no idea, but this mother seems to be trying just that, and that's a good thing. mrlewish: can't agree with number 6 "If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared." In number 1 she states that the phone is her property then, in 6 she obligates another individual to pay for damages etc. He should reject the contract and phone since she said that he would eventually lose/break it and that he would pay. He should just bite the bullet and just do all that babysitting working etc now and cut out the middleman or woman in this case and have the phone as his own property. Also when it becomes time for him to take care of her in her old age he should bring all sorts of contracts for her care. etc. It's a family not a business. Have to agree with this one. Instead of patting herself on the back, she needs to let him earn the phone in the first place so that when he gets it, there are no strings attached, he's completely responsible instead of this 'i'm trapping you in my apron strings' bullshiat. Molavian: sigdiamond2000: It's so much easier to just not have kids. I bet it is. Of course, you become a developmentally challenged adult. Basically you remain a socially stunted semi-child for the rest of your life. What the fark are you smoking? Oh and I'm pretty sure the gift she is giving her son, is paying the monthly usage fees. She's loaning him the phone to use. Rules 11 and 3 seem like they might clash a lot. ace in your face: I wish I had taken more pictures since my memory has been failing me at the ripe old age of 27. and I would actually accept my 13 year old would look at porn so my rule would be "no paying for porn". There is enough free stuff to get by. And fark "wondering", wiki is the best. /The rest sounds solid //Why the hell doesn't she just have insurance on a 13 year olds cell phone? Exactly what I was thinking. As for porn, I think I would have simply not mentioned it. Telling him not to view porn will almost guarantee he looks at it. If it bothers you (the parent) that much, I'm sure there are filtering apps you could install to take care of that sort of thing. Just buy the kid a burner. If he uses up all the minutes, he has to wait or buy his own. That would be a real life lesson. This actually seems like a reasonably good idea. /shiat like this makes me glad my wife and I decided to stick with cats //cats never look at porn ///as far as we know Was the life lesson 'don't ever accept a "gift" that has more strings attached than a grand piano'? When my son is old enough to start asking for things I'm going to start showing him "A Serbian Film" every time he asks. I imagine he wouldn't ask for much after that...save for maybe a therapist. Then I'll just show it to him again. Kids never learn. 3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mom" or "Dad". Not ever. 11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that. 14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Mom lives in a fantasy world; #3 is going to be broken in the first week by following #11 and/or #14 ktybear: She sounds insufferable! this ChrisDe: Negotiate, kid. She already had the phone, if you refused to sign there would have been a counter-offer. You failed the first life lesson. this. <b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7513184/81625828#c81625828" target="_blank">ExperianScaresCthulhu</a>:</b> <i>mrlewish: can't agree with number 6 "If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared." In number 1 she states that the phone is her property then, in 6 she obligates another individual to pay for damages etc. He should reject the contract and phone since she said that he would eventually lose/break it and that he would pay. He should just bite the bullet and just do all that babysitting working etc now and cut out the middleman or woman in this case and have the phone as his own property. Also when it becomes time for him to take care of her in her old age he should bring all sorts of contracts for her care. etc. It's a family not a business. Have to agree with this one. Instead of patting herself on the back, she needs to let him earn the phone in the first place so that when he gets it, there are no strings attached, he's completely responsible instead of this 'i'm trapping you in my apron strings' bullshiat.</i> This. My 11 year old begs me for stuff because his idiot cousin of the same age always has shiat. His mom was a spoiled brat too; always throwing a fit when her parents had need of their car that she regularly borrowed (and was eventually gifted). I just gave him a used ipod shuffle for Christmas. If in a few years I decide to get him a phone it will be a no contract pre-paid phone. If he wants the contract and the smart technology he will have to pay for it. But then it would be *his*, barring any major breech of rules like drugs or alcohol. I wonder how many of you who (rightfully) are criticizing this woman for the "it's a gift...it's still MINE" thing supported that laptop-shooting cretin for using the same logic. mutterfark: Was the life lesson 'don't ever accept a "gift" that has more strings attached than a grand piano'? No. The life lesson was, "You aren't an entitled snowflake." JasonKY: I wonder how many of you who (rightfully) are criticizing this woman for the "it's a gift...it's still MINE" thing supported that laptop-shooting cretin for using the same logic. I know, right? I gave my toddler a bunch of gifts for Christmas, and now I'm screwed because I can't take them away from him if he misbehaves or even sell them when he outgrows them. I mean, they're "gifts", right? They belong exclusively to him. No takesies-backsies. I guess I'll just have to wait until he's older and able to give me permission to throw them out or sell them. Or maybe the concept of a "gift" is different when children are involved... Cormee: *my* first reaction was "why, why, why is this on Fark" See that number in parentheses next to the link? There's nothing heroic about that helicopter of a mother. I'm glad she isn't mine. So. Here is a magical piece of communication and information technology. Don't use it when there are people around. Don't use it to find facts and information when piqued by curiosity. If you find yourself alone and tempted to use it, go do something else. Do not use it for ANYTHING a 13 year old would be most likely to do with it. You can turn it on at 7:30am but most likely have school at 8am and you're not taking it there, and you get out at what. 2:30pm? 3pm? So for the next four and a half hours you have a phone, I expect you not to be using it for anything unless I call, or your dad calls, as it is not meant to be used as a replacement for human communication. But this is totally an awesome privilege and responsibility I'm handing you (which you don't really own btw so don't try pulling any of that "ITS MY PHONE" sh*t) and if you break it, you owe me$650.

This seems like the sort of thing you hand an intelligent child so he can reason out the fact that there's no point to the gift you've given him so he can say no thanks BEFORE you buy one.

Sounds like she meant to buy him one of these.

jmr61: There's nothing heroic about that helicopter of a mother. I'm glad she isn't mine.

strict parenting =/= helicopter parenting

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: So. Here is a magical piece of communication and information technology. Don't use it when there are people around. Don't use it to find facts and information when piqued by curiosity. If you find yourself alone and tempted to use it, go do something else. Do not use it for ANYTHING a 13 year old would be most likely to do with it. You can turn it on at 7:30am but most likely have school at 8am and you're not taking it there, and you get out at what. 2:30pm? 3pm? So for the next four and a half hours you have a phone, I expect you not to be using it for anything unless I call, or your dad calls, as it is not meant to be used as a replacement for human communication. But this is totally an awesome privilege and responsibility I'm handing you (which you don't really own btw so don't try pulling any of that "ITS MY PHONE" sh*t) and if you break it, you owe me $650. This seems like the sort of thing you hand an intelligent child so he can reason out the fact that there's no point to the gift you've given him so he can say no thanks BEFORE you buy one. Sounds like she meant to buy him one of these. [media.tumblr.com image 450x532] Also, apparently only for kids with two, opposite-sex parents. VespaGuy: mutterfark: Was the life lesson 'don't ever accept a "gift" that has more strings attached than a grand piano'? No. The life lesson was, "You aren't an entitled snowflake." Actually I see no lesson taught here other than "my house, my rules". I'm guessing this kid already knew that one. Want to teach the kid a life lesson? Give or get him a job suitable for his age and abilities and help buy his own iPhone and pay for his usage. washington-babylon: There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity. Ever hear of this little thing that happens late in life called Alzheimer's? /She's an overprotective control freak. //It's a wonder the kid isn't crazy... or is he? I found her statement to be ironic or hypocritical since she blogs everything. It must be humiliating for this kid to have the entire world knowing about his phone and the rules. Kids hate to be embarrassed by their parents and she has gone viral with it. This kid is in the next group of most likely to shoot up a public place now. Blog about that Mommy. shoot up jack21221: DeathCipris: This one. Right here. Why bother "gifting" the phone if you are just going to remind him that "IT IS MY PHONE. I WORKED TO PAY FOR IT. NAH NAH!"? My Dad used to pull this EXACT stunt and I still resent him for it. It is a dick move and if you can't afford to give it away, don't gift it. Simple as that. Do you think the 13 year old would rather have had a loaned phone or no phone at all? This has already been answered, but I damn well would have, even at thirteen when I was usually half-out of it, wanted nothing at all instead of a gift where the first thing you say is "IT'S MINE!". Legally, everything a child 'owns' belongs to the parent, but that's a safeguard, not actual ownership. If your children don't own things, your children will not know how to own things. Life experience going with that: For a while, my biological father claimed everything in the house 'belonged' to him...including the computer my brother built with his own two hands at summer camp. If my brother didn't know a couple of hackers, he probably wouldn't have a computer, because the bio father used to be an IT guy and wanted to make himself the only admin account and my brother a guest account (which is the same thing the bio father did with 'my' computer he supposedly bought for me). Want to bet just how responsible the bio father is with updates on computers he doesn't use every night? And for anyone saying this was a life lesson about buying your own things, a) Brother built it, doesn't get much more 'your property' than that and b) No, it just taught us that anything we care about we need to hide, and then defend with a farking shotgun, because apparently we live in Afghanistan. VespaGuy: JasonKY: I wonder how many of you who (rightfully) are criticizing this woman for the "it's a gift...it's still MINE" thing supported that laptop-shooting cretin for using the same logic. I know, right? I gave my toddler a bunch of gifts for Christmas, and now I'm screwed because I can't take them away from him if he misbehaves or even sell them when he outgrows them. I mean, they're "gifts", right? They belong exclusively to him. No takesies-backsies. I guess I'll just have to wait until he's older and able to give me permission to throw them out or sell them. Or maybe the concept of a "gift" is different when children are involved... There is a difference between "Here is a gift that doesn't belong to you." and disciplining your child. The difference between the two is there is the reminder that it isn't yours. It should be conveyed, whether through words or verbal instruction, that if you screw up; you lose the phone. That would have sufficed instead of I own things and you don't. There is no reason to go on some power trip and lord it over him that you made this happen and without your help he is somehow powerless and unable to do anything. This was evidenced by the "Aren't I the greatest?" line in her letter. It points out she is just in this for her own sick desire to point out how great she is and that she still has power over her son, not doing something nice for him. I have seen this and dealt with this for the last 25 years of my life. I am well-aware these type of people and their modus operandi. Damn and here I was thinking I was being a responsible parent by teaching my kids without a contract. Didn't see that one in the single father hand book. Damn. PsiChick: jack21221: DeathCipris: This one. Right here. Why bother "gifting" the phone if you are just going to remind him that "IT IS MY PHONE. I WORKED TO PAY FOR IT. NAH NAH!"? My Dad used to pull this EXACT stunt and I still resent him for it. It is a dick move and if you can't afford to give it away, don't gift it. Simple as that. Do you think the 13 year old would rather have had a loaned phone or no phone at all? This has already been answered, but I damn well would have, even at thirteen when I was usually half-out of it, wanted nothing at all instead of a gift where the first thing you say is "IT'S MINE!". Legally, everything a child 'owns' belongs to the parent, but that's a safeguard, not actual ownership. If your children don't own things, your children will not know how to own things. Life experience going with that: For a while, my biological father claimed everything in the house 'belonged' to him...including the computer my brother built with his own two hands at summer camp. If my brother didn't know a couple of hackers, he probably wouldn't have a computer, because the bio father used to be an IT guy and wanted to make himself the only admin account and my brother a guest account (which is the same thing the bio father did with 'my' computer he supposedly bought for me). Want to bet just how responsible the bio father is with updates on computers he doesn't use every night? And for anyone saying this was a life lesson about buying your own things, a) Brother built it, doesn't get much more 'your property' than that and b) No, it just taught us that anything we care about we need to hide, and then defend with a farking shotgun, because apparently we live in Afghanistan. PsiChick, I feel for you. I had to deal with a lot of the same bullshiat when I lived with my parents. Dad would say things like: "It isn't your room. I just let you stay there. That is why you aren't allowed to hang pictures or posters on the wall." "I pay for the electricity in this house and I tell you when/how much you can use it." "I pay for the water in this house and I will tell you when/how much you can use it." "That is my car. I just let you use it to get back and forth to your job." "Your computer uses my electricity. I will turn will switch the breaker off to your room at night so you have no power in there when I say so." It wasn't like I ran around turning lights on in every room or left all the faucets running. It got so bad that we were timed on our showers so we didn't "waste water." Here is the kicker...we had well water. Just wanted to shed a little light on what I see in this woman, why I think she is a horrible person for doing what she did, and to let you know you aren't alone in having to deal with that. /CSB //There should be rules/punishment for children, but reminding them they have nothing in this world only causes resentment. mutterfark: VespaGuy: mutterfark: Was the life lesson 'don't ever accept a "gift" that has more strings attached than a grand piano'? No. The life lesson was, "You aren't an entitled snowflake." Actually I see no lesson taught here other than "my house, my rules". "My house, my rules" is what weak parents say when they have no logic behind arbitrary household rules. I think she is pretty clear in expressing the "why" behind her rules (Put it away at the movies, restaurants, because it's considered rude, etc). For the rest of his life, he has to follow rules - at work, school, home, etc - rules which are far more arbitrary and even silly at times. What's wrong with setting rules for a teenager? I don't agree with all of hers, but I see nothing wrong with guidelines for a teenager. Want to teach the kid a life lesson? Give or get him a job suitable for his age and abilities and help buy his own iPhone and pay for his usage. I certainly agree, but do you believe that is some sort of teenage loophole that absolves him from losing his privileges? "I know I got caught using my cell phone at school and I forwarded a bunch of topless photos of the slutty girl from home room... but you can't take my phone away from me because I bought it with my own money. nyah, nyah!" miss diminutive: Meh. My parents basically said the same thing when they got me my first phone. Except each breach of contract was punished by catapult. /was raised hardcore Can we see her blog post about that, for proof? Because it's not really anything she said that's a problem, it's how she feels the need to broadcast it to the world that's the problem. She probably really got him the iphone so she can contact him 988 times a day and assure him of her "love." I should be in the kitchen: Maybe mom should've bought her kid a really basic phone and told him if you can be responsible and not lose it or get in trouble with it for a year or so, then you can have an iPhone. If she's putting so many rules in place he will be fine with a Tracphone. I don't get why anyone would buy a 13 year old a damn iPhone. Wait till he's old enough to have a job and give him unrestricted access but make him pay for his minutes/texts/data. A$300-400 phone bill tends to get the point across (my friends' dumb teens have all managed that one).

All that.

VespaGuy: mutterfark: VespaGuy: mutterfark: Was the life lesson 'don't ever accept a "gift" that has more strings attached than a grand piano'?

No. The life lesson was, "You aren't an entitled snowflake."

Actually I see no lesson taught here other than "my house, my rules".

"My house, my rules" is what weak parents say when they have no logic behind arbitrary household rules. I think she is pretty clear in expressing the "why" behind her rules (Put it away at the movies, restaurants, because it's considered rude, etc).

For the rest of his life, he has to follow rules - at work, school, home, etc - rules which are far more arbitrary and even silly at times. What's wrong with setting rules for a teenager? I don't agree with all of hers, but I see nothing wrong with guidelines for a teenager.

Want to teach the kid a life lesson? Give or get him a job suitable for his age and abilities and help buy his own iPhone and pay for his usage.

I certainly agree, but do you believe that is some sort of teenage loophole that absolves him from losing his privileges? "I know I got caught using my cell phone at school and I forwarded a bunch of topless photos of the slutty girl from home room... but you can't take my phone away from me because I bought it with my own money. nyah, nyah!"

Nope. You are still the parent and responsible for his/her well-being, both legally and ethically. Take the phone away from the child and discipline him or her. I don't care who bought it, you still did something wrong and there are ramifications for doing something bad. For instance:
I bought my own truck, but if I go speeding off and slam into a parked car; I still have to face consequences and possibly lose rights (jail time, revocation of driver's license, insurance more than I can afford thusly I can't drive, etc.) That is a real life lesson there.

DeathCipris: VespaGuy: JasonKY: I wonder how many of you who (rightfully) are criticizing this woman for the "it's a gift...it's still MINE" thing supported that laptop-shooting cretin for using the same logic.

I know, right? I gave my toddler a bunch of gifts for Christmas, and now I'm screwed because I can't take them away from him if he misbehaves or even sell them when he outgrows them. I mean, they're "gifts", right? They belong exclusively to him. No takesies-backsies. I guess I'll just have to wait until he's older and able to give me permission to throw them out or sell them.

Or maybe the concept of a "gift" is different when children are involved...

There is a difference between "Here is a gift that doesn't belong to you." and disciplining your child. The difference between the two is there is the reminder that it isn't yours.It should be conveyed, whether through words or verbal instruction, that if you screw up; you lose the phone. That would have sufficed instead of I own things and you don't. There is no reason to go on some power trip and lord it over him that you made this happen and without your help he is somehow powerless and unable to do anything.

So instead of saying "This is my phone, but you can use it under these conditions", it's better to say, "This is your phone, it belongs entirely to you, but I still reserve the right to take it away if I want"? The latter sure seems more like a power trip than the former. It's just semantics. In either case, you - the parent - still have full control over the phone. How does this make the child less resentful, again?

This was evidenced by the "Aren't I the greatest?" line in her letter. It points out she is just in this for her own sick desire to point out how great she is and that she still has power over her son, not doing something nice for him. I have seen this and dealt with this for the last 25 years of my life. I am well-aware these type of people and their modus operandi.

Again, how is your suggestion of saying "you own it, but I can take it away" any better. That seems *more* controlling to me.

Funny, I read the "Aren't I the greatest?" line entirely different. Seemed goofy and tongue-in-cheek to me. I guess it depends on the kind of relationship she has with her son.

DeathCipris: PsiChick,

I feel for you. I had to deal with a lot of the same bullshiat when I lived with my parents. Dad would say things like:
"It isn't your room. I just let you stay there. That is why you aren't allowed to hang pictures or posters on the wall."
"I pay for the electricity in this house and I tell you when/how much you can use it."
"I pay for the water in this house and I will tell you when/how much you can use it."
"That is my car. I just let you use it to get back and forth to your job."
"Your computer uses my electricity. I will turn will switch the breaker off to your room at night so you have no power in there when I say so."

It wasn't like I ran around turning lights on in every room or left all the faucets running. It got so bad that we were timed on our showers so we didn't "waste water." Here is the kicker...we had well water. Just wanted to shed a little light on what I see in this woman, why I think she is a horrible person for doing what she did, and to let you know you aren't alone in having to deal with that.

/CSB
//There should be rules/punishment for children, but reminding them they have nothing in this world only causes resentment.

Amen. The bio father never got to the timing-showers phase, but that's mostly because he's disabled and a bit lazy. At one point he decided to yell at me for 'wasting electricity' because I didn't brush my hair with one hand and blow-dry it with the other. (Which uses  less electricity somehow, apparently...) He still gets mad when people don't hard-boil eggs using exactly his steps because he thinks it wastes gas.

/That said, my mother is an amazing woman and, while she certainly was an authoritarian parent, was also very reasonable and wouldn't have invoked the 'I legally own everything' unless she was making sure we weren't using drugs\in trouble with the Mob. So I have good examples too. :)

Hero = COONT

If this was me, and yes I can be quite disrespectful, I would throw it back and tell her where to shove that phone. Just because she is your mommy, doesn't mean she doesn't need a reality check and a reminder how much of a helicopter parent she is. Does she follow him and go to his friends with him as well? This is assuming that he has friends still, and doesn't get picked on, but he will now if he didn't before. He should sell the phone and buy his own, and make it a prepaid one as well.

My parents took my TV out of my room when I was around 12yrs old. What did I do? I took theirs and hid it until I got mine back. I wouldn't budge and didn't care about the TV anymore, it was all about the principle. If you buy me something, it is mine, not yours.

However by the mothers actions, it makes me believe that they were celebrating Hanukkah, not Christmas.

DeathCipris: "It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?"

This one. Right here. Why bother "gifting" the phone if you are just going to remind him that "IT IS MY PHONE. I WORKED TO PAY FOR IT. NAH NAH!"? My Dad used to pull this EXACT stunt and I still resent him for it. It is a dick move and if you can't afford to give it away, don't gift it. Simple as that.

This. I think my 13-year-old self would have told her to keep the phone, I don't need it. Have fun with the phone company contract, Mom.

Of course cellphones didn't exist (at least for ordinary people) when I was 13, but I rejected some other gifts that were clearly just attempts at patronizing control.

Perhaps I'm just sensitive but it's fine line between having rules (anyone should have rules, house rules, no need to bribe with a phone) and doing the "I'm going to remind my kid that he's too young to earn any money, make him feel weak over things he can't control" bs. Of course kids can't pay for their own phones, that is because THEY ARE CHILDREN.

Same thing for "nice guys" who give their wives or girlfriends expensive gifts or do the elaborate "I don't want you to have to work" thing and then at every turn bring up the "but I earned the money in the house, I should get control over everything" nonsense.

Rules I have no problem with, but it's nothing to do with ownership or who paid for anything. As a child I was forbidden to have a TV, and it did not matter if I were to try to buy one with my own money - we did not have TV at home, house rule, period. That I had no problem with.

DeathCipris: There is a difference between "Here is a gift that doesn't belong to you." and disciplining your child. The difference between the two is there is the reminder that it isn't yours. It should be conveyed, whether through words or verbal instruction, that if you screw up; you lose the phone. That would have sufficed instead of I own things and you don't. There is no reason to go on some power trip and lord it over him that you made this happen and without your help he is somehow powerless and unable to do anything. This was evidenced by the "Aren't I the greatest?" line in her letter. It points out she is just in this for her own sick desire to point out how great she is and that she still has power over her son, not doing something nice for him. I have seen this and dealt with this for the last 25 years of my life. I am well-aware these type of people and their modus operandi.

A-farking-men.

Only way to win against that sort of manipulator is to refuse to play. If that means no phone, so be it.

VespaGuy: DeathCipris: VespaGuy: I know, right? I gave my toddler a bunch of gifts for Christmas, and now I'm screwed because I can't take them away from him if he misbehaves or even sell them when he outgrows them. I mean, they're "gifts", right? They belong exclusively to him. No takesies-backsies. I guess I'll just have to wait until he's older and able to give me permission to throw them out or sell them.

Or maybe the concept of a "gift" is different when children are involved...

There is a difference between "Here is a gift that doesn't belong to you." and disciplining your child. The difference between the two is there is the reminder that it isn't yours.It should be conveyed, whether through words or verbal instruction, that if you screw up; you lose the phone. That would have sufficed instead of I own things and you don't. There is no reason to go on some power trip and lord it over him that you made this happen and without your help he is somehow powerless and unable to do anything.

So instead of saying "This is my phone, but you can use it under these conditions", it's better to say, "This is your phone, it belongs entirely to you, but I still reserve the right to take it away if I want"? The latter sure seems more like a power trip than the former. It's just semantics. In either case, you - the parent - still have full control over the phone. How does this make the child less resentful, again?

This was evidenced by the "Aren't I the greatest?" line in her letter. It points out she is just in this for her own sick desire to point out how great she is and that she still has power over her son, not doing something nice for him. I have seen this and dealt with this for the last 25 years of my life. I am well-aware these type of people and their modus operandi.

Again, how is your suggestion of saying "you own it, but I can take it away" any better. That seems *more* controlling to me.

Funny, I read the "Aren't I the greatest?" line entirely different. Seemed goofy and tongue-in-cheek to me. I guess it depends on the kind of relationship she has with her son.

Because telling someone "You don't own it, I, in all of my majesty and mercifulness, am letting you use it." doesn't convey a sense of responsibility/pride. Letting them know "You own/earned this, but it isn't exempt from punishment." is to the point without being an ass about it. There are boundaries. Reminding the child of the powerless nature of the relationship isn't productive. Letting the child know you know and respect the fact they earned/own it, but at the same time have a backbone as a parent, is a far cry different. Again, like my truck example. It is representative of real-life and prevents the child from growing up to feel like an entitled douche.

I am aware they are basically explaining the same thing. It is the way it is presented that can have a profound impact.

Is this like supposed to be ironic or something?

Here is this device that is specifically designed to do everything this list/rules tells you not to, enjoy!

Parents really need to understand that their children are not blank slates from which they may chisel a masterpiece. Children are more like yeast - they're a seed from which something awesome MAY ferment if you give it the proper conditions.

This just in: Over-parenting now qualifies you as a "Hero".

I think we may be handing that label out juuuuuuust a little too liberally.

What will be her reaction to finding this thread on the phone's history?

PsiChick: DeathCipris: PsiChick,

I feel for you. I had to deal with a lot of the same bullshiat when I lived with my parents. Dad would say things like:
"It isn't your room. I just let you stay there. That is why you aren't allowed to hang pictures or posters on the wall."
"I pay for the electricity in this house and I tell you when/how much you can use it."
"I pay for the water in this house and I will tell you when/how much you can use it."
"That is my car. I just let you use it to get back and forth to your job."
"Your computer uses my electricity. I will turn will switch the breaker off to your room at night so you have no power in there when I say so."

It wasn't like I ran around turning lights on in every room or left all the faucets running. It got so bad that we were timed on our showers so we didn't "waste water." Here is the kicker...we had well water. Just wanted to shed a little light on what I see in this woman, why I think she is a horrible person for doing what she did, and to let you know you aren't alone in having to deal with that.

/CSB
//There should be rules/punishment for children, but reminding them they have nothing in this world only causes resentment.

Amen. The bio father never got to the timing-showers phase, but that's mostly because he's disabled and a bit lazy. At one point he decided to yell at me for 'wasting electricity' because I didn't brush my hair with one hand and blow-dry it with the other. (Which uses  less electricity somehow, apparently...) He still gets mad when people don't hard-boil eggs using exactly his steps because he thinks it wastes gas.

/That said, my mother is an amazing woman and, while she certainly was an authoritarian parent, was also very reasonable and wouldn't have invoked the 'I legally own everything' unless she was making sure we weren't using drugs\in trouble with the Mob. So I have good examples too. :)

It is all a power trip to them. They like the feeling of being in control. It is almost a God-complex where their way is the right way and there is no other way. Same situation with religious zealots. I have looked into the psychology taking place and it was why I almost went into the field professionally. I still study it as a hobby though.

AbbeySomeone: Kids hate to be embarrassed by their parents and she has gone viral with it.

Jesus, this. She just painted a giant bullseye on him. That kids gonna have issues, if he doesn't already.

DeathCipris It wasn't like I ran around turning lights on in every room or left all the faucets running. It got so bad that we were timed on our showers so we didn't "waste water." Here is the kicker...we had well water. Just wanted to shed a little light on what I see in this woman, why I think she is a horrible person for doing what she did, and to let you know you aren't alone in having to deal with that.

/CSB
//There should be rules/punishment for children, but reminding them they have nothing in this world only causes resentment.

Sorry to hear that. I didn't have it that bad, but I had enough to know that it sucks not having control of your own life.

DeathCipris: It is all a power trip to them. They like the feeling of being in control. It is almost a God-complex where their way is the right way and there is no other way. Same situation with religious zealots. I have looked into the psychology taking place and it was why I almost went into the field professionally. I still study it as a hobby though.

Yeah, basically. My bio father runs under the 'king of the castle' mentality, and he's a high-RWA. I'm kind of amazed my mother puts up with it, but she's at work constantly, so she probably just has such low exposure she thinks he's a harmless eccentric. I still study psych casually, too, but then I'm a writer, so I have to check and be sure my characters aren't  too insane. :p

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