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Mimishu1995's avatar

How can I persuade my brother to give up his idea of buying another phone (details inside)

Asked by Mimishu1995 (17975points) October 1st, 2016

OK so it may sounds so silly, but the situation has got to the point where I can’t deal with it alone and have to ask for the collective’s help. My brother already owns two phones, one is an old-fashioned one strictly for calls, and the other is for all of his other stuff. Recently he wants to buy a new phone to shoot video of himself to upload on Youtube. He’s a fanboy of Pewdiepie and he wants to be an established Youtuber just like him. He said he has already saved enough of his allowance and all he needs is someone to go out and buy it discreetly for him. I (and some of my friends who I asked for advice before) can see a lot of reasons why it’s a waste of money to buy another phones, the most obvious ones are that he already has two fully functional phones, and that if I agree to help him, it will teach him that he can be materialistic and needn’t value what he have as long as he has money.

The thing is, I already told him everything I said above, but all went through deaf ears. He could always find reasons to back up anything I said. I told him the other phone could record videos just fine, he would point out everything wrong with recording videos with that phone. I told him he is throwing away a fully functional phone just because it lacks only one function, he would say he will either use three phones or give me the old phone. I told him he is being wasteful, he would say he is just being serious about his work. I told him he should wait until he gets older and gathers more professional recording tools, he would say his dream can’t wait. I just can’t win the argument and right now he is pestering me, asking me when I will go buy the phone every four hours. He won’t leave me alone until he sees that phone right in my hand.

This is really getting on my nerve. I can’t go to my parents to settle this down. I know he trust me and if there is anything he can’t say to them, he will come to me. If I go to them he will get the wrong impression that I’m not to be trusted and I don’t want to lose his trust over something so trivial like this. But I just can’t convince him that his wish is unreasonable. And I just want him to stop harassing me! What can I do to resolve this mess?

If it is of any help, my brother is 13 years old, and is generally what you expect from an average 13-year-old.

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14 Answers

MollyMcGuire's avatar

And this is your business because…....................................

Sneki95's avatar

I don’t understand why does he ask you to do anything. If I understood well, it’s his money. Why doesn’t he just go buy it himself, if it is that important to him?

I mean, you are right, it is a total waste of money. I just don’t see why does he expect you to do such favours for him.

Also, he is 13. Is it really wise to give him so much money to spend it however he wants? Maybe parents should have a saying in this. After all, they have a responsibility over him.

Is it betraying? Not necessarily. He can ask them on his own. After all, it’s what he wants.

I may be wrong, but I wouldn’t buy it if I were you. I’d tell him to either do it himself if he really wants it, or to go ask mom and dad. They are in charge of him, and have the right to know what is he doing and how does he spend the money they gave him.

Unless he earned it on his own somehow, rather than being given the money from parents. In that case, he has the full right to spend it however he wants, even if it’s wasting it like this.

In any case, you don’t really have any obligation.

Of course, I may be wrong here.

Buttonstc's avatar

I’m not really clear about the dynamics of why he needs for you to buy the phone for him.
Is it because the phone also involves a service contract and he’s not of legal age or is it something else?

I know that here (USA) a contract with a minor is unenforceable so the phone companies just won’t do it. The only reason most kids here have cellphones is because the contract is in their parents name. I’m assuming it’s the same in your country?

So, if he defaulted on the payments then you’d be the one held responsible?

If that’s the case then the best way to get him to stop nagging you about it is to just refuse. Period.

But sometimes the only way that hardheaded teens learn is from their own mistakes. Experience can be a hard taskmaster but sometimes it’s the only way they learn.

But there is another approach you might try. Tell him that you might be open to the possibility after he has shot and posted at least ten (or however many you decide) videos to YouTube and can explain clearly exactly why his current phone is not sufficient.

If this is his “dream” then he should be wanting to get started ASAP, right

Tell him you don’t want to hear another word about this until he has fulfilled his quota or else it’s an automatic NO from you.

This will at least delay things long enough for him to realize that his current phone can get te
the job done without spending the hundreds required for a new one.

Who knows, maybe if he doesn’t get enough positive comments, he might just decide upon a new dream.

I think it’s clear that just words alone aren’t enough to deter him from this unwise purchase and a little real world experience actually shooting and posting his vids might be enough to get the job done.

At least it will give you a temporary reprieve. It’s up to you.

Buttonstc's avatar


It’s her business because he wants her to do the actual purchasing for him (still not exactly sure just why.) but he chose to involve her and thus ensured making it her business.

Plus as his older sister she feels a sense of responsibility toward her impetuous 13 yr. old brother. My impression is that she’s genuinely concerned for him, not just immediately, but the future values inculcated by his experiences as a young person.

JLeslie's avatar

If you buy it for him, eventually your parents find out right? Will they agree with you? If so, then they will be angry with you for buying it, won’t they? Can’t you just say that you know mom and dad wouldn’t approve so you don’t feel good buying it secretly for him? He should be asking them. At 13 I wouldn’t buy something so expensive that my parents wouldn’t approve of.

Maybe he is really into his craft and sees a real difference between the different phones, who knows. It sound like a lot of money to be spending at his age. A lot of money is always relative though.

I think it’s nice you want him to feel he can come to you, but this isn’t a health, life, or dating question, this is a sneak and buy me something favor he is asking.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You’ve already said it all Mimi. The kid is 13 and determined to have his way. Tell him you will not buy the phone or do anything else for him that you consider stupid. Tell him if he continues to pester you and drive you crazy, you will destroy his other phones and proceed in every way possible to make his life the equivalent of the hell he is inflicting on you. Tell him to pester someone else and leave you in peace. Make him afraid of you!

Mimishu1995's avatar

Thanks for all of your input. Most of you have been very helpful.

Some of you are wondering why he is pestering me instead of buying it. Well the reason is that he can’t do that without being suspected. He is still young enough to be closely monitored by my parents. And he is well aware of what will happen if my parents know about the purchase, it’s not his money anyway. He chooses to get me involved because I can go out freely, and because I have helped him with some “sleazy” jobs before and he trusts me. By “sleazy” I mean what he asks for is rational to me but may be inappropriate for my parents like dating problems. Well, it seems that he can’t draw the line now.

@Buttonstc the video advice sounds pretty good. I think it may somehow make him reconsider his choice. He has shot a short video with the old phone, with some special effects, and the visual quality looks perfectly fine to me, at least it isn’t as bad as what he tries to convince me. Oh, and I think Pewdiepie is too junvenile and obsence for many people and following his footsteps to be a famous Youtuber is a really bad move.

@JLeslie yeah, I know he may be up to something, but the thing is he has never uploaded anything on Youtube before and he doesn’t know how Youtube really works. He thinks he only needs to play video games and scream like his idol and fame will come to him immediately. I know being a Youtuber isn’t that easy. And of course if my parents knows about the purchase, I will be unnecessarily blamed. It doesn’t sound so good to take the blame for something that isn’t my idea in the first place right?

@stanleybmanly thanks for that :p it will be the last resort if I can’t find any more peaceful way.

janbb's avatar

I would just tell him that you won’t buy it for him because you don’t think he needs it and then, if he finds another way to get it, it’s out of your hands.

JLeslie's avatar

@mimishu1995 I don’t think he’s up to something.

Seek's avatar

I’d tell him in no uncertain terms that you don’t care if he wastes his money, but that you won’t help him do it. He can find a different Patsy.

Seek's avatar

In the immortal words of Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.”

A 13 year old boy needs a sister that will teach him how to adult more than he needs a sister that will do his bidding.

Buttonstc's avatar

In the initial details you posted it wasn’t as clear to me as it now how much of the blame for this (in your parents eyes) would fall upon you should it eventually come to light. And that’s a real likelihood given that he’s a 13 yr. old.

I agree with @Seek, especially the last sentence she posted so if you decide to just put your foot down with him and just shut down this whole thing right now, that would be perfectly understandable.

You know him better than I do, certainly, so you’re in the best position to decide if requiring him to actually shoot and post a number of videos before you would even consider possibly getting the phone for him might be of any help in getting him to see the light.

But the one point I would emphasize over all is to keep it very vague and conditional so that you don’t obligate yourself. And my original phrasing of that should have had the words “MIGHT BE OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITY IF…” In big capital letters.

Since you just mentioned that he hasn’t even posted anything to YouTube yet, just that requirement for ten or more may be enough to get him out of this rut of being so determined to get that new phone at all costs.

It’s really up to you to decide if you think this might teach him anything worthwhile. I agree with you that Pewdipie is ridiculous and immature and certainly not a role model for anyone else to aspire to be.

So, either way, I hope that you get him off your back about this. He’s really crossing a line here and needs to get a knot yanked in his tail to simmer him down. It’s one thing to be a typical 13 yr. old, it’s another thing to be a total demanding whiny obnoxious asshole who is taking advantage of your good nature and willingness to help him in the past.

You’re the one who has the upper hand here so don’t let him get away with pestering you 24/7 and making your life miserable. So, just decide which course of action you think is best and then stand on that and don’t back down.

(And realize that one future day maybe ten years down the road, both of you, as adults can share a good laugh about about how ridiculous he was as a 13 year old :)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Tell him NO ! The reason is because you are an adult.

Have him ask your parents, that should be the way it is done any way. They should control use of the phone and not you because the are his guardians.

BellaB's avatar

You need to tell him that you’re not going to do it.

Full stop. Not up for discussion.

You’re not his employee. You are his older sister.

If he doesn’t stop bothering you, you do need to involve your parents. They need to understand what kind of child they are raising.

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