General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Should a teen be allowed to play with a valuable chess set HE paid for?

Asked by YARNLADY (44999points) 1 month ago

He bought it for $5 and an identical set is listed on ebay for $1,000.

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29 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Of course he should. He bought it. It is his property, and as long as he does not damage it, what does it matter?
Besides, it may be listed for 1000$, but does it sell for that?
Honestly, this just sounds like envy.

Zaku's avatar

Sadly that’s up to the parents and the wisdom, emotional maturity of all three people involved, and the parents’ parenting philosophy.

I would say it’s a great opportunity to behave like wise responsible adult parents, discard any crappy backward or fear-based parenting notions, then have a good conversation with the child, and then when they have that input, let them do what they want to, and not shame/blame/domineer/control them.

Or, what @ragingloli just wrote.

ragingloli's avatar

And let us say you convince him to sell it for 1000$, what then?
Are you going to let him keep the money to spend how he sees fit?
Are you going to confiscate it, to put it in some sort of “fund”?
Are you going to dictate how he is allowed to spend it?

This reminds me of the savings account I had as a child. You know, a fund for the future to start off into adult life.
My parents regularly pilfered it, so in the end, I ended up with fuck-all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I wouldn’t count on it necessarily being worth $1000. People overvalue things on Ebay all the time. Plus a lot of these chess sets are sold for high dollar, but they’re still mass produced by cheap foreign labor, and really not worth that much.

But yes, it’s his property bought with his money. He should be able to do as his pleases with it.

Response moderated
Jeruba's avatar

Why would anybody else have any business trying to limit or control what he does with it, as long as it’s legal and doesn’t harm anybody?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Of course. It’s his. What unbearable parents these must be.

rockfan's avatar

I feel like this question needs way more context

Caravanfan's avatar

Agree with @rockfan. Need more context.

YARNLADY's avatar

No one has denied him. I just wondered if the game should be put away until he is mature enough to realize the value. He has already damaged two pieces.

Jeruba's avatar

Its value to him is $5.00. If it’s taken away, its value is zero.

Leave him alone to learn from this whatever lesson it may teach. It’s nobody’s business to protect his bought-and-paid-for chess set from him. It’s not like it’s a Ming dynasty bowl that he wants to use for beer pong; there’s no public right or obligation to preserve its cultural worth.

gorillapaws's avatar

How does a teen damage 2 pieces of a chess set so quickly? I also feel like we’re missing context.

AK's avatar

Listed for 1000 is not the same as SOLD for 1000. I can list list my can of tuna for 5000 on ebay. Anyway, get him another chess set if you are so worried that he might damage a ‘potentially’ valuable set…and tell him to keep the old one safe, for future use (or selling)

Jeruba's avatar

@gorillapaws, I’m just noticing that we have no information about time frame here. Maybe it wasn’t quickly at all.

Also we don’t know what the pieces are made of. Porcelain? glass? cookie dough? Maybe they were just meant to be looked at and not played with.

I agree: there’s got to be more to this story. Including whether the OP’s relationship to the teenager is such that she has any say in the matter anyway.

Response moderated (Spam)
flutherother's avatar

Of course I’d let him play with it, it is his he paid for it. I would also point out that it was worth $1,000 but due to his carelessness it is probably now only worth $350.

YARNLADY's avatar

Here is a picture of it. My grandson has one just like this. He spends most of his time at my house, sleeps here, has most of his belongings here. His parents have a small apartment near by. He isn’t interested in preserving it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Ugh. Those kind of themed, dramatic sets are the worst. Mass-produced and sold by companies like Franklin Mint to, mostly, people who have flushable income but little sense. They’re little more than expensive tchotchkes and they’re stupidly impractical to actually play on. No serious player uses such a set. Speaking for myself I wouldn’t buy such a set, so to me the value is $0.00.

I don’t know if the kid’s serious about playing chess, but if he is I’d get him an inexpensive Staunton set, made of ether plastic, silicone or inexpensive wood pieces with maybe a vinyl roll up board (or, again, inexpensive wood) as an everyday set to play on.

jca2's avatar

@YARNLADY: Those collector items may list for that price, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be sold for that price. The value of something is not what it’s sold for, but what someone is actually wiling to pay for it. It’s probably cheap resin which is why it’s so easily damaged.

Proof of that is that he bought it for $5. Obviously someone was happy to get $5 for it.

You could guy him a cheap set at a Walmart or Target or Costco and leave it as an option for him, but I wouldn’t pressure him. He paid for it. I’d be happy he’s taking up chess and not spending his time with his face buried in a video game.

KNOWITALL's avatar

He bought it, it’s his choice. Advice is one thing but taking it is bullying.

si3tech's avatar

Of course.

Jeruba's avatar

If he’s managed to damage two pieces, he’s probably handled it enough to get $5 worth of entertainment out of it. After that, it’s free.

@jca2, “Obviously someone was happy to get $5 for it.” I think you have the winning argument there.

I also think the amount of engagement with this question and the apparently strongly felt responses suggests that this proposed sort of parental/grandparental interference really pushes a button with some of us. We might not all have harrowing stories like @ragingloli,‘s but we’re still identifying with the kid and wanting to defend his autonomy against unreasonable incursions.

YARNLADY's avatar

This was between me and his parents who wanted to preserve the set for future value. He knew nothing about it, except his parents were very unhappy about the broken (glued back) parts. I appreciate the opinions of others.

I will do both, buy him a cheaper set and let him do as he wishes with this one.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’d argue that if the parents were that concerned about future value (hint: it won’t be much) then they should have purchased the set themselves, rather than letting him spend his own money on something they don’t want him touching.

Caravanfan's avatar

Pieces are busted now so he might as well enjoy it.

Zaku's avatar

I got to play with my aunt’s much better-looking medieval-themed chess set, which she hand-painted, when I was about five years old. I didn’t buy it, and I needed to get permission, and agree to be careful, and I played it with my dad. I had no problem treating the pieces carefully, and I learned about the value of such things to everyone in the family, and to respect and value such things myself.

With my own toys, I was allowed to destroy them and learn that the consequences and responsibility were my own, and to value my own things (at least, the ones I did value).

As a kid, I would also have wanted to play with that chess set.

However, I think I’d be able to manage not to break it.

And I’d also get that I might want to try to re-sell it, and so buy another chess set and other stuff with the excess, if I really could sell it for more.

But I’d want that to be my choice. If some not-so-wise adults thought my chess set needed an intervention and I shouldn’t be allowed to play with it, at 13 (or probably even at 9), I’d probably lose almost all respect and trust for the adults who pulled that nonsense.

dabbler's avatar

I agree with everyone who says, he bought it he can do what he wants with it.
It’s not a UNESCO heritage site or some other uniquely valuable cultural item.
Especially since, as @Caravanfan notices, he already busted some of it and whatever “market value” it might have had is much lower now anyway.

Let the kid have some fun! That has value greater than money.

Pandora's avatar

He bought it with his money so he should be allowed to play it. Unless he’s starving and needs it for survival, I see no problem with him playing with it. If anything he may learn to take pride and care of it better if he finds its valuable. But no doubt the value to him is in owning it and playing it.

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