Mom Refuses To Give Christmas Gift To Son Who Spent $500 Of Her Money On Online Gaming Without Permission

Is her method of discipline warranted?

teenage boy gaming on computer JJFarq / Shutterstock

According to a survey of 6,000 moms by TODAY Moms and, parents spend an average of $271 per child on holiday gifts. One mom on Reddit, however, explained why she decided to give her son $0 worth of gifts on Christmas. 

In a post titled “I’m not getting my kid anything for Christmas,” she admitted that she wasn’t going to get her 15-year-old son anything for Christmas after he spent $500 of her money on Fortnite skins without her permission.


The mom wondered if she was too harsh for not giving her son Christmas presents as a punishment.

"We have a fairly large family, four kids. Our 15 year old son spent $500ish on Fortnite skins/whatever without our permission," she wrote in her Reddit post

While that may sound shocking, surprisingly, this behavior isn't out of the ordinary. In fact, in March of 2023, the Federal Trade Commission fined "Fortnite' creator Epic Games $245 million, finding that the game maker "used dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases and let children rack up unauthorized charges without any parental involvement."


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Though the mom noted in her post that she was working on receiving a refund from the company, in the meantime, her son would have to deal with the consequences.

"He will wake up on Christmas with no presents as payment for this," she wrote.

In an update to her post, the mom explained that her decision to withhold gifts wasn't to recuperate financially but strictly to teach their son a lesson. Despite understanding the consequences fit her son's crime, the mom wrote that she still feels bad.

"I’m not talking myself out of it," she said. "The punishment stands. I’m just sad about it."


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While it can be tough to discipline a child, it's essential to raising successful adults.

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, "Disciplining children is one of the most important yet difficult responsibilities of parenting, and there are no shortcuts." Without discipline, children won't learn values or responsibilities. 

One of the most important things parents can do is discipline their kids "in a firm, fair, reasonable and consistent way," the Canadian Paediatric Society notes, which is what this mom did, as her son's consequences weren't aggressive or hostile. She didn't take anything away from her son — rather, she made it clear that he simply chose his own gifts and received them earlier than his siblings.

People on Reddit reassured her that she was completely in the right for withholding gifts. 

​There was a resounding consensus that the mother needs to stick to her guns and teach her son to respect them.


"Sounds like he already got his Christmas presents earlier than everyone else," one person wrote, with which the mom agreed, writing, "Last night, he mentioned something that he 'must have' for Christmas and I reminded him that his gift was Fortnite skins."

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.