See this adorable boy petting his service dog?
In the morning as I was getting ready for the day I noticed that I had missed a couple of calls from Jeremy. Since it was only 7:30am I was a bit worried why he kept trying to call me. Fearing it was something like a car accident I started to try to call him back, but was not able to reach him. Before totally panicking I noticed I had a couple emails from him. I stared at the phone in shock as I read the first one:
“JD put $150.00 from our bank account into the PS3 account.”
I felt like I was in slow motion as I started to try and decode what he was talking about, my brain just hadn’t woken up yet. Then it hit me, and boy was I wide awake then. While I sprinted downstairs, where Deeds was playing Little Big Planet 2 on the PlayStation I got this next email from Jeremy who was sitting in a work meeting:
“Just got a notice that a purchase for $5.99 has been made.”
Yes, our little genius had not only figured out how to transfer a considerable amount of money into the PlayStation’s virtual “wallet” but he then went on a little shopping spree buying add-on levels for his game. By the time I got downstairs (literally minutes after the initial email) he had them all downloaded and was playing the new levels!
I asked him to show me how to get into the store and sure enough he flipped through all the screens at lightening speed and showed me how to put things in the cart before you “go pay for it.” I made him go back and do it again since I couldn’t even see how he got in the first time he went so fast!
I then spent 30 minutes on the phone with customer support filing an (I kid you not) “friendly fraud” report to try and get our money out of the virtual world. The agent was saying that kids do it often if parents unsuspectingly kept a credit card on file and the like. He asked how old my son was who did it, guessing around 8-10. I said no, that JUST turned 4 years old and is too smart for his own good. He could not stop laughing while Deeds was gleefully playing the game in the background, squealing with delight at the new levels he had. Here is a little video with the levels he got:
Once I got off the phone I went to our account settings and set up the password protect so that he can’t make any future purchases and then tested it to make sure it worked. We’ve got parental controls on it (info how here if you don’t know) but apparently I missed the whole online store option while Deeds proofing the PS3.
I then sat down with Deeds to have a little chat. I explained to him multiple times till I was sure he got it that he can’t put things in the cart and pay for them, and that if he did so again I would take away the entire game to which the started to freak out till he realized I said “happens again”. I then just asked him why he did it. He looked at me with this incredulous face that seems to say, why would you ask such a question and said “I earned 10 stickers, dad said!” He kept repeating it over and over.
We have a behavior reward system we started to implement involving tokens and a sticker chart. The system has actually been working pretty well to help curb behaviors at times and the rewards he works toward vary. The most recent goal he had was the exact expansion pack he purchased. Apparently daddy wasn’t fast enough on his rewarding once Deeds believed he had earned all 10 stickers…. In his literal brain he had earned the stickers therefore there was nothing wrong with him getting the reward. It took a lot of talking for me to try and get him to understand that he still had to wait till we gave him the reward and even now I don’t think he understands that. He earned it, it is his…
Heaven help me when he figures out how to hack the passwords to things and finds where we hide the wallets!
Son I love you, but that’s not really virtual money you are spending. Genius in so many ways and yet we can’t get him fully potty trained. Sometimes you just have to hang on for the ride and laugh.