How to Get Your Parents to Buy a Laptop for You

Finding the right computer is important.
Finding the right computer is important. | Source

Why do you want a computer?

Although many households may already own a computer, not every home has a laptop; or perhaps the laptop is reserved for the adults in a work related capacity. If you are a teen bound for college, and sharing the family desktop computer, you may want a laptop of your own.

This is usually not an issue if you are a student using this tool predominately for study purposes. However, even younger teens may want a laptop of their own and the issue arises as to how they will persuade their parent(s) to purchase one for them. Here are two points that may strengthen your case:

1. You need it for your studies: you'll be able to access your own computer without interfering with trying to use the family computer; you won't have to leave the house for the library.

2. You need it for convenience: it's a portable computer and therefore you can have access to anything you need if it is with you when you travel.

Additional resource from Amazon:

How do you communicate?

This is an important step to consider before any negotiation takes place. Are you a demander? That is, do you insist when and how things will go; do you use emotional blackmail or manipulation to get what you want?

If you answered 'yes' to those questions, you may want to ask a teacher or mature friend to give you some honest feedback on how to move out of childish demands and into a respectful way of explaining your needs and listening to your parents side.

This takes some practice, however, it is a beneficial tool, especially as you move through adolescence. You will have to use these same 'mature' ways of communicating with your boss, as you seek employment; or with teachers.

Or, you could be a whiner-a person who doesn't relate in an age appropriate manner with her parents, but instead regresses to a younger age. This can happen if you feel you have no power in negotiation.

To help empower yourself, try to be aware when you are asking your parents for something. Are you able to catch the tone of your voice, or perhaps, listen if someone is giving your feedback about your pleas? Again, practice will change this habit, however, awareness is the first key to transformation; owning the problem is the second key to change.

Research laptop models


Fact find before negotiating:

Do your homework about what you are looking for. That will mean getting specific about the type of laptop you want, as well as staying open and flexible to parental suggestions. You may have your eye on a particular make and model that is out of your parents budget. Don't slam the door on their ideas-listen and be willing to compromise, that's what negotiation is all about.

Here are some things you may need to have on hand when you sit down with your parents:

1. Name of computer, company, model number and price-be sure to have a range of prices for your parents consideration.

2. Several places that the laptop can be purchased, store hours if you intend on browsing with your parents, or perhaps the websites that your parents can consider looking at on their own.

Website addresses for laptops

Web address
PC or Mac
Price range
Best Buy, Walmart
Best Buy, Walmart
Best Buy, Walmart
Best Buy, Walmart
Best Buy, Walmart
Best Buy
$1000 and up

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Ask for a meeting

Once you have your facts in front of you it's time to request a meeting. Notice the word, 'request'? It means that you will ask to meet with your parents to discuss this issue and will set up a time that is agreeable to both parties. Here are some do's and don'ts to consider:

1. Do explain that you'd like to meet with both of your parents at a time that is convenient to them.

Don't balk or disagree if the time the choose interferes with the Friday night football game. It may be the only time they are both relaxed and not distracted.

2. Do wait for a time when they are not distracted with other family obligations. Save the 'talk' for your meeting.

Don't hit them up as soon as they come home from work; while they are cooking dinner; during a siblings sport practice; or during other inopportune times. Remember-you want their undivided attention.

3. Do give them the reason for the meeting If they ask for information about it beforehand: "I'd like to talk with you and dad about laptops."

Don't be discouraged if your mom immediately responds with a "no" before the meeting. Instead of getting upset, remind her that you'd like to have a fair chance with enlightening her with the research you've done and that you'd like her to hear you out.

4. Do find a quiet, neutral place that has few, if any, distractions-your bedroom or theirs may be ideal if there are a lot of people in the house and little privacy.

Don't hold the meeting in a heavy trafficked area of the household if your parents are going to listen attentively to you.

5. Do keep the meeting short-present your information and reasons, ask them to look it over and think about it; tell them you'll get back to them in a few days.

Don't hash and rehash your points; don't become defensive if they ask questions; don't beg for an immediate answer; and don't pout or throw a temper tantrum if it goes poorly-that will convince them you are still too immature.

6. Do keep to the reasons that you want a laptop and keep them positive.

Don't use the reason: "Because all my friends have them." Good parents are never persuaded by what the crowd does.

7. Be prepared to answer questions they may ask about rules and parental controls.

Don't be insistent that they won't be able to access the laptop when they feel warranted.

8. Do offer to help pay for the laptop if money is the issue holding them back.

Don't expect to have them pay for all of the expenses if this is not reasonable.

Speak clearly, and have your facts ready

Set your meeting in a quiet place.
Set your meeting in a quiet place. | Source

Negotiation Tips

To negotiate, (ne-go-she-ate) is a verb that means to come to an agreement between you and at least one other person, through discussion and compromise.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are negotiating with your parents:

1. Remain respectful at all times.

2. Remain calm, even if you do not like what they are saying, or disagree with their decision.

3. Keep to the facts and avoid, as best you can, over emotions.

4. If your request is denied ask for their reasons.

5. If it is money-negotiate to pay for part of it; if it is a concern of irresponsibility, ask for a three month probation period to prove them wrong.

6. Accept the outcome-throwing a temper tantrum or storming out of the room will only prove their concerns were valid.

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Comments 24 comments

lesliebyars profile image

lesliebyars 4 years ago from Alabama

Very good points voted useful and up!!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

good points Denise.. how to get your parents to buy a laptop... PLLLLEEEEAAASSSSEEEE!!!!! lol kidding voted useful and up

aykianink profile image

aykianink 4 years ago

Good stuff, Denise. I would like to add that if the person interested in the laptop is familiar with notebooks and what they will and won't use the laptop for, then they might try shooting for a notebook. There are ways to get it functioning exactly like a laptop at a fraction of the price. Also, it's often smaller than most laptops. I'd stay away from pads though, those really do seem to be just for play (not that they are, of course).

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States nailed this one Denise.

I will not let my son read this

I like how you broke down the word, negotiate. Made so much sense.

voted up as useful, interesting!

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi leslie-thank you for your comments and votes up.

Ha ha ha, Frank-what can I was one of those 'exclusive' titles from HP and I took the bait...oops, I mean I took the challenge. Thanks for your (wisecracker) comments, lol.

Hi aykianink-thanks for your input. I would have gone into that angle as an alternative, however, this was an exclusive title, so I felt that I needed to stick to that. Good point about the iPad, too.

Hi Ruchira-thank you! that's funny about your son! Thanks for your vote. :)

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Ther is nothing more important than a computer for learning. I have a laptop but i prefer the screen. My son loves his and tells me that i am old fashion.. He might be correct? Hee..Great hub..Thank's..

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Ruby-I'd be on my desk top computer too, if I had one. Since I don't, I rely on my laptop. Thanks for commenting. :)

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

You mean whining won't work? Awww, man! (imagine child stomping foot!) LOL. Good hub, I really liked the dos and don'ts section, thought it was very helpful.

I have a Mac and wouldn't buy anything else, although they are more expensive than PCs. You can buy a Mac at a Best Buy but if you are lucky enough to live near an Apple store, that's even better. You can also buy them online. If you're interested in a Mac but are put off by the price (remember they will last longer than a PC) know that there are also discounts for students/teachers and refurbished (but warranted) Macs you can buy that will lower your cost.

Again, thought this was a very useful hub and one teens should read.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Danette-good points about the mac. I agree, it is expensive, but I am so happy with mine. But, for a student-I'd stick to a less expensive item. In fact, one of the sources I reviewed stated that teens are so irresponsible, they could sit down with it in a library, see a group of friends and leave to talk with them and by the time they return it would be gone, all the while just not thinking of the value, but focused on the social. Yep, I can picture that!

Thanks for your specific feedback and NO, No Whining Allowed, ha ha.

mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

:D nice one, its like the letter from the Mom to her kid with iphone rules :) just goes the opposite way :) good one though !! nice thought Denise !!

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks, mr-veg :) This was an 'exclusive title' challenge...and it really was. lol

Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great negotiation tips!! Any parent will buy a laptop if a teenager follows your tips. Great ideas - fact finding, researching, meeting, negotiation and the final victory!! Voted up.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Vellur-thanks, lol I've dealt with many teens and actually have had to teach some the art of negotiation vs. the act of aggression when 'demanding' something. I appreciate the vote up.

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal


your suggestions apply not only to laptops but also to many things that a teen wants his/her parents to buy.

When I was in teens, there were things I wanted my father to buy for me. He tried his best to fulfill my wants and wishes. Now, I feel sorry for making him hard to play by my whims.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

"Because I want it!" Your tips are so much better than just trying to wheedle things out of your parents. As others have said here, this hub pertains to anything, not just laptops though your table on laptop research is tops.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Vinaya, I hope you don't have any lasting regrets about acting like a typical teenager. Growing up is a process of maturity-from a self-absorbed teen to a young adult who is focused on people and the world around him. If it's something that is truly tugging at your guilt strings take a moment to talk with your dad. I'll bet you he doesn't even have a memory of that about his son. :) Thanks for your comments and you are so right-learning to communicate properly applies to anything, not just laptops.

Hi Mary-Oh, yes, I can hear that pouty little 14 year old voice now, LOL. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment and votes. I appreciate it.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am thinking of buying a laptop you have suggested great ideas to buy one though I am married I do feel the need to have one, it is because I want it well said

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Well, DDE-at least you do not have to ask your parents for one, lol Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

I read this following looking again at your comment on my "resort family reunion". The title struck me with a sense of urgency because my Mom is in her 106th year and if I don't hurry up I may not have time to convince her to get me a laptop ; - ) Nice article and Apple also has its own stores. Well constructed and I agree that there are valid points here for any negotiation.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ha ha, Perspycacious That is cute...God bless your mother with many more birthdays. Thanks for your delightful comment and I wish you a wonderful New Year. :)

joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Awesome tips to coerce the parents lol.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ha ha, it isn't 'coercion' Joe, it is 'negotiation'...there is a difference. :)

Danext profile image

Danext 2 years ago from Tanzania

15 years ago this article would have been very useful to me..:-).....nice hub..voted up...

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Danext Yes, lol it was useful for my nephew, shown in the photo. :) Thanks for visiting.

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