'My eight-year-old racked up a $3000 iTunes bill buying "gems".'

It’s widely known among parents that if the house is too quiet for too long, there’s probably trouble brewing.

In hindsight, Liz wishes she’d realised the same also applies when your child is left to their own devices – literally.

Calling in to share her parenting “fail” on Mamamia’s parenting podcast This Glorious Mess, Liz explained how her eight-year-old daughter managed to rack up a $3300 iTunes bill one summer.

Listen: Liz wishes she thought twice about giving her daughter the iTunes password. (Post continues.)

It all started when Liz gave her the iTunes password. As it later turned out, that was a big mistake.

“We had given her the iTunes password and come the end of January, the end of school holidays, we get the American Express bill. And my husband finds a $3300-odd iTunes bill charged,” she told Mamamia. 

At first, the couple was confused about how such a large charge could have been made, but after some investigations, Liz learned what had happened.

“When I dug into it I discovered our eight-year-old had been downloading gems via her game,” she said.

“Basically, because she had the iTunes password, every time it asked her if she wanted to buy more gems, she’d just buy more gems.


“She was racking up like $150 at a time. The transactions had been going on over the entire school holidays.”

Watch: The times we felt like we’d “failed it” as a mum. (Post continues after audio.) 

Video by Mamamia

As Liz pointed out, iTunes made no efforts to notify the couple about the charges, so they only learned about it when the bill arrived. Unfortunately, the only thing left to do was pay the bill – and makes some changes to their daughter’s tablet habits.

“When we finally found out about it, she was off devices for a considerable period of time.”

In the latest This Glorious Mess bonus episode, other parents like Liz also shared their “nails and fails,” like the mum who’s effort to teach her son about saving backfired and another who was a little too honest in telling her daughter where babies come from.

You can listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here: