Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I'm Getting My Kid A Cellphone
A while back I told everyone that I refused to get my daughter a cell phone and I stated many reasons. I believed at the time they were valid... I was surprised by the overwhelming response of moms and dads that completely disagreed with me. One dad in particular said this:
My son will be 12 in one week and has had a cell phone since his 11th birthday. He lost one about two months in, but paid the co-pay himself to get another, and has had that for 10 months. He does use it for texting friends, but puts it away when asked and turns it off during meals, movies, homework, etc. Heck, after about a month of having the phone, the novelty of it wore off and we had to remind him to bring it with him when he left the house! One reason my wife and I wanted to get him a phone was for safety purposes. If he gets lost, stranded, abandoned, flat tire on his bike, or otherwise needs us, we are a phone call away. True, we didn’t have cell phones when we were kids and we survived, but I can think of dozens of times I had to search for a payphone (back when there was one on every corner) to call my parents to pick me up, confirm dinner time, etc. This also brings in the convenience factor – being able to coordinate pickup times from friends’ houses, finding each other inside Wal-Mart, the list goes on of the practical, everyday uses we find for his phone. He even uses the camera to take pictures, upload them to animoto.com to make short movies! Then there’s this, Kelly, and I’m delving into an area here that’s very personal to you and none of my business here, so be prepared. Your daughter isn’t asking for a tattoo, multiple piercings, a Mohawk. She just wants a phone. Something all of her friends have, something that isn’t evil, immoral, or otherwise destructive. She’s resenting you more than you know, and will never look back and thank you for not getting her a phone when she asked for one. This problem has become way bigger than it needs to be. She’s being teased about it, and every time she is – she thinks about how you are the cause. That’s a dozen times per week that she is reminded of how she resents you for this decision. My suggestion? Make a few simple rules about phone use with a clear understanding of what the consequences are for breaking these rules, and let her have a phone. Heck, if you still aren’t ready for a full-featured phone, get her Firefly – fireflymobile.com, with a deal that if she can keep that without losing it until Christmas, she can get a regular phone. Then she pays the $50 co-pay if she loses the regular phone.
Gosh, Tom writes well..... no wonder that is his profession. You can find his blog at HiFi Collector
After I sent Tom's comment to my husband Dusty - the first thing Dusty said was "That guy can write - and he has some very valid points.. " Then I started to think of all the benefits to me... Then I started to warm up to the idea... So two weekends ago - I went to T-Mobile bought her a phone with a little typewriter thingy for texting.... I wasn't ready to commit to a contract but I did get her a pay as you go... I thought it would be good for a beginner that never has really talked on the phone before... It was $1.00 a day for unlimited texting and only if she texts - if the phone is not used then no charge and 13 cents or 15 cents a minute for talking - I don't remember.... I put $100 on it and we'll see how long that lasts....
The plan is to hide the phone in her pillow case on her birthday - since she practically lives in there won't be hard to get her in there.... Then I am going to call her..... She is going to freak!!!!! in a good way... Thank you, Tom, Momweb, and Peri for your wisdom and thoughtfulness. You are all a blessing to me and my daughter's new best friends!!!