31 March 2008

Generic Parenting

Recently, we added a 5th line to our cell phone plan enabling my 10 year old son to join us in the cellular world.
I love my cell phone. There, I said it. I’ve just outed myself as a technology lover.
Thankfully I know other adults who love it as much. I watched a friend giddily text-messaging her husband at a card game last week – and so I know while I may be a minority I am not alone.
The thing is that now there are kids who are older than my son whose parents have decided that their children will not have a cell phone who have looked at us with disgust. I recognize it. It’s the hidden, unspoken, somehow silently agreed upon standard among parents that kids don’t get a cell phone until they are teenagers.
That’s not my standard. I didn’t silently agree. There are a lot of reasons we let him have a cell phone. First, my son has always been drawn to electronics. He has never liked toys. I see advantages as he texts other people – he’s writing, and spelling, and has learned a great deal of responsibility.

I don't have to explain.
But I hate the look.
The one that says, how dare you make my kid ask me why your 10 year old has a cell phone, when I won’t let them have one until they’re 13….15…whatever.
Be yourself. Make decisions for your own family and stick to them. Let me parent my kids and decide what and when the best is for them. Quit generic parenting. Consider your child and cast these ambiguous standards to the wind.


  1. I liked this post. So true. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this as I can be archaic and cling to a certain principle that just doesn't make sense. None of our kids have cell phones yet- we are just not a technoligically minded family. I forget to carry mine most of the time!

  2. I love my cell phone too, I can't text worth a shit though, I can't type either :)

    Be yourself and who cares what others think...

    So he orders from Starbucks and texts his friends that is so awesome :)

    My unschooled kids can type at lightning speed without looking at the keyboard.

  3. I like my cell phone too - but I don't use it excessively - I just like the feeling of being able to get in touch with someone if I need to. I like being able to call Christiana when she is at a friend's, for instance, and tell her to meet me outside rather than having to wait for her to get ready, or to be able to call home from the grocery store to see if we need eggs :)
    I hate when people are using it while with other people - it seems kind of anti-social to be texting or talking on the phone while in the company of actual bodies! But that's just me, I guess.
    So... who are these people who have this look ? I must live in a bubble. I don't ever think anyone looks at the things we do with any particular interest. Maybe I should wear my glasses?

  4. I agree 100 percent Julie, you do what you want to do! We love the ipod in our household. My daughter and my husband have one. They can listen to the songs they love and even to recorded books all they want. We have cellphones too and my 10 year old wants one but we have decided to wait a while. But to each his own!!

    Mary (keet's Mary)

  5. I got the "look" and the "word" for loving technology once. Didn't have a blog then or I would have vented too.

  6. You're right, to each his own. Our 17 + year old son about a year ago, was saying that he wanted a cell phone. I told him,
    "get a job and pay fot it!" It'll be different when he's working and driving, then I will want him to have one, just in case. Recently he told me he doesn't want one after all. He's fed up with his friends obsessiveness over texting. They'll be in the middle of a conversation and instead of being polite and courteous, they drop everything to return the message. In that regard, I think the youth of today are growing more rude. It's like when I am face to face with the receptionist, check out person, etc. and they leave YOU standing there to hurry up and take care of the person on the phone and answer their questions! It's YOUR blog but thanks for letting me express my own thoughts!

  7. My 10 year old wants a cell phone of his own, but that's just an added expense that we can not handle right now. Besides, I'm sure he'd lose it in no time.

  8. Ack! Ya heathen!

    Just kidding. :-)

    Whatever floats your boat-- YOU are the parent and you know your child the best. I hope you don't have to feel like you have to defend yourself to everyone. And even if you wanted to give it to him to just smash up and throw out the window, who cares? It's YOUR business and your money!

    So there! :-p

    My boys would love a cell phone-- but honestly, who would they call? They are always with me and I'm lucky to get them to say hi to Grandma and Grandpa!

  9. Hear Hear Hear.

    Carly would "die" without hers. She has learned to type and spell with hers.

    Give them cell phones.

    I wish I had texting when I was a teenager.

  10. Definitely respect that you're the parent, so the decision is yours. And of course, I don't know the specifics of how your family interacts with cell phones but generally speaking...

    I'm kinda concerned that cell phones are robbing kids of their ability to plan ahead or resolve situations on their own. They don't really have to engage in any problem-solving or rational thinking if Mom's always just a buttom-press away to nail 'em out. For a great many kids, having a cell phone is almost like having the umbilical cord reattached - it seems to strip them of their independence.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥