Monday, August 9, 2010

They say douchebag a lot too.

Today someone I know casually talked a great deal about what makes a crappy parent. One of her main points was that anyone who gives their child under the age of sixteen a cell phone is completely wretched. Probably worth stoning.

"I told mine they could have a cell phone when they could pay for it!" she told me.

I listened, because I'm a Girl Scout and we do crap like that.

Then she said,

"Any parent who gives their twelve year old child a cell phone should have their children taken away by DCS!"

Seriously. She said that.

So I said,

"Oh. Good thing I didn't give my children cell phones when they were twelve."

She nodded, obviously pleased.

"My kids were actually ELEVEN when I gave them their cell phones. So I guess I'm safe, huh?"

She didn't say much after that.

My kids have cell phones.
I pay for their cell phones.

I also monitor their incoming and outgoing minutes (not their calls though). The phones are prepaid. The money comes out of my bank account.

I don't feel bad about it. Not even a little bit.

Because, yeah. They are twelve. They'll be in seventh grade next week. They've achieved the rank of first decided black belt, held their head up high as they walked directly into three different elementary schools, one middle school and countless Sunday school classes, and done every chore I've ever asked of them. They spend enough time alone (together, not alone alone) that I felt totally okay with the purchase. And? I felt totally sure they could handle the responsibility. As they plug their little phones into the little chargers every night, I feel confident I made the right decision.

We all do the best we can, seriously. Maybe it's not right for your kids to have a cell phone. Maybe it's not right for your kids to kick ass for the Lord. Maybe it's not right for my daughter to wear pants that say hottie on her butt, but if it's okay for your daughter then that's up to you to decide.

I think I'm safe from DCS. Maybe not Hell, yet. But definitely DCS.


tiffany said...

Well then I guess I needed cps called years ago as I got my kids all cell phones at age 5.peace of mind for me when they are somewhere else.

Erin said...

I totally agree...every parent knows what is (or is not) right for their child.

I know 30 yr olds who shouldn't own cell phones. My 6 yr old niece? She could totally handle it. Everyone's different.

Deanna said...

Oh my goodness!!! My girls would have been taken away from me LONG ago!!! :) Glad you interjected and told her age 11.. *L* Oh to be a fly on the wall and see her face.. :)

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah, sister! Preach on!!!

Carol said...

As a single mother I would have went nuts if my daughter did not have a cell phone as she walked to junior high. She was 12, did she deserve it? Probably not, but I was at work until 5 and it was important to me to be able to reach her when she was outside the house. So stone me, I don't care, at least I always knew she was safe, that is so much more important than listening to other peoples opinions on how to raise my child. Initially the phone was for me, now that she's 17 I have to remind her that I pay for the damn thing so she should answer when I call!

Paige said...

Im pretty sure that anyone who thinks giving a kid a cell phone warrants DCS intervention needs a little real life trauma to get some perspective.

For petes sake

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

It drives me nuts that people make broad assumptions about others based on their own family and experiences.

But I'm pretty sure giving someone a Facebook page before the age of 37 is a punishable offense.

Intelligent Tool said...

For my sister's 12th birthday I put her on my cell phone plan. And almost 2 years later I still pay her phone bill. These days it's unsafe to not let kids have them I think!

Meredith C said...

Guilty as charged for getting them at age 12! That was the age we got both our kids cell phones. Of course we also use prepaid phones - it helps knowing for sure you won't get one of those huge cell bills at the end of the month. We use Tracfones which are reliable, cheap and have great coverage.
Actually I can't imagine my kids NOT having cell phones.

Mrs. Booms said...

We got my daughter a phone when she was 10. There was a 17 year old girl that went missing in our area and the only way they found the poor girl's body was by pinging her cell phone.

It horrified me. And I thought, if my daughter was taken and she didn't have a phone to try to make a call on to get help, then I'm failing as a mother.

So she has a phone and if the DCS wants me for protecting my daughter, then... meh. People suck sometimes.

Danielle said...

LOL - Kick Ass for the Lord still cracks me up!!

Unknown said...

That's quite the acquaintance you have.

And I couldn't agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

who would have thought there are worse things then giving your 12 year old a cell phone?

lol, honestly, do people think before they talk?

I just got your book from my library! I'm so excited to read it!!

Keetha said...

Last time I checked you were the mommy of those kids, meaning you know them best and you do what's best for them.

Why do other people have to talk out of their butts? Not everyone, but so often when someone is making a critical, sweeping generalization like that, they're talking out of their butt.

val said...

Oh gosh, what a non-issue. She's nuts. I also pay for my kids' car insurance until they're like 25. We pay for repairs.

Our current teen has not been able to find a job (imagine that.) So we pay for his gas too.

And their cell phones. (gasp)

I know we don't have to.

They're grateful and don't abuse any of these privileges.

But they're such spectacular people--civilized, pleasant, conscientious-- we wish we could do more for them, not less.

I don't get people like her.

love, Val


As a newly single parent, I bought both my sons cell phones about 2 years ago, they were 13 and 14 at the time. My now 15 year old son has been through 6---SIX---phones. But you have to get them phones if you work. Was that stupid woman a stay at home mother or something? I know people who bought their 4 year old a cell phone. I considered it retarded. When is a 4 year old ever not with a parent or other adult?!

Priscilla said...

Why does any parent think they need to press their opinions about such things on other parents? My kids were well over 18 when they bought their own phones. Because, I didn't have the money nor did I want to. However, WHY DOES ANYONE CARE ABOUT THIS?

I think there are much more important parenting issues.

And I loved your response. I might have even lied and said they had phones in their cribs! Because how else am I suppose to know when they're awake?