Friday, January 4

Mother's strict cell phone rules

I've seen about five people post/tweet the story about the mother who made eighteen rules for her son's cell phone use. Read the story here and the laundry list of rules he's supposed to follow here. Warning, this makes the Patriot Act look like a sunny day at the beach. And if you posted this online, this isn't an attack on you personally, just my opinion.

This photo is called "smug mother, embarrassed child"
A 13-year-old does not need a cell phone, let alone an iPhone. What is he going to do, call from wherever he can ride his bike or scooter?  The fact that a kid needs eighteen written rules to own a cell phone proves the fact that he isn't old enough to have a phone in the first place.

And he has an iPhone? I don't have an iPhone. My mom has a flip phone. My dad might have a color screen on his archaic brick. But this 13-year-old needs an iPhone? Parenting red flag alert; middle school students don't need iPhones. It's not like he needs Siri to navigate in the car or Yelp to decide where to take a girl on a date. He probably just needs to have a connection with his parents in case he needs to get a hold of them.

But of course he's banned from taking it to school. I mean, what could possibly go wrong at a school? So if he can't take it to school or use it at night, what is the point of having a phone? Paying a ton of money so your kid can use a phone for 3.5 hours a day under militaristic rules seems pointless. First world probs, I guess. Hashtag that, Janelle.

Why not start him with a contract phone? Then he has to learn how to budget minutes and texts, there's no web connection, the cost is waaayyyyy less and his parents don't have to worry about him abusing it. But that child needs an iPhone? Have fun with that phone bill.

Android owners are smarter.
You also shouldn't have to put in writing that your child must use good manners. That should simply be taught and observed. If he is well-mannered, chances are he will continue this trend on the phone. If he isn't, then sit his disrespectful butt down for some Manners 101 and don't give him a phone. And blogging to the world about the embarrassing consequences of sexting is pretty embarrassing on her part, right? Some things were meant to be kept offline (this also includes daily ultrasounds and "my baby is as big as a mildly ripened Amish gourd" pictures on Facebook).

Why not raise your child the best you can, teach him morals, good manners and right from wrong, then trust he will utilize those skills when he first experiences independence? Instead of helicopter parenting over this sap like he's texting CIA secrets to North Korea, set up some basic rules and let him at least figure stuff out on his own. He's thirteen, he's going to break one of these rules within the first week. Then what? I recommend sending me the iPhone he can't handle; I can get a lot for it on Ebay.

People are commending this mother for taking a stand, but in reality, she is caving to the illogical social pressure that a kid needs a premium phone at such a young age. She gave in, and gave in with dramatic, self-promoting fashion. Taking a stand would be saying "umm, no Gregory, you don't get to have a phone because you are barely potty trained" and telling him to "deal with it, stinkin Gregory, welcome to life." Taking a stand would not be self-righteously blogging about some rules you set for your kid.

Like this 13-year-old ever  needed a phone to have a good time.
And finally, here's a wild idea. Make this kid pay for it himself. If he wants a phone so bad, he can save his pennies or get a job and work for it. Amazing how your perspective on things changes when you actually have to pay for goods and services (subliminal political statement alert).

Rule of thumb; if you feel the need to make a Levitican list of rules for your child's cell phone use, he's too young for a cell phone. Case closed. Using parenting for pageviews doesn't seem like good parenting. I can't remember my dad blogging about my bed time... Wait until your kid is tall enough to ride the Millennium Force before you hand him a $600 device.

By Aaron Brandt, who bought his own cell phone when he got a car. Seems pretty fair and simple to him.

PS, Gregory, if you play Words With Friends, there's a chat feature that you might be able to sneak past your mom so you can make rude comments about the newest Pokemon or share the best Madden cheat codes and yo-yo tricks. But you didn't hear that from me.