To Cell…..or not to Cell?

Three years ago – when I was still teaching Kindergarten – one of my students brought a cell phone to school for show and tell.   It was a special little kids’ version that was programed for just three numbers….mom’s, dad’s and a big brother’s…..but it was a cell phone none the less.  I was stunned. 

Getting a cell phone had been an ongoing battle in our home for a while.  I was very resistant.  I didn’t really see the need for the extra expense.  My husband had one.  He had to have it for the job he was doing at the time.  Then one night when he was working late and we had two kids who needed to be at two different soccer fields for practice,we had a drop off mixup that had me envisioning my son standing all alone in the middle of an empty soccer field with no one to pick him up.  I got a cell phone.  We NEEDED one at that point.

And so we got along just fine with two in the family.  The rule was that the kids would get one of their own when they NEEDED one.  Like when they were sixteen and driving.  We figured we would want them to have one by then…for safety’s sake.  Our son especially was rather insensed.  EVERYone had one but him.  Poor child.  We had made a decision and we were sticking to our guns.

However, we didn’t envision the “persuasive paper’ my son would have to write for his 8th grade English class.  It happened just before Christmas and word was that a LOT of kids were writing about the need for a family pet…or an i-pod.  My son chose to write a paper entitled “Why Teens Should Have A Cell Phone.”  Heh.

It was actually a very well done piece.  It had arguments for and against.  It was backed up with research and quotes and footnotes.  He turned it in and then had to bring it home for us to sign.  He would get extra credit points if one of us were to write a response. 

I had a lot of fun with that paper.  I read it aloud to my sister who had already weathered cell phone wars with her own teens.  We giggled.  We especially liked his stance that ‘teens should have cells phones so they could call for help in case of natural disasters’….or something like that. 

We thought about his arguments.  They were fair and well thought out.  I wrote a response.   And he got a cell phone for his 14th birthday several months later.

Well now, it’s been a year and a half .  He has been through several ‘cell phone groundings’ for various reasons..  He also had to have his phone replaced after an accident when it was smashed inside his back pack.  But all in all, having the cell has given us some peace of mind.  We can always reach him….that is IF he has his sound turned on.

Today was HER 14th birthday.   We bought HER phone several weeks ago.  It’s purple.  It has been sitting in the box waiting to be wrapped – and then unwrapped.  And pocketed.  And used and reused.  For calls and texts.  And to make an active social life even more active.  Sigh.

Nina's 14th

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