Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who ya gonna call?

Ethan keeps bugging me for a cell phone. He's 11. Actually, he's been asking me for one since he was 8 because a friend of mine got one for her 8 y/o son. I think it's ridiculous for an 11 y/o (or younger) to have a cell phone. Yet many of the children in Ethan's grade (6th), and younger, have one. It boggles my mind as to why children under the age of 16-17 would need a cell phone. I mean, in reality none of us NEED a cell phone. We all got by without one growing up. Shit, I didn't even have one until I was 24. But these days I could see why it would be feasible to get one for your busy teen. But not any younger.

Apparently, I'm one of only a few parents who feels this way. I was picking Ethan up from school on Friday and I stopped to let a big group of kids cross in front of me. As I was watching, I saw many of them pulling out their cell phones. Ethan said, "SEE! Those kids have phones and they're in 4th grade!" I replied, "Well, I'm not their mom. Plus, there is no reason for them to have phones." He said, "Yes there is. It's cool."

Ahhhh, COOOOOL. Well he's going to have to find a different way to be COOL because I refuse to give in to this bullshit. WHY? When he's at home, we have a house phone. At his dad's, a house phone too. School, they have phones in every classroom if he ever HAS to call anyone. When he's with me or Joe in the car, we each have a phone. When he goes to a friends, they have house phones and parents with cell phones (and I know all those numbers as well). He doesn't need a phone. Period.

I know he doesn't want it to make calls. He wants it just to have it. And I'm not going to get him one just so he can *have* one.

It's not like phones are cheap, either. Once you buy the phone, you have to pay for it monthly. That monthly amount would sky rocket when you add insurance because you KNOW they're going to break or lose the phone. Then add unlimited EVERYTHING because no one wants to get stuck paying $5 per minute or $2 per text in overages.

I just don't get it. Why are so many parents buying their young kids cell phones? I think it's because they're spoiled and this is just another way to give them a stronger sense of entitlement. But I could be wrong. What do you guys think?

(If you're a parent and you've bought your young child a cell phone and this post offended you? I don't care and I'll make no apologies. Thankyouverymuch.)

Deep Throat of the Day: Ghost Busters! DUH!!


Grant said...

I hope you told him about how when you were a kid you used to walk to school every day, uphill, both ways, knee deep in snow under the hot summer sun, and you didn't even have shoes, but that's the way it was and you liked it. And if he wants to buy drugs, he can approach a guy on the street in a dangerous part of town the way we did. And if he gets abducted, then it's his fault if he doesn't choose an attacker who will let him use his cell phone to call. In fact, he's probably done something wrong you don't know about, so go ahead and spank him. Good call on the cell. :p

Randi said...

I don't think that kids should have cell phones either. It makes them antisocial. Stick to your guns and ignore Grant.

Jim McKee said...

I agree, that's too young.


Maybe you could flip it around. Make him buy a pay-as-you-go phone, including the minutes for it, with his OWN money.

That way, you teach him to work for what he wants.

Just a thought, feel free to utterly & totally disregard it.


April said...

Grant: You crack me up.

Randi: I am sticking to my guns! Grant was just being silly, as always.

Jim: I probably should've mentioned this in the post, but his dad's cousin gave Ethan an old pre-paid cell and put $20 on it about a year and a half ago. He lost it the first week he had it. In the week he did have it, he mostly called me and his dad when we were standing right next to him, just to call. So yeah, he doesn't need one.

Hubman said...

Veronica and I have talked about this for DB. In 2 yrs, when he's 11, he won't be eligible for the after-school program and we don't have a land line at home. So we'll probably get him one out of necessity, but also strictly control how and when he uses it.

Dewey's System said...

Cell Phone Rule #1 in my house:
No cell phones till your 14. You simply really don't need one.

As for all those 9 and 10 year olds that have one, I'm so happy for the parents that have money to waste on such things. Me, not so much.

~Kenny said...

it's fucking retarded one of my friends was discussing a mom who got one for a 5 year old!! WTF?? You know what the problem is the inmates are running the goddamn asylum. Some parents need to fucking get a set...seriously!

Bob said...

Look at it this way: There's some research citing the danger of brain cancer all thanks to a cell phone.

You're the mom. You're the boss. Don't give in or concede to Ethan's nagging for a cell phone. This is the first of many tests he'll give your throughout his teenage years. You lose this one and you're bound to lose a whole bunch more before Ethan leaves the nest.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I am not a parent, so I will pass on the cell phone issue. But, one thing I do not absolutely for sure: Ghostbusters is one of the best movies, ever.



Kira said...

I originally told Ariana she would have to have a cell phone when she was 16 and driving places because I'd want to be able to reach her so that I wouldn't worry so much. Everybody in her class at that point had one save her and her best friend (that was 5th grade). She replied, aw mom, phones suck. I don't want one.

But then her asshole bio dad shut off his phone at home because he didn't want to pay the bills :P So, when she (and her brother) went there for the weekend, I had no way to reach her at ALL. I made him pay for a pay per use phone and put a year long $100 contract on it. Ariana complained because...didn't you see it above? "Mom, phones SUCK!" ;)

So, my daughter turns 12 in two days and has a cell phone. She leaves it off and at home until she goes to her dad's house, and she has no desire to take it with her anywhere else. Why? See above about phones sucking ;) It cracks me up because her friends at school want her number and to text or whatnot, and she tells them...no. I hate phones. Text other people if you want. My phone is off. HAHAHAHA!

Did I mention how much I love my daughter? :D

Eva said...

I'm not a parent, but what my mum & dad did once I was 14 was to make me share a hand me down pre-paid phone with my dad. He could take it off me whenever he wanted, and they would give it to me whenever they wanted to be able to contact me/if I got stranded somewhere. And I had to pay for it myself. Now I'm 20 and wish I didn't have one at all. Being accessible blows. Especially when mum still texts me to clean my room. I don't even live with them.

Anonymous said...

My soon-to-be-13 yr old daughter has a cell phone. We gave it to her when she moved across the country to live with her dad. I'm very thankful that we chose to do that because she would have, basically, been cut off from usu if we had relied on her ability to use her dad's cell or his girlfriend's cell to call us. (They had no home phone.)

At this age, she is spending more time outside of the house, socially. We have restrictions on usage times, etc...we just simply haven't had a problem with her and the cell.

Now, my 16-yr old son is a totally different story...and he got his phone when he was 15. Needless to say, after the discovery that he skipped school (again) yesterday means he has *no* phone. Too bad for him.

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Scott said...

Just a thought, my friends who have kids (10 and older) have found it very helpful when the schools go on lock-down for various reasons: Man seen on campus with a gun, child abduction attempt, etc. They were thankful to be able to immediately contact them and find out what was happening. The parents of the younger children, have the phones set up where they can only call certain numbers (including 911) and receive calls from certain numbers. That's one way to avoid large overages, and still be able to contact your child in an emergency. My 17 year olds phone still has the feature where I can check her location via gps so that I always can find her if I ever need to. Just another thought.

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f1trey said...

LOL he can have mine!!!! i hate texting!!!!!! LOL