A few weeks ago, Gina and her tween daughter, Em, were waiting to catch a subway in Boston when Em pointed to a rather large object and asked, “What’s that?”
Recognizing a prized opportunity to educate her daughter and stroll down memory lane, Gina answered, “That’s a payphone. You put money in them to call someone. When we were kids we used to push the coin return lever to try to get extra change.”
“Mom, that’s freaky. Why didn’t you just call them on your cellphone?”
Gina wasn’t surprised Em didn’t understand. Over the years, both her children have struggled greatly with the concept of any non-mobile phone.
“Katie, did you call your friend and tell her we’ll pick her up at 2?”
“I tried Mom, but she’s not answering her cell.”
“Well call her on the house phone.”
Their lack of knowledge about the house phone is probably one of the biggest reasons they panic when the house phone rings. “Mother that black thing in the kitchen is making a strange sound. What do I do?”
“That strange sound is called a ring, girls. You see, not all phones have to blare Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to let you know someone is calling.”
Patty’s children, in contrast, actually have enjoyed picking up the house phone. Until one day, when Patty gave them a stern warning.
“Listen up kids. Bill collectors like to use that phone, so no one answer it.”
“Whatever,” Jennifer and Mikey responded, rolling their eyes.
One day, however, Patty came home to discover the house phone ringing and her two teens sitting right next to it and ignoring it.
Patty was furious. “I don’t believe you guys! Are you so lazy that you can’t even reach out and answer the phone?”
“But Mom!” they pleaded. “You told us not to answer it if it’s a bill collector. And it’s a bill collector.”
There’s no question, parenting in the age of cell and smart phones is not easy. The article below highlights some important information parents need to know about cell phone use and kids.
Check it out and then tell us, at what age you think a child should have a cell phone? Our parents got theirs at the ripe age of 78, though they’re still learning how to use it.
“Mom and Dad! I’ve been trying to reach you on your cellphone! Why didn’t you answer it?”
“Oh, we don’t know how to answer it.”