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Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Calling All Parents! Helpful Advice About Phones and Your Kids

Phone booth, Luohu District, Shenzhen

Image via Wikipedia

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.”

“What’s that?”

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.”

“Oh, right.”

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.”

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4 Responses to Calling All Parents! Helpful Advice About Phones and Your Kids

  1. Jennifer February 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    My kids will get a cell phone when they get their own income to pay for it. If they want to use the phone the home one works well.

  2. Mary-Ann Hussey February 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    My son has been asking for a cell phone for years, I will say there are times when a cell phone would be nice but there are far too many concerns. Did you see that lady walk into the water fountain? I once saw a woman trip off a sidewalk, getting a gash on her head, and never stopped texting with the blood dripping down her had. can’t get the boy to turn of the video game when it’s time to eat I just don’t see him stopping the texting to see the bus coming at him. KWIM?

    also there are the MP3s and hand held video games that have gotten lost over the years….I can’t even imagine him losing a cell phone.

    No my boy is NOT ready yet LOL

  3. Kristen Lazuka February 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    I like it for my sake! Easier to find them. If they choose not to answer there is a loss of the phone or other prefered activity/electronic device.

  4. Sethany February 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    We swore (I swore) that there would be no cell phones until the boy had the word “teen” in his age…and then one day while at the local park which is close enough to walk to, but far enough away that if there were any life threatening emergency it would truly be life threatening, an older boy began picking on my boy and his friends. The older boy pushed my older boy’s friend down on the ground and held a knife to his throat, in front of my younger ASD/Bipolar boy. They then had to run the whole way home to tell me…and sincve they are both a little on the chubby side it took a little while and when they got to me all I could understand was “Knife and park and held him down”. The older boy got a cell phone the next day, to be used for emergencies only…so if there were more knife weilding bullies I could rush in and run over them with my car. He got the unlimited texting perk for Christmas…..

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