Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Deliberate Parenting

Cell phones. The great rite of passage for the teenager. (sarcastic scoff)

It has taken the place of the phone in their room (a big fat deal when I was growing up). Once a child reaches middle school, a cell phone is; argued from the child's perspective, a necessity.

Since my daughter did spend a year in public middle school, I know that there is a large percentage of kids with cell phones. I had my finger on the pulse of the throbbing 6th grade trends.

Cell phones, mascara, and boyfriends. In that order.

The argument discussion came about often (too often) and ended with my same old adage...."you will have a cell phone when you need a cell phone and when we feel like you are ready for a cell phone."

As far as the other trends, she wears clear mascara and boyfriends are.....friends who are boys. Read my posts about purity for more insight there :)

I said then.....and I still say, that it is not a necessity but rather the gateway drug for the technology addiction that grips not only children, but adults as well. I see people of all ages talking on their cell phones at the most inappropriate times and HELP ME with the worst "inside voice" I've ever heard!

The same person who you reminded to brush their teeth, tuck in their shirt, and shut the car door is now intrusted with a device that opens up their world to anybody, anywhere, anytime.

These same kids have spent a great majority of their lives without phones and managed at dance class or soccer practice just fine. I could stand to be corrected, but I believe that most public places still allow you to use their phones for local calls.

I mean just last week, I was talking to Jenn and lost my cell phone in Target somewhere around the Diet Cokes. After listening to Matthew West sing his heart out faintly from aisle 7, I was able to track that sucker down.

But not before the store offered to let me use....THEIR PHONE to try and call it.

See, people? There are options.

Modern advances have their place but if adults don't know what "that place" is, how can we expect children to? Aren't we placing a huge burden on them to make adult decisions before they are ready? Doesn't this mimic so many other culture induced behaviors where kids are encouraged to act like adults?

Insert video of ballroom-dancing children doing the samba.

Hannah has girls that play on her field hockey team who keep their phones with them at all times. They are warned by coaches to put them away, but they are busy texting their boyfriends and are shackled to them for fear of missing out on important news. All the while their moms are sitting in their mini-vans talking on their phones. Oblivious. To the world.

My daughter expresses her frustration when I pick her up.

"Why don't they want to play field hockey? What are they here for anyway? Do they know they look like raccoons with all that make-up on?"

I hear ya sister. Glad you decided to join me on my bandwagon.

Anyone can contact your child through the cell any time.....sharing any vulgar, crude, inappropriate pertinent information they please. I am always perplexed at the ease in which most parents make the decision to hand a phone over to their kid.

Do me this favor. If you agree, then vigorously nod your head and go about your day. If you disagree, then please read this article.

Read God's Word. Humbly ask Him for grace, wisdom, guidance, and strength. Think.

Then parent.


Anonymous said...

I saw that news story yesterday. I just stood around for a minute with my mouth hanging open. WHAT?! And then I thanked God that there weren't picture phones when I was 16. Considering the other not-wise decisions I made at the time, I'm sure my nude photo would be floating around somewhere.

My nine year old thinks she needs one. But then when I ask her who might need to call (when I'm with her everywhere she goes), she said, "Grandmommy." LOL!!!!

Kim said...

I had that same discussion with someone yesterday about my no-so-smart behavior in high school. I would have to change my name and move to Bolivia!

Lori said...

Well said Kim...I love your posts, but have never commented before. Thank you for encouraging me today.

Lori Raches
(mother of two boys 6,3 and soon to be one girl)

5honeybunns said...

Amen, sister!

Jen said...

Our daughter managed to survive until almost 16 without a cell phone AND only one-piece bathing suits! It's amazing she's still alive. (wink wink).

4kids&luvit said...

Good post- I totally agree! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog during Lauren's surgery and hospitalization!

Tracy said...

This is GREAT Kim. Dallas JUST came up to me the other day (although has never asked, and still didn't ask) he mentioned that one of his friends got his OWN cell phone. And then he kept standing there. smiling. Uh, don't even think about it? Yeah. I think I said something like that.

Kim said...

That article was is scary what our kids can have access the more reason to continually be dealing with the heart issues.

Great post!!!