Things I am thankful for – my daughter’s cell phone!
To my continual horror and amazement, I am the mother of a teenager. She is the source of laughter and frustration, joy and exasperation, worry and pride. With the teenage years, comes hormonal mood swings, later bedtimes, the growing importance of friends and the bizarre world of social media. Her cell phone is her life line. We’ve had many talks about her constant need to be in touch with people, how streaks in Snapchat are soooo important and reminding her that what she shares on-line is forever.
I’m sure my parents had issues to deal with when I was teenager, but nothing like this. And we haven’t even got to boys yet!
Anyway, I used to view K’s cell phone with a mixture of disgust and wariness. Yes, I like my phone and yes, I use social media but never to the extent that she does. I’m actually thinking of putting her in charge of my Instagram account! But to be honest, when she got the cell phone, I viewed as one more way I was losing my little girl.
My husband and I are unusual in our neighbourhood – we made K responsible for her phone. She picked out the phone she wanted, pays the bills with her babysitting money. When her screen broke a few months ago, it was up to her to deal with whether to replace or repair. I’m sure not all everyone agrees with this (I’m sure K doesn’t, especially when her friends seem to get new phones every time someone sneezes on it) but we’re hoping it will teach her responsibility. I don’t want one of those kids who think they’re entitled to everything.
K is in high school, yet another way I feel I’m losing her. But thanks to her cellphone, we’ve found a new way to communicate. I’m happy that we’ve always been close, and proud that my daughter still tells me everything. (Sure, sure, you say, but I believe it’s true. Plus, nothing that exciting has happened that she would feel the need to keep from me.I’m sure this phase won’t last forever so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.) Lately, I’ve discovered a new-found appreciation for her cell phone.
It does the basics:
- what time she’ll be home
- lets her ask permission to do things with her friends
- double check schedule
A handy fixture is the ability for me to double check anything I might be buying her because she rarely agrees with my sense of fashion. When she does, it’s usually joined by anger that I bought something similar to something she already has!
But my favourite thing about the phone is that K texts me during the day. Sometimes she does it in class, but only when she wants to share a grade with me, or something that happened. She keeps me informed of her day and lets me be a part of it. I don’t have to wait until we’re home for the one-word answers teenagers are famous for. I have a string of texts from her – some funny and light-hearted, some proud, some disappointed.I get to share it all with her.
My son is starting high school next year and I’m not sure I’ll have the same experience. But I’ll do my best to keep up with his day, like I do with K. I’m very thankful for her phone and how it helps with our communication, because I think that’s so important for kids and parents. I’m thankful for her, too. All of my kids!
Happy thanksgiving weekend!