Cell Phones for Teens: How Not-to Lesson Guide

Back in the fall of 2011, we dropped the boys off to play at their football game and my husband says to me, "I think we should get the boys a cell phone."

At the time, they were in 7th and 6th grades, respectively. The only extracurricular activity either did was the Pep Band*. No issues for lack of a communication device had popped up. Even though I knew they were both getting at the age that most kids had cell phones, I was hesitant.

We looked a number of options and finally decided we would get one phone by simply adding a line to our existing plan. We thought it was the most economical option. No one child would have full possession of said phone. But as soon as our two-year contract was locked in, I knew I had made a mistake.

One of the rare times Darrin was able to procure
the phone to text me. Sometimes it's a
wonder they still talk to me. 
As predicted, a year-long fight over who actually owned the phone and its constant whereabouts caused civil unrest, a couple of tornadoes, and grey hairs that can only be covered by a skilled professional.

Lesson #1: Either get cell phone for one child or bite the bullet and get one for each.

Lesson #2 (Bonus!): Have twins. Or triplets! My boys are fourteen months apart. If they both get something at the same time, the younger is excited, but the older feels gypped. If I give only the elder child something, like a cell phone,
 the younger will keep a tally to make sure he gets his fair share in a timely matter.

Staring in summer of '12, the younger child started counting down to the day he should acquire his phone: September 12. I thought he was wrong. So much so, I had to get out old statements to see for myself. In my mind, we got the extra line in November. He was right, of course.

 Practically to the minute.

Thankfully, the stars aligned, and the oldest child has officially taken possession of the first phone while the younger now has his own.

Looking at the calendar, it looks as though we don't have any major milestones until the elder son turns fifteen and gets his permit. At least then, I have the law to dictate who gets what when.

*Pep Band is the middle school version of marching band. A select number of students play at the home football and basketball games. They love it. 


Heather said...

 My girls are 5 and 7 and I know one day they will want phones and it will be awful because my 5 year old wants to do everything when her older sister does it. Worse than phones, I am dreading dating. She'll have to get over it, she will not be dating when she is 14 but I may let her tag along wth her sister to be a tattle tale chaperone:)LOL

Heather said...

Tagging along as a chaperon is a great idea! 

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