I have some new catalysts for my parenting and some new projects happening.
Here’s the first one, while I’m thinking about it.
We are putting off cell phones as long as I can possibly help it.
I love that we just got a new home "land line" (actually a VoIP line, which is $35 per year through MagicJack).
Skills they are going to learn:
- Taking turns using the phone.
- Learning how to call someone, answer the phone, etc. (manners)
- Phone skills that will serve them in business. How long before they’re ordering pizza?
- Talking more with extended family and friends.
- NOT TEXTING. Healthy, social activity for a teenager vs. texting
- Keeping their own paper booklet of phone numbers (personal data management)
- Making plans with friends: steps toward independence
- Learning how to politely end a phone call and disengage (remember when they were little and we were talking about "transitions" between activities?)
- Being able to call 911 and stay home alone, call Mom or Dad when we are gone.
This helps keep them tied to home and family, and is a slower step toward the future of using a cell phone. I have a lot of enthusiasm for this project and thus far it’s filled with optimism.
Background note: We implemented this quickly after we saw that our Seventh Grader was coming home with all the cell phone numbers of classmates and they were creating a group chat (he was using Google Voice on a computer to send texts to cell phone numbers–but we shut that down! "Um, no, you are not the only kid in class who doesn’t have texting technology.") I didn’t like it for many reasons including: disclusion of the classmates that don’t have texting technology; and, the future potential of texting abuse (Heard any stories lately of kids sending inappropriate photos?).
Blessings on your homes!