Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The 8-year-old and The Cell Phone
Look, we discussed and bemoaned the entire thing. Neither Tom nor I really wanted her to have one. We drive her practically everywhere - she's with her grandmother when we're at work, not a day care - if she's with friends or the dive team, we know she is with trustworthy people. But we also have to be realistic - Belle is growing up. She's learning more responsibility and we are learning to give her more trust as she earns it. We also live in an area where you can't reasonably walk to a lot of places. If she's at a dive meet and her ride needs to leave for whatever reason and she can't get another person we know to bring her home, I want her to be able to contact us. I will be the first to admit it - I am anxious and overprotective. So, while I'm trying my best to loosen up, I still have my limits.
So, despite AT&T's best attempts to buy our daughter a smartphone (she wanted an iPhone - my husband and I just laughed), we found the most basic phone possible. It makes calls - it can send text messages (no phone out there is without that) and we can limit who can call her. We've set up basic boundaries - she can call or text myself, Tom or Grandma - and that's all its for. No games, no internet and definitely no Facebook (of which she doesn't have an account). Also, don't lose it. Unfortunately, Belle has inherited my absent-mindedness. Sad face.
Guess who has become a texting fiend? Wow. I get the appeal and its cute - remember when walkie-talkies were the coolest thing? You wished they could reach as far as the next block or down the street, so your best best friend and you could talk to each other when you were supposed to be asleep? Same thrill. Belle sends me messages at work and in the evening, she checks up on her grandmother.
I realize I've created the monster - I realize that this is the decision we made - but underneath the grumbling, I just can't help but laugh. Belle is so cute - she's growing up way too quickly. I already asked her to slow down - she grew two shoe sizes in response. Little butthead.