My daughter wants a phone, her own phone! Why? And I am not asking why does she want one, I know the answer to that. I am asking why does it have to be this way?
Why is it they have to grow up so quickly?
OK so I know she is a teenager now, at least I know this logically, but in my heart she is still that cute little girl with her curly pigtails, dressed in pink! But whether I am prepared for it or not, I have a teenage daughter!
She asked me a while ago if she could have a phone. My answer was ‘no’. In my mind I don’t see why she needs it. I drop her at school, I pick her up, and when she is at home she can message her friends on her iPad, because she has internet at home. See there is no logical reason why she would need a phone. When she is at a friends home, their parents have phones she can use to call me, and most of her friend have phones she can borrow to call me on too! But see that is the problem. MOST of her friends have phones. They are not borrowing phones off friends, or their parents, they have their own phone.
When she asked me she was still 12. I explained that it is not just the cost of the phone, it is the ongoing cost of a plan each month. It is easy to get a prepaid phone, or have a cheap plan, but the kids don’t want a phone to call people, they want it for internet use. They use it for social media.
As part of her 13th birthday, my sister took Aspen out shopping, and for hot chocolates. When they got back my sister told me that Aspen was telling her how she feels left out at parties as her friends are all on their phones posting images on Snap Chat and Instagram to each other. She feels like she is looking over their shoulders most of the night. My sister said she wasn’t complaining, or saying I am being unfair, just expressing how she felt. It makes me question myself, “am I making the right decision saying no?”
How did I become the uncool mum? When I was teen I swore I would let my future teen have whatever she wanted. The latest fashion, a subscription to the coolest teen magazine and more. Of course I didn’t think about a mobile phone as they weren’t around when I was a teen. But I would be a cool mum!
Now my teen is one of only a handful of students in her year level that don’t have phones. In fact even children in my ten year old daughters’ class have phones. How did I become the mum stuck in the olden days? And what was I thinking when I was a teen???? I don’t want Aspen even looking at teen magazines that gives advice on how to do your make up, or how to talk to the cute boy you have a crush on, or God forbid doing a survey about if you’re ready to loose your virginity!!! (Yes I did that survey when I was a teen, for the record it did tell me I wasn’t ready).
Talking to a friend who has a 16 year old daughter, even she told me that teens need a phone to fit in! My sister who has two teen boys agrees. So is it just me, should I just stop trying to make my daughter live in the 1990’s? Am I holding her back socially? She has Instagram on her iPad, (which I can access on my phone of course), but I said no to Snap Chat. I figure one social media account is enough at age 13.
Aspen is a very level headed girl. She is considerate, polite, an exceptional student, and opens up to me about lots of things. I trust that she would be as sensible, well as any 13 girl could be. I really feel blessed to have a daughter who has strong values and morals, so am I being unfair? I honestly don’t feel like it is so about trusting her though. It is just that I want her to be a kid! (At least she still loves her teddy bears). And I want her to know delayed gratification too. I feel like as a society we tend to just buy things for our children any time of the year, whereas I remember waiting so desperately for my birthday, or Christmas in order to receive a gift. I do think if she was catching a bus, or walking home I would get her one. I really am unsure about what to do.
I don’t want Aspen to feel left out, so am I being too old fashioned? Is a 13 year old having a phone ok? Am I the only parent holding out, or overthinking this? I would love your opinions. HELP!
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx