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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Never Say Never.

He's been wanting a cell phone of his own for longer than I can even remember now.

Honestly, I've laughed it off more than once. Asking what he needs a cell phone for.

Made no sense to me.

People bring up safety and it baffles me. Cause he's 11. And where does he go that he needs a phone?

So last week when J and I were talking and our conversation soon landed on a cell phone for T. I even surprised myself as I found myself nodding and going along with this plan. T would be getting his own phone with certain parameters. We'd write a contract.

And he'd be paying his {minimal} portion of the bill with his money earned from his brand-new lawn mowing business.

Sunday afternoon after church, J surprised T by taking him to the cell phone store. T was clueless and shocked when J told the sales guy that he wanted to add a line to our account for T.

And Sunday night the relationship between him and I took a turn for better as he asked me to show him the ropes of his new phone. (He chose the same phone that I have.)

And we texted back and forth and figured out how to save the numbers in the address book and how to take a picture.

He is so happy. So happy that we have trusted him and given him this big, big responsibility.

I'm learning that sometimes in order to teach responsibility, we need to create opportunities for him to learn it.

So, we drew up a contract, including:

*When payment is due.
*What happens if payment is not made. Or an overage in minutes. {He has 200 and unlimited texting.}
*That the phone can be taken away at any time, for any reason including: disrespectful behavior, poor grades....
*Phone is turned off and on the charger at 8:30pm school nights and 10pm weekend nights both here and at his moms.
*The phone is not used during school, church, baseball practice etc.
*Only giving his number out to people he knows.
*Texts and phone call history can be checked at any time. Only appropriate texts and pictures taken, sent and received.
*He is solely responsible for the phone and if anything happens to it, it's still his responsibility to pay the monthly bill and replace.

Do I think he needs a cell phone?

No. But do any of us really, truly, need a cell phone.

Do I think that it will be helpful and useful as he gets older and spends more time with friends?

Oh yes, absolutely.

Is so very nice to be able to call him on his cell phone instead of traipsing through the neighborhood with two overtired, hungry littles telling him it's time to come in for dinner.

I think it's going to be a good thing and I can't even believe I'm saying that because if you'd asked me just a couple months ago I would have said never.

Which is why I am trying to live by that old mantra of; never say never.


Blogger Stacy said...

Bailey, my nephew, had a cell phone when he was about 10... maybe even 9. Then it went away because it wasnt being used (if you can believe that!). Now he has one again, and he is 12.. almost 13. It it nice to be able to contact him when he is out and about with friends. He has not abused it yet, and it has been taken away at times. Good luck Samara and J!

April 28, 2010 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Yo is Me said...

data charges!! watch out for data charges!! this can include pictures and internet use and is SO expensive. unless the unlimited data came with the unlimited texting.

we blocked my nephew's phone from receiving or sending pictures. we felt that there was too much probability for him sending or receiving pics that weren't appropriate. but he's 14.

my nephew doesn't really use the minutes. texting is much easier and faster.

there's a book out called "generation text". it's an interesting read.

good luck!

April 28, 2010 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

never say never....soooo true friend. so very true.

proud of you guys for taking the leap - i am sure you won't regret it!

April 28, 2010 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger darcie said...

I'm thrilled that you stepped outside of what you thought was your comfort zone on this issue....
Here's to him being proud & making you proud!

April 28, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Coma Girl said...

You're right, of course he doesn't need it. But he wanted one and you're doing it the right way - you're teaching him to be responsible with it.

Kudos. I know WAY too many parents that will say things like "oh, he ran up $150 bill, but what can you do?"

Our sons have always paid for their cell phone bills. Even the $150 ones!

April 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I really like that you guys came up with this contract for him. It's such an "adult" experience to have to honor a contract like that. Way to go!

April 29, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

Welcome to the world of never saying never.

Hope it all works for ALL of you! I confess that we call each other with our cells even in our home because of certain (ahem) hearing issues!

April 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

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