Thursday, July 18, 2013

parenting teenage boys: raising them my way

Dear Son,
When I was a kid
....  yadda yadda yadda.  I know, I know, you don't want to hear that, especially when this type of technology was in its infancy state when I had a similar plea for my parents.  I didn't have a cell phone attached to my hip because, quite frankly, they were too large and expensive back then.  The image on the right actually shows a phone that was in my car once upon a time.  Having a cell phone wasn't the norm.  My parents knew where I was and I knew my responsibility to call them if I changed locations, as teens often do.

This is how I keep track of my you now when you call me. You use friends' phones, and I have all of their numbers programmed into my phone.  Have you figured it out yet? I am that Mom.  You know, the one whose families don't ruin their lives by not keeping up with the Jonses* and the latest "gotta have".  That's right, I'm the mean mom, I have not purchased you your own phone yet. Yes, I'm aware you are in the minority going into high school. 

You see, while I understand your desire to have a phone, it's not just a phone you want.  You won't actually use it to CALL anyone. You want a smart phone that also texts, snapchats, takes pictures, etc.  I get it.  However, our house phone is a cell phone, so you have one if you need it. Basic, no texting. I don't see a need for anything else at 14 when you cannot have it school, nor work a job to help afford it.

Both of you have ipods, purchased new last Christmas.  Are they the wifi ones?  No, but aren't most places wifi capable now?  Again, the cost of paying for wifi on an ipod seemed a bit ridiculous.

So where does that leave us?  With a very powerful teaching moment to show how responsibility equals opportunity, not everything you desire is fulfilled by wishing for it, and good things come to those who wait.  Oh, and working hard to earn the dollar to help pay for the phone, service and insurance (because yeah, you're teens and the last house cell phone jumped into the city pool, remember?), makes the reward all the sweeter.

"No one ever said life was fair," said my parents.  I'm passing that one down in a completely different day and age, but the statement still rings true.  If we don't take this time to teach value, responsibility and ownership, the lesson will be lost on the {whatever generation this is}
 and we know that bratty, entitled kids = incorrigible adults.

Just doing my part to raise the next generation. You'll thank me someday.  I promise. 


*No children shall be harmed or called out in the writing of this Dear Son letter. 
I am not comparing any friends of my sons' or their parents in this analogy.

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