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September 12th, 2012:

It’s Not His Fault . . .

. . . that phones are a part of today’s society.

That’s what a wise man said to me and Hubby when we asked him what age he thought was appropriate for a kid to get his own cell phone.

He continued by saying …

“And you don’t want to do anything that will single the kid out. But at the same time, kids need to be able to prove that they are mature enough to understand the responsibility that goes along with having a phone. And they need to understand how much trouble a phone can get them into. They need to prove that they are mature enough to handle all of that responsibility. And also be able to pay for that responsibility.”

And he went on and on and mentioned something about USAA having a contract that parents make their kids sign before they can drive.

Hubby and I just laughed and shook our heads the entire time.

Dude just sat there and rolled his eyes.

Because just days earlier, we had gotten him his own smart phone. And we’d made him sign a contract. A contract that, among other things,:

… started out with him acknowledging how awesome and wonderful his parents were for letting him get a phone and for it being a smart phone to boot 😉
… stated that if he EVER texted something disrespectful to ANYONE, his phone would be immediately taken away.
… started the conversation about thinking long and hard about who he gives his number to because even though he may not make an inappropriate call or send an inappropriate text, others can send them to him and they’re still on HIS phone.
… stated that the minute he walks in the house, his phone is on the counter.
… said he would pay his parents $20 on the first of each month for the use of his phone and that if he missed a payment, his phone would be taken away.

That last one is the only one that gave him pause 😉

There was more – quite a bit more. And it’s not that we actually wanted him to sign the contract, but we wanted him to read everything that we expected of him with regards to his phone. It opened up the door for the conversations we had to have regarding the responsibility that goes along with having a phone.

Why did we ultimately decide to get him a phone? Because we trust him. And for me, I’d always said that when the time came where I was dropping him off places and wanted to make sure he had some way to contact me or vice versa, I would get him a phone.

That time came.

When I bought his phone, I cried when I walked out the door of the store. I didn’t cry because he got a phone. I cried because he’s old enough that I am dropping him off places instead of staying with him, or at least staying in the same venue as he is with his friends, which means he’s growing up.

He’s texting friends on the weekends. And some of those friends are girls.