… as to why we are not the cool parents!
Last night while having a tribe meeting, to refresh memories as to computer expectations, I made a comment I have thought about all day.
It went something like this …“but Mom __(insert any name)__ has a cell phone” “Yes dear but I am not _(insert any name )___ Mom”. AGH did I say that? AGAIN???
Have I truly turned into my parents? And is that such a bad thing?
We have a house full of teenagers that we have not provided cell phones. We just can not think of anywhere that they will go that will not have a phone, a parent with a phone..heck for that matter another child with a phone. It is not a toy, so there is not a need for one. It is not a god given right…so again no need for one. We do have a “family” cell that can be sent with them in an emergency or if we feel we need to get in touch in a hurry…and NOT ONE child has a job to pay the bill…so a cell phone bill, times a tribe, would be insane. Friends who come to spend the night leave cell phones in a basket on the counter. Their parents have all our numbers should they need to reach them.
We have one house phone mounted on the wall in the kitchen. There is no cordless to hide and talk on. There should not be conversations in the house that are so private you need to be alone to have them.
If a friend comes to pick you up, they must come in and say hello to the parents. (and all the tribe members who want to check them out )
We do not have MySpace pages, multiple email accounts, YouTube downloads…all the internet trash that rots your brains. They only recently got access to Facebook. It is monitored so heavily by the parents that posting something on the FBI website would be easier.
We do not watch TV until after 7 on weeknights, and video games are for the weekend.
They may not spend the night with children we do not know.
They ride their bikes if the destination is within 5 miles. I do not have a taxi license.
Our computers are in local family areas, so that anyone can see what you are looking at, no matter what the time of day or night. 30 minutes maximum is plenty to spend on line…if you need to talk to a friend longer…CALL THEM!
All very very un-cool to the teenagers of our house.
The reality is…my children love to read…as I type this they are playing ping pong with Hondo…they love cards and board games…I know all their friends and truly have fallen in love with the majority of them…all things that may not have happened if they had fermented their brains with Grand Theft Auto.
No one has died from lack of a cell phone (although they might tell you differently).
I am well aware of the dangers of our society and I take very seriously my job to protect them to the best of my ability. With all the “stuff” we put into their hands …all in the name of technology and indulgence…it makes that job even harder.
As I look around the den tonight I am proud of where we are…were we are going…and how delightful my tribe is (even if they are now fighting over who serves better).
So to get back to where I started…I made a “parental” comment. You know the comment you SWORE to never say when you became a parent. Where are they stored in your head? Is it passed down in our genes? How is it possible to hear something as a 5 year old and regurgitate it word for word when you are 45 years old? And is it so bad? I kinda like to think that I turned out okay…and if I use them on my tribe that they too will turn out just dandy. Plus some of them just are so fun to say!
These were just the few I could think of as I sit here and giggle. Please feel free to add your own.
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.