Friday, September 30, 2011

Parenting: Teens With Cell Phones

Teen Diva is having some school issues. The kind that we decided to begin emailing teachers to kind of keep up on things. When asking about what work she might be missing, here is a response I got from one of the teachers:

"...Teen Diva has plenty of time to raise her grade before the end of the semester, but she will need to focus better in class. She spends a great deal of time texting and checking her phone. I believe that she could easily complete the assignments in this class, but she seems preoccupied with other matters. I accept late work if it is turned in the day after it was due- but not past that unless there was an illness involved.

Let me know if you have any suggestions- I’m open to any recommendations you might be able to offer!"

Well, first, there is a policy where the teachers are supposed to take cell phones & have parents pick up the phone if caught texting in class. DUH! So that was our "suggestion" to this teacher - actually enforce the policy! DUH!

Well, lo & behold, when I picked up Teen Diva from school,she was complaining that this particular teacher had, indeed, taken her phone & the office was already closed. So she was hoping I'd get it for her the next day (yesterday).

I had a busy day hanging with the neighborhood & really didn't want to go over to the school since she had to be picked up later anyway, PLUS I had to go back over for a meeting that night. Too many trips.

Well, I got a whiney call from her wondering when I was coming to get the phone. I explained that I was waiting for her father to get home so he & I could run some errands a day early since Friday shaped up to be different that usual. Thursdays are "early" days at her school, but she had practice a little later & decided to stay through the down time. I said I couldn't promise coming to get the phone in time & she just needed to know that. But she was still begging for me to come up AND bring her charger!

She was still hoping I'd go get it & take it to her in the library at the school. Folks, this is a big school. I don't know where anything is except the attendance office & main office on my own. Either way, she was staying & I asked her what she planned to do during the down time. She offered up finishing homework & reading her overdue books. Good Idea! But she's pretty social & I knew that probably wasn't happening. Because she forgets we don't sit around all day hoping to do something for her at the very moment she asks. She does get reminded that there is a whole other world out there beyond just her.

Well, I got myself together & decided to go get the phone anyway. Simmer down, it's not "giving in" it's "parenting strategy". Here's how:

I went up to the school, had to go into the main office to pick up & sign out the phone. As I walked out, I looked straight down a hall --- right into the library! Hmmm - do I or don't I? I did! I walked down into a very crowded library! Dang it! So, I did a quick scan & found Teen Diva, sitting on a ledge, chatting with friends. In general, this is fine, but she was supposed to be at a table reading & doing homework. Remember?

So I walked over & approached her all stealth-like. She jumped when she realized I was totally Ninja-Mom, and I handed her the phone. As I handed it to her, I said, "Nice to see you reading." I turned and walked away & I hear as I walked toward the library exit, "But it's dead!" This prompted me to turn back over my shoulder, still walking out, & giving her a shrug. Keep in mind, it was in front of her friends & a crowded high school library.

That, my friends, is parenting! She still got what she wanted, but on my terms & with an element of cold surprise. Bwha-hahahah!
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1 comment:

  1. You are my kind of mom. Love it.

    Also? You have just solidified the notion that my Cherubs will NEVER own cell phones. EVER.