Thursday 27 October 2011

Because you Asked For It: Blackberry Regrets

Source: Child Central

Hi, I have an 11 year old girl who has just left year 6.  I have messed up.  I stupidly gave her a blackberry following months of her saying everyone in her class has one.  I don't know why I gave in.  Anyway I now realise it was a stupid and irresponsible decision.  She is of course way too young and now spends so much time messaging her friends as it's free.  She is going to secondary school in september.  I believe she can have a phone but does not need such a high tech one.  I want to correct my terrible parenting and give her back her simple old phone.  How can I do this and not make her feel punished for my mistake.

                                                                              Angela (London)

Dear Angela,

Usually I use this bit to make fun of parents for a variety of reasons, all of them boiling down to the fact that they deserve it.  But I like you Ang.  Your letter shows potential.  And I think I can help.

I think it's so cute the way you don't want to make her feel punished by your mistake.  But there is a way to avoid making her feel that burn, and I do use this strategy myself not because I'm worried about making my kids feel punished but because admitting my mistakes undermines my authority so I try to minimize that whenever possible.

At the age of eleven I promise you your daughter is ripe for a big-time screw up.  I was around that age when I committed the worst crime of my childhood.  And because of that Mummy Dearest was able to punish me by removing from my life something she had regretted allowing me without me hating her for it.  Due to the increased freedom for mischief the blackberry presents, it is extremely likely that her high-tech device will be involved in her own downfall making the removal of it all the more poetically just.

When she inevitably offends, just put on your best martyred expression and say in a pained voice, "Well I wanted you to have the blackberry, after all didn't I get it for you?  It's not my fault you used it to start a fringe terrorist group.  I am taking this away from you until you can find a more responsible way to express your radical politics."

And Angela, you don't have to stop there.  Honestly, an eleven year old girl does not really need any kind of cell phone.  All she wants to do with it is yak/text with her girlfriends for hours.  She can do that in person with them for free.  At least that's what my parents told me when I was begging them for my own phone and I didn't get that until I was sixteen and could pay the bill myself.

                                                                                        Mommy Rotten


  1. I used my Blackberry to start an extremist group, but I'm an adult so no one can take my BB away. No one!

  2. I got my very first cell phone at sixteen, opting for that instead of my parents paying for my beginners drivers license, and even then, they offered to pay $100 towards the phone, now the phone was $99 plus tax, so I only had to pay the tax. But then I also had to foot my own bill.

    And I was ecstatic for the opportunity! Wooo my own private personal phone!!
    It was taken away from me on several occasions for minor misdemeaners.
    I didn't get a smart phone until just this past year! (7 yrs later), then again that might have something to do with the fact that blackberries didn't even exist back then.

    I now have a very young child of my own, and I know times are changing. But I still agree whole heartedly with my parents decisions with cell phones. (Probably because I know how much trouble I got into with it at 16 even, and all the things my parent didn't catch :p )

    So my boy will not be getting a cell phone until he can afford to pay for the bill himself.