So, I finally caved and got my son a cell phone for a Christmas gift.
It seems to be the current hot gift for the 6th grade culture, or so it seems because in a matter of minutes after opening Christmas presents, our phone was ringing with different kids calling to say "hey, I got a new phone!" and the boys were cheerfully talking and texting within minutes.
I've always been adamant that he doesn't need a phone; it seems kids have had them since 3rd grade - but I refused to give into the concept of just because "Jimmy has a phone" then my kids need them as well. Like I explained to my son, not only do we have a perfectly good house phone that he never uses, but he has his XBox Live account where he communicates with everyone plus - he's always with an adult. It's either myself or G, or his friends and their parents.
Yup, it seems middle school just assumes that either parents don't work - or all kids have a phone. Because my son has been going to after school activities that seem to get cancelled on a whim - and then he's on the school bus going home, an hour early! I wouldn't mind, except that my house is at the very end of a mile long street - and it's wooded. (Yes, it's a mile long - I've clocked it while I ran it.) We have some businesses in areas near by and so often there are people that walk on their lunch break all the way down our street because of the distance -and so while my son is on the younger side of appearances, the last thing I want is for him to be alone.
So, after a string of cancelled activities and my panicking to get someone to meet him at the bus stop, I decided that it was time.
While I could've gotten him a smartphone - or even a basic flip phone, with unlimited minutes on my plan, I figure since I've been strong armed into doing this and he's not the most responsible of kids - let's start with a basic Tracphone and pay as we go. Make him earn the minutes he has, and actually take care of his phone. We all know kids lose their things but at least this way, it's not a major investment loss if it suddenly disappears. (Just a loss of investment in his time, with all those contacts he suddenly has.)
Where did the time go that my baby has a cell phone..?
In only 5 years he'll be 17.
Next big thing - a car?? Driving???
I am SO not ready for that.....