I remember reading about some minister suggesting banning cell phones for kids. Aren’t the parents who take all other important decisions for the kids capable of deciding whether they should use or not use cellphones? Most of our politicians also speak against sex education and ignore child marriages and sex selection.
When my kids were younger they always had cell phones with them when they went for school trips or summer camps etc. They were to have their own phones, after class ten exams. Rules were discussed and agreed upon. The biggest being that the purpose of the phones was to stay connected, if they can’t pick the phone when called, they must call back as soon possible.
They were also advised to stick to using the phone only for making calls, no Airtel Live etc… basically they were expected to be responsible.
We agreed that if these rules were broken, their new phones would be replaced with a very old, black and white mobile we have at home.
Daughter got hers an year before her brother. She never overspent and always responded when I called (or called back).
I patted my own back.
The school allowed cell phones to be left at the reception, to be picked up while going back home. It was good to know we could call them when they were on their way home.
The cellphone also became a creative toy. The camera ensured we were shown the mock-fights in the school bus, we saw a friend’s new shoes or tattoos, (which she also wanted) …and occasionally portraits of teachers sketched in the back pages of notebooks. Soon all this went on Facebook, and all the cousins across the globe (and their parents) enjoyed watching them grow.
Once she was on a school trip, she called at 3 am, frightened because another kid was not well. The teacher in charge did not want to disturb the parents. They planned to take the child to a local clinic in the morning. I think any health problem – no matter how small it appears, should be first and immediately reported to the parents. I called the child’s parents, who knew what the child was allergic to, and guided the teacher on the phone. We told our kids to call any parents in any such emergencies in future.
So I couldn’t see how anybody could find anything wrong with teenagers having their own cell phones. For me it was reassuring to know they could reach us wherever they were.
Then came the Son’s turn. Same rules. None followed. His cellphone stayed more in my wardrobe less in his pocket. Finally I let him have his phone and kept the sim card in my wallet.
Before somebody says ‘boys will be boys’….
They also say the first child is the easiest to raise, the ‘HW before playing’, and ‘Please-ThankYou-Sorry applied wherever required’ child.
They say, the second child shakes all smugness out of the parents. My sister, a second child, did amaze me with her innovations at being difficult, she in turn called me ‘goody-goody-miss-prim-and-proper’ 😉
Now she calls to rant sbout how she who found her first born so easy to raise is ‘about to have a heart attack’ with her second child, her soon to be 15 daughter. The Son is vegan, music loving, Saif Ali Khan look-alike, with a scholarly girl friend. The second child, the daughter, makes her see what she put our mom through 😉
Still this is like Astrology, to be taken lightly…. there can be no generalizations I guess. Each child is different. And it has to be only the parents who should decide if and when the kids should be allowed to use a cell phone.
But I am tempted to ask if other parents and first and second borns agree that the second child is born with special skills to shake any smugness out of their parents 😉 unlike the first born who lets you think you have done a great job… Do you think this is true?
Let me tag Charakan, Usha Pisharody, Shail, Saritha, Ritu, Mavin.
Also these first borns, Indyeah, Kislay and Chirag. And anybody else who would like to pick this tag.
Please do let me know if you pick this tag 🙂