My daughter is in 8th grade and she is the only one of her friends that doesn’t have a phone.
We didn’t sign any online pact. We didn’t read any parenting psychology books. She made this decision herself based on what she saw every day during lunch, and what she sees through her friends’ Instagram accounts. She sees her friends walk to school with their heads down, traveling in packs but not speaking to each other. She watches her friends at lunch eat in parallel but not speak. She doesn’t care, it’s just not her thing right now.
Her dad and I support this decision because every parent we’ve talked to that has given their adolescent a phone has said the same thing, “Wait as long as you can, it was the worst mistake I ever made.” When I respond that that’s why were not getting her one, 99% percent of the time the other parent pauses and says the same response. Which is, “Well, my kid is really busy.” They then list all the reasons why their kid has a phone, busy schedule, pick up and drop off, trying to get ahold of each other, or simply the fact that they walk home.
I get it. I totally get it. There have been times (for her and me) that being able to text her directly would have saved some time, but at the end of the day those few minutes of inconvenience don’t scratch the surface of the amount of time I know she’d lose to late night
Snapchatting and Instagramming. My other thought is when she’s not at school there aren’t any times that she’s not with a coach or a teacher that I can’t reach.
And since when did walking home become a reason to get a kid a phone. I walked, you walked, we kicked rocks and talked to trees and we are all okay.
I’m not naive and I know this won’t last forever. But for now it works for me. And it works for her so we’re going to just keep being the odd people out. And I’m okay with that.