Tracy Lee Curtis

The 411 on kids having phones

I finally got my sixth-grader son a smartphone. And like most parents, I did it with mixed emotions. It’s only been a couple weeks, but I’ll share some initial pros and cons …

Pro: I can reach him anytime. Anywhere. For anything.

Con: He can reach me anytime. Anywhere. For anything.

Pro: He was able to contact all his friends, find out what classes they have, and who their homeroom teacher is. In 11 seconds.

Con: I didn’t get to sit down and call each of my friends, and gab about who their child got and how excited we are that school’s about to start.

Pro: He can play games on his new phone, so he doesn’t need to use my phone, or my iPad or my laptop.

Con: To save his phone battery, he still uses all my devices.

Pro: Through social media, he’s being introduced to new friends and getting to know them before the start of school.

Con: I’m not getting introduced to any new moms and getting to know them before the start of school.

Pro: He agreed to let me review his texts.

Con: I have no idea what B4N, TTYL, or SITD means.

Pro: We have a rule that he always has to answer if I call, and text back in a reasonable amount of time.

Con: Sometimes he doesn’t have the phone with him or he can’t hear it, and then I’m in a full-on panic.

Pro: Thanks to Wikipedia, AskMD and Google he doesn’t ever have to ask me anything.

Con: He never asks me anything. Like, EVER.

Pro: His phone has tons of new ringtones and alert options, so we keep our notifications straight.

Con: There’re so many rings, pings, beeps, and boings going off, that I can’t tell if it’s our phones – or if the oven’s preheated, the smoke alarm battery’s dying, and somebody’s at the door.

Pro: He communicates with lots of people, share experiences and makes all sorts of cool plans.

Con: But because it’s all through Instagram, I can’t hear any of it.

Pro: When we’re in the car, I make him put the address in his Google maps and then hold his phone up to my ear so I can hear the directions.

Con: He keeps taking calls, so I miss all my turns.

Pro: I like that I can text my personal opinion, free advice, and pearls of wisdom and I know he’ll read it.

Con: A lot of times, he just responds with an emoticon that I need my glasses to see. Is that a smiley face? Or a frowny frace? And why is it wearing sunglasses, does that mean he’s trying to hide his eyes?

So … I can’t really say if a phone is a good thing or a bad thing – just making observations, FWIW.

Sorry. For What It’s Worth …