72 hours later: The iPhone and the Tween

EatSleepDad Parenting 0 Comments

Cell phones.  They’ve gone from simple communication devices to world-wide social interaction gadgets, all with the touch of the screen.  But you don’t need me to tell you that, you’re probably reading this from your iPhone or something.

FYI: Not my kids.

My 11 year old daughter left her Christmas wish list near the chimney a bit early this year, sometime around early November.  She wrote about simple gifts, like Pet Shop toys, art sets, cute clothes, then I see it…circled, like she meant for me to see it above all: “iPhone :)”

I know how kids can be these days, glued to their electronics, and I didn’t want to start my daughter off on the wrong foot by feeding her this zombie-forming device.   It almost takes a miracle to get my kids out of the house, I have to bribe them.  What the hell happened to kids not wanting to be indoors?

I set some ground rules:
1) Must keep a case on it at all times.
2) Can’t download any apps without my permission (I have it set up to my password)
3) Not allowed to use the phone at school unless an emergency.
4) I reserve the right to inspect the phone at any time.
5) If her weekly chores aren’t complete, no phone.
6) Not allowed to text me or her mom while in the house, she must talk to us face to face.

When I sit and think about it, I feel like I might have made a mistake getting an 11 year old an iPhone.  At the same time, I’d like to show her responsibility and allow her to socialize with her friends, in a supervised manner.

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