Lesson #1 - Be very, very careful with every word that you say to your kids.
Lesson #2 - Take a lesson in backpedaling or take backs. Or debate. Something. ANYTHING.
So, my 10-year-old now has cell phone.
I'll go ahead and let that sink in for you.
My 10-year-old, 5th grade boy, has a cell phone.
Because I got tricked. I'm almost sure of it.
For a little over a year now, he's brought up the issue of the cell phone off and on. Many kids in his school have them. Several kids in his class have them. When could he have one?
Our answer seemed VERY logical, and served us well for approximately 18 months.
You can have a cell phone when you have enough income to purchase it yourself and pay for the monthly plan.
What do you think? This tactic should have gotten me through at least Jr. High, shouldn't it? Aren't there child labor laws that prevent a kid from working enough hours to pay for a $100 phone and a $40/month plan? Someone, please, get on board with me!
Anyway, insert 2 weeks ago.
"Mom, when can I get a cell phone?"
When you have enough income to pay for the phone and the monthly plan.
Good? Good? Are you sure? I get the feeling I just missed something. Or that I'm about to miss something. Ohhhhhh - the feeling of inevitability.
"Travis* got a new phone for Christmas, so I'm buying his old Go-Phone for $5. Then, I just have to go to Wal-Mart and buy a card with minutes and I'm good to go. Is that okay, mom?"
"Why not? I did everything you said I had to do."
Believe me, we've tried every angle. Quizzing him on who he would call, and when. Who he would text, and when. Calling Travis' mom to make sure this sale was legit. Researching pay-as-you-go plans for cost/minute, expire dates, texting messages, etc., etc., etc. I gotta admit, the kid did his homework. Even made out a chore budget that earns enough to pay for his minutes and still put $10 / month in his saving envelope because he wants to buy a DSi.
So, in the end, we rewarded his thriftiness. His thoroughness. And his respectful request and argument.
He got a phone.
It even has a Flashlight! And Texting! And Radio! And Games!
He immediately put in our numbers, a couple friends, Papa, and Grandmother. So, if you get a text from him, be amazed. It means he loves you enough to part with 10 cents. Each and every time he hits the SEND button.
Good luck, son.
*Names changed to protect the innocent. Or perhaps to protect the fact that my child only has 12 kids in his class and I can't for the life of me remember this little cell-phone peddlers name!