When I thought of giving my tween a cell phone, all kinds of concerns raced through my mind – digital bullying, sexting, easy access to information and the list went on. Three months into her having her own phone, the biggest problem I have found is not what my tween or even her friends are doing instead it’s what their parents are not doing.
On a recent Friday, my daughter had been texting back and forth with her friends planning a play date at my house. I didn’t find out about it until Thursday evening and told her it wasn’t happening. We had other plans. When I went to pick her up the next afternoon, the other girls came over saying they were going home with me. I was shocked.
Previously, I would of received a phone call or at least a text from these girls’ mothers asking if I was indeed taking their daughter’s home. What had changed? The girls all had cell phones.
That wasn’t the only incident. There have been times since then that a mom says to me, “Well, the girl’s texted each other so I thought they had figured it out.” Or, I’ll attempt to call and text a parent to receive no response for hours. When I ask the parent why they didn’t call or text me back, they respond by saying that they thought I’d just talk to my child directly so there’s no need.
Parents are no longer communicating with each other and instead relying on their children to have conversations for them. Laziness? Busy schedule? Just rude? I’m not sure what it is but it’s now one of my biggest parenting pet peeves.
How can children texting between each other replace adults who are legally responsible for them having conversations? Why are we using our children having cell phones as an excuse to no longer having conversations with each other?
Have you experienced this with your tween? What are your thoughts?