Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » OVER MY DEAD BODY

    Filed at 2:41 am under by dcobranchi

    Why do ‘tweens need their own cell phones? My kids can get one when they earn the money themselves. Until then, they borrow one of ours to call home in an “emergency.”

    9 Responses to “OVER MY DEAD BODY”

    Comment by
    April 20th, 2004
    at 8:01 am

    40%? This must be an American thing. I don’t know any child locally who has a cell phone. Usually, the ones I see with them are teenagers – 16 and up.
    There’ve been ads in the Scholastic Book Catalogs lately for kiddy cellphones. My son wanted one and we explained to him how “cheap” is *not* cheap when it comes to phones.
    I didn’t mind the “build your own TV remote” kit, though.
    (Scholastic book catalogs are distributed monthly in primary school classrooms, it’s a US company, I think.)

    Comment by
    Chris O'Donnell
    April 20th, 2004
    at 8:12 am

    What the heck is a 9 year old doing out and about on her own anyway? I can’t imagine my 8 and 10 year olds ever being in a position to need a cell phone. If they need me that can yell “Hey Dad!.” I don’t stray far enough away from them for a cell phone to matter.

    Age 13 or 14 I can see – at that point I probably would be dropping them off places and coming back to get them later, so the cell would make sense.

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    April 20th, 2004
    at 10:10 am

    It’s funny, though — Lillian and I were talking the other day about how much has changed since the ’70s. She used to walk a mile to school and the library by herself along (and at one point crossing) an extremely busy avenue in Philadelphia at the age of seven. She was routinely going downtown on the subway to school by the age of 11.

    Out in the country where I grew up, kids roamed fields and woods for hours (and as they got older, armed with .22s) without their parents knowing where they were or what they were up to. We rode in the back of pickups, raced mini-bikes without helmets, played with readily available firecrackers, bought smokes for our parents when they didn’t feel like heading over to the store …

    I don’t know, maybe it’s a false nostalgia, and I certainly don’t let my near-seven-year-old wander more than a few houses either side of ours on a quiet side street, but I can’t help feeling that we missed a comfortable middle point somewhere in the transition from the extreme laissez faire parenting of the ’70s to today’s ceaseless mean world paranoia.

    Comment by
    April 20th, 2004
    at 10:24 am

    Yeah, it’s a tough balancing act. Our older two (12 and 9) are pretty much free to roam the neighborhood at will. Beyond that, though, is with parental supervision (and transport) only. The only times we’ve lent out a cell phone are when our 9yo daughter has ballet rehearsals in downtown Wilmington. Sometimes her part is finished an hour before the scheduled end, so she can call us to come get her.

    BTW, First State Ballet Theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty is scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday night. I believe a few tickets are still available at 1-800-37-GRAND. Ticket prices for a first class ballet are ridiculously affordable.

    Comment by
    April 20th, 2004
    at 11:34 am

    Ditto to Tim’s response by age 8 I was roaming the woods & creeks sometimes w/ friend sometimes w/ a dog (snakes & all) our nearest neighbors were a mile away.
    Also The First State Ballet is something to see… tickets are half price for kids.
    the guest dancers are from the Boston & Pensylvania Ballets
    Daryl I enjoyed chatting w/ your sweet wife after the Sat preview & your daughter performed very well.

    Comment by
    April 20th, 2004
    at 1:40 pm

    We have a prepaid cell phone (Virgin Mobile, no less) because we rarely use one. We just started lending it to our 13-yo-daughter, since she started babysitting for an hour here and there. She has no need for (and, really, no interest in) having her own.

    My husband had tons of freedom to wander around when he was younger, both when he lived in the city and when he lived in rural areas. My parents were really strict, and didn’t want us to go too far away from home. Our kids have sort of the middle ground-they get to go much farther, with more freedom, than I did, but have a smaller area to wander around in than my husband did, and they have to come check in at set intervals. There’s actually not many places to wander here- it’s suburb-like military housing, set up on a hill away from everything. Boring. My son desperately wants to move somewhere ‘country’ with a lot of land to roam about. If my husband’s orders come through, he might have to settle for exploring Brooklyn.

    Comment by
    April 20th, 2004
    at 4:25 pm

    Hey — Brooklyn’s pretty cool! (mmm Junior’s cheesecakes…) Lots of stuff to see and do in Brooklyn. There’s Coney Island and Prospect Park, and Manhattan is just a walk over the bridge. Pretty neat, I think.

    Comment by
    Chris O'Donnell
    April 20th, 2004
    at 7:38 pm

    I remember going out at 9 AM when I was 7 years old and my mom telling me to come home for lunch. Aftet lunch, I was back out until dinner. She had no idea where I was, we were roaming the neighborhood, the neighboring swamp, the woods, etc. I also remember pedelaing several miles to little league practice. I woner if part of it back then was necessity? My parents (and I suspect most of yours) only had one car, and dad had it at work. Parental limo service was never an option.

    Comment by
    Andrea Coshow
    April 21st, 2004
    at 10:25 am

    My son has had a Virgin prepaid since age 11. As a homeschool child, he never really sees our home much. He plays ice-hockey, roller-hockey, golf, is a member of two orchestras, and goes to club meetings. I ran out of stamina.

    I just couldn’t stand waiting around any longer. I drop him off, go home or run errand, and pick him up at the end. Without the phone, I would have pulled him out of a couple of activities.