In my blog yesterday, I briefly mentioned that we got Drew a cellphone over the weekend. The plan had always been to wait until he graduates from 5th grade and heads off to Middle School. Of course, we heard over and over, “but everyone else already has one”, (not true of course), but we had a “deal” sort of fall into our lap.
We went to a Verizon store to update the ipad mini that they gave me for my birthday. While we added the data plan to it, our sales representative pointed out that we were paying more than we needed to for what we already had, and could actually benefit by changing our plan and pay less. How often does something like that happen?? Getting more but paying less?!? So we decided to switch over our plan. While Dave and I were doing that, Drew was wandering around the store trying to decide on what phone he would get in June. Our sales rep, (quietly, so that Drew would not hear), let us know that they had “another deal” where the iphone 4 was free while supplies lasted. We were not going to go ahead with it, until we realized that with our new plan, even adding our ipad AND this new iphone we were still “making out” positively on this deal. So lucky day for Drew, as he walked out of there with his new phone.
We have tried to turn this into a learning experience for him. He is responsible for it at all times. While he is at school, (since he goes where I teach), he will leave it in my classroom from when he gets there until he leaves at the end of the day. He will have limited hours at nighttime and the phone goes off completely at bedtime.
He needs to show maturity and prove that he is responsible. He will have to show us “phone etiquette”. He may not ignore any calls or texts from Dave or me. He will not use profanity or use it in anyway that can get him into trouble. We have told him about the permanence of what is out there in the world of the Internet and once something is written and sent, it is there forever. Things can be spread and go viral instantly and he can and will have no part of that. No embarrassing photos, nothing that could cause another person to feel intimidated. He knows already that if he receives inappropriate texts or calls, he must let us know as well. Rules will be followed or the phone will be taken away. He knows that we are serious and will follow through.
He is so excited, and only two days into this, is already showing signs of responsibility. Will it last? We cannot say, but whether it is the “cool factor” of finally getting his own phone after his brother has had one for a while, or a new way for him to communicate with us, he is proving that he might be able to handle this.