iMom. uChild!

i Caved. i Regret.christi's phone
by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

She’s no different than any other typical 11 year old girl. Caught in between being a girl liking girly things such as playing dress up, Polly Pockets, Barbie’s, American Girl dolls and the interests of a teen such as make-up, music and liking boys. I shouldn’t be fretting. Heck, I’ve been here before. I’ve managed to move my two others through this transition, seemingly fine.

But the truth is, it is different. You’d think a lifetime has passed since my 16 year old was 11.

It didn’t seem that long ago when a birthday or Christmas present list was an easy thing to compile….toys, games, ahhh, and those beloved big, bulky Little Tikes items. I ran into a problem when it came to #3 daughter’s birthday this past April. Not only did she beg me endlessly…”Mom, all of my friends have a cell phone!”, but I also planned Just Add Kids’ big event, the EXPO! the day after her birthday.  Admittedly, my focus was more on the event than on #3’s birthday. In a bind, needing to smooth things over, and at a loss for gift ideas, I bought her an iPhone.

christi's phone 2 (2)I went against my own campaign of waiting till she “needed” one. I even wrote about it in “i AIN’T BUYING iT: iT’S ON THE LIST” JAK Chat blog back in December of last year.  The fact is, she didn’t need one and now I’ve got a daughter, despite what I thought was in control, is holding a device that is out of my control, because I surrendered that control. Yah, I’ve got rules. Phone gets plugged in, in my room, every night. Well, that keeps her safe and detached, what, 8 hours? It’s not enough, momma.

We, as parents of children with cell/smart phones, need to snap into reality.  Our kids’ reality is half fantasy and half reality, and quite honestly, I think there is a bunch of grey as to where one ends and the other begins. As I write this entry, I am educating myself and diving in (duh) finally, into the world of #3’s iPhone.

Due to the fact that her phone is plugged in my room at night, I’ve been alerted to a ton of activity that goes on when the Herrmann family is (should be) in the midst of slumber. Her phone lights up anytime a text or phone call comes in. That thing flashes frequently enough, that I’ve taken to flipping it over. So what have a seen in the wee hours of the night? Mostly messages from apps, a random text from a friend, few phone calls mostly from numbers that don’t accept return phone calls, but, she’s even gotten rapid fire calls from her friend’s dad when her friend that was sleeping over wouldn’t answer her phone. Those calls came in just before 1:30am. No emergency, just checking in. Really? Yes, I confronted the dad and told him our no phone in the bedroom policy overnight. And by the way, if you need to reach someone in our house, at night, in an emergency, call me. Dork.

I know it’s not the worst thing you/she might ever see, but I took a screen shot of what I saw one morning on her phone (picture), a message from one of her apps called Modern Girl“Kevin: You look amazing in that outfit, babe. Come a little closer and let me show you how much I like it.” What? Yuck! You smarmo Kevin. “Stay away from my little girl” is what I am thinking.

So, one of my other supposed controls on her phone is that she is on my Apple account, meaning she can’t download apps without putting in my account’s email and password, the latter of which I haven’t given to her. So she’ll come to me (usually when I am in the middle of working) saying she wants to download an app and has it ready for me to type in my password and tap “download”.  And I’ll interrogate her briefly: “Is it free”? “What is it”? are my two standard questions, in that order. She reassures me it’s free and appropriate, and I usually give her the go ahead. Did you catch that? I trusted my 11 year old daughter to put on her mommy panties and decide whether an app is good for her or not.

I’ve got a lot to learn. And with a continuation of this entry next week, I am now accountable for doing so. It only took me what? Eight months to really try to figure out what’s going on. I’m scared.

To be continued…


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] mission this past week, if you read last week’s JAK Chat blog “iCaved. iRegret.” was to dive into #3 daughter’s iPhone. I really need to put my parental panties on, take a […]

  2. 2

    […] cell phone. Remember that? (well, embarrassingly, I have to bring it up. See  #3, iRemember and i Caved. i Regret.)  Today was the day my friends, and it couldn’t have started off any more perfectly. (See […]

  3. 3

    […] priority” project of sifting thru #3′s cell phone (now see #3, I Remember AND i Caved. i Regret.) I am writing about yet another child and her milestone….tomorrow’s 17th birthday. […]

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