Now that we finally caved and bought the tween a cell phone (click here for all the reasons), it’s become the Age of Smartphones around our house – in more ways than one.
Not only is every kid of the age to own his own phone but there is no doubt that handheld technology has changed the way we communicate for good. And, I would argue, for the good of all. Me, in particular.
I’ve taken a lot of heat for the fact that we are a wireless (read: screen-addicted) family. But I’m here to tell you that there are some unexpected benefits to buying your tween a phone, so if you’re still on the fence, read on:
*Mealtimes used to make me mad. I’d shout DINNER! – two, three, four times – ending up mean and hoarse when I finally heard footsteps. Not anymore. Now I just send a group text and no matter where they are (bedroom with headphones on, basement playing loud shooting games), they appear in the kitchen. Voila.
*I used to hold myself back from stalking the kids in my car, FBI-style, when they walked down the street for ice cream. Now my sleuthing is limited to a quick glance at my phone to see where they are, thanks to the Family By Sygic App, which does all the stalking for me (click here to find out how this amazing app works). Now there’s no way they’re going anywhere I don’t want them to be or the app alerts me, pronto – and the kids know it.
*With three kids, I used to spend all my time on the phone trying to make plans for them. Now they just text their friends and let me know what’s up. How cool is that?
*I used to get all tangled in arguments and negotiations about chores. Now I just text the facts: Your turn to walk the dog now. Garbage day, buddy. Maybe because they see it in black and white instead of hearing the nag tone in my voice, or because it’s just too much work to argue by text, I don’t get any lip. Maybe a mean-face-icon, maybe a string of them. But no lip.
*I used to worry that the kids weren’t developing a healthy sense of responsibility. But now they’ve got more freedom because they feel safer being able to contact me from anywhere. And because they love their phones as much as they do, they know they have to toe the line and follow my rules (click here for the contract you should make your kids sign to become phoneworthy) – or they’ll lose the privilege of using what has become their handy gateway to the digital world.
Note: This post is written as part of the Sygic Brand Ambassador Program but all opinions expressed are mine.