Sunday, 2 December 2012

When Teaching Tweenagers that Everything Costs Something.

'When I get a touch phone I will be able to get free internet.' was what my 11 (12 in 6 days) daughter promptly told me when she got off the school bus.  Now I know that the hours ride on the bus gives plenty of time for talk amongt the girls but free internet promptly got me thinking about the value of things and how to teach the above 11 year old that everything costs something.  Luckily just a few days later the right moment to make my point came about. 

As I have mentioned before I have been very fussy about my daughter having a phone.  Firstly she did not need one and only wanted one and secondly I did not have clearly in my head what rules I would need in place before such a device would be in her care.

For months and months I with stood the ..'but everyone has one'.....taunt.  I promptly replied the standard ...' when you can pay for one you can get one.  I don't see why you need a phone.  I will reassess it when each needy moment arrives.'

October bought about that moment to get the phone and I bought the cheapest one with the basics on it.  Nothing fancy at all.  6 weeks later it is lost.  Hmmmmmm not a happy mother.  I then went to the ...'well you were not responsible'.....'and I am not getting another one'...mode while secretly thinking well I suppose when the new school year comes around I will give it more thought especially as she had come home sick (vomiting) that day and I had a little empathy for her.  To my surprise my 11 year old said that ....'the phone I had bought her was a piece of junk'.    Well any thought of me replacing the phone prompty went and a whole week went by before I decided that if she was to have a phone she would need to buy it herself secretly hoping she would not have much money and the basic phone would be what she would be able to get.

I must say she was happy to spend what she had in her 'spending' (as opposed to her savings) stash leaving no money left for anything and she bought a phone.  Hmmmm same rules in place.  The plan came with a data package, calling minutes and a txt 5000 plan.  So I quickly rang the phone company just to confirm that this phone would not let said daughter spend more credit than she had and while I acknowledge that the phone was a good deal it was still not necessarily teacher her that everything costs.  Hmmm my plan was backfiring.  Then to my disgust she told me that the headset that came with it was a piece of junk not as good as the ones she lost. Lesson still requires some work I am thinking.

All I can say is thank goodness she has only a few days of school left and she still does not know how to tap into the wireless system we have at home.  That is giving me time to work out how to change the passwork for when I need it.