My Child’s Gone Text Crazy by Dina Ramon
I must not have been thinking clearly the other day when I purchased a phone for my daughter. My rationale is that she needs to be able to reach me at all times, and I need to feel at ease when I leave her – an 8 year old – with a 13-year-old babysitter. But my good intentions have created a kid ‘Monst-text-er.’ Before she even had the phone I started having second thoughts because once she knew that this was my plan she was way too excited about the idea of having a phone. She constantly asked me when we were going to the phone store. Once we were there, went through the process, and it was officially hers she couldn’t wait to get it out of the box. She was loading apps before we even got out of the phone store parking lot. That was bad enough. But then the texting started. First she sent me a wake-up text the next morning from her room down the hall asking when her breakfast would be ready. Then she informed me by text message that she was brushing her teeth, followed by a text announcing that she was ready for school. When I replied verbally by saying ‘ok’ she said I needed to ‘write back.’ Oh wow, here we go I said to myself. I think the only reason she agreed to my rule that she could not take the phone to school was because another girl in her grade left her phone on the playground – and of course that was the crisis of the day. I felt somewhat relieved that I am not the only parent silly enough to get a phone for a third-grader. Her time at school is now my window of ‘text-free’ time because once she gets home she typically sends me a text message from her room to let me know she is reading. But that won’t be all – she will request her afterschool snack by text, and ask if she can go outside by text. I can only hope the novelty will wear off soon for my little ‘Monst-text-er’ because school is out tomorrow and I’m worried that the constant ‘ping’ of the text message alert on my phone will drive me crazy.