Tuesday, January 15, 2013

School Rules - Feh

School rule - no phones.
School rule - no phones in school. 
School meeting - please don't get your high school child a phone.
Most parents of the class - buying their kids phones.
am I the difficult parent here??

These are probably the reasons parents are buying their high school teens their own phones:
Parents want their kids to be accepted, cool, with it. 
They are powerless to say no.
They need a very enticing motivational prize/gift/incentive to get their difficult teens to cooperate about....things.
My favorite: They Deserve It.

Really? Why? 
For doing their homework? Handing in assignments? Not fighting with their younger siblings?

I am a parent who has bought things or done things with her children because I feel they've earned it.  I understand our innate parental desire to give, give, give to our children. Been there, done that.

But if a school has a rule about not having phones, if EVERY RAV AND MECHANECH AND MENAHEL AND PRINCIPAL AND LEADER IN OUR ORTHODOX WORLD has told us how bad it is for kids to have unfiltered access to phones, unlimited texting, unlimited picture taking/receiving ability, why are parents blatantly ignoring the words of our leaders??

Many of you who know me personally (and I am beginning to think that is all who is reading this, because almost no one comments, and I know the few who do) know that I am not one to run and automatically embrace every thing I hear, all the time.  But the non stop pleading of teachers, principals, leaders, rabbonim, of how bad it is out there for our kids, made worse by having phones, makes me wonder- really.  Why are parents choosing the desire of a 15 year old over sensibility? Wisdom? Words from those "in the field" - school, community, shul leaders?

please - your comments. especially you lurkers who never speak up. we have an epidemic - now's your time to say your piece


The Other Mean Mother in the Class said...

How about this: School rule is no phones. Yet when at least one teacher wants to disseminate messages to the boys, they send out a mass text.

Which means probably everyone but your son and mine gets them.

Does this make sense to you?

Mystery Woman said...

Totally agree!

My high school kid does not have a phone, and I sometimes wonder if she's the only one.

daughtersintheparsha said...

outrageous. and I think I might be the nasty mother who tells that to the hanhala. overall that place seems to not have a set chain of command. don't get me started.
I already started....

G6 said...

You are not alone.
I'm another mean one.
I've also perfected the answer as to why my teen doesn't need one, in response to "But all my friends have one....".
The answer is, "Good! Then you REALLY don't need one. Just call me from one of their phones!".

That said - your question about why people are not trusting teachers, hanhala, "leaders", etc. might stem from the fact that some, ok, ALL of these people have been historically known to ban as much as possible as indiscriminately as possible and have therefore lost credibility, even in valid situations such as this.

Commenter Abbi said...

My daughter is 9 and we live in Israel. She is going to start walking to friends/after school activities on her own. It would be much easier if she had a phone so I can coordinate pickups better (she's the oldest of 4). Do all of your kids just come straight home from school? They don't do anything else with their lives? Most kids here in Israel (I take it you're writing from NY). get their first phones in 3rd/4th grades, mainly so parents can keep in touch better, since kids walk home from school by themselves and are often on their own in the afternoons from that age. My daughter is one of the only ones left who don't have a phone.

daughtersintheparsha said...

Abbi- yes, life in Israel is very different, and I am not there, so my remarks may be somewhat off base: but for many many many years israeli children managed without cell phones, and remained independent. And reached their destination, almost all of which (houses, etc) have landlines. You can do what you wish as a parent, but the attitude of "every kid here has one" is EXACTLY THE SAME PROBLEM - and I think it is total insanity for an 8 year old to have a phone.

Anonymous said...

My dad did complicated math and science equations with a slide rule, and couldn't understand why anyone would "need" an electronic calculator.

Commenter Abbi said...

It might be true that people got along fine without cellphones but since it makes life easier for both of us and I wouldn't be getting her one with internet, I don't really see the downside.

It's part of modern life, and clearly, most of the kids in your schools have one. Instead of making silly rules that the kids and teachers don't follow, it would be better for all sides to acknowledge their existence and teach responsible phone use both in school and out of school.

Commenter Abbi said...

Also, why would it be insanity to give my child a phone so she can call me if she's ever in trouble walking around the neighborhood or getting around town? I think it's insane not to give your child a tool that makes her safer.