So, your 13 year old son goes out with his friends, plays football, chats, buys some lunch and is told that he has to be home by 5pm. At 5.15 you text him to ask where he is, no answer. You text again, no answer. You call and phone goes straight to voicemail. You know, that phone, that is permanently attached to the end of his arm!! The one he stares at for every unoccupied waking hour!!
Getting increasingly worried, you text one of the friend's parents, to check if their son is home. He is. At 5.40 you get in the car and drive the route you think he will take home, you find him and he tells you his phone is out of charge! Apparently, no one knew the time, he was on his way home but it "wasn't his fault" that he couldn't let you know.
What would you do?
I explained that in the interest of safety he needs to be home on time and if he knew his phone was out of charge he should of made sure he got home sooner. He is, however, convinced that it couldn't be helped and he had no way of knowing the time.
I have taken the phone from him for the remainder of the evening as a "consequence" and have said that I will charge it and give it back tomorrow. I feel totally justified but he is very unhappy and clearly feels I am being unjust and unfair. You'd think I'd cut his arm off!
Further proof that mobile phones are a double edged sword. As a parent it's great, if and when, your kids answer straight away or are able to get you when they need you. The opposite is true, however, when this sort of thing occurs and panic sets in quicker than it would in the pre mobile years. (Remember them?!)
When you then take into account how much our children rely on their phones for their social lives the mobile phone becomes a poison chalice. What do you think? EJ