Family, Mommy Lessons, Raising Kids,

A Mom Is A Phone Dealer

 

I had a troubling parenting moment last night I want to share with you. I’d say for the past year I have grown increasingly frustrated, exasperated, and all out Mommie Dearest crazy over this issue.

I have complained to my husband begging him to back me up, I have talked to friends about solutions, I have travelled quite far to find the Dalai Lama to seek his counsel. But it turns out he doesn’t hang at Bergdorf’s.

I never knew what wit’s end meant till this time. But like I know the end of my botox run, I know I’m at the end of my wit.

You see, Julia is 14 and uses her phone like its a crack pipe. She gets her fix by checking her Instagram and Snapchat constantly. If she doesn’t scroll through the screen she starts to shake, loses color in her face. If she doesn’t take a stupid ass selfie to send to someone, she feels the down effects. I am on her constantly. “What are you doing,” I say. “What exactly are you communicating when you take a picture of you with your head tilted, or a picture of our coffee table, or a picture of the water bottle.” Why are you constantly checking your phone? Have you been in contact with Russia?

I have all these questions because I can’t find any great reason for the high she gets.

Oh Jen, calm down, this is what all teenagers do. This is how they communicate now. You have to accept that.

But I can’t accept it. I won’t. My daughter is wasting so many hours with this. So much time. When she looks at her childhood, what will her memories be? Split second snaps from friends? Instagram likes on an inappropriate bikini photo?

Last night I really came face to face with the addiction. Julia came home sick. I told her she needed rest and to go to bed. I asked for her phone because I knew she wouldn’t rest, with all the calls from Russia and all. Our conversation flowed beautifully…..

Julia, I want your phone so you can rest.

No mom. I need my phone.

You don’t need your phone and you won’t sleep if you have it.

No mom.

Julia give me your phone.

Agitation and sweats increase.…Mom, no. (I think I need to put her in debate or Model UN)

Julia, I’m not asking, Im telling you now.

Dad….
I shoot Scott a look only a husband knows. The look that says, “disagree and blow jobs will be like unicorns or Big Foot to you.”

Mom, I have to have my phone.

Are you running a corporation I don’t know about?

{I started imagining an Intervention type show I could create on the TLC network where Julia’s family and a team of teenage specialists come in. Julia, your family loves you. Don’t you see how your addiction is affecting you? You need to hand over your phone. Are you ready to take this step? And Julia says, “No Fucking Way!” Credits roll.}

Finally, after she was too weak from the withdrawal to fight anymore, I took the phone.

But I was scared. I felt like that moment said it all. The panic, the fear of not having her phone made it all the more clear that I am her dealer, and  I have to limit her access to the stuff.

So yes. These are our times. Yes she is a typical teenager. But there is a problem. A serious problem.

And I’ve spent too much time complaining about it.

So now, no more complaining. It’s okay for me to place realistic limits in her best interest.

And to help with the transition, I will buy her stationary, a pen, and a rotary phone, with maybe an international calling card for those Russian calls.

Tags: snapchat, social media and teens, teenagers with phones,