Woes of Parenting in the Digital Age – Part I

My beautiful, fantastic, challenging, amazing daughter has a pre-paid mobile phone. She is supposed to do a significant chore every month to earn the money to pay for that month’s credit. Nine times out of ten she doesn’t do the chore, and therefore doesn’t get the credit for her phone.

The last time she did get the credit I did it online and apparently saved my credit card for further credit additions. Many of you will know that I’m not the best in the world with keeping tabs on my money (there is a reason Danielle handles that side of the business and I get to do all the creative things), so I didn’t notice that for a number of weeks $7 was being taken from my account on a weekly basis.

Turns out that Vodafone was sending my creditless daughter the option to add data for 7 days at $7 with the credit card on file. Without giving it too much thought as to where that $7 was actually coming from, said daughter was taking advantage of this kind offer.

Obviously after speaking to the people at Vodafone I had my card removed from my daughter’s pre-paid account. I decided that the appropriate consequence was confiscating her phone and internet use for the remainder of the holidays. Now all I had to do was put that into action.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t looking forward to the confiscation discussion. I think if she could be physically attached to her phone she would (like many of her age, and actually many adults). However, she took her consequence with incredibly good grace and was visibly upset about wasting our money. Once we’d discussed what had happened and how we could avoid it happening again I found myself faced with that inevitable question of parents in 2017 who deny their children access to the interwebs:

“But what am I going to do without my phone? I’ll be bored.”

Ha! Well child, you are going to do the things we used to have to do: draw; read; play board games; play outside. Actually these are things she loves to do, but with the bright lights of technology surrounding her these activities are often forgotten.

Yesterday she told me proudly she’d spent the day without her phone and hadn’t really missed it. This morning her younger sister commented to me that the older one had been spending a lot of time with her and she really loved that. And I’ve learned to be more careful of where I save my credit card!

All round I felt the whole episode ended well.

L-J x

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