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Parenting Quandary... I Need Your Help! - Weekly Wings

So much has transpired since last week’s “Weekly Wings”… the snow has melted, trees have fallen, power has been lost and restored, (in most areas in the Northeast) and I am STILL trying desperately to mentor my own son.

If you did not read last week’s edition, I will bring you up to speed. In short, son wants iPhone, mom says, “I’M NOT BUYING”, son shovels snow for money and in the end mom is proud. BUT, it was not the “mom taught son the value of a dollar” story that I thought it would be. You are now up to speed.

Son since texts mom from his perfectly functional, not even 6-month old Blackberry while mom is traveling later that week. No, the text did not read, “I miss you, please come home, Grandma is torturing me.” It read just this: (in my son’s words). “Snow melted I go round neighborhood n rake leaves 4 $. Used dad’s leaf blower n made 50 bucks! Between raking n shoveling I can buy iPhone!!!!!”

Here’s where I desperately NEED YOUR HELP! I wrote you last week, saying firmly, that I would never buy an 11 yr. old an iPhone. But, do I stand my ground when this same 11 yr. old asks if he can use his own money whereas I am merely act as a transportation vehicle to and from the store? I am in a quandary. Jack has learned work ethic and for that I am very proud. He displayed determination and drive and a bit of an entrepreneurial edge to boot.

So my quandary herein lies… Do I let my son buy himself an iPhone with his hard-earned dough? Or, do I stick to my initial belief that it is not necessary for an 11 yr. old to have an iPhone? PLEASE share your thoughts and suggestions on what this mom (that’d be me) is to do? How do we teach our children the value of a dollar while offering them a life well earned and well lived?

Please, help a mother out,


Co-Founder and Mother

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Comment by Bradi Nathan on November 9, 2011 at 8:18pm

Hi all! It's me... mom with the quandary.  I want to first say THANK YOU for all of your insightful feedback and let you know that NO decision has been made.  Next, I want to make it clear that the Blackberry my son currently owns belonged to me before it was time for me to upgrade to a new Blackberry.  I do, however, pay the monthly fees (it was a graduation present into Middle School/6th grade) and now have the security that when he is at sports or even on his way home from school, that he can reach me at anytime.  He does have access to the internet via his phone but he only uses it to check sports scores at this time.  I have had numerous conversations with him about what is and is not appropriate phone etiquette and I have taken the phone away as punishment for past poor behavior -that had nothing to do with the misuse of phone.  We have spoken at length and Jack has agreed that he will need to save more money to cover the insurance on the iPhone that he so desperately yearns for.  Jack is aware that both his father and I think it is simply an unnecessary purchase- We are hoping that he will arrive at the same realization as he continues to build his bank.  Love to continue to hear more as I respect what you all have to say immensely!

Comment by Rita Caballero on November 9, 2011 at 6:28pm

Hi Brad,

I am a mother of 4 boys and 1 daughter.  Life is busy since I don't have any helper at home as a single mom.  I understand what you feel when your son is asking you an ipod, same as my son's (4 of them) requested me to buy.  I explain to them the situation.  They save money to buy for themselves.  For those who doesn't have one, they let their younger brother borrow  their ipod. That is the in now a days, and you cannot stop them from asking. I least they will know the value if they are the one buying the item.:-) The good thing they are not quarreling each other even to limit their time using it. 

Comment by Rita Marie Walker on November 9, 2011 at 1:49pm

Hi Bradi!!!

My Jack is turning 10 this Dec and is also asking for an iPhone!  I had the same reaction - "No Way!".

My hesitation was based on the initial & mothly costs, and the lack of need.  My child is rarely far from MY iPhone and doesn't really need to call me since I know where he is.  But, your Jack is a year older and is probably already spending more time with his friends and I imagine will be moving upward through his middle school years.  Since you have already taught him the value of a dollar and a great work ethic..this can be a contiuation of his learning experience and crossing over into the responsibility of adulthood.  It would be great if he could contribute to the monthly bill and you would have the final say if you check his phone or not for appropriate messages.  Good Luck!  XOXOX  Rita

Comment by Nicole W. on November 9, 2011 at 11:37am

This tricky.  Our daughter is only 14 months but my husband and I already see her grabbing for our phones and saying "cheese" knowing its also a camera.  We know we will have to put our phones down at dinner time once she gets a bit older but right now its our mental down time when she is in the high chair, quiet.  Since the i-phone also has the internet you could make the argument that if it were a PC or Mac, he wouldn't have access to that unless he were home.  So maybe you can set some rules like he is only allowed to have it when he isn't it school and it can never come to the dinner table.  It could get stolen in school, but then again, if he is buying it with his own money, maybe he needs to learn that lesson too and value his belongings and their safety.  Good luck, I'll be likely having to deal with this in another five years!




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