When I wrote out my blogtable for this week, my intention was 1 parenting article.  One.  And then all of a sudden I had 3.  Three.  And yesterday afternoon, I started jotting down ideas for today- I was going to talk about flirting.  And then, I read a blog http://bleuwater.wordpress.com/ (great parenting blog FYI) and I scrapped flirting and exchanged it for parenting.  Sorry.

The blog yesterday spoke about how parents in certain communities are signing pledges to the effect that they hold off buying their children smartphones until the kids are in 8th grade.  The reason for the written pledge is that some parents are unable to say “no” to their kids if everyone else has something.  IE- if one kid has a smartphone, all kids have smartphones.

So what do you think I think about this?

Personally- my daughter got her first phone when she was in 5th grade, and began walking to school by herself.  To be clear, it was not a smart phone, but an old school flip phone. At a little league game, a parent said to me, “Oh- my daughter would never accept a flip phone.”  To which I replied “If my daughter doesn’t like the phone I got her, she has the option not to have a phone.”  And I sounded a lot snippier in person.  A lot snippier.

My daughter and I spend a lot of quality time together- we went out last night and had a great time.  We laughed, we bonded, we had fun. We are friendly, but I am not her friend.  I am her parent.  When a child is under the age of 18, you need to be a parent, not a friend.

Distinction?  A parent has the ability to make rules, and a child has the obligation to follow the rules.  A parent has the ability to say “NO”.  A parent doesn’t care if the child “hates” them (there’s actually a quote that says if your child never says “I hate you” you aren’t doing your job as a parent).

But parents don’t want their child to hate them.  They want to be liked.

Big mistake.

Let’s take the initial example that set me off on this rampage.  Signing a pledge because you don’t want to say “NO” to your child, simply because “everyone else is doing it.”

Gee- great way to teach your kids about peer pressure.  Leading by example.  Modeling behavior so your kids follow it.

If an adult does not have the ability to stand up to peer pressure, how can we expect a child to stand up to peer pressure?

Don’t we always tell our children not to do things they know are not right just because everyone else is?

So, the theory behind this pledge weakens our stance as  parents.  It decreases the value of our words.  We tell our kids not to submit to peer pressure, yet we admit that we submit to it. (have I driven this point home yet?)

You sign this pledge when the kids are, lets just say, 10 years old.  You haven’t even gotten to the puberty, adolescence, teen age rebellion yet.  They haven’t begun to test the boundaries yet.  And they will.  And it will be about issues much tougher than smart phones.  Yet, you’re done.  Because your kid knows that you can’t say “no”.  Your kid knows that you want to be liked.  The cart begins pulling the horse.



51 thoughts on “Oh No- Another Parenting Blog

  1. Great post. I don’t have children, but when you babysit your younger cousins, or children of friends and family, these things often go through your head. Ultimately, I agree with you. A parent is a parent. But if you are open and friendly in your style, and you teach them to be good kids, they will be good kids, even if there are some bad moments. I suppose it’s not foolproof, but I’ve always thought it better to give more info than not enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is true.Im a parent now and it’s harder to do things according to plan.Everyone has a lot of say in how to make my kids happy. They can call me a kill joy but I won’t submit to what’s in if I know it’s no good for my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sort of presupposes that the parent, being an adult, is the mature, sensible, responsible one, and this is not always the case. I think there is somewhat of a backlash here in the UK with the up and coming young adults, for example, not drinking as much as their parents do, not having multiple sexual partners, eating far more healthily, exercising more, and taking far more responsibility for their actions.

    Certainly, telling all children that they are superstars or princesses, giving prizes for taking part, allowing treats even when they have not eaten their dinner, not having regular bed times, and so many other things are bad, very bad (as a father of multiple children by multiple partners would say!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for excellent comment! While I truly believe in intellectual freedom, and ability to make choices, I think there needs to be a ground set of rules to help kids become functioning adults. I don’t mean making tons of money. I mean making smart decisions and treating others with respect.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was a parent who said No. I am a grandparent who says No, but maybe just a tiny bit less than before 😉 I have held my ground through the tantrums and whining of my own children and the rude stares of other parents who would prefer to give in to their kids than watch me actually parent mine. My kids, once they reached driving age, had access to a phone (yes, flip version as well and Pay-as-you-go) for the sole purpose of being able to contact help in an emergency. This was the late 1990’s-early 2000’s mind you, but it worked in our household.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think the pledge is such a bad idea. With boys in my area in middle school and high school, it was the X-Box. I limited my son’s playing time to weekends while others parents had no rules and their kids were on it constantly. I wished that other parents followed my lead, but they didn’t. Everybody has their own idea of parenting. As one parent told me, “You run your ship, and I’ll run mine.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My problem with the pledge is that it means a parent will only comply with rules if e erroneous else does. I think parents should set ground rules based on their beliefs and their kids. And I think no rules on tech is a dangerous game. Hopefully if I keep writing about it people will listen!😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the cell phone thing depends on your child and your situation. My daughter is 15 and still doesn’t have a phone. You read that right. She hasn’t really pushed for one. In fact the only reason we will probably get one for her this year, is because she needs to learn to use the technology. We are parents who say “no,” and without any guilt. My kids are 15 and 11 and still don’t hate us (so far as I’ve heard). By the way, I’m the one who still has the flip phone! LOL As far as the pledge? I won’t be signing one of those any time soon, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have already had the words “I don’t care about everyone else, I only care about you” fly out of my mouth for my son. I am the strict parent and I am fine with that. He is almost 10 and I know things will only get harder from here. Best to practice on the “little” issues now so we are prepared when the issues get more important.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve always made every decision without worrying whether they would hate me or not later. It was my job as their parent. These days though, now that the boys and I are not as close as we once were, I worry whether I made the right choices along the way though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Absofuckinglutely perfect post.
    My kids will have phones when i decide. Not when a parent group or school decides.
    I am not their friend…i am their mother. I say this all the time. That said, i dont lie to them, and am approachable. You can still have good relationships and be a parent.
    My oldest just turned 18. She is still asking my permission for things. I tell her she can decide things for herself, but my opinion on the matter is….and then i give my thoughts. She usually listens to me. But sometime, she wont. But that is how we all learn.
    Of course, these things apply to 2 of my kids. Number 3, with his needs is a separate issue all together.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know way too many parents who want to be their children’s friends. We do get to be friends in a way eventually…when they are all grown up! But even then the ties are different from regular friendship. When our kids are little, though, we have to be the parent, not their friends. And when they are teens, we have to accept that they are sometimes going to think we are idiots, horrible people, completely unfair, etc. etc. And that’s okay. As I told mine, “You can think about me however you want to, and you can complain about me to your friends as much as you like. But you will be civil to my face.” That helped!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Me, too! When they realize I am the mom, they may get mad at me, but they also know they can count on me. And I also told them that if they were ever in a situation that they needed to get out of, just blame me! I didn’t care what their friends thought of me and had no desire to be the “cool mom.” The irony is that I got along with most of their friends just fine, even though I was strict!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Firstly I have to agree that guidelines and boundaries need to be set in bringing up children because that is how they learn what’s right and wrong. I believe that can be done through communication not force.

    I can honestly say that my two daughters who are now 36 and 38 have never said I hate you to my face 😉 I have always allowed them free speech and we have communicated with mutual respect. I have tried never to be forceful with my opinions apart from when my youngest wanted her eyebrow pierced 😳😬 I managed to talk her out of that one thank goodness 😅

    We can only guide our children in the right direction and LISTEN to what they have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes! Exactly. My son didn’t get his first phone until the 5th grade as well. It wasn’t a smartphone but an old phone that couldn’t access the internet/social media. A lot of my family members/friends were down on me about giving him an old phone. My reply was the same as yours. My son wasn’t old enough to get a smart phone.He didn’t need to take a billion selfies at school, or to show off his cool new phone. He is a child. Let him be a child!! Eventually I did get him a smartphone (he is in the 7th grade now) He has rules on it however. I check it daily. The point is when I first got him his very first phone I recieved so much backlash because it wasn’t a smartphone, he got made fun of, and it just made me realize, why is the world so fixated on having smart phones or phones that are better than their fellow peers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree! When my kid was in fifth grade, I felt she needed a phone for safety reasons, but there was no way her starter phone was going to be a smartphone. I wanted to see if she used it responsibly. And my husbands family thought I was an ogre. People forget a phone is a privilege, not a rite. And I told her I own the phone, I can check it at any time, and even though she’s 15, I still hold to that. Thanks for comment!


  13. I just had a discussion about ” why can’t I have a phone when all my friends have” with my daughter today. And I know how it feels to say NO and then see that despair in the child’s eyes. But then that’s why parenting is not easy I guess! Doing the “right” things and being on the “wrong” according to the child. Sigh!
    I especially like the point ” If an adult does not have the ability to stand up to peer pressure, how can we expect a child to stand up to peer pressure?” That makes me feel stronger.
    Thanks for writing this post and I am glad to have found you today.. just when I needed that reassurance. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. omg i absolutely loved it…i at times find it hard to say no to my 7 yr old daughter..i say no n she cries n i say no even strongly n she cries some more n after an hour i see myself finding an alternative to her demand or saying yes to it not her way but mine. but mostly i give in. i ll try n stand on my no from next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to hold my ground as much as possible. But I will tell you, if you know you’re tired or cranky, and you’re at the market and the kid wants a candy bar, just say yes from the beginning….it’s the changing of your mind that kills you!! It’s hard in the beginning but worth it!.!


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