This post is in reaction to what my son's friends have been saying.
They tell him he leads a sad life. Why? Because the exams are over and I still havent let him have his mobile back.
Why have I taken away his mobile from him? Well, he has been busy messaging his friends over nothing. It's like "Hi!", and the other responds with a "Hi!" and then ":)" and a ditto reply will come back. And this can go on for eternity, until when he needs to use the phone to call or message me, there is no money left in it.
You see, I got him a mobile phone with a pre-paid card. I didnt get him one with a plan because initially, I was afraid he would lose his mobile phone, and the phone was meant for use only when necessary, to make it more convenient for me to contact him re-pick ups after school, or when he has to stay back or whatever and he needs to let me know. Not for this useless chatter with his friends for which the phone was being used for until I confiscated it!
My oldest was also given a phone with a pre-paid card initially, and I never had that problem. Her phone card balance was always there, until the previous helper helped herself to my daughter's phone. When she went to secondary school, and needed to message and use the phone more, I got her a contract that was tied to mine, coz I too hardly used my phone, unless really necessary, hardly for idle chatter. But when her messages got "out-of-hand" due to the need to message her friends for school purposes (like for CCA where she was co-ordinator and had to message everyone in that CCA), I moved her to her own plan with unlimited SMSes. As it is, her number of messages are astronomical, but her phone usage (talk-time) is minimal or even non-existent.
I was brought up in an environment where not all wants and needs were met. As a result, I am careful with my spending money. AND I strongly feel that children must learn to be thrifty. Money doesnt fall from the sky nor grow on trees. And I do not believe in instant gratification. I subscribe instead to: "Good things come to those that wait".
I dont see the need to move my son to a phone plan like my daughter's ... yet. When the need really arises I probably would. So am I such a scrooge that make my kids life "a sad life"?
I dont think so. In fact, I think his friends are the one with the sad life. With parents that dont know what they do, dont monitor them, allowing them to use language that would make most parents cringe, allowing them on the computer and social networking sites until LATE (and I mean very late) even on school nights! I get the feeling that their parents are parents with other priorities who substitute their lack of time with their kids with material wants!
So am I really such a scrooge?? What do you think?