Friday, October 21, 2011

Am I a scrooge?

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?


bp said...

I think you are a very loving and responsible mom, and agree with you for not giving your child the phone plan yet. But as a mom of a tween trying to set boundaries for him too, I also run into such "roadblocks" and so can relate somewhat to what you are sharing. Can be so headachy yah when they don't seem to get that we just want the best for them and we mean well, wanting to teach them lifeskills. But hopefully they do see it soon enough. God give us the wisdom to know how to be effective parents.

JoMel said...

My dear, they are children, and we are adults. So, we know better. End of story! :)

stay-at-home mum said...

BP - and lets pray that God gives me the patience to deal with them until they have the wisdom to realise that we want the best for them.

JO - how to convince them? I am up to my eyeballs explaining and reasoning with them!

haughty said...

Wear the "scrooge" badge in honor - 10 of your "friends" will hold your hair when you are throwing up from drinking too much...3 of your "friends" will pick you up to go to the movies when your driving privs have been revoked. Only one person will bail you out of jail because they love and don't want you to spend the night in that place... only one person will drive 3 states to take you college and pick you up on break ...only 1 person will lay their life aside for you even when you are ungrateful and say hate filled things...tell your son to grow a pair

Leanne said...

We have 8 kids, 7 at home. I always feel like such the bad guy when I have to put in place rules about how much computer time, how much phone time, how much electronic game time and....gasp...bedtime! I don't really feel bad at all. I am, however, often shocked to hear of the many kids whose parents do not put "controls" on any of these things! Yup, I too am a "Mean Mom" and proud of it!

fibrate said...

Hi! Hopped over from Doc's blog. That's not scrooge-y, it's just sensibility. I'm with you! :)