About Me

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A slightly insane mother to three girls ages 11,11, and 5. I live/love to find the humor in being a parent.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Missing "Hyper"Link of Being Cool

My husband and I don't consider ourselves extremely strict parents, but we have our oddities to the modern day parent. First, our daughters do not have TV's in their room or phones. A bedroom is an imagination waiting to happen; toys, forts, castles, etc.  We do not want to intrude on this type of play. It is also now where my older girls do their homework, a good quiet place with little distractions.

Second, the only video game you will find in our house is a broken down Wii the grandparents got them years ago, it is quite dusty. I refuse to be "that family", out to dinner with the kids silently tapping away on some small screen oblivious to the world around them. If you ask my children what mommy thinks of video games they will reply, "Junk food for your brain." On long car trips we will pack the portable DVD player. However, the girls usually are happy with a book, or coloring, or playing car games with each other.

Now the last oddity and biggest contention of late to our "tweenragers" is that our children do not have cell phones nor do I allow them on social websites such as Facebook. This has not been much of an issue prior to this year, as the twins are now in fifth grade and sadly most of their friends have their own phone and just about all of them have a Facebook page. I do not mean to disparage parents that do permit these privileges for their young children, but as I so often point out to my daughters, those are the decisions of other children's parents.  In our own little family I just do not see why phones and Facebook are necessary.

I teach in a middle school, I have seen the fights over texts and nasty posts on Facebook. Heck, I have seen how adults get out of hand with the awesome power of the net. I am not ready to hand this power off to a set of pre-hormonal tweens who can't decide whether to watch Spongebob or icarly.  The question now remains, am I marking them for prey? Are they going to be the weird kids in school who are singled out for no phone and no Facebook?  Oh well, what is a childhood without a little bit of angst and peer pressure.

This now brings me to my favorite conversation I had with Hannah about having a cell phone ( of course all of these conversations seem to happen when I am driving, usually after a long day at work).
"MOM! Why can't I have a phone? Everyone else has one! What if I needed to call you when I at school?"
"You will go to the teacher, who will let you use the phone if it is important."
"What about next year when I am in middle school?"
"Same thing, but I will be there already."
"No you won't....you sister won't have one either."

 ©2011 Amy E. Silverstein. All rights reserved.


  1. ha, i love that last line.

    am i lame if i'm already worrying about all this and my baby isn't EVEN BORN YET!?

  2. Amy- I enjoyed reading your new blog. I am quite sure that if I had had to deal with these "e" issues of today, I would have done similarly. Yes, why can't they be like we were....!!! Just kidding, of course, but I really think it is much better for kids to actually live in the moment, than to be texting about it instead.

  3. Love love love that conversation with her :-)

    My kids have NO tv in their room. They have no computers in their rooms. They do have video games, I'll admit. The PS3 came into my family when the older two got their stepdad, who is hooked. My son got his DS for a birthday present a few years ago, and it's generally only used on long car trips and in limited doses. I cop to buying them a Wii for their holiday gift this year (shhh! don't tell them!), but as with the Playstation, video games are EARNED. And only on non-school days for limited time periods.

    I cannot control what happens at their dad's house, alas (they each have a computer in the bedroom; the boy just got an hdtv and cable box for his room; they spend countless hours unmonitored on video games and computer games), but at my house they have limited access to such things. We read. We play games. We do not rot our brains.

    My kids have no facebooks and they will not until 14 (the actual age limit for it) or later. I see no need for a facebook. My daughter does have a cell phone, because she goes to a middle school that is half an hour away from my work. I'm on a tight schedule of pick ups and drop offs with trying to get 3 kids from 3 different schools in 3 different cities, so she uses the phone for things like "this is where and when I need to be picked up" and nothing else. I check her text messages and call log on a regular basis, but to be honest? No one contacts her other than myself, my husband, and her dad and stepmom.

    You are not being a horrible parent, you are being a caring mother. You are trying to help your kids grow up to be good people, not tech-obsessed maniacs.

    You are doing a great job.