Michelle Singletary takes aim at overindulgent parents with her column Spare the iPod, Unspoil the Child. It’s not that today’s children have too much — it’s that they expect their parents to induldge their every whim, and their parents blindly fulfill those expectations.
Oh, and now we have the cellphone controversy in our house.
Can you believe my 10-year-old is incredulous that I won’t get her a cellphone? All she wants to do is talk incessantly to her friends. We have a phone at home and she can talk to her friends during school hours for free.
I recently persuaded a couple to get rid of the cellphone for their 12-year-old daughter. I bumped into them at the movies and I couldn’t help but notice that the girl had a cellphone plastered to her ear rather than conversing with her family. I asked her dad whom she was talking to.
“You know, I don’t know,” he said.
It was like a light bulb had come on over his head.
That child’s cellphone bill was about $40 a month. Are you kidding me? If parents just saved that money, the cash they spend on monthly cellphone charges would add up to thousands of dollars by the time their children go to college. That would certainly help them buy books and supplies for four years of college.
Sounds about right to me. Parents don’t have a “duty” to provide their kids with cell phones. They’re expensive — let the kids pay for them, if they need them so bad. Doing so will certainly teach responsibility, thrift, and the value of money.