Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cell Phone #6

I need a moment to vent, although I have been venting about this subject for quite some time, just not here. The issue at hand is Teen has broken her 5th phone and now wants another. 5 phones. I don't even think I've had 5 phones since cell phones "came out". Actually, that's not true, I'm on my 5th phone now but that's over a span of 10 years. Teen's time frame is 2.

After she broke her 4th phone we told her that that was it. If the next one breaks, then too bad, she's not getting another one. We bought her 5th phone for X-mas. It was a nice blackberry, cool chic phone. This was her 1 major present for X-mas. She broke it a month ago by taking her phone into the bathroom. She just had to check her text messages immediately after getting out of the shower....dripping wet. I mean, seriously, please tell me what is so important in a 14 year's old world that she just couldn't wait until she was out of the bathroom or at least dry! I was 14 once, I know how important middle school drama is and needing to know who said what and when, but seriously, why couldn't she wait 10 seconds longer.

Anyway, naturally Teen is freaking out because she knows the deal with the phone. But she also knows she has a sucker for a dad. At first I was very proud of him for sticking to his guns and saying no about "buying" a new phone. We were eligible for a free upgrade so we could get her another phone - that would cost us hardly nothing. BUT NO....she wants a cool sexy phone. A phone that costs $180 dollars...oh, but there are rebates so essentially it's only $50 or something like that. That's a freakin load of crap. I have yet to see a rebate that actually comes through.....especially with phones. So, we came to an impasse, Teen refused the free phone and we refused to buy her a new phone. Teen said she would rather not have a phone than walk around with an ugly phone...ok, that was fine by me. BUT she also made a comment that got under my skin and is still there. Quite confidently, Teen announced that she'll get her phone, one way or another she'll get the phone. Excuse me?

So, now it's been a month and a half and she still has no phone BUT she has not given up on getting it either. She has asked her mom to pay for half and us to pay for half. G almost agreed but I interceded and insisted that it's the principle of the matter now, not just the money. She doesn't get it...at least not yet. Phones are expensive, they cost money. We work hard to get money....especially now when we don't have ANY! Plus this comment of hers is still ringing in my ears and still gets me fired up.

Teen has also now "graduated" from middle school....so far. And G is now on me about getting her a phone for "graduating". I still said and say no. It's the principle. Teen doesn't take care of her things and she needs to learn. Somehow she needs to learn to appreciate the value of money and work. So, I agreed to come up for a way for her to "earn" her phone back. At first we said she could earn $5 for every chore she does....oh, and I have to add that G is only making Teen earn half the cost of the phone. He said he would match the other half. Teen complained about this...."what chores do I do?" After giving her a list she nixed about 75% of them. Still doesn't get it.

Since that didn't work my sister had an idea that she was going to implement with her son, minimum wage. I thought it was brilliant. I informed G that I would agree to buying her a phone if she worked to earn ($80) her phone back. She would get minimum wage at $8.50 an hour. We would provide her with a list of things and she could pick and choose and work. She would clock in and clock out. G agreed.

The first day we brought this up she "clocked" two hours cleaning her room and her bathroom. I docked her a half hour because she left out cleaning her closet - the messiest part of her room. The following week she helped her dad clean the house (while I was the river house) and clocked in another hour. I am suspect of this but I what can I do. So, so far she has earned roughly between 17 and $24.50. On Sunday, I overheard her ask G if he could order her her phone. G told her to ask me. I of course, replied, you have to earn it. She huffed and puffed and wanted to know what chores she could. Again, we provided her a list and again she came up with one reason or another for not wanting to do that particular chore. She then further argued that no other 14 year old had to work 10 hours and that she was not in the real world yet so therefore she did not care about working. Meanwhile I am desperately trying to explain her that it's not about the # of chores that she's doing it's showing her that it takes a lot of work to just earn money. Still did not get - and she continued to argue with me. I look to G for some support to see if he could explain it better because I'm getting angrier by the minute. He tried but I could see the dread in his face for being caught in between his daughter and his wife. This was on Father's Day. Reluctantly, Teen wrote down her "assignments" and got to work. She completed most of the things and she worked for an hour and a half. If I give her the full $24.50 for the "3 hours" of work she completed prior to this she has earned $37.25 so far.

Yesterday, Teen asked again if we were going to order the phone. G again said to ask me and I again said no. She has not earned enough money yet. "But I did all my stuff" - Teen said. I reply - "That's great, thank you but you only worked an hour and a half". Teen - "But I did all of my stuff". Me - "I"m sorry Teen. See...it takes a lot just to earn some money." Teen pouts. And pouts. And pouts. G, on his way out the door, says..."stop pouting, we'll order the phone this week." He's lucky he was walking out the door. And he wonders why I've had my grumpy pants on. Grrr.

So, here we are. I've lost this battle. G seems to believe she has "earned" it and it's for her graduation. I, of course, do not agree. But I am wondering is it my stubbornness to not lose to the Teen comment of "I'll get the phone one way or another". Am I being fair? Am I overdoing it? G seems to think so. What do you think?


Danifred said...

You are being WAY more than fair. The fact that she has already had 5 phones is just ridiculous. It's time she takes some responsibility. Put your foot down and keep it there! If nothing else, she needs to know that you guys, as her parents, mean what you say and no amount of "whining" will change that.

johanna said...

I did chores all my junior high and high school life. If I wanted something I usually had to pay for it myself. She should be doing chores regardless of whether or not she's "earning" money for a phone. Kids these days have it too easy! If she earns the money for the phone herself then she might take care of it better. Just sayin'. I'm frustrated for you!!

Sunny said...

You are not wrong. All us girls come from strong women who were moms that were the boss when we were growing up. You included. You are the glue that holds your family together--don't underestimate your role and your strength. What would your mom have done?? Put your foot down. Teen is still pushing b/c she's yet to learn the lesson. Her "prize" for graduating is getting to start high school. I don't have a kid, so I can't really speak for being in your shoes. I just know what my mom did for me and what I learned from it. My mom would give me a crap-ass phone and say "if you don't like it--that's your problem" and she'd walk away without even thinking twice about it.
You've almost already lost the battle...but you can win the war. Stay strong, sister.