We finally broke down and got our middle-schooler a phone. But not for all those reasons people suggest getting a 12-year old an expensive (I didn't even want to ask my husband how much it cost) toy with a monthly fee. She might need to call me if I'm late picking her up: why, why would she need to call me? I'm late - wait 'til I get there. She may need to tell me her bus is running late: I'd figure that out when the bus didn't come. She forget her homework/lunch: too bad, I don't deliver homework/lunch to school. She needs to ask me something: she's in school she doesn't need to ask me anything. I need to remind her I'm picking her up: by the time she gets my phone message, she'll be on the bus, so I call the school office, anyway. She's finished practice early: wait, surely the adults in charge won't leave her by herself and, I'm sure they have their own phone to call me if needed. Nope, I wasn't moved for any of those reasons. So what was it, why did I decide to get her the phone?
When I was in middle and high school, the cool girls had designer jeans. If they didn't, they had something else - LeSac purses or new sneakers or great neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, but mostly, they had the jeans. I never had any of that stuff. I know, poor me, right? Could my parents afford them? I don't know. That was never the point - they just said they weren't getting them, I didn't need them. I was never picked on or anything like that, but I still felt left out of the "look at my Jordache" conversations. It didn't seem like a big deal, but since its still affecting my decision making almost 30 years later, maybe it was bigger than I thought.
So, because I never had a pair of Jordache jeans, we got our daughter a phone, and her dad being the tech-y, she's got a pretty cool phone. And for good measure, my other daughter has a everything-but-a-phone device. They're ever grateful to Santa, but they should be thankful to their grandmother, too.