Recently we got my eldest daughter a cell phone. It was not something we did lightly and it WAS something we had put off. "She wasn't old enough.", we said. "Who is she gonna call or text?, none of her friends have cell phones.", we said. "It is to much money.",we said.
Then we moved. A cell phone allowed her to call and text her friends in Delaware that did have them, or would soon get them. The bill did not get THAT much bigger. (It went up mostly due to my new data package) She got the phone because I felt better knowing she had it on those days I would not be home when she arrived after school. It made me feel safer.
Now I must say that I really like the cell phone. I laughed with my daughter when I got the bill this month. She and I had sent in the realm of 800 texts! Naturally we had only called people on the phone for about an hour. I am shocked at how little I talk on my phone.
I think a great deal of my texting goes to and from my daughter. She texts me when she gets on the bus in the morning. She will tell me her friend is not on the bus. She will ask a question. She texts me when she gets on the bus in the afternoon. Practically everyday I get "Im on da bus". She also asks questions about what we have to do that evening or if I will be home or taking her sister somewhere.
I think the most important thing the cell phone did for my daughter this past weekend was give her a security blanket. My eldest daughter is not always the bravest away from home. She has been known to get homesick even when away with close friends. This weekend she went away for a Karate Camp. It was 4 hours away with kids she did not know THATwell. I kept my cell phone near by all weekend long. I even slept with it by my bed. (very unusual) She would text silly things to me. I knew things were hard when she would text, "I miss you :(" At those times I could try to distract her or steer her toward an activity. It was a lifeline for the both of us. She could miss me and talk to me without being embarrassed. It was not as good as a hug, but I was glad it was what we had.