With the start of the new year, perhaps you were prepared to spend a small fortune on your teen's back-to-school wardrobe. But to your surprise, your teen was less interested in scoring the latest, most expensive brand of jeans or sneakers and instead preferred to shop for the latest trendy cell-phone cover or pleaded with you for the updated IPhone, or tablet. So says an article in the New York Times. See link below.
I beg you, don't make their technology be any more seductive than it already is! There is no earthly reason why a teen needs the updated anything. Faster, better, sleeker, these encourage and feed the addictive beast of phone addiction. Truly this will be your biggest challenge with your teen. No expensive clothes, no weekly manis or pedis, just get me a new phone...pleeeze. Could these be the new status symbols of the teen years?. It used to be fancy clothes, or ugg boots, or $200 sneakers, or a fancy car to impress your friends. Do you remember what it was when you were a teenager? For me it was brand-name clothes. John Meyer, Villager, Capezzio, see I'm so old, you don't even know these brands, but that's what the "popular kids" wore. Thank god for Filene's basement, the original Marshall's, so I could keep up with cool kids, just at a bargain rate!
Clothes, shoes,sneakers may have been status symbols, but they weren't addictive and didn't affect our behavior or our relationships. Please don't feed this beast. Agreeing to upgrade, and update only send a message to your teen that you endorse their addiction. What they have is good enough for what they need it for. Think of it this way, Teens don't need to drive a Mercedes when they get their drivers license, they just need a good, safe, clunker with a few dings in already. A safe car, not necessarily a hot car. The message; we want you to be safe. Teens don't need the fastest, the most expensive technology, just what gets the job done.
Today is my first day back teaching my Freshman college students. For the first time ever I have had to institute a written cell-phone policy. I'm sure they will all be coming to class with their "little babies" their "binkies" for safety and security. Remember the little blankies that your child dragged around and you snipped away inch by inch as they gained the confidence to manage their world without it. Please give your teens the confidence that they can manage their world alone....even if it is only for 1 hour in the safety of their own house, and in the womb of their own room. I'll thank you if they show up in my class!