Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cell Phone Freak Out

Taking away a cell phone is not a new practice of mine. But I'm wondering if all kids are as completely freaked out by it as my daughter's have been. You would think Mercedes had just had a major appendage amputated. She violated our agreement several times during her first month and my intention was simply to have the phone in my possession for 3 days. However, she is turning this into quite an ordeal. After almost an hour of discussion between last night and this morning, and me remaining fairly calm for most of it, she has turned it into disowning me for life because of it. She is becoming stubborn and completely defiant and making matters much worse for herself.

You would think that it might sink in that I am the one with the power here. She wants something from me. So mistreating me really isn't the answer. If she loses her cell phone for the rest of her time living in my house the only thing that it is going to cost me is a little inconvenience which I would gladly trade for the major hassle of figuring out the bills, making sure she is following the rules, and facing her venomous wrath when she screws up and I have to take it away.

But oh, what she wants from me. She wants that phone back so badly it is consuming her every waking moment. And yet she cannot seem to cooperate with very simple requests that I am making of her. Things like, Please leave my office for a while. I need to go do a few other things. Or, give me the lock code on the phone so I can see who you are talking to."

But she is still in the stage of blaming me for the whole thing happening.

Dang it's too bad that those cell phone bills tell us everything. She lied to me multiple times last night as I held the proof in my hand.

And I just repeated myself again and again, "Cell Phone Bills Don't Lie. People do."

Anyone else had to experience this much drama over taking away a cell phone?


Linda B. said...

Oh yes! Just in the last couple of weeks we went through the same motions at our house. That cell was suppose to make life easier for us to keep track of her and all it has done is escalate behaviors. Apparently that is our fault too. If we'd just give it back all would be fine.

Linda up north said...

Hahaha! I tell my teens continually: "If you want something from me, for heaven's sake you better kiss up! DUH!" One or two of them have figured it out... you would think it obvious, eh?

Reverend Mom said...


I don't know if this fits or not, but I know that when my daughter has been doing well (as you report Sadie has been doing) and then blows it big time, her anger towards me is extreme. Her therapist and I finally figured out that it is her guilt that triggers these rages. Guilt is an unfamiliar emotion for her, and she tries desperately to rid herself of it by throwing all the responsibility on me. Of course, then she feels guilty for the awful language she has used, and the guilt deepens, and the downward spiral continues. It may not fit, but if it does, I have found understanding the source of her anger helps me cope with it-- I know it's not about me, and that deep down she knows it.

Mom in MN said...

Ooooooooooh, yeah -- definitely! A teenager without a cell phone acts as though you've sent them to a deserted island with no means of communication with anyone! And the "No, I didn't download that new ringtone." and then the bill comes and guess what? There it says it, right there. The $2.99 doesn't bother me a fraction as much as what the lying does. But I think (I HOPE!) I've made my point now. I can quickly log onto the cell phone provider's website and disable features as I so choose.