My youngest son struggles. A lot. He’s 11 and, along with the hormones starting to course their way through his young body, he has some emotional issues we are trying to get a handle on. But, everything is escalating despite him trying to hold it together. Depression and anxiety suck.
Have you noticed that the more creative a person is, the more emotional problems that person has to deal with? No. Well, I have. I have creative kids, they all have mini demons. Thankfully, they are also amazing, talented, smart and sweet as hell. Just like their mommy! I kid. Kinda.
Things have changed within schools since my big kids were in elementary school. Everything moves faster..from the curriculum on up. Or maybe I’m just more aware of it because I only have one kid in elementary school as opposed to four at the same time. I don’t know. I just know what I see.
We all have our own reasons for doing things. Which is why I try not to judge other parents because you just don’t truly know what’s going on in their world.
Sometimes, there are things parents can do to help our kids feel like they fit in. Even if it’s against something small we believe in. Because of the limitless depth of our love for our children.
Sometimes, these things we do for our children may offend our other children. Even though we explain how different things are now, years after they were in elementary school.
Even though we explain how emotionally delicate their brother is right now, which is why we are doing what we are doing.
When my big kids were younger, they had to wait until they were in middle school to get a phone. That’s just how it was and we, as parents, stuck by that. Very few kids had cellphones in elementary school, a few years ago. And, realistically, why would any elementary school-aged kid need a cell phone unless both parents worked and were hard to get hold of.
All my kids have been lucky.
So have I.
I was able to be stay-at-home so getting hold of me was never an issue.
I’m still stay-at-home, it’s where I live and work.
But, instead of waiting for our youngest to enter 7th grade, as we did with our other kids, we got him a cellphone. He’s about to graduate 5th grade.
It was against my better judgement. Truly.
I still don’t necessarily believe elementary school kids are in need of a cell phone.
Granted, I understand why SOME of them have one.
However, now I have a deeper understanding about why some parents give in and go against their beliefs.
They want their kids to feel like they fit in, especially at an age where so many kids start struggling with that.
Like my youngest.
And, if something silly..like a cellphone..gives them an extra bounce in their step and a reason to smile more…
Then you’d better believe I’m going to make sure that happens.
Especially when the new norm, for my kid, has been dark and tantrum-y.
Even if my older kids are pissed because we did for him what we did later for them…
Even though they understand the ‘why’ part of it.
They are still like WHAT?!
Whatever. Who are they to judge, anyway. They’ve always gotten stuff, too.
We headed to Best Buy yesterday. That’s where I got my 11 year old a cellphone.
(See what I did there?)
Heck yes, I got insurance for it, too.
Yes, he realizes this is another thing I can use to bribe him with. But, I realize that too. So, we are on an even playing field.
It may sound like I’m enabling and spoiling but I feel if a stupid cellphone is going to help build his confidence a little bit then I’m all for it.
Sure, I had some major internal struggle going on.
But, the love and concern I have for my son overpowered the rest of the voices in my head.
And, the fact that he’s actually walking prouder since that phone hit his pocket..that shut the remaining nagging voices in my head up.
So, to my big kids..who may or may not read my blog..
Just know, if you were in his shoes, we would have done this for you, too.
Earlier than we originally promised.
Because of how much we love all of you.
I remember how hard it was to find your way. Remember, I lived it too. And, my memory isn’t gone..YET.
I know you guys are pissed, even though you love your little brother and want him to be happy. You’re watching what we’re watching. So, you know what’s going on with him.
Just know this..you are all loved as much as he is, even when it appears he gets more than you.
He doesn’t get more than you.
You just don’t seem to remember how much we gave to you..and still give.
There are four of you and just one of him so maybe you’re seeing it from eight eyes.
I’m just a mom with five kids I love and worry about.
Right now, you big kids seem to be finding your merry way and, on the most part, you’re doing an amazing job.
Now it’s his turn.
He looks up to all of you.
He loves all of you so much.
Instead of judging him because he got his phone..
Text him and tell him how much you love him and that you’re there whenever he needs you.
Because…WOW..does he need you guys.
So please, be there.
Just like you were there for each other in your group texts.
Sometimes it’s little things that make a big difference.
My 11 year old has a cellphone.
And, if that gives him a bit of happiness, then it gives me a bit of happiness.
Except when he’s constantly texting me because OMG MAKE IT STOP!!
Edited to add some important information: AT&T made it EXCEPTIONALLY difficult for me to add another phone because I’m just an authorized user, not an account admin. So, I went to Best Buy, where we ended up not being able to go with AT&T either, for the same reason. I was not leaving without a phone for my son so I asked if I could just set up an account with another cellular company. We went with Sprint. Now, my son has unlimited everything. And, I was authorized to add 2 more phones onto this account. Come August, when our contract is up with AT&T, we may head on over to Sprint. The best part about this..as a new Sprint user, I was given a $200 Best Buy gift card. My son got a phone and I..got a new iPad!!