As parents, we all teach our kids about peer pressure. Don’t do something because “everyone is doing it.” “Be your own person” and “Make your own decisions” are phrases that parents often say. But have we ever taken a look at another kind of pressure that we are exposed to on a daily basis? It’s called, Parent Pressure. Admit it, we all are guilty of it – caving in to our children who are begging for something because all the other kids have it.
My sons “cell phone beg” first began when he was in the 4th grade. He claimed all his friends had one, and I must admit that he was right. My question then was – why did any parent feel the need to give an elementary school student their own cell phone?
I felt 6th grade was an appropriate time to get a cell phone and stuck to my plan.
Now my son, the 6th grader, has a cell phone, but has spent weeks arguing his case to get a Blackberry. Now, not only does he need a cell phone, but needs one that comes with Internet access! My question now is – why does an 11 year old need a blackberry?
The answer is clear that no 11 year old needs a Blackberry, but it is also clear that many of my son’s friends do have one. I wish I could have had a conversation with those parents before they caved! Although many of those parents believe as I do – that it is unnecessary to have a Blackberry at this young age – when one parent caves, many others seem to follow suit. It’s the aforementioned “parent pressure” rearing its ugly head.
I will be the first to admit that a cell phone is needed with after school activities and sports, but does a 6th grader really need Internet access and the ability to BBM their friends? These kids aren’t learning how to communicate face-to-face.
It’s definitely a family decision, but our family is staying blackberry free…at least for 6th grade!
About Sheri Lapidus
Sheri Lapidus is a public relations executive with over 20 years’ experience. After working in various roles at NBC-TV, CBS-TV, In Style and Elle magazines, she founded MitzvahMarket.com, an online resource for Bar/Bat Mitzvah planning families.