So my 13-year-old son wants the world to know that he is the ONLY kid in 8th grade who doesn’t have a cell phone. I told him I was happy to tell the world for him. After all, I think it’s only fair for people to know how unfair Mark and I are to our children.

And honestly, it’s far worse than cell phones. For instance:
  • We don’t let them stay on the computer for endless hours. We set the timer to indicate when it’s time to get off.
  • We actually have certain days of the week that we don’t even allow screens—no TV screens, no computer screens, no video screens.
  • We don’t allow them to see just any movie with a PG or PG 13 rating. We actually check out the content and then decide. It’s so very unfair.
  • We require them to go to bed early on school nights.
  • They have to take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, run the vacuum, and care for their animals. Can you believe it?
  • On the weekends they have to help mow the grass which is no small task on our 2.5 acre yard.
  • They also have to help feed and care for the animals we own. The nerve.
Life is so very unfair.
So, of course, because we’re so unfair we occasionally allow them to do some fun things to make up for it all. Like last month, for example, when we allowed the 13-year-old to have a slumber party for his birthday. Of course they played flashlight tag outside in that great big yard he helped mow, slept on that floor he helped vacuum, and dirtied enough dishes to fill the dishwasher he helps empty a few times each week. I then baked cookies at midnight and served them right along with cake and ice cream. Wow, that made up for all that unfairness…at least for that week!
As for the 15-year-old, when he asked on the same evening at 8:30pm, “Mom, can I go to a late movie with a friend?” my response was “You know, that sounds like a fun thing to do on a Friday night. Sure, see if you can find someone to go with you.” Once plans were made, I ferried the two boys to the movie theatre at 9:45pm and picked them up at midnight. It’s not like I’d be sleeping, and it was a great opportunity to make up for all that unfairness around the Savage home.
If life is unfair around your home, don’t worry. You may make different unfair decisions for your children based upon your own values, but you are not alone.
And by the way, if you work for a landline phone company, please leave a few pay phones out there. After all, my teenagers don’t have cell phones…and they just might need to call their unfair home!

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