Please Enlighten Me: Why Does a Kid Need an Expensive iPhone?

Touch screen Tracfone
This phone costs $50! Not a bad deal for this Tracfone. Now it’s at the bottom of a sewer, unfortunately.

Last week, some kids with iPhones made fun of my daughter’s nice touch Tracfone. Then, one of her friends told her, “All I have to do is throw my phone out and say it broke and my mom will go out and buy me a new phone right away.” Because my daughter had her eye on a Blackberry-clone Tracfone model, she acted on this terrible advice. She threw her perfectly good phone down the sewer and lied to us that a dog ate it. Luckily she’s a terrible liar. 

Sounds like a bad joke, eh? Nope. After thinking, “where did I go wrong?” I realized this is kid stuff, but also, a huge teaching moment for lack of a better term. After we calmly (sort of) discussed the consequences of all of this and how down the road the items get bigger (and it’s just stuff) and you need to develop gratitude, etc., etc., etc., I wondered why parents feel that they even need to buy expensive iPhones and Blackberry phones and service plans for their kids in the first place.

I don’t have an answer to that question. Maybe someone out there does and I’m all ears. But I have heard of many kids who constantly lose/break their expensive phones and the parents just run out and replace them. I explained to my daughter that no matter what type of phone you have, you can text and talk. No matter what kind of car you have (if it works), you get from point A to point B. (I did ask her if in the future she has a car she doesn’t like, is she going to drive it into a lake so she can get a new one!) No matter what size house you live in, you have a roof over your head. I advised her next time some dopey kids make fun of something you have, like a phone, just say with gusto, “I love my phone!” That usually quiets people down.

So, what about my daughter and her cell phone dilemma? Well, she sure does wish she had her “not-good-enough” one now, but it’s at the bottom of the sewer. I told her that before she pulled this unacceptable shenanigan, we were going to get her the cell phone she had wanted for her upcoming birthday. Well, that’s not gonna happen! She’ll go without for a bit (an inconvenience for me, however), and then she’ll have the privilege of using a hand-me-down Tracfone, which is an older model—and, she better be grateful for that one!

~Marilyn, TFF


5 thoughts on “Please Enlighten Me: Why Does a Kid Need an Expensive iPhone?

  1. I assume that you already possess an old track phone she can use. If not, try Freecycle. My agreement with the kids:
    1-I willingly pay for monthly, unlimited text/calling
    2-your phone is the freebie one offered when we add your line to the bundled family plan
    3-your phone has downloading disabled: yep-no pictures, but also no stupid ring tones and/or games that “only cost $1.99” plus tax, fees and now data minutes not in the aforementioned plan
    4-you destroy or lose your phone OR it dies of old age? We’ll get a freecyled one.

    Fast forward: DS bought himself a fancy-schmantzy phone that was advertised as unbreakable. He eventually broke it. How to replace it? (enter convulsing kid)-simple: here’s an old phone from a relative. OK, that’s good for a while and he breaks that one. “You’ve gotta buy me a new phone!” Um, no, here’s a Freecycle one. Love it or leave it. He’s loving it. : )

    1. LOL! I do have an oldie Tracfone laying around. My part is that I just have to transfer the number (no biggie). And like your DS, my DD better love it, too!

  2. Wow! Amazing story. I made my kids pay for whatever they wanted via allowance money, babysitting or chore money. They’d think twice before tossing away something they ‘worked’ for.

    1. Can you believe that my daughter actually paid for the phone she threw away??!! Yup! $50 down the sewer lol! Oh, and she sure will pay for her next one, too (whenever she gets it, but she has to use that oldie before she gets one….). ~M

      1. amazing. hey! if it were me and my friend told me they could get a new phone from their parents simply by throwing theirs away, i would have grabbed THEIR phone and thrown it away. but that’s just me.

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