…at the tone.
As my last post mentioned, I’m getting our kids to use the phone more so when they are on their own, they know how to reach us, emergencies, etc. We’re a little “late” to this game, as the kiddos are 9 and 11. However, we are those parents still debating on whether our kids will ever have their own cells as teenagers. I still don’t agree with kids needing them, and believe they serve more as a distraction. If they don’t have cells, you don’t have to worry about “texting,” right? However, I can definitely see the benefits, like call me when practice is over and tell me where to pick you up, situation. (so I no longer have to sit at the practices) This whole cell phone thing is a decision we are dreading. Therefore, we haven’t been in a rush for them to know how to use one at an early age. There was never any reason they needed to call anyone that we weren’t already talking to, like grandma or auntie, and then we’d hand the phone over to them.
However, we have now reached the stage, where we are starting to leave them at home for small bits n pieces of time to learn independence. For instance, another mom drops them off after school, and they have 30 minutes of alone time before I get home from work. That sort of thing. It’s not often, but small pieces of time occasionally. Like, I don’t always make our son go to his sister’s soccer games any longer, because he’s more of a pain if we drag him along. He yells at his sister while on the field. She gets angry. It’s easier (for everyone), if he remains at home.
SO…While dad was out-of-town last week, each night, I had the kids call their father individually. If he didn’t pick up, they learned to leave voicemails. At first, they were very hesitant and I had to guide them. “Say something.” – dead air…”talk” um…oh, dad? Then I realized, talking to “nothing” for the first couple of times, is strange, and I had to prompt them along.
Of course, by the 3rd time, they had it down and my daughter started leaving funny messages. Changing the tone of her voice and sing-songing words, etc. “Hi, dad… it’s Sa MAN thAAA” My son got more bold and spoke more audibly as he got comfortable with what he wanted to say. “Dad, I lost my tooth!”
On Sunday, when dad arrived home, he played the voicemails on his speaker phone so the kids could hear themselves and their messages. He would let each one play entirely, then hit SAVE, and the next message would play entirely, and SAVE. In between kids’ messages, one came on in mommy’s voice. Dad immediately hit DELETE (mumbled “no one wants to hear that”) and the system operator stated “Next message.”
HEY! Don’t teach the kids to ignore messages from me!