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Never Give Up, Never Give In...

"You're ridiculous!!!!", my 14 year old daughter sneered at me. "Why are you SO over protective??"

We'd just spent a chilly five minutes on the porch arguing. She had refused to hand over her precious cell phone, and I wasn't allowing her to open the door and go into the warmth until she had done so. She asked me how long I was going to keep her phone. I told her two days.

"Hand it to me."

"NO! I don't see why I have to!!"

She is fourteen years old, she probably didn't see the reasoning behind my demand she turn over her cell phone. But it's my job to teach her.

"If you don't hand it to me, you're going to lose it for longer than two days."
"Trust me, I mean it. Give it to me."
"Fine, you've lost it for a week now."
"FINE!", she bellowed at me as she thrust the phone into my hand. "But can I have it back on Friday?? I'm gonna hang out with Emma!"
"No, you may not."
"Because that's not a week. That's only 3 days."
And with that she went through the door after me and slammed it as hard as she could.
It was then I used a tried and true Mom Favorite. "Go to your room and stay there."

I'd just spent a frantic time driving through our ever-darkening neighborhood searching for her and her friend. She hadn't called me when she met up with her girlfriend at the corner and she wasn't answering calls or texts. I'd made her promise before she left that she would call me. She didn't.

I'd been in the kitchen about to mix up Christmas sugar cookies. As I lay out the butter, flour and sugar, I kept calling her. No answer. Why isn't she answering her phone? Where is she?

After what seemed like an eternity as I drove through the dusk, my cell phone rang.
"I'm sorry mommy! I didn't hear my phone in my coat. We're at the school but we're coming home now."
"You are in trouble. I'll be right there."
"No, mom we can walk."
"I'm nearly there right now."
Heavy sigh. "Oh all right."

It's a small thing, right? Not keeping her promise to call me. She forgot, I get it. She's mad because she said she won't forget next time. I'm hoping the sting of losing her phone for an entire week will make an indelible impression and make sure she won't forget next time.

"You are the worst mom ever!"

Sometimes that might be true. I don't know. I don't have a Users Guide for Teenagers. I hope that one day when she has a fourteen year old, she'll remember me being 'ridiculous' and 'over protective' and finally understand that it would be much easier on me to have given in and not taken her cell phone. Then I wouldn't have to put up with her surly demeanor for a week.

Never give up, never give in.


  1. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I wouldn't have done any thing different. Our Allie doesn't even live at home any more but still calls us when she arrives at her home after leaving ours. I'm sure it is because it was driven into her brain as a teenager, to check in every time or suffer the consequences. You are an awesome mom. She will see that one day. Be patient grasshopper. ~ Brandi

  2. Good job... now the hard part DO NOT GIVE IN>>
    Punishments are always hardest on the folks.

  3. Shocking - I didn't know parents actually handed out consequences anymore! ;) Good job, Momma. Tonight's "mantra" reminds me of another of our family's favorites...when one of my brothers was young, he furrowed his brow, crossed his arms, and said to our mother: "Don't you try to outstubborn ME!" Oooh, he had no idea who he was up against! ;)

    And, the way I look at it, Miss A is learning several lessons: keep your word, call and/or answer your phone, and don't even think about whining or arguing when you're up against MOM! It's totally not worth it - those 3 days went to 7 pretty fast, didn't they?! ;)

  4. One more thought...does it completely boggle her mind to know that we ALL grew up without cell phones?!? In her world, I was "grounded" until I was married w/2 kids! LOL!

  5. Missy4:08 AM

    YOU ARE RIGHT ON!!!! WAY TO GO MOM!!!! Pam, you would never have forgiven yourself if you hadn't tried to track her down and something had happened to her. Making a statement by taking the phone away is perfect! She won't forget this next time. When one of my sons turned 18, we had to make the extremely hard decision to ask him to leave (October of senior year) - now, at age 24 - he has said "Thank you, Mom". Keep it up and I will say it again - YOU ARE RIGHT ON!! WAY TO GO MOM!!!

  6. Stick to your guns! Way to go. Never give up, never surrender. It's between us and the world, and we have to do our best to teach them that. I tell ya, I wish I could totally skip the teenage years...17 year olds are about the same as 14...especially when the maturity level is about there... ugh. Good luck!!! ;)


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