Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures With Teenagers

OK, first the back story:

My husband and I got cell phones awhile back, after doing without them for a few years. (yes! it's true! You can truly survive without cell phones in the 21st century. Who knew?!) Then after several months of the two of us having phones, my husband decided to take advantage of a free phone offer if we added another one to our account. We gave this one to our 15 year old son to use. It has come in very handy so that we can know when to pick him up from school activities, find him when we are in a large, crowded place, or if I'm just too lazy to walk down the stairs to tell him to do his chores. Most, if not all, of his friends, are on this same cell phone plan, so they can all talk to each other without it using up any of our minutes. Plus we have minute rollover, and we never use all the ones we have. So, so far, so good.

About a week ago he comes to me, delighted!, because he has discovered that he can do text messaging on his phone. I told him that I know he can text message, but we do not have that service on our plan, so he should not send text messages or they will cost us lots of money. (I know it probably wouldn't cost very much to add text to our service, but really, honestly, we just don't care about texting. I have no interest in it and don't need it.)

He had sent the first text message and then checked our account balance through his phone (which, I believe, requires the company to send him a text message, which we would then be paying for). For several days he would check (after texting), and find that no additional charges had been placed on our account. So he's been texting. Quite a bit. And today was his day of reckoning. Because he found that SURPRISE!!!! there were now some charges for the texting. As in, like over $100 worth.

Ha! Aren't teenagers fun?!

Like the good kid that he is, he came to me to tell me what had happened. He apologized and told me he would work for us to pay off his debt. Ironically, I had just trained him on how to do some business work for me and he had already been doing that, so he was well on his way to making his first $10. (it is now up to $20, I think, so he's actually doing pretty well)

So now I have an indentured servant! My businesses are getting busier all the time and I have been badly in need of an assistant, so now at least I've got him doing quite a few tasks that will be a help. Plus, I'm having him clean obscure areas of the house that really needed attention, but simply won't ever be likely to reach my top 10 list of things to try to get done in a day.

Honestly, he's a good kid, and I know he'll learn from this. If a $100 mistake is the worst thing he does, I'll consider myself very relieved.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Ah, the text message issue is universal among teenagers! My kids are dying for us to add the feature because they can then text during class! I don't think so.
Your son sounds like a great kid and you sound like a great mom for teaching him responsibility.