Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cell Phone Aids Teen in Reaching Superstar Status

Ever since S1 started high school last fall, DH and I have been adapting to parenting a growing teen-ager. Changes in our rules began with extending his bedtime by two hours. In addition, his new found manhood afforded him other privileges as well. We let him fly across the country for spring break to visit friends in Florida, he got his Learners Permit to drive a car, and we bought him a cell phone.

With all these new found opportunities, S1 has handled them with surprising care and maturity. Except for one time. Not long ago, S1 was sitting in class when his cell phone, which he claims he thought was set to silent mode, started playing a very loud, nifty little tune. Not even initially aware that it was his offending phone, his pants sang the not-so-original musical selection for almost a full minute. With no one quickly silencing the singing cell, the teacher was not impressed.

Finally, S1 caught on as to his musical pocket and was able to silence the noisemaker. The instructor questioned, "Who's cell phone was that?" Never able to tell a lie, S1 quickly admitted, "It was mine."

The consequence for a noise-making cell phone in her class is well-known, even celebrated. "Well class," the teacher responded, "Do we know what that means?" A cheering room of 15 and 16 year-olds started waving their arms in the air. With everyone in smiles, she reminded S1 of the clear policy and then confirmed, "You do understand?" "Yes, I do," he obediently replied, with a hint of a smile. "They'll be here tomorrow then, right?" she verified. S1 agreed, "Yep tomorrow, no problem."

S1 exited with the other students when the bell sounded a few minutes later. But he did not sulk out in shame for disobeying a class rule. Instead, he was accompanied by classmates giving him high fives, exaggerated thumbs up, and chummy pats on the back. They were all eager for the punishment scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.

Being chastised for having a ringing cell phone at school was not the penalty. Not even close. Delivering the promised goods the next day to his class was no penance either. Explaining to his mom, on a night when she was doing payroll for four restaurants, that she needed to stop everything, drive to the grocery store before it closed, and purchase 33 glazed donuts (one for every student in the class as well as the teacher) - that was the punishment.

Unable to drive himself, and with no more than $3.75 in his wallet, this discipline was clearly not for the now famous S1. The only person suffering this consequence, was yours truly.

On the following day, yours truly let the teacher know that she did not appreciate a policy that creates a celebrity out of the offender and causes havoc at home. The teacher said to yours truly, welcome to parenting a high schooler.

Thanks to Carol for the inspiration for today's blog.


  1. Congratulations! Tied for #1. Woo-Hoo!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Eve,
    Another reason to add to your list for why you homeschool.

  4. Chewy,
    Thank you. I think David is being more than generous with my ranking on this week's list. But you aren't doing too bad yourself either!

  5. Hi Debbie,

    Great to see bigger pictures on your blog - well done.

    Loved the story. As a father of three, two of whom are teenagers, I can identify whole-heartedly. Hope S1 has a ringing in his ears!

    33 donuts for the grade - that's a `hole' lot of punishment and I think you did a singular job in dropping everything to help out.

    Maybe I should tell the story of how my own S1 came home from school with only one of his (rather expensive) shoes - and an angelic/ mystified look on his face!

    As you'll see, I've posted a link to your wonderful cow magnets story!

    Keep smiling, No.1


  6. lol@your story, i can so relate..more often than not, the punishment is harder on the enforcer than the punishee...

    congrats on your number one spot!


  7. Actually, Deb, I think it would fall under Why my kid is not getting a cell phone-until they move out (if that ever happens) :)

  8. The motive here certainly seems to generate some awareness, at least, with parents as well as the student.

    I can sympathise as both the parent and the teacher - the teenager/parent/teacher relationship is a difficult one!

  9. David,

    You've got me thinking....I should rewrite the story becuase S1 was not the hero of this tale - I was!

  10. Karoline,

    I love how telling one seemingly unique story makes us all realize we have so much in common. Thank you for the congratulations!


  11. Eve, Eve, Eve,

    You sound like I did just a few years ago. Ahhh, the innocence of early parenthood.

    This is not meant to be patronizing, but I think it is sounding that way. Sorry.

    Stick to your plan. It sounds like a good one.


  12. Ozlady,

    You are exactly right! As frustrating as that teacher's policy is, it proves her pure genius. S1's cell phone will never go off in her class again. And not because he is worried about what will happen in class. The bummer is I am the bad guy and she is the fun teacher.


  13. Hi Deb,

    I would settle for old fashioned detention!! Sigh... teenagers nowadays...isn't it a wonder that our parents often wonder how we cope?

    But the fact that your boy did not lie shows his character...hard to have that nowadays....

    cheers, good luck to us!


  14. Phase Out Girl,

    S1 has plenty of character which is a very good thing.

    Thanks for the encouragement!


  15. Hey I thought you might all enjoy this. It's my commentary on the story so the story isn't so one sided.

    hope you enjoy it,
    S1 (Taylor)

  16. Were we just talking bout S1's honesty. Apparently the story I got from his teacher doesn't quite fit his memory...

    Love ya, S1!

  17. ha ha ha - going over to check out S1's blog.


  18. Hi Debbie,

    S1 has a blog? And no one told me this because ....?

    And without a shade of doubt, you were the Superwoman heroine of this episode.

    Take care


  19. David,

    You knew S1 had a blog. Either that or you did not read my Thinking Blog Award Blog very carefuly.

    His is one of the 5 blogs that makes me think. Now it makes me think I should have never shown him my blog.


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