Minor Mom Emergencies: Can You Operate Your Kid’s Phone?

Your emergency ticket out of digital isolation

Your kids’ first cell phone was proably your old cast-off, so you could operate that phone with ease. But then came a birthday or another excuse to replace or upgrade, and your kid got a new phone of his own, which you haven’t bothered with except during periods when the phone has been confiscated as a punishment (and wasn’t it a pain to figure out how to shut the thing off?).

This ignorance of the kid phone becomes an issue when your own phone dies or is otherwise disrupted. As we all know, Mom is the family switchboard, and she cannot go without a phone, not even for a short while during repairs or replacement. I know several moms (including me) who have had to comandeer their kids’ phone to pull them through on an emergency basis, and it was a frustrating experience for all. Here are some suggestions:

1. Program your most essential numbers into the kids’ phones. That way, if you are forced to use a kids’ phone  in a pinch, you aren’t starting from scratch. These numbers include the pediatrician’s office, the school, carpool partners or team moms, etc.

2. Of course you need to back up your contacts on your PC if you have a smart phone. Just pull out the wire and do it. Now.

3. Hopefully you are auditing your kids’ text messages on a regular basis. Every kid should operate with the disclaimer that his parents read his texts. Even so, a little time with a kids’ phone is may amaze you with how often their peers text and how lucky you were to have grown up without so many useless interruptions.

4. The phone sharing experience is reminder of how the good ol’ days also weren’t always that good. After just five hours sharing a phone, I couldn’t help thinking of how, once upon a time, families shared one bathroom, one telephone (with a party line, at that!), and one radio or television. Thank vacuum tubes and micro chips for giving us all our own space in the world.