Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I have a teenager!

Thirteen.  Wow.  Amanda's been excited about this birthday to say the least.

I've definitely seen the onset of teen behavior, both good and "bad." I have bad in quotes, because testing boundaries is a part of the independence that adolescence spurs on. I noticed this summer that she wanted to spend more time alone (up in her room or the media room watching TV or reading as opposed to being downstairs with me). She's also had her share of emotional outbursts (as have I!).

But in general? It's all good. We are very proud of her.

Thirteen will bring some privileges, but some others are still on hold. She still may be the last girl at her middle school NOT to have a cell phone. She uses my old pre-paid phone when she's out and about (because I did finally get a new one), but she's embarrassed to take it out of her bag. She calls it the dinosaur.  With this behavior, she proves that she doesn't really need a phone, she wants a cool toy. And we're holding off for now.

She actually helped make the decision when her ipod Touch got water damage this summer. It did come back to life, but the WIFI was at first spotty, and as of last week, non-existent. She used the Text-Free app to text her friends (which is really what middle school girls use their phones for, lest you think that we are cutting her off from all social interaction), so this had become a hardship. She's wanted the new ipod Touch with the camera, and after constant use for 2 years, her battery was almost shot, so she decided that she'd prefer a new ipod Touch, where she texts, to a cell phone. We aren't buying her one -- she's had to save up, but I think that her birthday cash will put her over the top.

The other big thing that she's waited and waited for is Facebook.  She'll be setting up her Facebook account when she gets home from school. Oh happy day! Since she's younger than her classmates here (due to starting school in Connecticut, where the birthday cutoff was in December), she really might be the last 8th grade girl to have Facebook (that, and other kids go on before you are 13, in defiance of the Facebook rule). Rule number one is that she friends me first.  Rule number two is that she can only friend people she really knows in real life (not friends of friends). Any others I should put in place?


Karla E said...

jennifer, I like Facebook for Middle Schoolers. It actually gives you some insight into her other friends..based on what they post. For Matt, Facebook is just another way to "chat"...since most of his school friends live far away, he chats with them...and then he chats with friends from church or friends from other schools. He also uses Skype quite a chat. I agree that a middle schooler doesn't need a phone, they need a way to text...he texts Dan and me often. Matt uses the 3G on his iPhone quite often, most of it educational believe it or not.

Carrie said...

I think it's awesome you've withheld FB up 'till now. I also love your rules and will remember them if there's ever a need in this household. (Not sure WHAT we'll be dealing with 13 years from now. ;) But it's very cool to see you being involved but relaxed on things I know I'll have a hard time relaxing on.

Martha said...

I think you are doing great! We did the same thing, no FB unless we are their first friends. My (and Steve's) other rule is we will not ask our kids' friends to be our friend but if they ask us, then we are free to accept. Steve has more than me because he takes pics at football games and they like to tag each other. Enjoy the time. Sometimes she will be great and other times you will wonder who she is and when are you going to "like" her again. It does come. We are at a happy crossroads with our daughter. I can't believe it has been 13 years since you were in Oregon. We really need to try and get together sometime. Maybe you and me only!