Neither of our boys has a fully functioning mobile device. They each have an Ipad but we don't have a data plan on it so all downloading or internet use must be with wifi. We have old smartphones that we have set up for them to be able to text and FaceTime but no data plan.
One of our boys really has no intense interest in having a fully functional device. He's really indifferent, the other...reminds us every day that he's the only kid who doesn't have one and he'd like to remedy that. He's eager to grow up and having one of these would speed up the process.
Now, there are several ways I can handle this. If I follow the pc culture trend, I can approach this perceived disadvantage, crippling dilemma my son has with one of the following options:
1). I could create a safe place that will not allow him around fellow peers who have what he so desperately thinks he needs. I could only surround him with others who share in his despair. This scenario would allow only those who are like him, creating a scenario of sharing in their self pity or celebrating their uniqueness.
2). I could implore all other parents who allow his peers to have a smartphone to please cease with this privilege. I mean, their kid's privileges and material possessions are upsetting to my son. I don't like that he's upset so I must hold others responsible for his emotional distress brought on by not having what his friends have. It would be further upsetting if I told my son that he's responsible for his feelings about this so in effort to prevent further emotional distress, I explain that it's not his fault and others should stop with this privilege so he can he can feel better about himself.
3). I could give in to his pleas and follow the crowd. I could make myself a better friend to my son if I help him be like the kids he wants to emulate. I mean, what a cool parent I would be to allow him to dictate and further have his wants in our house and our society.
4). I could lobby for a law that would not allow anyone his age or under to own such devices. Since the parents obviously can't make the best decisions for their children, the government must step in.
Instead, I choose to be the parent who exerts a more therapeutic approach...reality therapy.
A). Your problem isn't really a problem. It's a mere perceived idea that having a fully functioning smartphone will make your life better, cooler and you will be like your friends.
B). What you have is a 1st world problem...not a smartphone problem.
C). And finally, I don't care who has one...you aren't getting one and no amount of whining, complaining, begging or just pure anger at me is going to change my mind. But I will make a suggestion that will help you better deal with this reality in life...get over it and appreciate what you do have. When you do this, you will be able to better deal with the disappointments as you face them in life.
Oh, one more thing...I love you, Son